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Posts Tagged ‘radio script editing’

The BBC Script Room and Radio
Submissions open September and October.
radio image
As you probably know The BBC Writersroom (until May 2012) has been replaced by the Script Room. This is a means by which the BBC seeks out the best new writing talent, offering writers without a track record, representation, or contacts the opportunity to have their work considered by the BBC.

Rather than accept scripts year-round in a rolling system, the BBC now has distinct submission windows for scripts which will be announced on the BBC writersroom Opportunities page throughout the year. Each call will have a deadline, and the scripts received will be assessed intensively by script readers and the Writersroom team, and a shortlist drawn up. Development opportunities will then be offered to the shortlisted group of writers.
Be warned, The BBC receives thousands of scripts every year and the competition is extremely tough.
How to submit
When Script Room is open for submissions – the dates and details on how to submit a script will be made available on the BBC writersroom Opportunities page.

The submissions are on an online basis and various talent searches are run throughout the year.

Submission windows 2014
For 2014 the BBC is accepting submissions by genre.

For Scriptroom 7 which closed in July they were accepting scripts for Cbbc dramas, suitable for kids up to 12 years of age.

Scriptroom 8 however which will be open in September and October will accept Radio and Stage Drama.

This is a great opportunity for radio drama writers to have their work read and assessed by the BBC. So now is the time to get your work ready and polished.

I would suggest that before you send anything to the BBC be sure to have your work read by a good script editor who has experience with working for radio. No-one can really accurately edit their own work and an experienced eye is always needed for an objective overview of your work.
Of course I am offering my services for this work but any experienced radio writer would be able to help you improve your work to get it ready for the BBC readers. Check my My Services page https://justwrite4radio.wordpress.com/my-services/ for more details.

What you should check
– Make sure your script is as good as you can make it and only send it in when you believe it represents the best of your writing abilities.

– Do not simultaneously send your script elsewhere at the BBC – most departments do not accept unsolicited work and will simply redirect it to us.

– Format your script as closely to industry standard as you can. They do not accept handwritten scripts and if you are sending by post – print on only one side of A4 paper. They do not penalise writers for imprecise formatting, but presenting your work appropriately suggests a professional approach and an understanding of the medium and format for which you are writing. There are script formatting programs available.

– You will be asked to provide a brief biography when submitting your script online. If there is information about your background you feel is relevant, or you have any other relevant experience, then you can include this.

For full details go the BBC Writers Room http://www.bbc.co.uk/writersroom/send-a-script/

Good luck with your submissions and I look forward to reading your scripts.

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BBC INTERNATIONAL RADIO PLAYWRITING COMPETITION 2013
Update.

Radio4
The closing date for this competition is getting close.

Entries must be in by 31st January 2014

A number of writers have sent me their plays for script editing, with a view to entering this competition. I have to say that a couple of them are very good indeed. I will be watching the results as nervously as anybody. If you are still considering sending me your play I would advise that you do so as soon as possible. The sooner I get a chance to look a them and report on them the more time you’ll have to rewrite that important draft that’s going to change your life.

Remember, there are two first prizes – the best radio play by a writer with English as their first language and the best by a writer with English as their second language. The overall winners will each receive £2000 sterling and a trip to London to see their play being recorded for broadcast on BBC World Service.

This year’s competition is run in partnership with Commonwealth Writers again with co-producers – The Open University. This has allowed them to introduce another prize – the Georgi Markov prize for the most promising script.

The playwriting competition welcomes scripts from anyone living outside the UK, whether established or new, and encourages writers to use the immense power and accessibility of the medium of radio drama – to their your story, use their imagination and have their “voice” heard.
This is a fabulous opportunity for radio playwrights from around the world to have their work produced professionally by the very best radio drama department in the world.

For Further Information:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p0043kb2/profiles/international-p0043kb2

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International Radio Playwriting Competition 2013

By John Morrison
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The BBC has announced the World Service International Radio Playwriting Competition in partnership with the British Council. The competition is now in its 24th year.

There are two first prizes – the best radio play by a writer with English as their first language and the best by a writer with English as their second language. The overall winners will each receive £2000 sterling and a trip to London to see their play being recorded for broadcast on BBC World Service.

