The Savvy Girl’s Guide to Writing Animation Workshop

In October, Animated Women UK teamed up with WFTV to bring members a unique evening dedicated to writing for animation.

The event was proposed, pulled together and moderated by Rachel Murrell, animation writer (Little Princess, Ask Lara, Percy’s Tiger Tales) and AWUK and WFTV member.

The evening kicked off with an expert panel moderated by Rachel, comprising; Writer/ designer/ creator: An Vrombaut (64 Zoo Lane, Bing, Florrie’s Dragon); Web writer/ producer/ crowdfunder: Emma Burch (Simon’s Cat, Being Bradford Dillman, Mr Plastimime) and Producer/ distributor: Helen Stroud (The Secret Show, Yoko! Jakamoto! Toto!, Dr Seuss’ The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That)

Discussion focused on how the writing process works, how it’s changing and the ups and downs of writing. This flowed into the business side of working with writers, the international marketplace and issues for women writers.

Highlights included:

Moving the story forward…

You need to know what you need to keep and what you need to filter out… if a broadcaster has said something about your work you need to sit up and take a little notice
Helen Stroud

Crowdfunding for animation…

Do things in stages and create blogs and gauge interest… make books, get followers
Emma Burch

The 7-12’s market…

Research research research! Watch these episodes “Adventure Time”, “Rick and Morty” etc. A lot of boys get the jobs because people assume Women aren’t funny
Rachel Murrell

Writing for a global audience…

I completely banned puns. Keep international descriptions very simple otherwise it could get misinterpreted
An Vrombaut

Moya O’Shea a Writer for TV, Radio, Theatre, Film and Animation kindly gathered suggestions from a number experienced animation writers and combined them with her own to create the “Do’s and Don’ts of Writing Animation”. A few of our favourites were:

  • DO write good, strong central parts for any female characters. If we’re not going to do this, who is?
  • DO watch as much pre-school animation as you can so you know about the area you are working in - and the pesky competition you’re up against!
  • DON’T be afraid to make your own introduction. If you really like a show reach out to the Producer and let them know.
  • DON’T take notes personally - whoever is giving them has a bigger picture of what hasn’t been done and would work best in the context of a show (and is probably being paid more).

You can download a PDF of Moya’s Do’s and Don’ts here with this is extremely valuable advice for any budding writer.

Moya was also among a mix of talented, expert and professional female writers that offered to speak to our attendees in a unique speed dating session. Our panel was joined by Moya, Jacqueline Haigh: Amazing Ray, commercials, Polly Churchill: Teacup Travels, Waybuloo, Chuggington and Emma Boucher: Wussywat the Clumsy Cat, Messy Goes to Okido, My Petsaurus. The room was buzzing.

To round up the night, we asked the attendees for their comments on their experience of the workshop:

“I love having industry experts with real experience who are willing to share their knowledge. I’ve learned so much!”

“Everything was covered, but I particularly enjoyed the networking!”

“Fantastic to see AWUK and WFTV come together.”

At Animated Women UK, we always welcome ideas for events and workshops! If you are reading this and aren’t yet a member then check out our membership page to read more about benefits like these specialist workshops!

If you missed out and would like us to run a similar event again, please let us know so that we can gauge demand.

Posted by Peri Friend

1 comment

I missed this but would love to attend any future events, I’m a producer but work closely with our writers.

Leave a Reply