From time to time, BBC Radio 4 runs competitions for short stories or plays for the radio by new writers. More rarely still, BBC TV or Channel 4 run competitions for short dramas for television. A competition win may provide you with the chance to see or hear your work broadcast for TV or radio, may involve a small cash sum and perhaps the chance to work with an industry professional. In certain exceptional instances, for the extremely talented, it may offer the chance of discovery and open a door or two. But such competitions are only very occasional and, as with all competitions in the field of creative writing, they should not be relied upon in any sense as a shortcut to success. Competitions can be fun and lucrative. They can also boost your profile, but they should not, in any realistic of meaningful sense, be regarded as a natural part of your professional development. If you’re an aspiring writer, follow the example of others who’ve had success: join workshops, as far as is financially possible attend residential courses, appreciate your art form and practise, practise, practise.
Check the BBC Writers Room and 4talent sites regularly for details on any forthcoming competitions. The Academi also carries details of competitions of interest to writers working across the genres, so visit the site regularly and sign up to our e-newsletter to stay in touch with the opportunities that are out there.