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Meet Cassie Quarless, winner of our Breakthrough Scholarship for TV Screenwriters

BY Katie Smart
23rd Sep 2021

We are pleased to announce that Cassie Quarless has been awarded the Breakthrough Scholarship for TV Screenwriters for his script-in-progress Low Flyer. Cassie has won a place on our Writing an Original TV Drama Serial course led by tutor Colin Teevan. We are extremely grateful to the Curtis Brown Literary and Talent Agency for providing this scholarship, and for their support of our Breakthrough Writers’ Programme.

The CBC team were hugely impressed by Cassie's strong idea which is full of warmth and humour. A powerful voice emerges immediately from the opening pages of Cassie's pilot script, we are very excited to see how his work develops over the eighteen weeks of the course.

Please could you tell us a bit about yourself and Low Flyer, the original TV drama serial you’re working on?

My name is Cassie Quarless, I’m a documentary-maker based in London and I’ve been working on film and tv scripts for the past three-four years. I’ve applied to BBC Writers room and 4Screenwriting possibly every year in that time with no real luck. I got through to the Sundance Screenwriter’s Lab Second Round this year which was encouraging but I’m incredibly pleased to have gotten a scholarship for this CBC course.

Low Flyer is a dramedy about a London banking high flyer who gets everything taken away from him and is forced to move back home with his parents in Birmingham. Through the course of the season we find out more about the events that led to his predicament and see him adjust to a city and a life that he thought that he’d left behind.

The main character is obsessed with success and status and that’s definitely something that comes from my own life and that of those around me. I wanted to write something where all of that gets stripped back and he really has to look at himself, his values and attitudes.

What does winning this scholarship place mean to you?

The scholarship is an amazing opportunity and having already attended two weeks of classes it is definitely one of the best things that has happened to me this year. My selection definitely felt like a validation of the value of the work that I’ve been trying to do and I hope that it will only serve to make my work stronger.

The sessions with Colin, reading through other people’s scripts and exchanging feedback with each other has got me thinking about my craft in a new way and with fresh eyes.

I really look forward to the next few months of this course and would really encourage anyone who was thinking about applying to make the jump.

If you’re a writer from an under-represented background and want to study with us, check out the Breakthrough Writers’ Programme. This is our exciting programme of free courses, mentoring and scholarships for under-represented writers, funded by Curtis Brown Literary Agency and partners.

Current opportunities include The HW Fisher Novel-Writing Scholarship, which will award one talented writer of limited financial means a free place on our three-month Writing Your Novel course (apply by 24 October).