Ever heard someone’s job title and thought: “Wait, you can do that as a job?!”… This month, we’re highlighting all the coolest jobs happening behind-the-scenes in the creative industries that you never knew existed. In today’s blog former Creative Access intern, Ayodele Ogunshakin fills us in on her time working as a storyliner on one of the UK’s longest-running soaps, Coronation Street.
What does the role of a ‘storyliner’ entail?
As a storyliner, I worked as part of the Coronation Street story team to pitch, develop and write storylines. The team comprised of an assistant storyliner, storyliners, senior storyliners, story editors and a story producer.
What was your favourite part of the job?
I really enjoyed attending story conferences; as nerve-wracking as it was, I loved pitching my ideas and writing them. It was also great to work with such a talented and encouraging team, and I always found it surreal to see plot lines we talked about and developed just months earlier, brought to life on screen by the editorial teams and the fabulous cast and crew.
What is a story conference? This is a space to meet and network with other storyliners, script writers and editors AKA any roles involved with story and script developments on soaps. They usually consist of workshops where writers can work on pitching, testing out and sharing ideas to ultimately help them create and develop their skills.
“I realised it was the job I had always wanted but didn’t know existed.”
How did you get into the role/find out what the job was?
The team at the famous British soap, Emmerdale, organised a storylining workshop in Media City and I was really curious because I had never heard of the role before. After attending the session, I realised it was the job I had always wanted but didn’t know existed. We were all given storylines to write after the session and I received helpful feedback.
Years later when Creative Access advertised a storylining workshop being run by Coronation Street I went along with a better understanding of what a storyliner does. Having learnt from my experience attending the Emmerdale workshop, I put the feedback I received into practice and secured an interview which led to a role as an assistant storyliner, and eventually a promotion to the position of storyliner.
“If anyone is interested in becoming a storyliner, I would encourage them to look out for any and every kind of related workshop opportunities as they provide incredible insight into the role and what you can expect when working as part of a story team.”
What advice would you give to anyone wanting to become a storyliner?
If anyone is interested in becoming a storyliner, I would encourage them to look out for workshop opportunities as they provide incredible insight into the role and what you can expect when working as part of a story team.
What are your aspirations for your future career?
I recently moved to Canada and have been learning a lot about how the industry works here. I love writing and creating characters, so I plan to continue doing that and I hope to have my personal projects and scripts produced soon too.
Read more of Ayo’s advice from when she was a panelist at our creative industries showcase in Leeds here.
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