UK Audio Drama Development Fund Backed By Free Turn Entertainment Launches

EXCLUSIVE: A big opportunity for drama writers from the north of England is coming.

Free Turn Entertainment and Screen Yorkshire have jointly launched Loop, an initiative billed as the UK’s first audio drama fund offering paid development for writing talent living, working or hailing from the north.

The fund is aimed at published film, TV, games, radio or literature writers who’ve not been exposed to opportunities in the immersive audio drama space.

Applications for Loop opened this morning in the UK on the Screen Yorkshire website. Ten diverse writers will be selected to work with a panel of UK audio drama experts, including commissioners, directors, producers and established writers to develop their projects. That list will be unveiled in May.

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Loop’s ambition is to create a slate comprising genres such as YA, sci-fi, thriller, fantasy and comedy.

UK indie Free Turn, which has been staffing up over recent months, counts immersive audio productions among its key strategic focuses, along with TV shows and films such as 2022’s Gigi and Nate. On the new talent front, it is working on an eight-part ‘sonic’ drama from Grammy-nominated artist Justin Lockey, which is envisaged as a British sci-fi franchise, and an audio doc format from writer/performer Kirk Flash, whose podcast This is Gay won him the Rising Star Award at the British Podcast Awards 2022.

“The UK has some of the best writing talent in the world and a great tradition of producing high quality audio,” said Free Turn CEO Jon Hamm. “However, at the moment a lot of writing talent is unaware of the creative potential of sonic dramas and how to craft those ideas for a sonic medium.

“We have a clear agenda for the initiative, to close this knowledge gap, develop underrepresented voices in the north of England and to support the UK’s potential to continue to lead the world in this new form of entertainment. By funding this initiative as well as supporting it with our time and team we hope to give back a little to the medium that we love so much.”

Jo Schofield, Senior Talent Executive at Screen Yorkshire, added: “Our region is jam packed with talent who are eager to explore and experiment, shaping brilliant stories on a multitude of platforms.”

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