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Thursday, July 25, 2024

APPLY: 2023 BBC International Radio Playwriting Competition for Writers

Writers from all countries are invited to apply for the BBC International Radio Playwriting Competition.

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

Winners will be awarded £2,500 cash prize, a trip to London, and many other rewards.

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Several other scholarships are available in the United States, Germany, United Kingdom and Canada that offers full scholarships and monthly allowances. Here are some suggestions you should check out;


  • Host: BBC World Service | British Council
  • Category: Competitions
  • Eligible Countries: All Countries
  • Reward: £2,500 Cash Prize
    • Paid trip to London
    • Accommodation
    • Certification
    • Broadcast and Streaming
  • Deadline: February 12, 2023
  • Scholarship Alerts: To receive Scholarship Alerts on WhatsApp, Click HERE


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

BBC is looking for entries in the two categories:

  • English As A First Language and
  • English As A Second Language.

Two writers will win an invitation to attend an award ceremony in London and will get the remarkable opportunity to see their plays being recorded for broadcast and streaming on BBC World Service. A Special Commendation will be made for a runner-up in honour of the BBC World Service journalist and writer Georgi Markov (1929-1978).

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


  • Play Subject: Applicants should write on any subject of their choice
  • Length: 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)
  • Characters: 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)
  • Central Roles: There must be no central roles for children.
  • Word Counts: Word count approx. 9000-10000 words
  • Language: English Language

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.
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To be considered for the Competition, you must:

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  • Be over the age of 18 by 12 February 2023
  • Not be a resident of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Channel Islands or Isle of Man (“UK”)
  • Not be BBC, BBC Group company, or British Council employees, close relatives of such employees or any person connected to the competition
  • BE able to write a radio play of approximately fifty three minutes’ length on any subject of your choice


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Scholarship Duration and Reward

  • The Cash Prize: £2,500 sterling (or the equivalent in a local currency at the BBC’s discretion)
  • The Trip: a trip to London (standard airfare and accommodation for one person) to see the winning play being recorded and attend a prize-giving event

Required Documents

To apply, candidates must be ready to submit the following documents;

  • Application From (to be completed online here)
  • Short synopsis of the script which outlines the complete story of the play. This must be no more than 400 words

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Method of Application

Entrants can enter individually or as part of a group. If entering as a group, all entrants must meet the entry requirements and be eligible for the same category.

In the case of an entry by two or more writers, the BBC will need written or email confirmation from each writer involved that they are prepared to take a share of the prize money and are prepared to receive those funds from a nominee who will be one of the writers, as the prize money will be paid to one individual only. The nominee will be selected by the writers and it will be his or her responsibility to distribute these funds to the other writers and the organisers can take no responsibility for that aspect.

  • SUBMIT BY POST: To the following address:
    • International Playwriting Competition 2023
    • BBC Radio Drama
    • Room 6015 BBC Broadcasting House
    • Portland Place
    • London W1A 1AA
    • United Kingdom
  • SUBMIT ONLINE: By completing the online form here
  • BY EMAIL: To the email address here 

Interested? Click this link for more details and submit your script with its synopsis using the link below.

Deadline: February 12, 2023

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