Last year when Ian Atkins ran the first Paul Spragg Memorial Short Trip Competition, I was flattered to have several people ask me for tips, simply because I’d written a few Short Trips for Big Finish. As I’ve already been asked again this year, I thought I’d post the advice I give everybody, and add a couple of bits.
I have no special insight into how Ian Atkins will select the winning submission, and I would by no means expect success if I could enter. I do have experience of publishers, and the core advice is:
- Read the rules
- Follow them.
Next (and as suggested in the rules):
- Download and listen to Joshua Wanisko’s winning entry Forever Fallen from last year, including the PDFs of his submission. (It’s free!)
- Now read the original outline.
If you want more, Ian gave a recent interview about the competition to the Raconteur Roundtable
Finally if you’re on The Divergent Universe, there’s a thread devoted to the competition.
PS: My own personal thoughts, if I were eligible to enter:
- Only submit two entries, more will dilute your creativity
- Only write the first page, not the whole story of each
- Write then put away for a few days, re-read then submit
- Don’t invest too much emotion. The world will not end if you aren’t successful (unless that’s your plot!)