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12 August 2021

Camilla Young: ‘I want to be pitched something that I’ve never seen before’

by Jennifer Kerslake From the Agents, Screenwriting, Writing Tips

Camilla Young is an agent working in Curtis Brown’s Theatre, Film and TV department. Her clients include Dolly Alderton, Kevin Barry, Joss Agnew and Emma Jane Unsworth. Camilla is one of the agents involved in our our eighteen-week Writing an Original TV Drama Serial course.

We caught up with Camilla to find out how she got started working as an agent, what she looks for in a new project and her advice for aspiring screenwriters.

How did you get started as an agent? What was your path into the industry?

I worked at the Edinburgh Fringe every year while I studied up there and knew I wanted to work in the theatre in some respect, so I applied for everything and anything that was somehow related. I started working for an agent for actors, but enjoyed reading scripts much more than talking to the actors(!), so moved to Curtis Brown, working with Nick Marston, and have loved it ever since!

What do you think screenwriters should look for in an agent?

It’s all down to whether you click. You need to get on and trust their opinion and if you’re starting out then look for an agent who is at a similar stage to you. That way you can rise the ranks together and they will be as hungry as you are. 

I imagine you receive dozens of queries each week from screenwriters looking for representation. What makes a writer or project stand out? Is there anything you’d like to see drop into your inbox?

Firstly, an indication that they’ve approached me for a particular reason and not sent a general email to every agent in London, and an understanding of the industry and where their work fits in it and why it’s original. We don’t need another show about a female psychopathic serial killer or a highly dysfunctional but very wealthy family. I want to be pitched something that I’ve never seen before. 

What has excited you recently in the world of TV? Are there any drama serials you would recommend we all watch?

Very obvious, but I recently loved Mare of Easttown. This Way Up (although more comedy, I thought the second series was a very clever examination of mental health). And I’m enjoying Physical, which is just a bit of fun!

Do you have any tips or advice for aspiring screenwriters?

Keep writing, keep reading other writers’ work, keep watching and try and meet as many people in the industry as possible because those contacts are vital for getting you in the door. 

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