Janice Hally's first play, Ready or Not, written while she was still at university, won the 1980 World Student Drama Trust Award, an international competition judged by Alan Ayckbourn. It was produced by the Tron Theatre, Glasgow, and subsequently adapted for television in 1982, leading to her nomination - at the age of 23 - in the category of Best New Writer to Television in the PYE Television Awards.
From then until the late 1990s, she was continuously in demand as a television dramatist, writing single screenplays, children's drama, and serial drama, accruing more than 650 professional credits as writer, creator, storyliner, and script editor; and establishing herself as one of Scotland's most versatile and entertaining television writers. Her works include some of Scotland's most popular prime-time television dramas, regularly placed in the Top Ten by viewers' ratings. Take The High Road was at the peak of its success, enjoying record audience figures when she was storylining and writing scripts for it, during the mid-to-late 80's. While writing for Take The High Road she met and formed a writing partnership with Peter May, whom she went on to marry.
In the 1990s, May and Hally co-created the ground-breaking 99-episode drama serial Machair set in the Outer Hebrides. Hally storylined and scripted, and May went on to become the producer, leading a 70-strong cast and crew to the Isle of Lewis where they spent six months out of every year, for 4 years making the drama serial.
In the new millenium, after creating 300 broadcast hours of drama, she quit television and moved to France, turning her talents to writing books. Her romantic comedy, Looking for the Zee, was published in the USA by Miramont Media; and her non-fiction book Modelling and Acting for Kids was published by A&C Black.
She has managed the promotion of Peter May's books through website creation, worldwide press coverage and organisation of tours and public appearances both in the US and in Europe. Her interest in internet marketing and website design led to her designing and creating websites for several authors and artists. She is also responsible for the Author Interviews Channel on YouTube for Poisoned Pen Press - creating online versions of the Criminal Calendar TV show where Barbara Peters interviews the world's best crime and mystery authors. In 2009 she designed the world's first virtual mystery and crime writing convention, PPWebCon
She was recently commissioned to adapt Peter May's novel, The Firemaker - the first of his China Thrillers series - and to write the treatment for a full-length feature film for French production company KUIV. And is currently working on the adaptation of The Killing Room for another French film production company.
She has been sought after to pass her skills on to others: Scottish Television approached Janice Hally and Peter May to devise and run a course on Creating and Writing Television Drama. The European Film College in Denmark recently invited them to lead a practical project on Creating Serial Drama for Television, subsequently broadcast on Danish Television. She has been a guest lecturer at her Alma Mater, Glasgow University and has run an adult education course in Writing for Television, for Strathclyde Regional Council. She has also tutored a Course entitled Starting to Write Drama for the Arvon Foundation at Lumb Bank in England.
Janice Hally is Suite101 Magazine's Feature Writer for the Writing for Stage and Screen section providing a resource of information and articles.
Janice Hally and Peter May now live in South West France and for a couple of weeks each year they take a break from their writing to run 7-day residential writing Courses in the beautiful French market town of St Cere.