The Return Of
Dave And Dan’s Topical Comedy Writing Course
…The course was excellent!!! – putting aside the credits on Breaking The News which was an unexpected bonus, I really learnt about crafting jokes and the routine of producing them Joanne Cunningham
There are many ways to start making a living at comedy writing, but nothing gets you noticed faster than being able to write topical jokes.
Top writers including Simon Blackwell (Veep, Back, Private Life of David Copperfield), Mark Burton (Madagascar, Wallace & Gromit) and Georgia Pritchett (Succession, The Shrink Next Door, The Thick Of It) all began their careers this way.
Since 2021 two great opportunities have opened for new writers: Breaking The News, BBC Scotland’s topical show that runs for 30 weeks a year is now open for material from writers with no previous credits. And fabulous, multi-award winning The Skewer will be on Radio 4 for at least 15 weeks a year. Here’s what producer, creator and all-round topical comedy genius Jon Holmes has to say about his show: “Nothing has made me prouder than being able to bring new writers into comedy.”
Dan Sweryt has become a regular contributor to both shows. When he first heard The Skewer he couldn’t imagine he could write for it, but, he says “You can! Also it’s multiple award-winning and who doesn’t want to write for a multiple award-winning show?”
In October our first intensive six-week course garnered several BBC writing credits for many new writers. There’ll be a new improved eight-week course in 2022 to help you break into topical comedy writing. And while the course is running we’ll be pitching ideas and jokes for both shows. We’ll be looking at topical jokes and Skewer ideas, but most important learning how to get into THE ROUTINE and THE HABIT of writing topical.
…It was absolutely brilliant in every way. I ended up with writing credits on two shows which was a huge confidence boost and gave my writing career a valuable breakthrough. Worth the money many times over. Plus they were super supportive and encouraging, and gave really useful expert feedback, so your gag writing will improve whatever level you’re at. Fantastic and highly recommended. Alice Bright
You don’t have to be a news nerd, but it helps. The main question is, can you make people laugh at the news? Week in, week out. Same topics, different jokes. It’s hard work, but if you can do it you’ll quickly be in demand.
…Work ethic is something I’ve definitely struggled with a bit in the past. I was a massive procrastinator. But doing the course with you both has taught me that the only way to get on is to just f**king do it and put the work in. Which sounds silly but by doing that, I got the most fun out of it too! Duncan Ladkin.
New courses in 2022 will run around the same time as Breaking The News and The Skewer. FIRST COURSE FEB/MARCH 2022 Likely starting date Monday 14 Feb through to Friday 8 April. (Breaking The News will probably begin late Feb so first week will be a dry run for the show)
Interested? £240 inclusive. This is a small course so places are strictly limited. If you want to sign up contact firstname.lastname@example.org
…The course and feedback on gags has been brilliant Uttom Chowdhury (credited on both shows)
Build A Sitcom
I really enjoyed Dave’s course and found it very productive. Every week Dave reads and gives individual feedback on what you’ve done. It’s like having a writing partner with tons of experience, making you face things that you might otherwise gloss over, offering constructive suggestions, and occasionally administering a small pat on the back. It’s the guide, philosopher and friend of sitcom courses. – William Van Dyck (Winner 2021 Pozzitive Sitcom Script Competition)
A brilliant introduction to comedy scriptwriting for novelists who want to make the switch – Jessica Adams (Author Single White Email, Tom Dick and Debbie Harry; Editor Girls’ Night In)
This course has been a wonderful inroad into a field I’d always wanted to enter but was never sure how to go about it. Thank you so much for all of it – James Allen
The notes are great, and it has given me a lot to think about. The blogs are easy to understand, even though some of the ideas are quite complex. I would definitely recommend it. – Jacqueline Davies
We’re going to write the first draft of a sitcom in EIGHT WEEKS.
Whether you’re starting out and wondering where the muse will come from, or a professional writer hoping to keep in shape while the meetings have stopped, this sitcom writing course could be a way to defeat the creative torpor.
