BBC Radio seeks short fiction submissions

Fancy hearing your words read on the radio? BBC Radio Drama Readings Unit’s annual series, Opening Lines, is seeking stories to broadcast on BBC Radio 4 later in the year.

Speaker cr Judy Darley

The main stipulation is that you must be new to writing for radio – ie, you must not have previously had a story broadcast on network radio or have substantial writing credits in other areas of radio such as comedy and drama.

They will be accepting submissions until February 14th 2014.

The types of stories being sought

They say: “We are looking for original short stories which work being read out loud i.e. with a strong emphasis on narrative and avoiding too much dialogue, character description and digression. Pay particular attention to how the story opens and closes. We’ll be looking to see whether the beginning of a story successfully links to how it ends.”

They add: “We are interested in seeing stories which cover a broad range of subject-matter but material which explores particularly dark, harrowing themes is not best suited to Opening Lines. We recommend visiting the Opening Lines programme pages to read transcripts of stories which have featured in recent series (

The time allotted for each story is up to 14 minutes, which means your submission must be between 1,900 and 2,000 words in length.

How to submit your story

Send your submission (one only, please) along with a brief covering letter or email giving your name, email address (if applicable), the story’s title, word count and details of writing track record. Please also mention how you heard about the creative window and Opening Lines.

Stories can email your story to us at or you can send a hard copy to BBC Radio Drama Readings, Room 8015, Broadcasting House, Portland Place, London W1A 1AA.

Writers whose stories have been shortlisted for the 2014 series of Opening Lines will be informed by Friday 16th May 2014.

As well as broadcasting the three strongest stories, BBC Radio Drama Readings Unit will publish the transcripts of the best stories submitted on the Opening Lines programme pages.

The three successful writers will be invited to London for an afternoon in Broadcasting House and have the chance to see their stories recorded.