Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Want to be Writer-in-Residence for Radio 4?

Exciting news from Auntie reaches Dotterel Towers today. To whit, the following press release...

Following the popularity of So You Want To Be A Scientist last year, Radio 4 will launch So You Want To Be A Writer in the spring of 2013. So You Want To Be A Writer will be both a talent search and an initiative to encourage anyone who has ever wanted to write to find out how to do it. It will open up the world of writing to listeners, and enhance their understanding of it.

So You Want To Be A Writer will form part of Open Book, the network’s flagship books programme presented by Mariella Frostrup. The programme will hear from leading authors about how unpublished writers can best develop the necessary skills to write their own stories, and how they can find an individual writing voice.

Throughout the year there will be regular reports on the progress of the talent search, as well as features exploring the benefits and pleasures of the act of writing. Whether it’s a striking first novel, a string of short stories, or telling a family history in an engaging and memorable way, So You Want To Be A Writer will demystify the world of books and create a path through the maze of the publishing industry – from strong ideas and first drafts all the way through to agents and e-publishing.

This year will also see the appointment of Radio 4’s first Writer In Residence. The search is now on for an independent voice of literary merit to think and write about the changing times we’re living through. The successful writer will be given a unique platform on air and online to forge a dialogue with the audience and become an ambassador for the spirit of Radio 4.

Gwyneth Williams says: “I appointed a Writer In Residence during my time at the World Service – Hamid Ismailov, the Uzbek journalist, poet and author. Hamid has had a substantial impact in this role, and the value of his work, rich in humanity and humour, has enriched the airwaves. An independent artistic voice has real value on air and online and we need it on Radio 4.”

It's not often I quote so extensively from a press release but this, I think you'll agree, is rather exciting news - especially for all wannabe writers. And as that was the subject of my last post (what d'you mean you haven't read it?) it's rather timely, too.

And as for the idea of writer-in-residence for Radio Four well, that's pretty exciting isn't it? I mean, think of the potential: Shipping Forecast sonnets; a Front Row rap; some assonance for the Archers; hyperbole for John Humphries and the endless oxymoron that is late-night Radio Four 'comedy'.

Where do I apply?


  1. I take your Shipping Forecast sonnets and raise them: we once did a month long run of live interpretations of the Shipping Forecast at Edinburgh. I was Dogger Bank. Totally nailed it...


    1. I'll bet Helen! Please tell me there's footage of it up on YouTube, please?!


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