|1600-2000-word full cast audio dramas (10-15 mins) written in English.
Specific for BAME and LGBTQ+ writers: Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex, pansexual, 2-spirited, or asexual.)
Little Wonder Full Cast Audio Drama Short Competition!
Little Wonder are thrilled to present our launch event competition for radio play writers (and, just as importantly, wannabe radio play writers). We are looking for new writers to join our stable by writing us a 10-15-minute play, in English, that excites and surprises us, and feels like it complements our current content and our writing team.
What we are looking for? 1600-2000-word full cast audio dramas (that’s 10-15 minutes) written in English with no more than 4 actors. Actors can, however, play multiple parts.
Who can enter? Anyone aged 16 or over from anywhere in the world who isn’t me, a judge (or judges family member), or a current member of the Little Wonder Writing team. Scripts will be judged blind.
What are the entry dates? From 0001 13th July – 2359 30th August Paris Time.
When are the results? Longlist September 17th, Shortlist November 26th, Winner December 31st.
What is the entry free? Entry is free! We want new writers to join our team (it’s not compulsory. We won’t force you. But we will try to make you feel a member of the family.)
Where do you send the entry? A form will appear on the “entry procedure” page when the competition window is open. Complete the form, and make sure to upload your script in the file upload box with the title “my play title by my name”, using the same title and name as you used in the form.
What else do you need to do to enter? Check out the entry procedure page. Engage with Little Wonder: subscribe on iTunes, rate and review, listen to the plays and get an idea of the work we do. Figure out how you would do it better.
What is the prize? All 5 shortlisted pieces will be recorded before a public audience then broadcast. The winner will be recorded as a full cast audio drama and published on our network. All rights will be returned to the author post-publication. Check the Terms and Conditions for full details.
What sort of things are we looking for?
Imagination. Make up for the limitations of the medium (no sight) by doing something unexpected. Tell us a story we’ve never heard before.
A full plot. Even a ten-minute play should have a beginning, middle and an end, and characters who have problems they must confront and change to overcome. If they just walk into the sound booth and start hitting each other with kippers you’ve written a sketch, not a radio play. Although, to be fair, I’d be very tempted to pass that just to mess with my actors!
Humour. You don’t need to write a comedy (in fact, it can be dark as hell), but we do look for a certain wit and intellect in what you write. That doesn’t even mean jokes. But show us some wit.
100% less misogyny. Misogynist characters are just fine in their right place but please don’t make us read another play about a struggling male writer who is surrounded by women who adore him but for some inexplicable reason won’t go out with him probably because they’re bitches. It doesn’t have to be a feminist masterpiece but let’s stay away from certain well tread boards. While you’re at it, have you considered that your policeman might work just as well as a policewoman?
Use of sound. Don’t just write us a stage play without the stage directions cut out (although we do record those from time to time!) Try to create a soundscape in your head.
Make full use of your actors. Don’t have us bring in a fourth actor just so (s)he can say one line and go home. It’s disrespectful to the actor and isn’t making full use of the talent available. Keep thinking to yourself: is this a role that will be rewarding to the actor? Chances are, if you manage that, you’ll make it rewarding for the audience as well.
For more ideas about writing radio plays, check out this article I wrote here [click here].
Or this from the BBC [click here].
And here’s a guide to formatting radio plays on the cheap [click here].
Little Wonder Radio Plays is an independent full-cast audio drama production company (like movies, with sound effects, a full cast and, as often as possible, explosions!) We specialise in shorts – 10 to 20-minute dramas you can listen to on your way to work – with professionally trained actors, directors and writers (actually, writers don’t seem so much to be professionally trained as to emerge from a haze of horrific word addiction).
This is a competition with a difference: we are specifically looking for new writers to join our stable, who would like not only to have their current but future work recorded, and to take part in developing their writing alongside the Little Wonder team. It’s not an obligation, of course, but we’re very much hoping to find writers we can work with now and in the future.
That adds a whole new, exciting layer to the context: the long-list re-write. Every writer who makes the long-list will receive notes and suggestions from our current team and will be given a month to make any changes. The final winner will be chosen by a mixture of public and judge vote, after a public showcase and recording of the shortlist here in Paris.
Dates and Deadlines
Longlisted plays will be announced September 17th. Teasers from the longlist will be announced via twitter the weekend beginning September 15th. Make sure you follow us @littlwonder to join in the fun!
Longlisted authors will receive feedback via email on September 30th and will have until October 30th to submit revised versions of their play. Revised plays must still meet the original submission guidelines. If we do not receive revised plays, we will judge the work based upon the longlist version. However, active and positive response to criticism (whether you agreed with it or not – it’s your play, change it how you want to change it) will be a grading criterion for entry to the shortlist.
The Shortlist will be announced on Monday November 26th, with results teased on twitter during the weekend of the 24th to the hashtag #LWRP2018
Shortlisted plays will be performed at a public reading in Paris on Sunday December 16th. The winner will be selected by a combination of judge’s choice and public vote. Recordings of the public readings, warts and all, will be published
The winner will be announced on Monday December 31st.
13 July: Entries Open
30 August: Entries Close
17 September: Longlist Announced
30 September: Feedback sent to longlisted authors
30 October: Longlisted authors resubmit with modifications
26 November: Shortlist Announced
16 December: Public performance and recording of shortlist
31 December: Winner Announced
I can’t write a radio play! I certainly can’t write one by August 30th!
You can write a 10 minute play in an afternoon. A 10 minute play can take months, if it has to. But take this chance to do something crazy. Put aside your proper writing projects, reach into the delirium influenced corners of your mind and entertain us. Who knows, in a couple of months we could be pulling together our sound team, actors, and technical guys, to entertain you (along with the rest of the world) right back.
Although I won’t be judging the contest or picking the winners, I will read every single play that is submitted. If you don’t make the longlist/shortlist/win the competition, but I see something that I like in your work, I may just send you an email asking for revisions… This is a competition with lots of way to win! We want your writing!