Why Write for Radio?

You’ll notice in our program that we have a practical workshop on writing for radio coming up. You may be thinking, why write for radio? Well, there are a number of opportunities to get your writing out there, that you may not have yet considered. One of them being narrative drama for radio. Here, we’ve listed some reasons (taken from the BBC’s blog) why writing for radio is a great idea:

  • BBC radio is by far the biggest single commissioner of original drama and comedy in the world; full stop
  • The vast majority of opportunities for drama writers on radio are highly individual single, authored pieces (even if you somehow managed to get your movie script made, you’d still struggle to get into the cinema the number of people who would hear it on radio)
  • Many hugely popular and brilliantly original TV comedy shows started their life on the radio: Little Britain, Knowing Me Knowing You, Goodness Gracious Me, Miranda, The League of Gentlemen, The Mighty Boosh, Dead Ringers, That Mitchell and Webb Look, Hancock’s Half Hour, Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, The Day Today
  • A vast array of brilliant writers have worked in radio from Tyrone Guthrie and Dylan Thomas, to Douglas Adams, Spike Milligan and Marty Feldman, to Tom Stoppard, Caryl Churchill, Anthony Minghella and Lee Hall, to Mike Bartlett, Roy Williams and Katie Hims
  • You can get amazingly successful and celebrated actors to be in your radio play  and they don’t even need to shave/do make up/commit to weeks of filming
  • Radio is the cinema of the airwaves – it’s all about the visual world conjured up in the listener’s head, and the ambition and scope the writer brings to it
  • You can take your story, characters and listeners anywhere in the known (or unknown) universe without the budgetary constrictions you’d get with a film or TV shoot
  • In radio, writers work very closely with producers and are intimately involved with the development and production
  • In radio, writers can have an extremely intimate relationship with the listener and therefore can tell stories in ways that just wouldn’t work in any other medium
  • Additionally, in Australia over 16 million people listen to the radio every week (and that’s just commercial radio!). So there is a broad audience just waiting to come across your words.

Join Tony Collins, journalist with over 20 years experience in news, current affairs and documentary, for a half day enlightening workshop. Tony has taught journalism and radio courses at the University of Technology Sydney and the University of South Australia and has worked at the ABC and has been a freelance documentary maker for radio and television. Details and bookings for the workshop here.

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