Scots scriptwriting prize names latest two winners

A WRITER from Kilwinning and another from Berwickshire have been named the latest winners of a Scots scriptwriting prize.

The annual Frank Deasy Award is – say co-organisers, BBC Scotland – “an initiative to develop television writing talent in Scotland in conjunction with BBC Scotland, BBC Writersroom and Creative Scotland”.

It was set up to commemorate Frank Deasy, originally from Ireland but who worked in Scotland, and who died four years ago following a career that included, among others, TV crime drama, Prime Suspect.

This year’s winners are Katie Douglas (from Kilwinning) and Kirstie Swain (from Berwickshire).

Both will now take up the positions of Writers in Residence at BBC Scotland for a period of six months from this summer, with a remit to develop original ideas for BBC One.

Adds BBC Scotland: “The aim is to have one of their drama pieces commissioned as a script on the BBC Scotland drama development slate.”

Continues BBC Scotland: “Katie and Kirstie scripts were selected from over a hundred entrants, and judged by a panel which included actor Douglas Henshall; Edinburgh playwright and director Zinnie Harris; Christopher Aird, head of drama, BBC Scotland; Kate Rowland, BBC creative director, new writing; and Laura Mackenzie Stuart, portfolio manager, Creative Scotland.”

Katie’s CV spans drama and comedy both here and in the States. Her credits include Secret Diary of a Call Girl, After You’ve Gone, MI High, Waterloo Road and EastEnders. She currently has several original comedy and drama projects in active development. As a playwright, she has worked with a number of theatres, including Liverpool Everyman, the RSC, Paines Plough, Soho and Southwark Playhouse, and her work has been shortlisted for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize. Her most recent play, Dig, was described by The Scotsman critic, Joyce Macmillan, as “a small masterpiece”.

Kirstie, now based in London, is a graduate of the BBC Writers Academy 2011/2012. Since then, she has gone on to write for some of BBC One’s biggest flagship shows, including Holby City, EastEnders and Doctors. She was recently shortlisted for the BBC Three iPlays strand and is currently developing ideas with BBC In-House and Hillbilly Films and Television. Her play, Demolition In Progress, was performed at London’s Baron’s Court Theatre two years ago and she co-wrote Our Days Of Rage for the National Youth Theatre, which was performed in the Old Vic Tunnels over the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.