Radio drama competition – the results

The judges chose four winners which were recorded on location at Rhosygilwen, and performed live at the festival:

Dust by Yohanan Kaldii;  The Hypnotist by Brendon Connelly;  Under Observation by Craig Hawes; and A Memory of Sammy by Richard Hand.

All four are available to listen to here.

Following an audience vote, the overall favourite was A Memory of Sammy.

Short Radio Drama

Judges: Kate McAll, Derek Webb
Closing date: Wednesday August 15th, 2018
Prizes: the top six will receive a professional critique.
The top three will be edited in more detail, performed live on stage at the festival and then recorded on location at Rhosygilwen, edited, with music and FX and put up on the PENfro website. In addition the winners will receive a CD of the final piece.
Details of the winners will be announced at PENfro Book Festival on Friday, 7th September, 2018 at 7pm, and will be published on the PENfro website.

Kate McAll is a Sony Gold award-winning radio producer, director, and writer with over 30 years’ experience of making programmes for the BBC.   A Classics graduate, Kate began her career producing history documentaries and literary features for Radio 3 and Radio 4, before turning to drama. In 2005 she became head of the radio drama department at BBC Wales, where she was responsible for developing new Welsh writers and actors. Now freelance,  she continues to produce programmes both for BBC Radio in the UK and NPR in the US.  Current productions include How to Survive The Roman Empire, by Pliny and Me, set in first century Rome, and Life At Absolute Zero, a series of stories set in a fictional seaside town, written by Lynne Truss.   Kate’s recent adaptation of George Eliot’s novel Daniel Deronda, for LA Theatre Works, played to sell out audiences in Los Angeles.

Derek Webb’s plays include a number of 1-act comedies and dramas – one of which, Another Life, has won five Best Play Awards in 1-act festivals.  His series of full length comedies, featuring the crime novelist/amateur sleuth Agatha Crusty, has had many hundreds of performances in the UK, USA and Australia.

Other plays include: Call Me Dusty – about Dusty Springfield; The Railway Children Lady – about Edith Nesbit; The Lady Vanishes – an adaptation of the classic Hitchcock film, and an adaptation of HG Wells’ The Invisible Man.

Derek has also abridged many dozens of books, for Hodder Headline, Random House and Harper Collins among others, ranging from Jane Austen to Ruth Rendell, and has dramatised a large number of children’s books for audio.

In addition, he is the organiser of the Pint-Sized Plays international writing competition, and a children’s author – his first full length children’s novel called ‘Is‘ – about a girl who thinks she is Isambard Kingdom Brunel reincarnated – is published by Parthian.


Please ensure you have read the following competition rules before you submit your script/s.

  1. Your script should be in English, and not have been previously published or broadcast, nor be currently submitted for competition elsewhere.
  2. Maximum length: The drama should run for between five and ten minutes. You should calculate roughly one minute per page. This is approximately from 800 to 1600 words in length. Test your drama by reading it aloud at performance pace and timing it, allowing sufficient time for FX and action.
  3. Number of characters: The drama should be capable of being performed by two actors, one male and one female. Due to licensing requirements we cannot accept roles for children
  4. Format: For consistency, we would prefer that you submit your drama using the radio script template provided  Format-for-radio-script   Refer to guidelines for help.Setting: Your drama can be set at any time and in any place. Let your imagination run free.
  5. Writing guidelines:  Click here for a short article by Kate McAll on writing radio drama
  7. Pay by Paypal or credit card for online entries. Each drama is £5 to enter.
  8. You can download a form for offline entry  drama-entry-form-2018– cheques should be made payable to PENfro Book Festival.
  9. The competition is open to anyone aged 16 or over.
  10. Copyright remains with the authors, but PENfro Book Festival reserves the right to display winning scripts on its website and post online an mp3 of the finished drama.
  11. The judges’ decision is final.