The BBC Radio Drama Readings Unit welcomes submissions from writers new to radio for their annual series, Opening Lines which is broadcast on BBC Radio 4.

The window for 2015 (5th January – 13th February) is now closed and we are unable to respond to unsolicited stories submitted outside this time-frame.

The three successful writers will have their stories broadcast on BBC Radio 4 and be invited to the BBC in London to see their stories being recorded. As well as broadcasting the three strongest stories we publish transcripts of the best stories submitted within this period on the Opening Lines website.

KEY INFORMATION FROM 2015

To ensure your story is read and doesn’t miss out on this opportunity, the following criteria must be met:

  • Writers who have previously had a story/stories broadcast on network radio or have substantial writing credits in other areas of radio (e.g. comedy and drama) are not eligible for this series.
  • We only accept one story per writer.
  • Please don’t re-submit stories that have previously been considered for Opening Lines
  • Stories must be between 1,900 and 2,000 words in length.

Submissions which fall outside of these parameters will not be considered.

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, the ending needs to link back to the beginning.

We are interested in seeing stories which cover a broad range of subject-matter but material which explores particularly dark, harrowing themes is not suited to Opening Lines. Stories must not contain defamatory, obscene or any other unsuitable material which is likely to cause offence to a wide audience of all ages. Click here to read stories which have featured in recent series.

We will read all eligible submissions and get in touch with those writers whose stories have been longlisted for the 2015 series by the 15th May 2015, which is when the longlist will be published on our website. We regret that we are unable to respond to those writers whose stories haven’t been selected, but you will of course, be able to check the website to see the longlist.