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🎬 A free online workshop exclusively for FNQ residents only 🎬

Learn the secrets to successful plotting

Experienced TV writer, Holly Lyons will use an existing television drama to guide the group through the steps of how to plot an episode. She will show you through techniques, tips, hints and short cuts you need to use when it comes to plotting your screen scripts.

Using a plotting template, you will learn how to ensure that your episode idea has unique reversals and escalations. The class will mirror a writers' room environment, and implement Holly's plotting techniques in a practical format.

As Holly is often required to plot shows home alone – mainly for low budget projects who can't afford a writers' room - she will share how she manages to craft a character driven stories in isolation. 

Session One: Intermediate Plotting Skills (delivered via Zoom meeting)

10am - 12pm Saturday 29th May 2021


• Analyse the three act structure. What can your protagonist do at the end of the story they couldn't do at the start?

• Discuss the concept of DEPARTURE, INITIATION INTO THE UNKNOWN AND THE RETURN. Develop this idea with a relevant exercise.

• Share and discuss a television plotting template.

• Is your character passive - remember to keep them active and make sure they drive their own story.

• Have you seen this on television before? Work hard to surprise your viewers.


Using a half hour narrative television series, learn plotting skills. Understand the concept of story spring boards; thematic links and cliffhangers. The series we will use will be announced 7days before Session One.

Step Three - HOMEWORK:

Implement and apply these key plotting skills: In pairs, participants will be asked to use these plotting techniques to craft their own beat outline, for the selected television series. The challenge is to echo the tone and style of the series.

Session Two: Feedback sessions with Holly (delivered via Zoom meeting)

10am - 12pm Saturday 12th June 2021

Participants will deliver their beat outlines in advance of this zoom meeting.

Each writing pair will have 20mins feedback on their individual beat outlines


"Having completed two online workshops with Holly I highly recommend her screenwriting expertise and experience. As an emerging screenwriter I have found her detailed feedback invaluable. She provides clear objectives and helpful advice, which has given me the boost needed to advance my project." — SUZANNE CONNORS

"I completed Holly's Intermediate Plotting Skills workshop and found it incredibly helpful. Her class was very incisive, laying out clear and structured plotting advice that has obviously been learnt through years of experience. And getting one-on-one feedback for my homework task was invaluable - her notes were super helpful and I will definitely take them with me going forward. I highly recommend anyone who is interested to take one of her classes! Thank you Holly!" - LINDA GAO

"I recently did Holly's Intermediate Plotting Skills webinar and found it incredibly useful. Not only did the workshop session provide nuggets of gold and a-ha! moments that I will definitely use going forward, but the subsequent plotting exercise and her deep and insightful feedback proved invaluable. Holly really knows her stuff! I would highly recommend doing one of her workshops. Thank you Holly!" — CANDICE D'ARCY 


Holly Lyons is a screenwriter with extensive experience in Australia and the UK - she has over 500 hours of broadcast credits, as a writer or script editor. In the UK, Holly co-created the action comedy, Help! I'm a Teenage Outlaw (ITV) and script edited Emmerdale. She was awarded an EBU development grant of 15,000 euros; and she was nominated for a Prix Jeunesse. Since returning to Australia, Holly has worked on numerous series such as Home and Away, Neighbours, Skinner Boys, Bananas in Pyjamas. Holly's play Space Virgins was a finalist in the ATYP Foundation Commission.

In 2019 Holly, along with her co-collaborator, won funding through Screen Australia and ABC's DisRupted Initiative for their original project, Rocky & Me. In 2020, Rocky & Me was nominated for the Japan Prize and was the National Winner of the Asian Academy Creative Awards. Recently, Holly has returned to the script department of Home and Away (Network Seven), as Associate Script Producer.

Holly is committed to supporting emerging writers - she is the founder of the script assessment service, In 2017 Holly conducted a biometric study into what key elements make a successful pitch, and since then she has delivered Pitching Workshops all over Australia. She has presented for WIFT SA, Queensland's Emerging ScreenMakers' Conference; the Adelaide Film Festival and Screen Forever. Holly lectures in Screenwriting, and will soon release her podcast series, Scripteasers, bite sized screenwriting theory.

Sponsors and Partners

Presented by:

This workshop is presented by Screen Queensland and delivered by Screenworks as part of the Far North Queensland Screen Production Strategic Plan.

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