Posts Tagged ‘pitching’

The Art of the Pitch

1st September 2021


The Art of the Pitch

16th September 2021


Writers are often their own worst agents but it needn’t be that way. Many of us recoil from the idea of the hard sell, especially when it comes to ourselves. We spend our working lives seeking authenticity so it can feel like an uncomfortable change of gear to have to become slick presenters when we go out into the marketplace with our ideas. It can be so very uncomfortable that we never even come close to doing ourselves justice. Our projects and our careers can languish for the lack of this skill.

Mary Kate O Flanagan will share her philosophy that The Art of The Pitch is not only about finding champions for your work – it’s about clarifying your vision. Once you have done that, you can communicate the essence of your idea and it will be clear and compelling.

It is her belief that even the shyest writers are well able to become adept at pitching while staying true to our own voices. She will also communicate some guidelines on pitching  – on the page and in person. These include:

  1. Considering Your Audience

  2. Reference Points That Fire The Imagination

  3. The Heart of The Matter

  4. Why This, Why Now?

  5. Eternal Themes, Fresh Approaches

  6. Practical Considerations

  7. Anticipating Questions

  8. Brevity, The Soul of the Pitch

Mary Kate O Flanagan is an award-winning writer and story consultant working in the film and television industry. She works with writers in The UK, The US, South Africa, and across Europe. She has designed and delivered training in Storytelling On The Screen all  over the world as well as in her native Ireland.

With her sister Rachel O’Flanagan, she gives training in the storytelling skills for people in  all walks of life as well as in cinema and television. They are particularly interested in the stories people (and nations and entities) tell about themselves and how those stories inevitably shape their futures. You can see more about their work on

Mary Kate was Ireland’s First Grand Slam Champion Storyteller at The Moth. She was also a Grand Slam Champion Storyteller at The Moth in Los Angeles and a Champion Storyteller at The Dublin StorySlam.  You can hear one of her stories on The Moth Radio Hour at:

Since the lockdown Mary Kate has been delivering a popular series of online courses on screenwriting and scenewriting. You can see her Autumn programme here:

Date:  Thursday 16th September  10am – 5pm

Session 1:  10am – 12.30pm will be open to all members – no need to apply

Please check our newsletter [Vol. 17 Issue 17 • 18th August 2021] for details of attending.

Session 2:   2pm – 5pm – a small group will get to pitch and workshop their project with Mary Kate – see below for how to apply

The WGI gratefully acknowledges the support of the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland for this event.

Apply for Session 2:  by Thursday 2nd September 5pm

Please note to apply for session 2, you must be available for the morning session also

Email:  info[at] with:

a) email subject line ‘BAI The Art of the Pitch’ and

b) the following information, contained within the body of the email please;

1. Your contact details

2. Your bio including your writing credit(s) (if applicable); a logline (max 24 words) and one paragraph pitch for your project and a few lines on why you’d like to participate in this workshop.

3. Please indicate in your application if you belong to any group that may be underrepresented within society on the grounds of gender, race, disability, socio-economic or other factors.

4. Have you ever participated in a course on pitching run by WGI?

Write and Pitch a Short Film

3rd December 2010

FilmbaseFilmbase is running a course entitled Write and Pitch your Short Film. It takes place over two weekends: 18th & 19th December and 8th & 9th January, and costs €260 waged / €220 unwaged.

This course, perfect for new and emerging Screenwriters and Writer/Directors who want to develop strong visual scripts and their pitching skills, will help writers and writer/directors develop scripts that are visually and structurally clear. Participants will identify the selling points in their scripts and give practical experience in pitching their work. This is a practical course where each participant will develop a short script project and pitching strategy for that project.

PLEASE NOTE: Each applicant must have a strong idea for the script they wish to develop over the two weekends or ideally have a first draft.

TUTOR: Cecilia McAllister, award-winning screenwriter and director, has written and directed scripts which received Filmbase, Irish Film Board and RTE funding. Her Irish Film Board Short ‘Feileacan’ won Best Irish Short Film at the Cork International Film Festival and showed in competition at over 30 International Film Festivals. She has written for BBC Doctors and sold feature scripts to Danish producers Thura Films and Magnolia Films in Germany.

