Right. As anyone who reads my blog is naturally deeply intelligent and creative, I thought I'd give y'all a heads up. The Radio 4 Offers Round is now open - it runs twice a year, so you get the opportunity to get your feelings stamped on, not once but twice! Here's a link to a more detailed blah I gave on it:
Anyway, you have till 24th March to come up with An Idea. What happens is you think of a book you'd like to adapt or a fantastic comedy idea or an Afternoon Play idea, and in the first instance what they want is this:
A maximum 100 word paragraph summarising the plot.
("Brilliant 17th century Danish Prince seeks to revenge the mysterious death of
his father and in so doing loses his mind, destroys his family and overturns the
state of Denmark. Renaissance tragedy. Period verse drama." would do for
Hamlet. 35 words.)
A maximum 200 word paragraph telling us why you want to do it, how you want to
do it and why it would work for Radio 4. Do not use the second paragraph to
continue summarising the plot. Some information about the author would be
useful, especially if he or she is a first time writer for radio.
I'll pass the ideas on to my lovely producer. Radio 4 then sifts through the ideas and decides which ones they want to develop further. You then get to go through the whole thing again, only in more detailed form. I should warn you the odds are horrible, and my producer is an independent so he only gets to bid for about 15% of the total radio 4 output. If you really want to write for radio, you'd be better off getting an in-house producer. Having said that, I've had two series, some sketches and a play through indie producers. But having said THAT, even with a slight track record I'm no better off than a newbie - they rejected everything I suggested last year. Bastards. So it's all about the idea.
Oh and on the very very small off chance of you getting a commission, the pay is shit too. A couple of grand for an Afternoon Play, and about £5000 for a Woman's Hour Series.