Welcome!

…to the website of British author, Helen Cross.

I am the author of novels, stories, radio plays and screenplays. My first novel, My Summer of Love, won a Betty Trask Award and became a BAFTA award winning feature film.  Mighty Atom Entertainment are currently working on a film adaptation of my novel, Spilt Milk Black Coffee. My original screenplay She Sent Me is currently in development with producer Claire Ingham and director Bryn Higgins.

Recent work includes, Clarence Dock, a story published in the Winter 2020 edition of Potshot Magazine, and  a BBC Afternoon Play The Return of Rowena The Wonderful. My latest five-part audio drama series,  English Rose,  will be broadcast weekly from Friday 15 July 2022 at 2.15pm. The entire series will be also available for download from BBC Sounds from this date.

I was educated at Goldsmiths College, University of London and am a graduate of the MA in Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia where I was awarded the Curtis Brown Scholarship. I teach creative writing at various international venues, at UK universities  and on many online and community courses.

English Rose – Podcast Drama Series

My five-part audio drama, English Rose, will be broadcast across five Fridays at 2.15pm from July 15th on BBC Radio 4. All episodes will be available to download from BBC Sounds from this date.

Write-a-Podcast-Drama-in Five-Weeks. September 2022

I will be running my Write a Podcast Drama in Five Weeks course again in September 2022, via Eventbrite. This will be a repeat of the sell-out course I ran in February 2022

Tuesdays, 7-9pm, live teaching via Zoom. Starting 13 September 2022, then 20 September, 27 September, 4 October and 11 October.

Join me in my online classroom every Tuesday 7-9pm for 5 weeks,  to create a complete podcast drama over five sessions.  This course will introduce  you to the exciting world of audio podcast drama, and help you hone and  develop a dramatic idea, then develop the writing skills  to craft it as an engaging online audio drama.    

We will look at the current state of this growing industry and explore how audio drama differs from visual dramatic forms.  We will explore how to create and craft characters for podcast dramas, how to structure a story over an arc of time and how to write compelling and intriguing dialogue.

Finally we will consider the diverse current market for podcast dramas and what producers and commissioners are looking for from writers now.

Each week members of the group will share their work in progress, and by the end of the five weeks you will have a completed an episode (or more!) of your podcast drama,  and you will have a plan for what to do with it next.

Prior to the class you will be sent a listening list of current podcast dramas to inspire and educate you about the form.

Book here.

Helen Cross is an award-winning novelist and screenwriter, who writes drama regularly for BBC Radio 4. She is currently writing a five part podcast drama for BBC Sounds called English Rose which will be broadcast in June 2022. Her most recent Afternoon Play, The Return of Rowena The Wonderful was broadcast in June 2020. Her Afternoon Plays have previously won Awards in her BBC Audio Drama Awards. More details at www.helencross.net

Comments from previous attendees:

This course was excellent and suitable for anybody, regardless of whether they are just starting to write or are transferring their skills into writing for radio. Helen Cross was knowledgeable, supportive, but also capable of clearly pointing out what wasn’t working and why. She covered all aspects including pitching your work, searching for opportunities, understanding stages and processes of getting a play considered. She provided useful examples, a list of interesting and varied plays. Examples of formats and hard copies of how to approach your work in different ways. I cannot speak highly enough about this course and would recommend it to anybody.’ – participant on the 2020 Write A Radio Drama in Five Weeks course.

Excellent tutor with a wealth of practical experience.  Helen enabled everyone to contribute.’ participant on the 2021 Write A Radio Drama in Five Weeks course.

An excellent tutor, Helen Cross, who really knew her subject and was able to pass on her enthusiasm.’participant on the 2022 Write A Radio Drama in Five Weeks course.

New podcast audio drama course February 2022

I’m running a new course in 2022 via Zoom. The online audio writing courses I ran in 2020 and 2021 got good feedback:

‘This course was excellent and suitable for anybody, regardless of whether they are just starting to write or are transferring their skills into writing plays for radio. Helen cross was knowledgeable, supportive, but also capable of clearly pointing out what wasn’t working and why. She covered all aspects including pitching your work, searching for opportunities, understanding stages and processes of getting a play considered. She provided useful examples, a list of interesting and varied plays. Examples of formats and hard copies of how to approach your work in different ways. I cannot speak highly enough about this course and would recommend it to anybody.’ – participant on the 2020 Write A Radio Drama in Five Weeks course.

‘Excellent tutor with a wealth of practical experience.  Helen enabled everyone to contribute.’ – participant on the 2020 Write A Radio Drama in Five Weeks course.

An excellent tutor, Helen Cross, who really knew her subject and was able to pass on her enthusiasm.’ – participant on the 2020 Write A Radio Drama in Five Weeks course.

So I’ve decided that to tie in with the new podcast drama series I am writing for BBC Sounds, I will teach an online podcast drama writing course. It will run over five weekly sessions. These live, interactive online classes will introduce you to the podcast drama industry, and allow you to learn the skills necessary to write drama for podcast audio.

