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Dec 10

The International Radio Playwriting Competition 2023

December 10, 2022 - February 12, 2023

The International Radio Playwriting Competition 2023

Writers from around the world are invited to submit their scripts for the 28th International Radio Playwriting Competition.

The global competition, hosted by BBC World Service and the British Council, offers the unique opportunity for writers from outside the UK to use the medium of audio drama to tell stories for an international audience.

There are two categories for entry. One is for entrants who speak English as a first language, and the other is for entrants with English as a second language.

Entrants should write a radio play of approximately fifty three minutes’ length on any subject of their choice.

The entrants warrant, by submitting plays, that each play:

– is the original work of the entrants
– is not an adaptation of an earlier work (for example, a novel)
– will not have been professionally produced in any medium (an informal play-reading is acceptable; a play-reading with a professional director and in front of a non-paying audience is acceptable, but a performance involving payment to actors and/or a paying audience is not) before 31 March 2024
– will not have been offered for publication, performance or broadcast or produced in any other form or medium to any other person or company before 31 March 2024, and
– will not have been entered for any other competition before 31 March 2024.

A shortlist of up to 20 scripts will be sent a panel of up to 6 judges. These are selected by invitation each year and usually comprise the Commissioning Editor, BBC World Service, English; the British Council Director of Theatre & Dance; Overseeing Producer, BBC Radio Drama; and an actor or director and a writer. Judges are issued with specific selection criteria and from these scripts, two plays (from either category) will be chosen as winners.

Both winners will attend an award ceremony in London and see their plays being recorded for broadcast and streaming on BBC World Service. A Special Commendation will be made for the runner-up in honour of the BBC World Service journalist and writer Georgi Markov (1929-1978).

Submission requirements


 All scripts submitted must be approximately 53 minutes in length – this usually equates to a minimum of 45 pages of A4 paper (or equivalent) and a maximum of 65 pages (note, a rough guide is a minute per page; please read and time your play before you send it). The play should have a maximum of six central characters (there may be up to 3 small “doubling” characters too, who don’t have more than a few lines each). There must be no central roles for children. Word count approx. 9000-10000 words.

 Your script should be accompanied by a short synopsis which outlines the complete story of the play. This must be no more than 400 words.



Entry is only open to anyone who at 12 February 2023 is over the age of 18 and not considered to be a resident of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Channel Islands or Isle of Man (“UK”).


There are two prizes, one for each category (English as a First Language and English as a Second Language). Each prize will consist of £2500 sterling and a trip to London.

Both winners will attend an award ceremony in London and see their plays being recorded for broadcast and streaming on BBC World Service.

Entry fees

There is no entry fee to participate!




London, United Kingdom
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