Every week you email me the work you’ve done. Every week I write back to you with thoughts and notes about how best to continue.
You might not finish it… But you’ll have experienced writing to a deadline, and if you want to be a professional writer that’s a vital skill to learn.
You might finish it and never wish to show it to anyone again… Okay, but you’ve proved to yourself that you can write a sitcom episode in a reasonable time-frame. Your next one will be easier and should be better.
You might think it’s quite good, but not good enough… That’s okay, you’ll already be having ideas about how to improve it.
You might think it’s brilliant… You’ll still need to rewrite it. Nobody’s first draft is ever that good.
- WEEK ZERO I’ll send you details of how we’re going to operate every week.
- WEEKS 1-8 We start with the idea. Then the characters. Then the stories. Then the outline. You build your episode from nothing into a first draft script. At the end of week 8 we’ll discuss ideas for what you should do next with your script.
February-March 2022 SOLD OUT
NEXT COURSE MAY-JUNE 2022 £240
Places strictly limited TO Book NOW email email@example.com
More praise for Build A Sitcom
I’m stunned at the depth of your notes and the speed at which you return them. Your feedback is always fair and when I read your notes each week, I find myself nodding in agreement. I’d recommend the course to anyone wanting to write a sitcom from scratch, whether or not they have writing experience. Basically, signing up to this course has been the best decision I’ve made all lockdown! – Eleanor Hayward
I’ve loved the course so far. I’m finding the specific notes on homework extremely helpful, and that they’re in addition to the general notes and general instructions is really good. You’re a supportive teacher and in my experience at least half of this writing game is confidence and you encourage us to push on. – Fiona Faith Ross
Being taken step by step, to tight time frames, has given a brilliant insight into the process and how difficult it is. If anyone was thinking of trying their hand at Sitcom writing, they would do well to try your course. – Lee Dixon
I have been working through lockdown and it’s been the most stressful time of my career. Having this sitcom to do in down time has given me an escape, I haven’t burdened my family with my work and the deadlines have kept my mind occupied so thank you, if this course achieves nothing else for me it has got me through lockdown – Steven Mucklow
What people have said about my comedy writing courses
“Such an inspiring class. It was a real pleasure to be able to bounce ideas around with other people. And it was comedy-based, which meant I was laughing and smiling throughout the exercises. Would recommend the classes 100%!” Marcus Barnes
“I thought your classes were informative, fun and covered exactly what I hoped they would. I would definitely be interested in more and would recommend your classes to all aspiring comedians and script writers.” Carly Freedman
“I liked how you tried to involve everyone, regardless of their ability (as a fairly shy person this really helped me). I was apprehensive about group writing activities after only ever writing alone but was surprised how much I got out of them. It made me want to do more of it in the future.” Martin Bickle
“I particularly enjoyed thinking about and discussing what made a memorable character – hearing other people’s thoughts and meeting the other members of the class was really great.” Jane McCutcheon
“It was spot on for me. Have already recommended it to a couple of friends & work colleagues.” John Sandy
“This sitcom writing course has been a wonderful inroad into a field I’d always wanted to enter but was never sure how to go about it. Thank you so much for all of it.” James Allen
“Being taken step by step, to tight time frames, has given a brilliant insight into the process and how difficult it is. If anyone was thinking of trying their hand at Sitcom writing, they would do well to try your course.” Lee Dixon
“I have been working through lockdown and it’s been the most stressful time of my career. Having this sitcom to do in down time has given me an escape, I haven’t burdened my family with my work and the deadlines have kept my mind occupied so thank you, if this course achieves nothing else for me it has got me through lockdown.” Steven Mucklow
“You really delivered the essentials & anyone doing this course will be well equipped to execute a script. Your style is so straightforward & you really make effort to include everyone – I imagine everyone left the class yesterday feeling like they had been paid attention as writers as well as being giving the tools to do the job.” Maryann Devally
“Thank you so much for today, really enjoyed it. It really opened my eyes to new character-led plot.” Robert Rivett