This small and friendly group will look at the new opportunities in this growing industry and explore how to structure podcast drama, how to sustain tension in plot, how to build dramatic audio characters and how to write convincing dialogue.

We will consider the state of the market now, and what commissioners are looking for from writers.

Each week members of the group will share their work in progress, and by the end of the five weeks you will have a plan for a podcast drama, and at least one written episode, and a plan for what to do with it next.

Prior to the class you will be sent a listening list of podcast dramas to inspire and educate you about the form.

No prior writing experience or knowledge of audio drama is necessary, but it would also suit those who have written single audio dramas and are keen to branch out into a series.

Cost for all five weekly sessions and resources: £175 and you can book on this link via Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/write-a-podcast-drama-in-5-weeks-tickets-232620944507?aff=ebdssbonlinesearch&keep_tld=1

Audio drama writing course April 2022

Book Here

I will be running another audio drama writing course in April 2022 for Writing West Midlands. It will be held in the online classroom and will write a complete audio drama over five sessions. These live, interactive online classes will introduce you to the industry, and allow you to learn the skills necessary to write drama for BBC radio and podcasts.

This small and friendly group of up to 14 students will look at the new opportunities in this growing industry and explore how to structure audio drama, how to sustain tension in plot, how to build dramatic audio characters and how to write convincing dialogue.

We will consider the state of the market now, and what commissioners are looking for from writers.

Each week members of the group will share their work in progress, and by the end of the five weeks you will have a complete 45 drama, and a plan for what to do with it next.

Prior to the class you will be sent a listening list of audio dramas to inspire and educate you about the form

I have run this course several times before and the feedback has been great:

This course was excellent and suitable for anybody, regardless of whether they are just starting to write or are transferring their skills into writing plays for radio. Helen cross was knowledgeable, supportive, but also capable of clearly pointing out what wasn’t working and why. She covered all aspects including pitching your work, searching for opportunities, understanding stages and processes of getting a play considered. She provided useful examples, a list of interesting and varied plays. Examples of formats and hard copies of how to approach your work in different ways. I cannot speak highly enough about this course and would recommend it to anybody.’ – participant on the 2020 Write A Radio Drama in Five Weeks course.

‘Excellent tutor with a wealth of practical experience.  Helen enabled everyone to contribute.’ – participant on the 2020 Write A Radio Drama in Five Weeks course.

An excellent tutor, Helen Cross, who really knew her subject and was able to pass on her enthusiasm.’ – participant on the 2020 Write A Radio Drama in Five Weeks course.

National Writers Conference 2021

I will be appearing on a panel with writer Kit de Waal and film producer Lee Thomas at WWM’s National Writers Conference on Saturday 4 September

Presented in Partnership with University of Birmingham and supported by the Authors’ Licensing & Collecting Society and Arts Council England

Summer Writing Retreat – Online August 2021

Monday 2 – Friday 6 August 2021 

This 5-day online retreat will allow writers across genres to explore craft, style and voice as they learn from and workshop their manuscripts with me and poet Casey Bailey

Over the 5 days, you will receive:

Morning, daily: a two-hour group workshop with me and/or Casey Bailey

Afternoon: a 30 minute one-to-one meeting with me or Casey

Evening: a Q&A session to explore ideas and challenges you may be facing

On two evenings in the week there will also be a 90-minute live training session on Pitching Your Work with Olivia Chapman and Public Funding for Creative Writers with Jonathan Davidson.

The week will finish with a group sharing and celebration.

In advance of the retreat the participants should send work for us to provide feedback on during the one to one sessions.

Writers in all creative genres are invited to apply. The program is designed for new, emerging and established writers. Places are limited to 20. 

You can find more details here

Hexham Book Festival

I’m delighted to be running my Radio Drama course at Hexham Book Festival from 17 March for five weeks. The course is sold out for April, so if you’ve tried to get on that course but can’t, come to this one! Booking details are at hexhambookfestival.co.uk

Writing Radio Drama short Course for WWM in April 2021

I am running my Write a Radio Drama in Five Weeks course for the third time in April 2021, after the first two courses sold out quickly. The first course, in November 2020, was a great success, and the course in January 2021 is now sold out. Details of the April 2021 course are available here.

Write a radio drama in five weeks – short course in January 2021.

Join our online classroom and write a complete audio drama over five sessions. Five live, interactive online classes will introduce you to the industry, and allow you to learn the skills necessary to write drama for BBC radio and podcasts.

This small and friendly group of up to 14 students will look at the new opportunities in this growing industry and explore how to structure audio drama, how to sustain tension in plot, how to build dramatic audio characters and how to write convincing dialogue.

We will consider the state of the market now, and what commissioners are looking for from writers.

I first ran this course in October 2020, and it sold out so quickly, and was such a success, we are running it again. There are more details on how to book on the Writing West Midlands Website here.