James McDermott is a writer based in East Anglia represented by Independent Talent.
James graduated from the University of East Anglia with an MA (Distinction) in Scriptwriting (2016) and First Class BA Honours in Scriptwriting and Performance (2012-2015). James was the recipient of UEA's Malcolm Bradbury MA in Scriptwriting Bursary 2015. James has also trained on The Royal Court Writers Group, Soho Theatre Writers Lab, Hampstead Theatre's Inspire Programme, Criterion Theatre's New Writing Group and BBC's EastEnders Writers Shadow Scheme.
James has written several plays for venues across the country. These include 'Acid's Reign' (Vaults Festival 2023; starring Scarlett Harlett from RuPaul's Drag Race UK), 'The Birds & The Bees' (New Wolsey/UK Tour), 'Robin Good: The Politico-Panto' (Norwich Playhouse), 'Ghosted' (Sheringham Little Theatre/Out There Festival 2021), 'Time & Tide' (Park Theatre/East of England Tour; Offie nominated for Best New Play 2020; longlisted for the Bruntwood, Papatango & Verity Bargate Playwriting Prizes; shortlisted for the Snoo Wilson Playwriting Prize 2016), 'Rubber Ring' (Pleasance Islington/UK Tour; Winner of Pulse Festival's Suitcase Prize 2017) and 'Fast Food' (Lyric Hammersmith Gala; starring Jude Law). James's full length plays are published by Samuel French/Concord Theatricals. James has also written episodes of BBC One soap opera 'EastEnders' and plays for BBC Radio 4. You can read more about James's work as a scriptwriter here.
As a poet, James is widely published in journals and magazines including Poetry Wales, The North, Butcher's Dog, Popshot Quarterly, Ink Sweat & Tears and 14 Poems. His poetry collections include 'Wild Life', published by Nine Arches Press, and the spoken word collection 'Manatomy', published by Burning Eye Books, which was longlisted for the Polari First Book Prize 2021. James's pamphlets include 'Erased', published by Polari Press, and 'Green Apple Red', published by Broken Sleep Books. James is currently writing his third collection, exploring grief after losing his anti-vaxxer father to COVID, which will be published in 2025. You can read more about James's poetry here.
James is a Lecturer in Scriptwriting at The University of East Anglia, Visiting Lecturer in Scriptwriting at Norwich University of the Arts and an Arvon writing tutor. James has designed and delivered scriptwriting courses for Norwich Theatre Royal, Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds and New Wolsey. Freelance, James teaches creative writing online and in theatres, schools and colleges across the country. He is also a private scriptwriting and poetry writing tutor. You can read more about James's teaching work here and contact him directly for details about private mentoring here.
James is currently a Trustee of the Board at Creative Arts East and has previously been a Trustee for Holt Festival and INK New Writing Festival.
"His eye, tone, language, wit, insights and power of expression are simply magnificent" Stephen Fry
"I love his writing. Full of life, love and LOLZ!"
Jonathan Harvey, Playwright & Screenwriter
"A very talented playwright... His plays are notable for their extraordinary mixture of wit, maturity and a zest for dialogue. Each piece I have read of his has grown in craft yet remained true to his core talents of emotional candour, humane characterisation and great comic verve. He has a great future as a playwright"
Steve Waters, Playwright
"James has got naturally funny bones and captures a sense of truthfulness in his storytelling that completely charms the audience. James is a rising star and any theatre would be lucky to have him!"
Lara Singer, Comedy Development Editor at Big Talk Productions
"Remember his name: James McDermott. His precise and glittering use of language and his sympathy and humour grip the audience"
Eastern Daily Press