Jeez, That Was Hard Work!

Submitting work to some people becomes ever more complex. I’m used to sites which run submission procedures such as submittable instead of taking work via email, but the BBC goes one step further. First, read the guidelines. Inside the guidelines are more guidelines and more windows to open and when you’ve read those there are more layers of the onion to peel, more tabs to open, more terms and conditions and privacy guidelines to read, and when you’ve ticked all those you can start to submit. Oh wait, first you have to create an account. Sigh. OK, now I’ve done that so I fill in my logline (this is a radio play: the logline is like the one-line description which tells you what the play’s all about. I’ll tell you what my logline was in a minute.) Right, that’s done. Now the big moment: uploading the document. I make double sure I’ve selected the right one, and click on it. Nope, everything lights up in bright red. Problem? The document, it seems, is too big. No, hang on, they want a PDF. OK. I go back into the document, export it as a PDF, save it and try again. Nope, the box is outlined in red again like the eyes of a hungover alcoholic. What is it this time? you grunt between gritted teeth. It appears the document is too big. How can that be? They’ve asked for at least 30 pages of dialogue; how can I make it smaller? I ask OH who it seems like me got megabytes and kilobytes mixed up but anyway came and fiddled for a while to try to make it smaller. No dice. So I emailed the writersroom and got a reply saying that since megabytes were larger than kilobytes I should have no problem (one of these days I’ll get these into my head.) OK let’s try again. I just open the PDF to double-check but it’s not there, just the first page with all sorts of edity-type things around it like a decorative frill. Argh! I call OH again who helps me by saving (‘exporting’) it once more as a PDF to the desktop so I make absolutely sure to upload the right one. Fine. I go back to the submission page only to find it’s not there! Where has it gone? Fortunately after fiddling I get it back again and most of my information is still there. Phew. And – click on upload and – yes! Finally, success.

Blimey. That was really hard work. And these days you don’t even stand a chance of getting the play broadcast. What they want is to see an example of your work and if they like it they might choose you as a writer to ‘work with’. I doubt they will choose me but if you don’t try you’ll never know.

And the logline? The play is called ‘The Trans Woman’s Wife’ and the logline:

What is it like to discover after twenty years of marriage that your husband is not seeing another woman but is another woman?

Kirk out

4 thoughts on “Jeez, That Was Hard Work!

  1. You have my sympathy; ‘going online’ was meant to make life easier: some joke! I have to consciously work hard to check my default setting of cynicism, but it strikes me that, perhaps [or perhaps not?] as a result of a desire to cram as much into a website as possible, each page becomes like an intelligence test, trying to navigate around it, and don’t get me started about so-called “support” sites: they seem to be designed to be so difficult to navigate that they deter all but the most determined [or lucky] from finding the right option and, no, I don’t want to call the bloody helpline! Even the ‘chatbots’ have limited usability, as far as I can see. My website service provider, in addition to upgrading my ‘packages’ [which meant another learning curve] has also ‘upgraded’ its website, so that if I want to view an existing ‘ticket’ [when I’ve submitted a question about an ‘issue’ {problem}] I need to click on the ‘Raise new ticket’ option: how is that intuitive? Grrr! Cheers, Jon.

  2. Yes, it is sometimes tempting to wonder if it’s deliberate. i wouldn’t put it past the BBC to make it as hard as possible so only the dedicated actually get to hit ‘submit’

  3. The irony might be that the best play-writers struggle the most with such “jumping through hoops” as I call it… and fail to complete the process!

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