Radio 4 commissions programmes twice a year. At each Commissioning Round we publish a set of guidelines to help focus producers' thinking and to outline the direction of each of our slots.
Producers are encouraged to share these with writers but we thought you would find these highlights from the current guidelines useful.
If a producer is interested in your work they will discuss it with the Commissioning Editor, Drama & Entertainment. If they are also keen the producer will have to prepare an offer to send to Radio 4. Below you'll find some of the guidelines we send producers to help them submit the best possible offer.CHECKLIST FOR DRAMA AND SCRIPTED COMEDY PROPOSALS
For single plays:
- - what the play is about (this is not the same as a synopsis)
- the end of the story, if you know it (in many instances you won't and that's understood)
- the full synopsis for plot-driven works where the mechanics of the narrative are important eg, thrillers, detective fiction, mysteries
- how the story might be told
- whether you are sending a script or sample scenes with the hard copy of the offer
- - how the story will be told for radio
- why it is well suited to the medium
- - how will the work be structured?
- have you given a fairly detailed synopsis which outlines the development of character and plot over the episodes and plot lines you will be carrying?
- for situation comedy, you need to give full details of the characters and the dynamics of the relationships that are essential to its success and prove to us that these are strong enough to endure repetition over several episodes and perhaps several series
- have you indicated the tone of the work?
- - if he or she is an experienced writer, have you included previous credits?
- for writers new to radio (however experienced in another field), have you included a full script written on spec or sample scenes demonstrating that the writer can write for the medium?