Hello! I'm Charlotte Riches the Development Producer for BBC Radio Drama North. For the next three months or so I'm going to be writing a blog to coincide with the running of the Alfred Bradley Bursary Award (or ABBA as we like to call it), which
was launched yesterday. I've been planning ABBA for a while now, so it's great to see all the info on the Writersroom website, inviting submissions. It's great as well to have the Writersroom collaborating with us again this year, so thanks to all the team who have been working on it and thanks to the readers who are standing by, ready to receive the hundreds and hundreds of submissions (I hope) which are going to come flooding through their letter box very soon.
For me, what is so brilliant about this award is that it encourages people who have never even thought about writing for radio before to pick up their pen or turn on their computer and have a go. The majority of winners in our past ABBAs, the 2006 winner Mark Shand included, had never written anything before, let alone an afternoon play, so there is definitely something about ABBA which inspires people to dig deep down into their imaginative grey matter and find their radio drama voice. The other great thing about the award is that it continues Alfred Bradley's fantastic legacy by developing Northern voices, which is why the award is only open to people living or who were born in the North.
If you do need a little help finding your voice, then Katherine Beacon, the Project Manager of Writersroom North and I, will be running a series of writing for radio drama masterclasses across the North. We can't teach you how to write, but we can help by giving you some hints and tips about how to improve your writing and also, very importantly, tell you what not to do when writing a radio drama (you wouldn't believe how many people get it badly wrong). Our first workshop is tomorrow at Live Theatre in Newcastle 6pm - 7.30pm. Short notice I know, but if you would like to attend then please email email@example.com. Places are limited so you will need to book in. Other masterclasses will take place in Liverpool, Leeds, Manchester, Kendal and Hull, so watch this space for further details. I'll let you know how the Newcastle masterclass goes in my next instalment.