BBC Radio 4 has commissioned us to make three 15-minute radio programmes showcasing the work of writers between the ages of 16 and 21. These are currently scheduled for broadcast on Fridays 8, 15 and 22 October 2021. We are looking for original short stories of either: a) 450-550 words or b) 900-1100 words. Please ensure that your submission conforms to one or other of these categories. (This will make it easier to fit multiple stories into each programme.)
Initially, we will be dividing submissions into Group A (For ages 16-18) and Group B (Ages 19-21).
Please read and follow carefully the submission guidelines below.
This is a ‘call for submissions, not a formal writing competition. By which we mean we will be looking to pick and combine stories from a range of ages we think will make varied and entertaining radio. Quality is important to us, but we will not be making ‘official’ judgments about the ‘best’ story.
Each broadcast story will be read by a single reader, but beyond that, please don’t overthink the ‘radio’ part (that’s our job.). Storytelling is what we’re after, written as well as you can.
As to what story you tell, it’s up to you …
Good luck!

We are already accepting stories but the closing date for entries is Monday 21 June 2021. Please email your submission to

Submission Guidelines
1. Eligibility:
a) You are eligible to submit if you are between the ages16 and 21 on 31 August 2021. Your age on that date will determine whether you should submit to Group A (16-18) or Group B (19-21).
b) This is a series for new voices, i.e. for writers who have neither previously published a book or stand-alone publication nor had their work broadcast on national radio. Please do not submit a story that has previously appeared online or in print, or has been recorded/filmed for YouTube, Soundcloud or similar platforms.
2. Only submit one story, please.
3. Your story should be between 450-550 words or 900-1100 words in length.
4. Please put your full contact details (name, post and email address, phone number) and a word count on the title page of your story, indicating whether you are submitting for Group A or Group B. Please don’t put your name in the ‘body’ of the story.
5. The BBC will have exclusivity on stories scheduled for transmission until first broadcast, after which print copyright reverts to the writer.
6. We cannot offer feedback on your work or enter into correspondence about your entry.
7. We reserve the right to amend our guidelines as deemed necessary or where circumstances are beyond our control. We will post any changes on the Sweet Talk Productions website and by email where possible/if appropriate.
8. We aim to have made our final decisions by 31 August 2021.
9. We are already accepting stories but the closing date for entries is Monday 21 June 2021. Please email your submission to

BIG CHEERS and CONGRATULATIONS for STEPHEN DILLANE, ELISABETH KUTI, JO McINNES and PHILIP SELWAY for winning TWO awards at this years BBC Audio Drama Awards which took place at Broadcasting House earlier this year. SEA LONGING was broadcast on BBC Radio 3 in 2018. Here’s what the judges said;

In a ferociously talented category, the winning entry united the judges with its intense drama. The world drawn was utterly complete and fully compelling, and the acting was so mesmerising- one judge felt they may well have been eavesdropping on real conversations.


Showed mastery both of his role and the audio medium. In a competitive field, his performance stood out because it was truly transportative: he created a world that was simultaneously magical and utterly believable. He was delicate and fragile and natural, and the result was gripping.

Next Monday-Friday (9th-13th Dec’19) at 14:45, BBC Radio 4 EXTRA are repeating our Book of the Week from March 2015 – ‘Boundless‘. Teresa Gallagher reads Kathleen Winter’s story of her journey as the Writer-in-Residence on a boat travelling through the Northwest Passage, and how the voyage became as much an exploration of her own roots as a venture into the arctic ice fields…
We bring you a spooky Book at Bedtime/Fiction Reading for this festive period with ‘Dark Matter‘ by Michelle Paver – read by Lee Ingleby and Rufus Wright – starting Monday at 12:04 & 22:45 on BBC Radio 4This terrifying 1930s ghost story is set in the wilderness of the Arctic Circle. What happened to Jack Miller on an arctic expedition to Gruhuken in 1937? His fellow explorer Algernon Carlisle says we will never find out…
Join us this Saturday (2nd Nov’19) at 14:45 for a musical drama unlike anything you’ve heard on Radio 4 before, written by Sir Ray Davies and Paul Sirett, and starring Rosie Cavaliero and Lee Ross!
Half a century after its release, Davies has reimagined the Kinks album ‘Arthur (Or the Decline and Fall Of The British Empire)’ for radio – an impressionistic collage of dialogue and song, featuring tracks from the original album and other Kinks songs including Waterloo Sunset!
Arthur‘ is a personal history of Davies’s family and a social history of a particular class of ordinary north Londoners during and after WW2. A study in song of what it means to be British – then and now…

