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Sunday, December 29, 2019

Little Wonder Radio Play Competition 2019

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After last years competition resulted in more than 300 entries, over 70 pieces of individual feedback, and by the end of this year at least 9 published plays, we’re back. This is the second of our competitions this year for original unpublished 1600-2000 word full cast audio dramas for up to 4 actors.

Who is this competition for?

Unlike our breaking boundaries competition, this competition is open to anybody who can write a play by the deadline. The competition is free to enter.

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. The cover page does not count towards the word count.

Does it need to be a new play? Yes. We’d like to write something entirely original for us, and while it is submitted with us it’s best if it isn’t submitted somewhere else. That can cause problems with copywright, and also if muddy the waters regarding paid and unpaid work.

How should it be formatted? Our formatting guidelines and a word template can be found here. The closer you get to this, the happier we will be.

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 and not informed of the condition under which you entered..

What are the entry dates? From 0001 4th Nov – 2359 31st Dec Paris Time.

When are the results?

The Longlist will be teased on twitter over the weekend from March 14th, make sure you follow us @littlwonder to join in the fun!

The Longlist will be announced on March 16th. At this point all longlistees will be given feedback and six weeks, should they wish, to revise and resubmit their play (Deadline April 30th)

The shortlist will be announced on the 1st June. These 5 plays will then be performed during the

Summer Season in Paris, where a mixed vote by the public and the judging panel will decide the winner.

What is the entry fee? Entry is free!  We are looking to encourage writers and maybe even find people we’d like to work with in the future. However, to be kept up to date with competition progress you should make sure you subscribe to the website:

Where do you send the entry? You can find the entry form by clicking here.  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, or Soundcloud, 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 who will vote alongside our judges panel for a winner.  The winner will be bragged about on our website and generally showered with praise.  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. 
  • 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. Plays that were obviously film/stage scripts and contain directions such as “walks silently across the stage” will be instantly disqualified.
  • 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.

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