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“I’ve never…” – My week at Arvon by Yero Timi-Biu

Our wonderful former -intern, Yero Timi Biu secured her Creative Access internship in 2015 as a Production Assistant at Lupus Films. Since then, she’s been commissioned twice by Channel 4 (you can see her Random Acts film here) and is now working in the Commissioning & Development team at BBC Film. Earlier this month, Yero took some time out from her busy life to take part in a residential writing retreat in Shropshire, run by Arvon, to learn how to write for Children’s TV.  Here she tells us about her experiences…

About two weeks ago, I seemingly played a game of ‘Never have I’. Every time I start a sentence with ‘Never have I…’ I’ll make sure I dedicate ten minutes to writing a TV show.

Never have I lived in a stately mansion, (with a lift in it! alongside seven other curious and talented new Children’s TV writers of different ages and backgrounds.

Never have I spent four days learning about story and structure and absorbing much more than I learnt on a fourth month screenwriting course.

Never have I lived in pretty much the middle of nowhere (I’m a city girl through and through) with strangers I was to spend most of my time awake with – cooking, clean, creating.

Never have I had such minimal phone service, I have to stand in the corner of my room to get signal at an odd angle (to the behest of my neighbour on the other side of the wall) in order to get one bar.

Never have I ever agreed to live in a community of dedicated writers with no access to wifi or knowledge of what on earth was happening in the world.

Never have I been unable to be in contact with HR only days before starting a new job on the editorial team at BBC Films!

Never have I cooked a swanky meal for a dozen people with rave reviews. Or had lots of fun in the kitchen with a new life-long friend.

Never have I cooked a swanky meal for a dozen people with rave reviews (including two BAFTA-winning writers and showrunners).

Never have I been in the presence of two BAFTA-winning writers who are so accomplished, yet so humble.

Never have I spent a whole week with time and space dedicated to a story idea I’ve had in my head since my early teens. Or explored my voice in a safe environment without second guessing myself.

Never have I actually pitched a TV show to a group of lovely people in a living-room setting, just being myself. It’s always been a slightly TV presenter version of me speaking to one or two execs in a posh room with sparkling water and lots of nodding.

Never have I spent such a short and intense amount of time with people I didn’t know very well on day one, but end up having a little family after one week! I’ve always prided myself of only speaking if I have something to say, rather than just to hear my own voice – but that week did teach me I have both a voice, and stories worth sharing.

As I start a new full-time job and commitment to writing AND getting my stuff made, I shall take everything I learnt this week with me. All of the lessons, laughter and gourmet cooking recipes. I want to thank Creative Access for enabling me to afford to go on this incredible and life-changing week away, and for Arvon for being such a wonderful organisation. It seems I’ve racked up 100 minutes of writing time, well – off I go then.

You can follow Yeru on Twitter at @yerotimibiu