The BeardyWriter inexpert text crop

K I R S T I E   S W A I N

What do you do?

I write scripts for television. At the moment, I’m working on an episode for Series 2 of In The Flesh and I’ve got my own project in development with BBC In House as well as a few other things with a few other people. I’m also currently writer in residence at BBC Scotland drama, as part of a scheme called the Frank Deasy Award.

I got into scriptwriting after I got a job at a corporate production company after university. I started writing scripts for them for the internal communications they made, things like health and safety videos, promotional films, that sort of thing. Then I was asked to write a short film for the Scottish Government about children in care. That’s when I really realised how much I loved writing drama. I’d started writing my own scripts in my spare time and had a bit of recognition for them in competitions so then I did a PG CERT in scriptwriting to learn a bit more about the theory and technicalities of scriptwriting. After that I just kept writing until eventually I was accepted on to the BBC Writers Academy 2011. Since graduating from there I’ve written for Holby City, Eastenders and Doctors.


I’ve always written stories. When I was at primary school I wrote so much I always ran out of time, so I took my jotter home to finish off the stories there….and never did – the true makings of a writer even back then. Procrastination. And bad time management. I also tend to exaggerate and find the drama in personal situations, so this is the best job I could have. I can also type without looking.

I always know what to say when it’s written down. I love television. I love making stuff up. I feel safer in a world of make believe than I do in reality. (Is that weird?) Writing is how I make sense of the world. I don’t know what I’d do without it. I’d probably go into a spiral of despair. I’d become a dark inversion.

How do I get as good as you?

I don’t know if I’m good, but I know I love what I do and I think that’s always the place to start.  I love what I do and I think if you love something, you’re going to be better at it. Also, have a good spec script. Write the thing only you can write. Write about something that makes your heart pound as you put the words down. Write something that is “you” on the page. Write something you love and can keep talking about over and over again. A good spec script will get you meetings. And then when it does, write another one – which is what I’m off to do right now……


Keep up to date with Kirstie’s progress on Twitter, where you can also see pictures of her adorable doggy.

2 thoughts on “Kirstie Swain – INexpert #7

  1. Pingback: Oriane Messina – INexpert #9 | The Beardy Writer

  2. Pingback: Jeanne V Bowerman – INexpert #10 | The Beardy Writer

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