She teaches the screenwriting for the Film Studies department in Trinity College Dublin and supervises Masters students on the Television and Film Management masters for the University of Ulster. She has attended the EU script development courses, North by Northwest which utilizes the Frank Daniel method, and Pitch and Script where participants pitch to ten European producers.

To book contact Filmbase reception on 01 679 6716 or drop in to Filmbase (Curved Street, Temple Bar, Dublin 2) during office hours (9.30am – 5.30pm).

RTE seeks summer programming

11th November 2010

RTEIFTN reports that RTÉ TV Entertainment is looking for ideas for popular event programming for transmission during summer 2011. The broadcaster is interested in new ideas for programming which are similar to programmes such as last year’s Fáilte Towers and Charity You’re a Star which feature a live element, and which facilitate some form of audience interaction or participation.

Guidelines from the broadcaster outline that submitted programming may be scheduled in a stripped way, running continuously over a two week period, but programmes that are scheduled in other ways will also be considered. Strong casting and storytelling are crucial, and RTÉ will be favouring simple, accessible formats and ideas with grassroots Irish appeal.

Suggested programmes may be set in studio or on location. Suggestions for presenter or presenters should be included in the submission. Budgets for the programming will be subject to further discussions, but competitively priced proposals will be favoured.

Producers are asked to submit their ideas into RTÉ’s eCommissioning system under the programme category ‘Summertime Event Programming’ by close of business on Friday, December 3rd.

Below ZERO

3rd November 2010

Below ZEROThe European Documentary Network is running an international pitching session for documentary projects focusing on life above the Arctic Circle, entitled Below ZERO.

No matter where you are based you are welcome to submit your documentary projects concerning all aspects relating to this subject matter. The deadline for submitting your project is on November 29, 2010.

Below ZERO seeks a wide range of documentary projects on all subjects related to life above the Arctic Circle. These can be projects focusing on culture, environment, resources, politics, climate changes and indigenous peoples as well as general human stories.

Filmmakers from all over the World are welcome to submit projects for Below ZERO. Stories with a broad international market appeal are preferred. From the submitted project proposals a maximum of 12 projects will be selected for participation. The working language will be English.

The programme for Below ZERO will consist of:

- a pre-pitching workshop where the selected projects will be developed under guidance from experienced international experts from the documentary business. The workshop will focus on how the projects can be developed in the best possible direction and how the presentation of the project can be optimized

- a pitching session where each project will be pitched in seven minutes for a panel of international financiers and possible future collaborators. The pitch will be followed by a brief round of feedback from the panel and individual meetings between filmmakers and financiers

- networking events to encourage future collaborations between organisations, financiers, producers and filmmakers.

Financiers for the pitching panel

The financiers present for the pitching panel will be a combination of leading European broadcasters, national film institutes and regional film funds. Soon we will add names of the financiers, who have confirmed their participation for Below ZERO.

Details on how to apply are available on the web site.

Junior Pitching Competition

7th October 2010

Junior Film Fleadh

The Galway Junior Film Fleadh, in association with Galway Film Centre and SpunOut, (a leading national youth organisation) have announced their third annual story pitch competition open to young people between the ages of 13 – 18 years old.
Young people are invited to write a short (500 word) idea for a story – for a feature film, a short film, a documentary, a book or even a video game.

Three short-listed applicants will be invited to present it on the stage at the Town Hall Theatre in Galway to an assembled audience and jury during the festival on the 4th November.

Maura McHugh (Screenwriter)
Felim Mac Dermott (Artistic Director Galway Film Fleadh)
Emily Lindenmuth (Editor,

Prize: Sponsored by Galway Film Centre
€100 voucher towards a course at Galway Film Centre + 1 year’s membership to the Centre (allowing entry to the RTE short script award) + weekly newsletter + discount on other courses

Closing date – Wednesday 20th October 2010.

Post or email entries to:
Junior Galway Film Fleadh Script Competition
36D Merchants Dock, Merchants Road, Galway