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For The Love Of StoriesBig Finish produce fantastic full-cast audio dramas for CD and download.

The 8th of May is always Big Finish's saddest day. Five years ago today, Big Finish received the terrible news that Paul Spragg, the cheerful, much-loved person at the heart of the Big Finish production office, had died suddenly.

“It was one of the worst days of my life,” remembers executive producer Nicholas Briggs. “And in so many ways I believe I am still in shock at the loss. He was always full of such happiness and positivity.

“The tide of condolence emails Big Finish received in the numb days after Paul’s death showed just how treasured he was by friends and listeners alike – and continues to be.

“Paul often kept in touch with writers who'd email in, and a few years ago Ian Atkins came up with the idea that an excellent way to remember him would be to give these very people a chance to work with Big Finish.

“It's a great way of celebrating the memory of Paul and encouraging new talent, which Paul was always very keen to do.

“And so the Paul Spragg Memorial Short Trips Opportunity was created, giving new writers a chance to submit a story idea for a Doctor Who Short Trips adventure. Over the last three years we’ve read many wonderful original stories from new writers.”

The first winning story selected from over a thousand submissions was Forever Fallen by Joshua Wanisko. The finished production, narrated by Nick, can be listened to here as a free download.

The subsequent two winning stories Landbound by Selim Ulug and The Last Day at Work by Harry Draper are also excellent starting points to understand what kind of adventures we’re looking for.

Now in its fourth year, the Paul Spragg Short Trips Memorial Opportunity is open again from today until the end of June. The full list of Terms & Conditions can be found here, and should be read by anyone planning on sending a new story submission to us over the coming weeks.

Please note that we have made some updates to the Short Trips Memorial Opportunity this year.

As we receive so many wonderful ideas, we’d like to request that each writer submits only their best single story – multiple entries will unfortunately have to be disqualified.

Submissions can be set in the universe of Doctor Who in the Classic Series and the New Series i.e. at any time in the lives of the Doctor from his first incarnation up to and including his twelfth in Twice Upon a Time. The only exception to this is the War Doctor. Due to licensing agreements we cannot include the War Doctor in stories submitted for this opportunity, so please don’t use this character.

Here are some guidelines for the opportunity:

1. All entries must be submitted electronically either as Word-compatible documents or PDF pages, sent to Entries consist of two parts: a synopsis and an opening excerpt from the story.

2. The synopsis must be a single page (this tends to be approx 500 words).

3. The opening excerpt from the story should also be a single page (again, approx 500 words). This is to give a flavour of the writer's ability and intentions, which can change if the story is commissioned. See below for how to download some examples from previous years.

4. Both pages should be marked with the writer's name and a contact email address. The submission should not include any details of your background or previous writing experience – the submission should speak for itself.

5. The story may be set within any period of Doctor Who defined as running from the First Doctor up to the Twelfth Doctor before Twice Upon a Time. Please note this does not include the War Doctor who cannot be used in this opportunity.

6. No established monsters can be used, nor established Doctor Who characters (including those from the Worlds of Doctor Who; for example, UNIT, Jago & Litefoot, Counter-Measures, and so on). Television companions from the New Series (2005 onwards) cannot be used. However, classic series companions and companions created by Big Finish (such as Charlotte Pollard, Hex, Evelyn Smythe...) can be used. (Note: do not create a new companion for the Doctor in your story).

7. The story should not have been published anywhere before, nor should the entry have been submitted before.

8. The winner will be informed by the end of July, and will be officially contracted to deliver a 5,000 word Short Trips story. As with all Big Finish writers, they will be expected to agree and meet all conditions, especially with respect to meeting deadlines and accepting input from producers. For guidance purposes, it is expected a first-draft would be due early in the Autumn of 2019.

9. The BBC have the right to approve or veto the content of a selected story. Should there be unforeseen issues with the work, the writer will be invited to submit a new idea.

10. Please note that no correspondence can be entered into and the judges’ decision is final.

11. Entry is open only to people who have never written for Big Finish before.

12. For the 2019 Opportunity, any entrant can send one submission.

13. If you've never heard a Doctor Who - Short Trip before, it's recommended that you give one a listen to get a sense of how they sound and what can be done in the format. These are the stories previously published as part of the Paul Spragg Memorial Short Trip Opportunity:
2016: Doctor Who: Forever Fallen by Joshua Wanisko
2017: Doctor Who: Landbound by Selim Ulug
2018: Doctor Who: The Last Day at Work by Harry Draper

All these stories are available as free downloads and adding them to your account will also unlock downloads of Joshua, Selim and Harry’s initial entry submissions, along with copies of the final scripts, as bonus content.

14. Entry into this competition requires that you have read and accepted the full Terms and Conditions. By entering, you indicate that you have done so.

Submissions should be emailed to – formatted as per the guidelines – before 23:59 on 30th June 2019.

“I'm looking forward to reading some great new entries,” concludes Nick. “Good luck to you all!”

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