RTÉ and Fís Éireann/Screen Ireland have announced increased investment in the award-winning short drama series Storyland.
Designed to create opportunities for new talent to pitch, develop and produce drama for our screens, Storyland has acted as an invaluable springboard for Irish writing, directing, producing, and acting talent throughout the island of Ireland to develop their careers.
Storyland short dramas are broadcast on RTÉ2 as well as RTÉ Player, providing a wide platform for new drama talent and increased funding for these original Irish drama commissions.
We are seeking to commission eight scripts, working closely with script writers and producers on their development. Writers from the worlds of television, film, theatre, advertising, literature, documentary, and journalism are being sought, whether or not they have written for television or film before.
Of the eight dramas developed, three single dramas of 25 minutes duration will be commissioned for production.
Storyland is committed to ensuring diversity and an equal gender balance across all key creative positions and to being inclusive when considering the make-up of each team.
David Crean, Acting Head of Drama, RTÉ said; "Storyland has been a great way to discover and nurture new and unique voices with untold stories. As part of our continuing commitment to identify and promote a diverse range of voices and talent, it was exciting to see Storyland being embraced on television and reaching a wider audience. It's an essential ramp for drama talent to showcase their work locally and globally and we’re delighted to be working with Screen Ireland on our commitment to raise the profile of Irish drama".
Andrew Byrne, Head of Television, Fís Éireann/Screen Ireland said; "We are delighted to be working with RTÉ on the continued investment in new talent via the Storyland scheme, which gives a first opportunity to emerging voices within a short tv format. I look forward to seeing this year's submissions and the variety of new stories"
What are the key dates for Storyland?
Deadline for Entry: 24th February – 12 midnight, 2023
Shortlist and Interviews: 10th April 2023
Announce 8 x Finalists: 17th April 2023
Announce 3 x Commissions: 22nd May, 2023
Programme Delivery: 30th June, 2023
NOTE: All dates are a guide and may be subject to change by RTÉ.
Storyland 2023 - FAQs
Who makes the submission?
The submission must be made by a registered production company.
Where do I submit my proposal?
Using the cover sheet provided by RTÉ, please submit your application to:
In the Header please put:
STORYLAND 2023 SUBMISSION, (NAME OF PRODUCTION), (NAME OF PRODUCTION COMPANY), (NAME OF PRODUCER), (DATE)
Do I have to have a producer?
Yes, each submission needs to come through a registered production company.
Where do I find a producer?
Screen Ireland has a wealth of information about filming in Ireland including links to various organisations: https://www.screenireland.ie/ such as Screen Producers Ireland: www.screenproducersireland.com who have an extensive list of production companies in Ireland. The Irish Writers Guild: www.script.ie also have helpful information on their website.
Do producers need to be experienced?
Storyland is an opportunity for producers, writers and directors to work in a safer, more innovative and daring space. Its remit is talent development, and we take everybody's experience into account when assessing the dramas. It is not essential that producers have made dramas before. We take into consideration the experience, passion and conviction of the team as a whole.
Can a producer make more than one submission to Storyland?
Producers aren’t restricted to only one submission, but we will need to be assured that they can manage more than one project in the timeframe available. If you are making more than one submission, each one must be submitted separately.
Can you have two producers?
Yes, if you can creatively justify it and if it works within the budget. If two producers are attached to a single project one producer must be named as the lead producer.
Is it possible that a writer / producer submit?
Yes, but the submission must be made through a production company.
Can I submit if I have already submitted and/or been a finalist?
Yes you can submit with a new project.
Do all my team need to be Irish?
No, but we would like your project to explore contemporary Irish life and society.
Can you work with a writer team?
Yes, if the budget allows, but bear in mind that most dramas have one primary voice and one point of view that authors it.
Can a writer submit make more than one submission to Storyland?
There are no restrictions on how many dramas a writer can submit but each must be submitted through a production company
How much does the writer get paid?
That’s for the producer and the writer to decide in both the development and commission stages.
Can I have key creatives attached eg. Cast, D.O.P, Designer etc.
