Writing for Childrens TV

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Children’s TV is a varied and exciting area offering many opportunities for those interested in creative writing. Participants in this course will come away with good understanding of the different target markets, sub-genres and writing techniques of children's TV plus hone their skills in order to start writing for this important area of the television industry.

Topics covered will include:

• writing for animation, live action, puppets and segment shows

• developing and pitching ideas for series; creating a series bible
• the creative process from series idea to script
• ACMA and Children’s Guardian regulations and how they affect the writer
• practicalities of working with co-producers and broadcasters
• writing for different target audiences - pitching it at the right level
• how a typical writing room works
• how to write a great script - the 3 act structure, A and B plots, building tension, comedy and more
• what you can’t write about in Children’s TV
• broadcaster perspective - what's happening in the market

The course will comprise of screenings, discussions, guest lectures from industry practitioners and practical exercises including developing a TV series as a group. There will be some out-of-course hours homework.

The main course lecturer will be award-winning children's writer Melanie Alexander, who has numerous screen credits in children's TV including Beat Bugs (Beyond), script producer on Skinner Boys S2 (SLR) and writer and script producer on Lexi & Lottie, twin detectives (SLR). She is currently Head of Development and Writing at SLR Productions.

Melanie will be joined by industry guests Libbie Doherty (Commissioning Editor, ABC TV Children's), Producer Michael Bourchier (TV series The Upside Down Show, Sam Fox:Extreme Adventures Penelope K, by the Way, Out There and feature Films Napoleon and Lucky Miles) and veteran children's writer and Script Editor David Witt (Sleuth 101, Dive Olly Dive, Teenage Fairytale Dropouts, Bubble Bath Bay and Guess How Much I Love You).

***DISCLAIMER*** AFTRS reserves the right to cancel any course for any reason at any time. In the event of a course being cancelled a full refund of course fees will be provided. If a participant wishes to withdraw from a course, they may do so up to 15 days before the course commences and get a full refund. Cancellations 14 days or less before course commencement will incur a fee. For more information on AFTRS Open's policies, including refund policies, please see our policies page​


The Australian Film Television Radio and School would like to acknowledge the Traditional Owners, the Bidjigal people and Gadigal people of the Eora Nation, on whose land we meet, work, study and teach. We pay our respects to Elders past and present, and extend our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people from all nations of this land.