There’s an interesting writing competition run by Channel 4 and Amnesty International here – with quite an impressive prize.

All you have to do is write a pitch for a sketch, in no more than 160 characters, on the theme of ‘Small Actions’. They then take the winning idea and expand it into a full sketch which will be – and this strikes me as the good bit – performed at the Amnesty International ‘Secret Policeman’s Ball’ Concert which is taking place in London in October.

The ultimate winner will see their sketch performed on the night (and they get another ticket so they can take along a friend), and also receive a copy of the DVD of the show. Ten runners-up will receive copies of the DVD (though it should be noted that the small print does stress they can’t guarantee that the winning sketch will necessarily be on the DVD, or in the TV broadcast of the concert).

The last time they ran a competition like this, the winning sketch was performed by Chevy Chase and Seth Green, so it certainly seems worth entering.

To my mind, the challenge is the fact that you can only submit up to 160 characters in your pitch (pretty much the length of the previous paragraph) – and the deadline is only a week away: Noon on Tuesday 9th September.

So you have to be both brief and swift, but in all honesty I know those are traits which I could certainly stand to develop in my writing (and, I suspect, in other areas of my life), so I think it’s worth a go.

Submit your pitch-ette via this page – and if you do enter, let me know, eh ? When you go on to win and writerly stardom* beckons, I’d like to be able to claim I traded virtual conversation with you “way back when”…

*Yes, I’m all too aware that, with a few notable exceptions, “writers” and “stardom” tend to go together about as frequently as skateboards and olives. But I’m sure you know what I mean.