The format of a typical London Comedy Writers meeting includes a maximum of three sketches and a sitcom script, so material in these formats will get preferential treatment. Occasionally, we also read webisodes and short scenes of sitcom written for stage (primarily to help writers enter competitions like the Sitcom Mission). Writers who regularly attend meetings in support of their peers will get priority placement on the waiting list.
All sketches read at a meeting will be considered for our YouTube channel and our annual live show Sketchageddon.
Is your script intended for television, internet or radio? Decide this before you start to write and format your script accordingly – avoid the pitfall of leaving stage directions in your radio script because you changed format halfway through writing! Think about the benefits and restrictions of each medium. If your script is particularly surreal then, unless you have a big budget, it's possibly more suited to radio and the power of imagination!
The old adage in screenplay writing states that the world of your story, the situation and main characters should be established within the first 10 pages of your script. Well, you should halve that for a sitcom and halve it twice again for a webisode, the medium where viewers typically have the shortest attention span.
The length of your script should depend upon the medium and your chosen broadcaster. For example, a typical BBC sitcom will last 30 minutes (sometimes 15 minutes for radio), a Channel 4 sitcom/comedy drama (excluding commercials) might be only 25 or 40 minutes long while the same is shorter still on Sky. Material intended for the internet is much shorter, ranging from 3-15 minutes.
We'll try to time the reading for you!
Work like a professional right from the start – badly-formatted scripts are rejected outright by major broadcasters so nip bad habits in the bud now! Besides, you'll get a much better performance from our actors if their character cues are clear to read!
Ultimately, you should consult the guidelines of your chosen broadcaster but we recommend the standard screenplay format for scripts.
Download free script formatting software!
Most of our writers swear by the online script formatting software, Celtx. It's free to download, easy to collaborate with others and lets you export your script as a PDF, all formatted and ready to be read.
If your script is chosen for a reading, we ask the writer to bring along enough scripts for all the actors (including anyone narrating or reading the stage directions). Please print one page to a sheet at A4 size.