Friday, 27 February 2009

RTÉ P.J. O'Connor Radio Drama Awards

Have you ever considered writing for radio? There are many opportunities and a good way to break in is to try for the P.J. O'Connor competition. Here's the gen:

The aim of the competition is to encourage new writers to radio drama and to increase awareness of the possibilities and scope of radio as a medium in the field of drama.

Rules: 28 minute play (rule of thumb is one page per minute when properly formatted)
Prizes: €3,000 for first prize, €2,000 second, €3,000 third prize.
All plays are planned to be recorded and broadcast. They shortlist between 12 and 20.

If you are a new writer in this medium, there is a great weekend course they offer shortlisted writers in writing for radio. And you may get lucky too. Sometimes they record and broadcast shortlisted plays and you are paid the standard RTE rates.

Deadline: March 13th 2008

Tips: Listen to lots of radio drama. You can get the BBC afternoon play online for a week.


Don't use too many characters in one scene. Confusing.

Use people's names for the first while so listeners know who the characters are.

Don't use too many characters in the whole thing as there is a limit to the cast numbers.

Start a new scene with a new voice.

Remember the listener can't turn back the page to check what's going on so be clear.

You can go anywhere - Bogner beach, a Bali nightclub, Outer Mongolia, outer space, underwater, Victorian Dublin, Roman Alexandria, Stone Age Kenya.

Use sound effects to allow the listener to picture (if that's the right word) the setting. But don't go over board.

Music is always good for mood.

Other guidelines are similar to short stories. Start in the action so the listener doesn't turn off. Don't use similar sounding names for multiple characters.


LauraCassidy said...

You're blog is great. Thanks for sharing all the competition info!

Emerging Writer said...

Thanks Laura, Good luck with your writing and any competitions you decide to enter

Terence said...

Yikes! It's better to come either first or third, which wins $3000, as compared to a measly $2000 for second place.