for writers and readers….

Write for BBC Radio

Broadcasting HouseOnce a year a window opens for new writers with no experience of radio to submit a short story  to Opening Lines – BBC Radio 4’s showcase for short stories. And that window opens today, Monday January 5th 2015: it closes on Friday February 13

What you can send:
One story which must be between 1,900 and 2,000 words long to fill a 14 minute time slot. If it is shorter than that, or longer, it won’t be considered.

It should be:
written to be read aloud

It should have:
A strong narrative.
A strong opening.
A strong ending.

It shouldn’t have:
too much dialogue.
too much character description.
A dark, harrowing theme.
Obscene language or unsuitable material likely to cause offence to a wide audience of all ages.
(Reading transcripts of stories which have featured in recent series  should help you get a feel for the kind of story they are looking for

What happens then:
As well as broadcasting the three strongest stories,  transcripts of the best stories submitted within this period are published on the Opening Lines programme pages. The three successful writers will be invited to London for an afternoon in Broadcasting House. They will also have the chance to see their stories being recorded.

How to submit:
Include a brief covering letter giving your name, e-mail address, the story’s title, word count and details of writing track record. The BBC would also like you to say how you heard about the creative window and Opening Lines. (Hey! Me, Me!) Stories can be submitted by email or post. If you word process your story it should be  double-spaced on A4 paper.

All eligible submissions will be read and the Radio 4 team will get in touch with shortlisted writers by Friday 15th May, 2015.

Email your story to or send it to: BBC Radio Drama Readings, Room 8015, Broadcasting House, Portland Place, London W1A 1AA.

photo credit: Claire Steel via photopin cc

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11 comments on “Write for BBC Radio

  1. Pingback: NEWS | Northampton Literature Group

  2. bill jeffrey
    January 24, 2015

    Can you enter if you live in Canada please? Do you have To be a UK citizen?

    • bridget whelan
      January 24, 2015

      Good news! I searched the website and finally found this comment from the Open Lines programme producer:

      “Stories come in from around the world, from authors about to publish their first novel, to students of creative writing, from bookslam regulars to passionate amateurs. Perhaps a literary star of the future will be among the submissions we receive. ”

      So, get writing Bill….

  3. TU
    January 25, 2015

    On not having a dark, harrowing theme, just read the one about the dead fox that was found by a farmer and taken to be cleaned and given an air burial. It’s interesting that that wasn’t considered dark, being a ‘meditation on death’ (author quote) — the readers obviously caught the rural philosophy and sense of time in the story.

  4. bridget whelan
    January 25, 2015

    Good point – often it is how you treat a subject that matters. I presume that ithe three winning stories will be broadcast during the day or evening when anyone could be listening, including children.

  5. christo46
    January 25, 2015

    Reblogged this on cjheries.

  6. connemaraodd
    January 26, 2015

    Reblogged this on Connemara Odd.

  7. aeh1
    January 26, 2015

    Reblogged this on Barnsley Writers and commented:
    How about it?

  8. dorothyanneb
    January 27, 2015

    Reblogged this on DA's Ephemera and Etceteras and commented:
    Nice opportunity!

  9. Mary Rose McCarthy
    January 27, 2015

    Reblogged this on Keep on writing and commented:
    Great opportunity, thanks Bridget Whelan for posting this. Happy writing folks

  10. Pingback: Write for BBC Radio | The Ark of Dun Ruah

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