This year’s competition is run in partnership with Commonwealth Writers again with co-producers – The Open University. This has allowed them to introduce another prize – the Georgi Markov prize for the most promising script.

The playwriting competition welcomes scripts from anyone living outside the UK, whether established or new, and encourages writers to use the immense power and accessibility of the medium of radio drama – to their your story, use their imagination and have their “voice” heard.

This is a fabulous opportunity for radio playwrights from around the world to have their work produced professionally by the very best radio drama department in the world.

I would encourage writers to make the most of this chance and to enter the competition.

Before entering the competition, make sure your play is in the best possible shape. Polish it and hone it until it you can do no more with it. Don’t simply hope that the readers will be able to see all the great stuff you intended, but which somehow isn’t on the page. The reader’s job is not to take a leap of faith and to predict the great work that might have been. His/her job is to read and be touched or moved by what’s on the page, not by what’s in your head.

To this end, have a competent working writer or script editor look over your work. None of us and I mean none of us, can read our own work in any objective way. Neither can our buddies or our families. So get the best help you can. You will see the benefits and you only get one chance.
The competition is now open for entries and the closing date is midnight GMT on the 31st January 2014.

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For more information check the website:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p0043kb2/profiles/international-p0043kb2

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Script Editing and the Radio Writer.

chris and vic cut off (2)
By John Morrison
Radio Opportunities
The BBC, easily the world’s most important producer and broadcaster of radio drama, receives thousands of spec radio plays every year. Of course there are loads of great opportunities across the range of BBC stations, particularly at Radio4. The Afternoon Play provides most opportunities for the new writer to break in to radio with over two hundred productions per year. There is also the Saturday Play, the Fifteen Minute Drama, The Archers and countless comedy shows. This is a vast amount of time to fill. Yet the supply still far outweighs the demand. Most of those thousands of hopeful plays, written by eager writers will not, alas, be produced.

Unfortunately most of these writers don’t give themselves a good enough chance of being produced. They submit their plays after only showing them to their mates or a school teacher or an actor they know or somebody who once went to school with Sam Mendes.

The First Ten pages
The BBC admits that it only reads the first ten minutes of plays and screenplays submitted to them. If they’re not grabbed by then they don’t read on. Only if they are hooked do they read the complete play. What chance has the new writer who hasn’t gone through a rigorous process of analysis and re-writing have of getting his bright new play read, let alone produced?

We are all far too close to our own work to properly see what we have on the page or understand what works and what does not. I have worked on radio and have had plays produced. I also write movie and television screenplays but I wouldn’t dream of submitting my work to a producer or broadcaster before I have it looked at and analysed by a script editor that I know and trust. Every time I’ve had my work analysed I’ve had fresh new insights into what works and what doesn’t and what can make it better. I don’t mean sometimes, I mean every time.

Give Yourself the Best Chance
Why would a writer not want to give himself the best chance of being produced by missing out this key element in the chain that starts with a blank page and ends up with a broadcast? We all need to be aware of this simple fact. Readers never say to themselves, “Oh yes I see what he’s getting at, I’ll just imagine the scenes that should have been there and not the one’s I’m reading”. Never.

You might think that of course I would say that. I’m offering a script editing service. Yes I am, but only because I have read so many plays that could have been much, much better if the writer had just consulted a good editor.

Somebody once said ‘there are fewer good readers than good writers’. I certainly wouldn’t go that far but a good reader can give your script that something extra that lifts it out of the ordinary and helps get it made. Isn’t that what we all want?

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Hi Everybody.

And Welcome to my new blog, all about the art and craft of scriptwriting radio drama.
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I am John Morrison, a working scriptwriter and teacher with a love of radio drama.

I will be posting how-to ideas, observations on the playwright game,  general info on radio and  all sorts of hoojar on the business of writing and selling scripts for radio.

I also offer a script editing service that differs from others in that it’s specifically targeted at those who are trying to get radio plays read and produced. 

Stay tuned here and hopefully see your play honed in to shape, ready for a radio production.

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