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?