Monday, October 13, 2008


As is the case with many - I'll go out on a limb here and use the word 'most' playwrights - I submit to calls for submission or theatres that I feel would be a good fit for my literary output. To date the plays are still waiting to see the light of day or stage and I've shared some of the rejection letters or most often, form letters, in this blog, because all aspiring playwrights have "been there - read that." Right? Besides sometimes it just feels good to vent.

Anyway, today in my e-mail, I received an invitation to enter the BBC International Playwriting Competition. It's obviously a form letter sent out to all of us who entered their competition last year and were rejected. I submitted my one act, "Retribution" which in my humble opinion was damned good but then who am I? Actually, I adapted the play for radio adding sound effects but given that the play takes place in a hairstyling salon between a man and a hairdresser seeking revenge for a terrible act perpetrated on her by the very man who is now sitting in her chair, there really wasn't that much sound one could add. We're talking here about scissors snipping, old-fashioned hair dryers, the man choking and gasping for air - that type of stuff. Upon reflection perhaps it wasn't meant for radio but the dialogue was riveting! Not riveting enough, obviously.

Here is the form invitation for anyone outside the UK who is interested in trying their luck:

Dear writer (it's always so gratifying in a letter when you are addressed as: "dear writer"),

We are contacting you because you entered our International Radio Playwriting Competition in 2007. We’re delighted to be able to tell you that our biennial competition is launching again this year! For details of how to enter, exciting interviews with writers and handy tips, please visit our website on or after the 18th October at

Once again, there are two first prizes: one for writers for whom English is a first language, the other for those with English as a second language. Each winner will receive £2,500 and a trip to London to see their play recorded at the BBC.

There will also be the prize of a digital or short wave radio for runners up (see rules for further details).

So, if you are resident outside the UK and have a new play to send us, please consider entering again. The competition opens with the broadcast of the fantastic award winning drama Cigarettes and Chocolate by Anthony Minghella - to give you further inspiration!
Please tune in, log on and send us your scripts. We look forward to reading them.
Kind regards World Drama, BBC World Service

So now I'm going over my plays to see if any of them meet their criteria and/or are adaptable. One of them does include tea cups clinking a lot, which might hit a high note with British sensibilities and another one includes pigeons squawking. I mean, a digital or short wave radio would also be nice.

No comments: