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Saturday, December 8, 2012

BBC Radio 4 - Opening Lines

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The BBC Radio Drama Readings Unit welcomes unsolicited submissions from writers new to radio for their annual series, Opening Lines, which is broadcast on BBC Radio 4.

The next window for sending in material is October 29th – December 14th, 2012.  

Stories submitted outside this time-frame will be left unread.

As well as broadcasting the three strongest stories we publish transcripts of the best stories submitted within this period on the Opening Lines programme pages.


We are looking for original short stories which work being read out loud i.e. with a strong emphasis on narrative and avoiding too much dialogue, character description and digression. Pay particular attention to how the story opens and closes.  We’ll be looking to see whether the beginning of a story successfully links to how it ends.

We are interested in seeing stories which cover a broad range of subject-matter but material which explores particularly dark, harrowing themes is not best suited to Opening Lines.

We recommend following the links on the right to read transcripts of the five stories which featured in the 2012 series.

The BBC has a rigorous taste and decency policy so we cannot accept stories of a sexist or racist nature, or those which use the stronger swear words.

The time allotted for each story is around 14 minutes, which means stories must be between 1,900 and 2,000 words in length.


When submitting your work please include a brief covering letter giving your name, e-mail address (if applicable), the story’s title, word count and details of writing track record. Stories must be submitted as either a Word document or typed and double-spaced on A4 paper and it is important to put your name and address on the script itself.

We regret that we can only accept one submission per writer.  Please send us a copy of your story, not your original work as we are unable to return submissions.

We will read all eligible submissions and get in touch with those writers whose stories have made it through to the next stage of the selection process by March 15th 2013.  We regret that we are unable to respond to those writers whose stories haven’t made it through to this second stage.

If you would like to submit work to the London office you can e-mail your story to us at OpeningLines@bbc.co.uk or you can send it to BBC Radio Drama Readings, Room 7045, Broadcasting House, Portland Place, London W1A 1AA

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