Dave Davies, Lee Ross (Arthur), Rosie Cavaliero (Rose) & Ray Davies
Join us next Friday 25th October at 15:45 for a brand new short story, specially-commissioned for BBC Radio 4In ‘Fairy‘ by Julia Bell – read by Bryony Hannah – a mother and her son are lost in the woods, and things begin to go wrong…
Next Monday-Friday (30th Sept-4th Oct’19) at 14:45, BBC Radio 4 EXTRA are repeating our Book of the Week from January 2015 – ‘Reaching Down The Rabbit Hole‘ written by Dr Allan Ropper and Brian Burrell… read by Colin Stinton! Leading clinical neurologist and Harvard professor Allan Ropper describes some of the most unusual case studies in his extraordinary career. We begin by joining him on his speed rounds at the neurological unit of the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston…
Young Orson‘ by Patrick McGilligan – our Book of the Week from January 2016 – has also had a repeat on BBC Radio 4 EXTRA. It now lives on BBC iPlayer for 20 days (until 15th Oct’19)! Orson Welles, the defining wunderkind of modern entertainment, gets his due in a biography of his early years – including his first forays in theatre and radio before his groundbreaking move to Hollywood…
The Warlow Experiment‘ by Alix Nathan is our new Fiction Reading/Book at Bedtime, starting next Monday (22nd July’19) at 12:04 & 22:45 on BBC Radio 4Herbert Powyss longs to make his mark in the field of science. Influenced by something he’s read, he decides to conduct a radical investigation into the Resilience of the Human Mind Without Society. He places an ad for a suitable guinea pig… Only one man is desperate enough to apply for the job – a semi-literate, angry wife-basher. What could possibly go wrong?
Join us for a brand new afternoon play next Tuesday (16th July’19) at 14:15 on BBC Radio 4When 45-year-old writer and IT nerd Stu finds a lump in his left breast, he leaps into action with the most sensible plan he can come up with – he googles for reassurance then ignores it! Nothing to worry about, he decides. Breast cancer only affects women or really old men, after all… except… sometimes it doesn’t. ‘Making Plans With Nigel‘ is Stuart Houghton’s semi-autobiographical drama – starring Mark Benton – set in the period leading up to the 2016 EU referendum.
Join us for 5 brand new short stories by Zoe Gilbert – read by Samantha Spiro – next Monday-Friday (24th-28th June’19) at 18:15 on BBC Radio 4 ExtraZoe Gilbert’s debut novel ‘Folk‘ conjures up a series of dark and bewitching tales from a remote mythical island, ‘Neverness’ – a place ripe with shadowy secrets and magic, and where its villagers’ lives are entwined with nature; its enchantments, seductions and dangers.
BBC Radio 4 Extra are currently (w/c 17th-21st June’19) repeating ‘Last Man Off‘ by Matt Lewis – our Book Of The Week from July 2014! Lewis tells the true story of the dramatic events that enveloped him and his crew-mates aboard the fishing vessel Sudor Havid in the spring of 1998 – as they sailed off to the Southern Ocean, off South Georgia, to fish in some of the most hostile conditions on the planet…
Our favourite Chief Inspector Annika Strandhed (queen of the Oslo Police boat patrol) is back for 8 brand new episodes, written by Nick Walker and read by Nicola Walker! Annika is still coming to terms with the death of her friend and long-time, long suffering forensic photographer Mikel. But life goes on, and so does police work on the Oslofjord. Annika must forge a new relationship with Mikel’s young replacement, Sigrid… join us every Sunday from 16th June’19 at 19:45 on BBC Radio 4!
Our seventh series of ‘The Time Being‘ (a showcase for previously un-broadcast writers from 2015) is being repeated next week on BBC Radio 4 ExtraStarting with ‘A Symphony Of Sighs’ written by Karen Anstee and read by Hugh Dennis, catch these three short stories next Wednesday, Thursday and the following Wednesday at 11am…
Join us next Wednesday (29th May’19) at 14:15 for a new afternoon play on BBC Radio 4; ‘The Not Knowing‘ by Daniel Maier! A trip to the supermarket with her son Frank turns into Harriet’s worst nightmare when he goes missing. In a short period of time, things will resolve one way or another, but until then Harriet processes the consequences of Frank’s disappearance imagining near and far futures… how will her marriage be affected? Her daughter? Her own capacity for love? And is it better to find out the worst possible news about your child than never to know what happened to them?