Mastering the monologue
This year, the fourth Creative Education Trust Creative Writing Competition took place virtually with year 8 competition finalists and English teachers joining children’s author and television screenwriter, Harry Oulton, in an online workshop.
Students learnt about direct address and the way that plays, films, television and the internet all reflect back and involve the audience. The finalists were then challenged to write a 5-minute monologue that could be performed directly to camera and incorporated an element of surprise.
In previous years, students have worked in pairs to write a screenplay, with the winning entry filmed and produced on location at school. However – adapting to the circumstances of lockdown – in 2020, the winning monologue was filmed in private, performed by a professional actor (Susan Vidler) and produced remotely.
The competition entries were outstanding, but one script – by Jessica Shilton, The Bulwell Academy – stood out for its shifts in emotion, plot twists and character development. Her winning piece ‘Survivor’, about a medical waste assistant who rescues a baby from a toxic container, was an accomplished and impressive response to Harry’s competition brief criteria. Watch her gripping short film on the Creative Education Trust YouTube channel.