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International Playwriting Competition 2018
The only global competition for radio playwrights.
The competition has two first prizes—one for writers with English as their first language, and one for those for whom English is a second language.
The winners of both prizes will have their plays recorded in London and broadcast on BBC World Service.
In addition, the Georgi Markov award honours the shortlisted script which shows the most promise, with the opportunity to take part in a two-week residency with the BBC's London Radio Drama department and with BBC World Service.
Last year's winners
Last year over 1,000 entries were received from a record 112 countries, with Papua New Guinea making the shortlist for the very first time. The entries included thought-provoking stories with subjects ranging from slavery, war and corruption to a comedy about a maid in India and a hold-up on a train in South Africa.
English as a Second language
Winner: The Day Dad Stole a Bus by Pericles Silveira (Brazil)
Nayara’s father wants her to see her grandmother’s house after the dam disaster in Bento Rodrigues. But why has he stolen a bus to take her there – and why do things keep disappearing?
This play was broadcast on BBC World Service on Saturday 21 January 2017. A link to listen again is on the BBC site.
English as a First Language
Winner: Playing With Fire by Joanne Gutknecht (Canada)
In a remote house in rural Canada, passions rage like the encroaching wildfire in the marriage of Judy and Arnold. Scandal and infidelity threaten to tear them apart, and their disturbed son Daniel can’t stop playing with his dolls. How will they escape the imminent flame?
The play was broadcast on BBC World Service on Saturday 18 February 2017. Watch a preview below. A link to listen again is on the BBC site.
Georgi Markov Prize
Winner: Darkness at Dawn by Erupu Jude (Uganda)
Having lost his father to the Lord Resistant Army after a brutal attack on his village, Chadwong must make a decision. Should he join the Arrow boys like his best friend Apukun, and fight to avenge his father? How will he care for his pregnant mother and siblings? Unable to reach the food aid his family so desperately needs, circumstances conspire to lead him on a desperate path in order to survive in this lawless, unjust world.
The tracks on this album offer an invaluable insight into a wide range of techniques and practices surrounding Creative Writing. Writers as diverse as Alan Ayckbourn, Ian McMillan and Tanika Gupta talk openly about their approaches and attitudes to all aspects of writing from original concept to final drafts and productions. Writing for stage, print, television and radio is discussed in engaging and articulate detail. This material forms part of The Open University course A363 Advanced creative writing.Listen now ❯Creative Writing
From getting inspiration to getting published - take your writing to the next level with our tips and advice.Read now ❯Ian McMillan's Writing Lab: Get writing: Tips and advice
Study with the OU
Have you always wanted to write, but never quite had the courage to start? This free course, Start writing fiction, will give you an insight into how authors create their characters and settings. You will also be able to look at the different genres for fiction.Learn more ❯Start writing fiction
Do you want to improve your descriptive writing? This free course, Writing what you know, will help you to develop your perception of the world about you and enable you to see the familiar things in everyday life in a new light. You will also learn how authors use their own personal histories to form the basis of their work.Learn more ❯Writing what you know
Do you want to get more out of drama? This free course, Approaching plays, is designed to develop the analytical skills you need for a more in-depth study of literary plays. You will learn about dialogue, stage directions, blank verse, dramatic structure and conventions and aspects of performance.Learn more ❯Approaching plays
Dr Derek Neale - Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing
A novelist and short story writer with a practical and research interest in drama and film, script and life writing, I have recorded many interviews with novelists, playwrights, autobiographers and biographers about their approach to writing. I taught fiction and dramatic writing at UEA over a number of years, and have also facilitated writing activities in a prison. I gained my Creative Writing MA and PhD in Creative and Critical Writing from UEA, and joined the OU in 2003, helping to design and write the materials for a whole new generation of Open University writing courses.
Derek enjoys working with BBC World Service on the series, commenting “The Open University is delighted to continue co-producing with the World Service this unique competition. It encourages new talent nationally and internationally, and is a wonderful source of inspiration and insight for our students at all levels – undergraduate or MA, whether they are just starting or experienced scriptwriters.”
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