Creative writing student wins BBC place

A Swansea University Creative Writing MA student has won a much prized place on the BBC Production Talent Pool training scheme.

Kelsey Richards, from Maesteg, is one of only 13 successful candidates to be based in Cardiff. From the 2,298 applications to the UK-wide scheme, only 123 were accepted.

The scheme offers successful applicants training and a number of short term contracts on productions over the next twelve months in an area of interest like TV/Radio or Drama, and for many it is the start to a successful career in broadcasting.

Kelsey was prompted to apply for the scheme while working on her Creative Writing MA. Kelsey said, “I was particularly interested in applying for the scheme after the studying the writing for radio module and screenwriting modules. These modules, particularly in radio, allowed me to gain a greater knowledge of how the BBC works (especially the trip to BBC Bristol to see the recording of The Hound of the Baskervilles for radio) and being introduced to producers such as James Robinson.

“This gave me so much inspiration to apply, and I believe gained me the valuable knowledge I needed in order to succeed through such stiff competition. The MA really allowed me to explore my creative ideas and, most importantly, to always keep my audience in mind.

“I'm extremely pleased to have been given this opportunity and attended a BBC networking event in London on July 25, which was excellent. I believe this scheme will open doors that had previously never seemed available to me.  The MA has given me the confidence I needed to apply, and hopefully, the skills required to succeed.”

Kelsey enrolled in the MA Creative Writing course after completing her BA in English and Psychology at Swansea University. She is currently writing her MA dissertation and expects to complete her Masters this autumn. Kelsey has already begun her formal BBC training and is waiting to be assigned a talent manager/ mentor who will arrange contracts based on Kelsey’s specific experience and interests.

“I have highlighted my area of preference to be TV/Radio drama, but I’m happy to consider work in any area, as it's all valuable experience, especially as I'm so early on in the scheme of things,”  said Kelsey. 

“Following my training at the BBC, I have written two blogs about the experience which have been picked up and been re-tweeted by the likes of The Unit List, BBC Trainee Academy, Media Social Tips and Youth Opportunities, which was a terrific feeling. It also gained over a thousand hits in eight days, which was incredible.

 “I am currently working as a production assistant on a London broadcast radio programme, Group Therapy FM, which I'm finding particularly interesting due to my undergraduate degree in Psychology. After finding out I was a writer, the producer has allowed me try my hand working as a script writer for the programme, which I am extremely pleased about, and thoroughly enjoying the challenge.”

Swansea University’s co-ordinator of dramatic writing programmes, playwright D.J.Britton said, “Kelsey has talent, determination and a generous creative spirit, and we on the Creative Writing staff are enormously excited by her achievement. She’s a prime example of a student who contributes wholeheartedly to everything a course has to offer and I’m so please that the opportunities provided by the MA Creative Writing have been fruitful for her.

“Swansea’s Creative Writing MA is notable for its range of modules – from fiction and poetry to stage and screen writing, and we are now pioneering a module in the fast-growing area of international dramaturgy/script-editing. I think it is important that students like Kelsey are able to work across several approaches to writing before they settle on the streams which interest them most.”

For more information on creative writing opportunities at Swansea email (all MA creative writing applications / fiction enquiries); (poetry); or (drama/performance) or go to the website