'Succession' Writer Lucy Prebble Wins BFI-Backed Wellcome Screenwriting Fellowship

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Lucy Prebble

The TV scribe and playwright hopes to use the bursary to research her first feature, a horror film.

British writer Lucy Prebble, known for stage plays including ENRON and her TV work on Secret Diary of a Call Girl and, most recently, Succession (which she also exec produces) has been awarded the 2019 Wellcome Screenwriting Fellowship from London-based research charity the Wellcome Trust. 

The fellowship, now into its seventh year and presented in partnership with the British Film Institute and Film4, will see Prebble given a bursary of 30,000 pounds ($38,000) to "explore the intersection between screenwriting, health and science." It also sees the writer provided with a year-long tailored experience with access to scientific and humanities research. 

"I have always been a research-hungry writer and I am delighted to be offered such a generous opportunity to feed that," said Prebble in a statement. "The Wellcome Collection is exactly the sort of place and resource I would go to for beguiling procrastination. Now I can legitimately go there."

Prebble added that she hoped to use the opportunity to "explore issues of biology and transformation for a horror film I am planning to write, as well as look into the amazing collection of curious and information on the golden age of magic that their recent exhibition has housed, for a long-term project."

Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, Prebble said she was currently in production on her Sky drama I Hate Suzie with Billie Piper, while also helping with the writing for Succession season three in her spare time. "We finish shooting in Christmas, and then I fully move onto Succession," she said. "There was a lot of conversation about what season three should be about. Obviously, as you can imagine, at the end of season two, there's a lot of relationship stuff to delve into."

The writer admitted that she was "particularly proud" of the relationship drama that came to light between Roman and Gerri from season two. "I pitched so hard for that like you would not believe and am delighted to see that come off," she said. "It was very much my fantasy that shockingly emerged in the darkness."

Previous winners of the Wellcome Screenwriting Fellowship include Michaela Coel, Rungano Nyoni, Carol Morley, Jonathan Glazer, Clio Barnard and Sally Wainwright. The latter used it to translate Anne Lister's diaries for her recent HBO series Gentleman Jack.