How get a job as a script writer in the UK – writing for the soaps – Eastenders, Emmerdale, Hollyoaks and Coronation Street – The UK Soap Opera Scriptwriting handbook

Coronation Street Script
Coronation Street Script

As a leading UK Script Consultant and very busy script writer for hire with over 25 years professional experience in the industry – I like, most other UK scriptwriters have done time, in the chewing gum factory that is the world of UK soap operas.

I’ve written for Eastenders, Emmerdale (the now defunct Family Affairs) and Hollyoaks (where I worked as part of a storyline team which effectively saved the show back in 2005/2006).

I was even BAFTA shortlisted and Royal Television Society nominated (best Network Newcomer) as a scriptwriter for my work on Emmerdale – on Eastenders I wrote the iconic episode where ‘Alife’ and ‘Kat’ finally got it together (after nine months of trying).

So, the soaps, have been good to me in the past, they pay very well and helped me learn my trade – I was a core writer of Emmerdale at age 27!

My script writing career has moved on – and I won’t be returning to soap opera scriptwriting – but I’m aware, that even now, the soaps are a good training ground for writers starting out.  And with this in mind back in 2006 I published The UK SOAP OPERA SCRIPTWRITING HANDBOOK – a pamphlet written for students – which explained how to get a job writing for the soaps.

I unpublished the book a while ago as I’m sure some info in it, would be out of date – but I still get asked regularly for copies – so – I’ve put the entire book (a good two hour read for some…) up on my website.  So, you can now read the The UK SOAP OPERA SCRIPTWRITING HANDBOOK here, where it will be parked for good.

If you’d like to enquire about my script report service – please email me on –

Matthew Cooper has been a script writer for hire and UK script consultant for over 20 years. He’s written for most of the UK soaps, including writing award-winning episodes of Emmerdale, EastEnders, Hollyoaks and Family Affairs and has been BAFTA shortlisted and Royal Television Society nominated as a script writer.

His directorial debut, the rubber reality horror thriller ‘Markham was released in 2020, his second feature film as director ‘At The Mountains Of Madness’ hit the screen in 2021. You can find out more about Matthew’s work as a director here.

You can find some of his broadcast credits on the IMDb.