Writing Radio Drama: A One-Day Workshop

Workshop Friday 16 September 2016, 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Radio offers a large and varied market for aspiring dramatists – from character drama to thrillers, comedy, sci-fi and historical stories. In the age of the box-set, when TV drama is all about long-running series, radio has become the home of the single drama. This creates a huge opportunity for new drama writers to pursue unusual and ambitious projects with a realistic hope that they will be produced.

Are you interested in learning how to write radio drama? This one-day workshop will help you start ‘thinking in sound’ and focus on the special demands of writing drama for the ear. It aims to equip participants with the skills necessary both to write their own new projects and to pursue the possibility of working on existing radio drama series. The workshop will demonstrate how to use sound to grab the audience’s attention from the very beginning of a story.

You will learn devices that help to differentiate between characters and establish their relationships with each other – hugely important in radio drama, where the audience only have voices and effects to rely on. You will also explore ways to create an atmosphere of suspense, where the test of each scene is: does the audience care what happens next? The workshop will cover how to go about pitching stories to commissioners and producers.

This one-day workshop will be led by Hugh Costello, who has written more than two dozen dramas for BBC Radio, and has been a judge in the drama category of the Radio Production Awards for the past two years. Costello is also a screenwriter whose HBO film, Bernard and Doris, was nominated for ten Emmy Awards, including best screenplay. He is also a print journalist and produces factual radio programmes.

Image via Shutterstock / Forest Run