If you're a budding TV writer, or have a budding TV writer in your life, then this new book by Julian Friedmann and Christopher Walker would make a perfect stocking filler this Christmas.
The Insider's Guide to Writing For Television is a practical and comprehensive breakdown of what it takes to write for the small screen in the UK. The book covers three main areas: Breaking In, Making a Living and The Art & Craft of Writing For TV Audiences.
Each area gets around five chapters each, with a little bit extra going on the Art & Craft section. Breaking In covers subjects like the necessity of 'Calling Card Scripts' and 'Submission Strategies'. The all-important Making A Living part talks about 'Options', 'Commissions' and 'Working With An Agent', amongst other useful info. The Art & Craft section covers what audiences watch, what they want, and ways to engage them, as well as highlighting some nuts and bolts issues of format, genre and script presentation.
It's all delivered in a straight, easy-to-read, no-nonsense style, and highlighted with some examples and anecdotes from professional TV writers. It's an enjoyable and practical book, handy for the novice-to-intermediate writer. Here's the link for Amazon purchase.
There's also a companion book (well, I've called it a companion book) called How They Made It: Inspirational Stories On How Others Succeeded in Their Dream Job And How You Can Too. This is not confined to screenwriters. Instead, there's a wide mix of people and professions, from architect (Ruth Reed) to film critic (Mark Kermode) and screenwriter (Paul Abbott), and more. If that kind of anecdote floats your boat, then it's available on Amazon here.