Advice for the Paul Spragg Memorial Short Trip Competition (2019)


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. I wrote a piece of advice back in 2017 for entrants, but with the passage of time, this needs updating.


I have no special insight into how Big Finish 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 (still):

  • Read the rules
  • Follow them.

The rules are referred to in the news item: Paul Spragg Memorial Short Trips Opportunity and can be found at the bottom of the post (and full Ts & Cs are here).

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
  • Ditto with the other winners.

If you want more, Ian Atkins gave an interview about the competition to the Raconteur Roundtable. Note Ian is not running the opportunity this year.

Finally if you’re on The Divergent Universe, there’s a thread devoted to the competition and a dedicated 2019 competition thread here.

PS: My own personal thoughts, if I were eligible to enter:

  • Only submit one entry – this is a change from previous years. It’s in the rules but read them!
  • Only write the first page, not the whole story of each
  • Maybe find someone to read the submission and give honest criticism (generally not family)
  • 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!)

Good luck!

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