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Tuesday, June 07, 2011

BBC CBeebies Contest for New Children's Writers

Get a Squiggle On Contest
Apologies in advance to my non-UK readers, but the subject of today's post is only likely to be relevant to UK writers.

It is, however, such an interesting-looking opportunity, I wanted to make a special point of mentioning it here.

Get a Squiggle On offers new UK children's writers the opportunity to get a foot in the door with CBeebies, the BBC's digital channel for very young (pre-school) children.

They say they are seeking out fresh voices, giving promising writers from different backgrounds, communities and life experiences an opportunity to develop their professional skills.

As the BBC Writersroom website explains...

We are looking for 20-minute live action scripts. They can be written in any contemporary genre, including Drama, Comedy, Music, Dance, Puppets, Educational (with a light touch) or a combination of more than one. This opportunity is open to anyone interested in writing for CBeebies.

A shortlist of 20-25 writers will be invited to a masterclass and the final 8-10 shortlisted writers will spend an intensive residential week developing their work, bolstering their writer’s 'toolbox' and craft, and working with the CBeebies team.

To enter, you have to submit:

  • a script (one copy) for children’s television between 20-30 minutes in length (approximately 1 page per minute) suitable for children aged 3-6.
  • an outline for how the series would develop.
  • a completed entry form (which you can download here).

The submission deadline is Thursday 14 July. Those shortlisted will be notified by Friday 29 July 2011, and the Masterclass (for 20-25 writers) is scheduled for Tuesday 30 August. The residential for the final 8-10 writers will be held from 17 October to 21 October 2011.

To help prospective competitors, the BBC has put together this page of tips and resources on writing scripts for a pre-school audience.

See also this page of the BBC Writersroom website for full details of Get a Squiggle On and links to all relevant resources and info, including how and where to submit your entry.

This looks to me a great opportunity for any aspiring children's writer - the contacts alone you would make from being shortlisted would be invaluable. If you decide to give it a shot, I wish you every success.

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