BBC Radio Play Competition 2023 open for submissions

The BBC Radio Play Competition 2023, worth £2,500 and a trip to London to the winner, invites writers from around the world to submit their playwriting scripts for the 28th International BBC Radio Play Competition 2023. 

Hosted by BBC World Service and the British Council, it offers a unique opportunity for writers from outside the UK to use the medium of audio drama to tell stories for an international audience.

No entry fee is required, however, two categories exist within the competition. They are for stories written by playwrights who regard:

English as a First Language

English as a Second Language.

This means that two first prizes can come from either category.

Eligibility Guidelines for the International BBC Radio Play Competition 2023

Playwrights must be at least 18 years old by 12 February 2023.

It’s not open to writers who live in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Channel Islands or Isle of Man (“UK”).

Professional and previously published writers may apply, but this is not a requirement of entry.

Emerging writers are welcome to apply.

You must not be BBC, BBC Group company, or British Council employees, close relatives of such employees or any person connected to the competition.

Also, your play to:

be an original work

not be an adaptation of an earlier work (for example, a novel)

not have been professionally produced in any medium before

not have been offered for publication, performance or broadcast or produced in any other form or medium to any other person before

not and will not have been entered for any other competition before 31 March 2024.

You can enter individually or as a group. If entering as a group, all entrants must:

Meet the entry requirements and be eligible for the same category

Provide a written or email confirmation from each writer that they are prepared to take a share of the prize money. However, they must nominate one person to receive it.

Also, only one entry per submission.  Do not submit plays you have entered before.

You may submit your entry under a pseudonym. However, you must include your real name on each entry for verification purposes.

Submission Guidelines for the International BBC Radio Play Competition 2023 

There is no entry fee for submission.

All scripts submitted must be approximately 53 minutes – this usually equates to a minimum of 45 pages.  A4 paper (or equivalent) and a maximum of 65 pages.

The play should have a maximum of six central characters. Up to three small “doubling” characters too, who don’t have more than a few lines each. However, there must be no central roles for children.

The script word count must be. 9,000-10,000 words.

In addition, your script should be accompanied by a short synopsis outlining the play’s complete story. This must be no more than 400 words.

There are two categories for entry. One is for entrants who speak English as a first language, and the other is for entrants with English as a second language.

Entries that have been translated will be entered in the English as a first language category.  However, the BBC will not make an additional payment for translations.

Entries must be submitted:

by post to the following address:

International Playwriting Competition 2023,

BBC Radio Drama,

Room 6015 BBC Broadcasting House,

Portland Place,

London W1A 1AA, United Kingdom

by completing an online form

by email to the following email address:

All entries must be accompanied by a completed copy of the entry form, which can be downloaded at:, or for submissions via the webform.

The BBC International Radio Playwriting Competition 2023 opens on 24 October 2022 and closes on 12 February 2023. All submissions must be made before midnight GMT on 12 February 2023.

Prizes to be Awarded to Winners at the BBC International Radio Playwriting Contest 2023 

The two winners will: attend an award ceremony in London, receive cash awards.

See their plays being recorded for broadcast and streaming on BBC World Service.

Also, a Special Commendation will be made for the runner-up. This category serves to honour the BBC World Service journalist and writer Georgi Markov (1929-1978).

For more information on the BBC Radio Play Competition 2023, visit the BBC Radio Play website. There you can read more about their Guidelines and Rules.


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