This one or that one?

An extra post today. Lucky you lot! 🙂

There are currently 2 competitions or “opportunities” for writers of short stories who would like to write for radio. The BBC Opening Lines details can be found here; the BBC National Short Story Competition with Booktrust details can be found here. The bright-eyed and bushy-tailed will notice that both of these competitions are in association with the BBC.

Opening Lines is free entry and 3 successful writers will have their stories broadcast on BBC Radio 4 and be invited to London to see their winning stories recorded. There is no other payment for this “opportunity”.

The BBC National Short Story Competition is also free entry, but the 5 winning entries (that’s FIVE), will receive £15,000 1st prize, £3,000 runner up, and £500 each for the 3 further shortlisted entries. Interviews with the shortlisted writers will be broadcast over 5 weekdays and each story will also be broadcast.

Now then, as an advocate of writers being paid, which one do you think I’d recommend you go for? Of course, it’s entirely up to you, but if you have any doubt, please check out these usual rates of pay from the BBC first, via the Society of Authors.

I continue to argue that if a slot is already paid for, then it should be paid for. Organisations and companies should not exploit beginning writers by encouraging them to submit something and then not pay them what they’d normally pay. “For the glory” doesn’t really pay the rent, does it? Or perhaps we should try something similar when the gas board come calling: “Sorry, although I do usually pay my utility bills, why don’t you accept having the glory of being my energy supplier this time?” Or how about when our TV licence becomes due for payment …?

In my opinion, the BBC can afford to pay its contributors. End of.

Let me know if you enter either competition or “opportunity”, and how you get along. (I love how they’re calling it an opportunity … not.)