Tuesday, 14 August 2007

Francis MacManus Short Story Competition

It's time to brush off the short story you've been working on and hone it for radio presentation. The annual RTE Radio short competition commemorating the life of Francis MacManus is now open for entries. Read the conditions carefully:

Closing Date: 29th October 2007
Wordcount: 1,800 to 2,000 words
Entry: Free limited to one entry per person
Prizes: €3,000, €2,000 and €1,000. Shortlisted entries are also broadcast for a small fee (€100 last I knew)

You can download the detailed rules and entry form online.

It's been on the air now for 20 years. I strongly recommend you listen to some of the previous winners and shortlisted stories. These are available online. It would be nice to have them in book form.

There are some things to look out for when writing for radio. Long sentences are out. The listeners lose the sense if the full stop is too far away. Get a good hook at the start so the listeners don't turn off. Try reading your story out loud to get a feel for the rhythm. Don't have too complicated a plot or a hoarde of characters in case you lose the listener. They can't go back to the start to check who's who. Paint pictures in your listeners head with your words. Many of the featured stories are gloomy, some are humerous, most have an Irish setting but not all.

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