BBC Radio Playwriting Competition 2011

Deadline: 31 March 2011
Open to: for writers with EFL and ESL over 16 years old living outside the UK
Prize: £2,500, a trip to London and your play broadcast all over the world

Radio Playwriting Competition 2011

  • Do you live outside the UK?
  • Would you like to win £2,500 (sterling), a trip to London and have your play broadcast all over the world?
  • If you say yes to all of these questions, then you are the one who should take part!

International Radio Playwriting Competition launched on 16 October 2010 is run by BBC World Service and the British Council. It creates opportunities for beginners and professional writers of non-UK residency.

The competition is not measured by means of language spoken as there are two categories: one for writers with English as their first language and one for writers with English as their second language.

If you are over 16 years old and you wish to express yourself by word of mouth, put it all into a 60 minute radio drama for up to six characters on a subject of your choice, which has never been published before or produced in any medium and submit it together with your entry form, questionnaire and synopsis by closing date of 31 March 2011.

The two winners will come to London and see their play made into a full radio production, which will then be broadcast on the BBC World Service. They will also each receive a £2,500 prize, and there are also prizes for the runners up.


The play must be the entrant’s original, unpublished work.
The play must be written in English but as well can be translated by a third party.

How to enter

1. Complete the entry form and send it together with your play and synopsis to:
Playwriting Competition 2011
BBC World Service Drama
Room  823b, South East Wing,
Bush House,

2. Complete the entry form and deliver it along with your play and synopsis to your local British Council Office.

3. Email your play synopsis and this form directly to:

For more information about conditions and procedures, please, refer to BBC World Service website.

22 thoughts on “BBC Radio Playwriting Competition 2011

  1. Dear Sonshi,

    We appreciate your curiosity. Let me explain it on your example: judging by your question, you are an English as a Second Language (ESL) speaker, whereas people having English as their mother tongue are English as a First Language (EFL) speakers.


    Kristina, mladiinfo

  2. dear sir

    i have read all the terms and conditions of the radio play competition and i have a small doubt in the rule 17 where it says" Entrants retain the copyright in their entries but grant to BBC a non-exclusive licence to broadcast their entry across all media, as well as use it on any online platform"

    i can't understand this rule sir
    is it relating to participant having copyright over the play or the copyright provided by the BBC authority

    1. Hello Annad,

      you as an author will have a copyright of the work you will provide BBC with, but BBC will have the right to broadcast it (to ensure that you would not sue them for the copyright infringement).

      P.S. and I am not a sir.

      All the best,


    1. Dear Annad,

      Let set things right: it is you who will hold the copyright from the very moment of submission. You are the author, so you are, naturally, the holder of copyright (you don't have to apply for it or do anything). What BBC is asking for is that you – as an author and at the same time, copyright holder – grant them the permission to broadcast your work. I hope that this will help you orientate yourself better 🙂

      P.S. It is great you are so courageous to submit your play and I'll keep my fingers crossed.



  3. This is the first time i am attempting such competition and still i am a student, my story is a original one but i don't have copyright for that, can you give me a suggestion.

  4. i am almost 22 and Ugandan national hoping to become one of the most known writers. am not trained at all but by the script you gave us. above my fears is getting a chance for my play being read or noticed. are you sure that every play is looked through?

    1. Joan,

      I understand your far-reaching aspirations and therefore fear, but
      "Mladiinfo does not give scholarships or any financial support, but only informs about different opportunities. Click on the direct link to the official page above to apply for the program."

      Your concerns should be directed to BBC, though I don't think you'll get any answer.

      Good luck,


  5. Hello Kristina,

    I've been working on a play entry and realise playwriting/scripting can be pretty meticulous in required style and format. How much attention should beginners like myself be paying to issues like spacing, indentation, specific font etc?



    1. Hello, Kristopher,

      I'd say not much as the contest envisages the writers over 16 and with English as their second language.
      So, I think you can be more laid-back about the style and format.

      Good luck,


  6. Do you think a writer from a former British colony like Ghana, Nigeria or Egypt can enter as an ESL writer? It may just be a sneaky way to enter an "easier' competition?

    1. Dear Kabir,

      Please note that Mladiinfo does not give scholarships or any financial support, but only informs about different opportunities. Click on the direct link to the official page above to apply for the program.

      And I am sorry, but the deadline is very dead.

      All the best,


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