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onairThe twitterverse is abuzz with news of the BBC’s 2013 International Radio Playwriting Competition.  I’m a little late to the party. Apologies. But for those who, like me, reside outside the UK, this is a rare and welcome chance to break into a tightly guarded market. Yes, the Beeb is still the reigning king of radio productions!

And if you would like to try your hand at penning a script for them, details are available here.

While you’re over there, gobble up all the great Writing Tips and take note of the fast-approaching deadline (Jan. 31,2014). You’ll have to write fast! And well.

Last year’s winners were not-surprisingly polished and very fresh. Competition is steep. Open worldwide (minus the UK). These gals were from Uganda and Jamaica.

Where are you writing from? bbcscript

Wherever that is, you’ll need a script template (you want the one titled, BBC Scene Style PDF, under the Radio heading). A Word template is available here. And a super tutorial on Word formatting is available here.

More sample scripts are free at the BBC Writer’s Room library, but don’t expect them to match them up with any of the programs available for free download or immediate listening. That is, unless you happen to luck into a fortuitous rebroadcast or find someone who has made a copy or bought one.

Scripts from other sources are available (in html format) over at Simply Scripts. Some of these are helpful, especially the older work, since you are more likely to find both scripts AND broadcasts for most of these productions.

For more writing advice, try: Justwrite4radio, Ruyasonic, Crazy Dog Audio Theater, IRDP and EnglishWordPlay. And also Script Frenzy, which is geared more towards stage plays/screenplays, but has some good cross-genre advice.

If you are looking for a more comprehensive study, pick up the following texts: McInerney’s Writing for Radio, Radio Drama by Crook, McLouglin’s Writing for Radio and Horstmann’s Writing for Radio Handbook. You should be able to find most of them used.   I especially like the McInerney text.

redradioAnd last, but not least, more free radio drama at the websites below:

David Tennant Fan Site RTE Radio Hermes & Hecate Road Show
Radio NZ Sandra De Helen Third Coast Festival
The Drama Hour Texas Radio Theater Radio Sound Stage
Small Fish Radio
World Service Audio Archive Great Northern Radio
KUNM Prometheus Radio Theatre New Radio Theater
Frequency Theatre The Sonic Society Final Rune
Family Theater Classic Radio Radio Drama Revival Wireless Theatre
SFA School of Theater Eric Sonnenschein Aural Stage

If you miss the BBC deadline, many of the groups above are looking for new work. Check individual sites for guidelines, and do let me know if you come across other markets. Happy writing, friends!!!