TRIBUTE PODCAST SERIES 2 : ‘LOVE – FIRST CONNECTION’
Hi There and Happy New Year,
If you’ve been reading these newsletters for some time, you may know about the series of podcasts I put out a couple of years ago – 13 dramatic monologues about death.
I’ve finally got around to planning the 2nd series and I’ve decided to go in a different direction this time – LOVE rather than DEATH!
SO – here is an invitation to all of you dramatic writers out there – I am looking for 10 x approximately 10-minute (approx 2000 words max) audio dramatic monologues under the umbrella title LOVE – FIRST CONNECTION.
DEADLINE for entries: March 17th 2019. Please email the scripts as PDF attachments to – firstname.lastname@example.org
This starting point, the ‘first connection’ could be the whole story OR it could be just the catalyst to a story about a much longer relationship.
This could be the positive start of something that turns into something far less positive. Or it could be the very unpromising start of a long, deep, rich relationship. And the nature of the relationships could cover anything from lovers, siblings, parent and child, husband and wife, work colleagues, etc etc.
I’m looking for as much variety and diversity as possible in these stories – in terms of sexuality, age, gender, class, region, nationality, race, wealth etc etc.
And as much variety as possible in the range of stories told – highly unlikely combinations, stories that tackle taboos, but also some straightforwardly beautiful love stories.
Some thoughts about what makes (in my opinion) good dramatic monologues –
You need to think about the perspective of the person delivering the monologue. What is their perspective on the story they’re telling? What is their involvement? What attitude / agenda do they bring to the story they’re telling? What defines their distinctive voice and attitude?
What is the time structure of your story? Is this all told in one block? Or is this a story told over several different scenes and several different timeframes? (In this way you can helpfully keep much of the story alive in the present.)
Monologues aren’t easy. It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that all the normal principles of dramatic story-telling don’t apply. But they do! There needs to be a particular and interesting relationship between the narrator and the story they’re telling. Often the ones that don’t quite work are where the POV of the narrator is too neutral and so the exposition is too straightforward and uninflected. We have to get an understanding of, and ask questions about, why the narrator is telling this story. And there needs to be a strong sense of the narrator living in the moment of the scene – rather than just relaying information.
The narrator shouldn’t necessarily be armed with all the information they need / want.
Monologues often work well if you break them up and tell a story over a period of time. Think about the chronology / time sequence of your story.
It’s important that you find a way to give the story and character distinctive lives of their own.
And it’s great if you can be surprising. The umbrella title offers a pretty broad brief – so it’s great if your script can approach the subject in odd, inventive and unexpected ways. I hope you enjoy the challenge. I’m very excited to read your scripts. And if you do submit one – THANK YOU!
As I say, I’m looking to find about 10 of these monologue scripts. Once I have them, I will start planning how to produce them. At this point I can’t guarantee that there will be any money in this project for the writers (or actors) – although I will work hard to see if I can secure some funding – but what I hope I can guarantee is some very useful exposure for the writers whose scripts I choose, and an enjoyable, fulfilling creative journey.
Here are some words from some of the writers who wrote the original TRIBUTE PODCASTS, which I hope will encourage you to want to submit a script for this 2nd series –
‘I so nearly didn’t send in my entry for the Tribute project. I was struggling with confidence, and I convinced myself that what I had written was not what was being asked for. The experience proved to be just so positive, in every way, from Phil’s perceptive and sensitive script editing to the experience in studio (and with the wonderful Sarah Thom, who brought it to life) and then hearing the range and emotional depth of the other pieces. I am so glad I overcame that self-doubt and submitted my piece, which now sits amidst some extraordinary writing, and I feel really honoured to have been included.’
‘Tribute was fun! A great chance to work on a project with super talented actors and Phil, of course, and see it produced in rapid time. It can be really tough working on long form projects which take an age (if ever) to see the light of day, so Tribute was a real highlight for me and I’d definitely recommend other writers to get involved.’
‘It was a surprise and a major boost to be selected for the first series, particularly when I heard the other pieces of work. They were brilliant! (Listen if you haven’t already!). It also gave me a much-needed broadcast credit and a way back in to get the conversation started again with people who have liked my work in the past. I think it’s most definitely contributed to interest in my work and certainly opened a few doors.’
‘Having my monologue selected for the Tribute Podcast series came at a time when I was just beginning to doubt my writing ability and boosted my confidence immediately. Seeing the production process from beginning to end was simply a fantastic and valuable experience, giving me a great insight into the collaborative aspect of the creative process. Being part of Tribute knitted me into a wider writing network, helping me to make new friends and strengthening my ties in the industry. It was just fantastic to be involved in.’
‘I’d thoroughly recommend submitting for the next series of TRIBUTE PODCASTS. I loved it. Phil’s generosity in the way he works meant I felt really valued as a writer and learned a lot, from editing to a deadline, through being in the studio hearing an amazing actor bring my words to life, to the demands of post-production and publicity – and I got to know some awesome people too. Phil put together a brilliant team and a cracking project and I’m very proud to be a part of it’.
‘I was a first-time writer on the first series. To have your work expertly edited by someone with a sensitive ear and clear eye is one thing but to then follow the process through to the performing, recording and production of the piece was an exceptional experience. As you can hear, the actors were all excellent and if you haven’t heard your work performed by a first class actor then you are missing half the fun!’
‘My experience of writing and being involved in the recording of Tribute was wonderful from start to finish. My piece was adapted from the eulogy I wrote for my mother who had died only a year before and as such it could have been quite a raw and difficult process, but as ever Phil’s notes on the first draft were helpful and courteously conveyed and the emotional recording was brilliantly handled by himself and Will Mount. Phil is very good at connecting people with each other and building communities. He gathered together a very jolly family of Tributers and there were two or three great pub socials. From the subject of death he created something full of life and joy.’
‘I was very proud to be part of the first series of Tribute. The podcasts were professionally produced with some very talented actors and I enjoyed being part of the community responsible for bringing them to life. As a writer, whenever you see or hear your work you learn something about it that you can’t get just reading the words on the page, and you also of course have the chance to have other people hear and respond to it. I would recommend writers submitting for series two.’
‘From working on the script with top-notch collaborators, to being present at the recording with a terrific actor, the process of bringing the TRIBUTE PODCAST to life was an absolute pleasure. Without doubt, the most fulfilling part is being one of thirteen tributes written by and performed by a talented bunch of writers and performers. I am proud to be part of series one, which is a kaleidoscopic collection of fictionalised eulogies. I cannot wait to listen to the next series. I might be biased, but I think there is little else like it.’
I would also like to point you in the direction of a series of interviews by one of the TRIBUTE writers, Robin Bell, with the other 12 writers about each of the scripts. I think these interviews are really good reads (especially if you’ve listened to the monologues under discussion) and will tell you more about the writing process – and what the writers all got out of this process.
The next newsletter will be on Friday Jan 25th,
All the best
Jan 11th 2019