Soundtrack : Opening Of ‘Mars’ from Holst’s Planets Suite

Last year, I got a tad overexcited when I entered the Red Planet Writing Competition. Granted, I didn’t win, or even make it to the second round, but it was the first full-length screenplay I’d written, and it was a useful learning experience.

Well, prepare for more blog posts of a similarly giddy nature, as they’ve just announced the 2008 Red Planet Writing Competition. As with last year, the prize consists of £5000, representation by a literary agency, and a script commission from Red Planet (makers of Holby Blue and Moving Wallpaper)> It’s not all the same as 2007, though – there are a couple of changes.

This year, the requirement is for entrants to send in the first ten pages of “a 60 minute pilot script with television series potential”, along with a one-page outline. Last year’s theme was more on the lines of a screenplay, if memory serves, and this year it sounds more like something for the small screen. Fair enough – especially as there’s no specified requirements in terms of genre or subject.

On a practical level, the scripts for this year’s competition are to be submitted by post, not e-mail. Like many people, I sent my entry last year and received an e-mail saying that the mailbox was full, which was a bit of a worry at the time, though kindly Danny Stack (who was involved with the competition) provided reassurance to me and folks in my situation to let us know if the script had been received. This year, it’s hard copy only (to be accompanied by this downloadable form ) – I suspect that Royal Mail may see a leap in their profits around the closing date of Tuesday 30th September as I, and no doubt many other folks, invest in Recorded Delivery or similar to make sure our entries actually arrive.

Anyway, I plan on entering – I have a vague notion for a TV show idea which I’ve been semi-mulling over for a while, and I think it’s a question of actively seeing if I can shape into something more definite with, as I believe they say, ‘legs’. Anybody else planning on sending something in ?

(I realise that posing a question like that, and possibly getting no replies, looks kind of tragic. On the other hand I like to think that this post might alert a few people to the Red Planet scheme who might otherwise have missed it. Which makes me feel socially useful, and assuages any sense that I might just be whistling into the wind. At least for now.)


I Don’t Ask For Much From You, Do I? Well, Do I ? Oh, Okay, So Maybe I Do. BUT…


The Place? A Packaging Design Agency. The Time? 2006, Just After Lunchtime


  1. I shall be going in for this too, definitely. I’m quite glad it’s snail mail for entries this year – my emails bounced back etc and I ended up having to mail Danny – seems like a lot less hassle…

  2. I’ll be going for it, definitely. I didn’t enter last year since I hadn’t really started writing at that point.

    Therefore, I’m under no illusions as to winning this year, but practice makes perfect, right? Or better, at the least.


  3. It’s worth a go, isn’t it?
    The worst that can happen is you have a new (or more polished) script in your portfolio, and the best… well, them prizes sure look nice to me!

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