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The Alfred Bradley Bursary Award

Piers Beckley | 18:23 UK time, Monday, 1 December 2008

Jeremy Howe, Commissioning Editor for Drama on Radio 4 is one of the judges for the Alfred Bradley Bursary Award, which launched today.

So if you're thinking of putting in an entry - or even if you want to try writing something for the Afternoon Play slot outside of the competition - you should probably have a listen to what he's looking for. Here's Jeremy:

"If you want to write an Afternoon Play for Radio 4 I have two important suggestions to make - please listen to the Afternoon Play - and not once but often, get a feel for what we do. It is on every weekday at 2.15 and available as Listen Again on the BBC Radio4 website or the iPlayer.

"Whatever you do don't clone what you hear - because we have already done it.

"And please listen to Radio 4. I would put money on it isn't what you think it is. A Torturers Tale was a series of interviews with torturers, Down the Line is a thoroughly irreverent spoof chat show, Vent is a sit com about a man on a life support machine, etc, etc.

"At its best Radio 4 is challenging, curious and mischievous. And is content rich. Get a feel for what Radio 4 does and you will get a feel for what you can do in an Afternoon Play.

"What are we looking for in a play? A good story told in a fresh and original way. It is that simple. Good dialogue is pretty crucial. Because it is a single it has to stand out, it has to grab us. And the canvas you can paint on in radio is as large and as exciting as your imagination can make it.

"We make nearly 200 Afternoon Plays a year. About 40 of them are by writers new to radio or writers on their second commission. We want new voices. We are serious about developing new talent. There wasn't just one winner the last time we ran the scheme - five of the writers shortlisted in the 2006 Award have been commissioned for the Network. This year it could be you."

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