How are Directors hired?
Directors will be hired by Production companies when their project is commissioned.
Is there a theme for Storyland?
No. We are looking for stories that show us who we are now, surprising us with glimpses of our country and culture that are not widely seen or understood. What are the defining traits of this specific time in history, what are the issues and stories that move us? As the name, Storyland, suggests, we are looking for projects with a strong point of purpose, characters, relationships who all work to convey a story that is impactful for its audience. Originality is key. Be daring, be bold.
Is Storyland interested in docudrama?
No, a docudrama would not meet the submission criteria for Storyland. Though a drama that was based on real events would qualify.
If the script exists as a blog or in another format eg. prose, article, essay, graphic novel etc. is it eligible for submission?
A script born out of a pre-existing format would be acceptable for submission, but it still needs to be able to work as a scripted drama. When you submit you can reference the original but will need all rights cleared and plan for the adaptation outlined. Please be aware of the above theme. We want all projects to be as contemporary as possible.
Do you accept existing recorded material?
Due to the large number of submissions, we will only be accepting written material according the checklist supplied on the cover sheet. If you proceed to the interview phase, then you are welcome to present using pre-recorded material.
How many sample scenes should be submitted?
The purpose is to get a few sample scenes to indicate the writer’s voice and tone of the series. We ask that you submit a few scenes rather than the complete twenty-five-minute script. A maximum of three scenes. If possible, allow your scenes to help us understand the story in some way whether that be a set-up leaving us curious or by delivering scenes from the beginning, middle and end. Your scenes are a vital part of your pitch and allow us to gauge of your writer's ability to tell a story.
How extensive should the outline be?
The outline is a description of what happens in the story and who the principal characters are. There are no hard and fast rules as to how long the outline should be, we need enough to give a sense of the drama but do not need minute details. As above, this is a way we can assess your ability to tell your story and engage us as your potential audience. As well as illustrating your story, your outline should communicate the tone and style of your project. We will be reading a vast number of these so it is advisable to keep it succinct, to the point but also provocative and compelling. Show us your world and make us want to know more. For the initial submission the outline should be no more than two pages.
Is Storyland open to the diaspora?
If a story is set abroad, and relatable, that’s acceptable but it will have to work within the parameters of the budget and factor in transport, location costs and any potential travel restrictions.
What is the duration?
The duration of each Storyland drama is twenty-five minutes plus or minus 30 seconds.
Can the 25 minutes break into episodes?
No, Storyland will commission three separate, standalone twenty-five-minute dramas.
Does it have to be a closed story?
Storyland will have up to eight projects going into development and up to three commissioned single dramas. How the drama concludes is up to you but, if it is part of an ongoing story, it must be able to stand up as a complete story on its own. It’s up to you if you think the drama has possibility to endure, but the drama must be able to work as a standalone.
Where do the dramas play?
The dramas play on RTÉ2 in 2023. They will also be released on the RTÉ Player.
Can you make a submission if you did not attend either of the information events?
Yes, the information events are not a compulsory part of the submissions process.
If the piece were to travel, could it be translated or subtitled?
If you wish to create a subtitled version of your drama this will need to be factored into the production schedule and budget. Storyland will not provide additional resources for this.
Do we produce in other languages?
If the story needs to be told in a language other than English (but matches the submission criteria for Storyland 2023) it should not be taken as an obstacle to submission. We will need English language submissions in terms of all the documents submitted and English Language subtitles for the produced drama.
Will there be a network set up to connect writers and producers?
Social networks that facilitate connections between their users, such as LinkedIn or Facebook, are open to anyone to join. RTÉ and Screen Producers Ireland already have official accounts and these are run corporately. Storyland isn't setting up a LinkedIn or Facebook page as we haven't got the resources to properly administrate them.
Can I enter if I was a finalist or commissioned by Storyland before?
Yes, but we would advise to enter with a different project.
If it’s a writing team and one person is from outside of Ireland but the other is Irish, can we enter?
Are NI writers eligible and can projects be filmed in the North of Ireland?
Can applications be submitted as co-pros?