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

The Paul Spragg Memorial Short Trip Opportunity honours the memory of the cheerful, much-loved person at the heart of the Big Finish production office, who passed away suddenly on 08 May 2014.  

We’re searching for an emerging talent who will write a Doctor Who short story, to be released as an audiobook at Christmas – and this year, the topic is “The Time War”. 

The competition runs from now until the end of June. 

Commemorating Paul 

Big Finish’s Executive Producer Nicholas Briggs said: “I was reminded by my friend Tom Spilsbury, who was Paul Spragg’s best friend, that it is now ten years since we lost our dear friend and colleague Paul. And to honour him, we celebrate the new talent he always fostered so warmly. 

“Paul was a one-off, and it feels very fitting that we will be celebrating his contribution by continuing the Paul Spragg Memorial Short Trip Opportunity.”   

The full list of terms and conditions are on the Big Finish website, alongside the guidelines below, so make sure you read and follow those if you plan to send in a new story submission.  

The Time War  

Range producer Peter Anghelides said: “This year, our competition’s theme is the Time War. And for the first time, we’re also allowing people to use the Daleks, if they wish. 

“We want to read your proposal for a standalone Short Trip with a brand-new idea about the Time War. It’s a unique opportunity to pitch a Short Trips story inspired by a subject at the heart of Big Finish’s Doctor Who range.  

“The important word here is inspired. We are not insisting that you must fit in with the events and continuity of Big Finish’s Time War ranges; you do not have to set your story on Gallifrey, and like some of our best Big Finish stories, you don’t have to include the Daleks.  

“But if you have a brilliant and novel way to use them, you can if you wish. The important thing to remember is that we want your proposal to wow us with its originality and inventiveness. So what fresh characters, adversaries, locations, concepts and perspectives can you devise for a compelling short story?” 

Helpful advice from previous winners  

You can get a feeling for what a successful competition entry looks like by checking out the previous winners. The recordings are all available as free downloads, along with the final script and the original winning submissions from each year. 

This year’s guidelines 

Here are the guidelines for the opportunity that accompany the Terms and Conditions:   

  1. All entries must be submitted electronically to, either as a Word-compatible document or a PDF document, formatted as per these guidelines, and received before 23:59 (UK time) on Friday 28 June 2024.  


  • Include the entrant’s full name and a contact email address only in the body of your email.  

  • Include your title (e.g. Attack of the Glurgs) in the Subject line. 

  • Don’t include any details of your background or previous writing experience – your submission should speak for itself. 

  • Attach your anonymised entry document to the email. 


  • The document must consist of two parts in a single document: a one-page synopsis of about 500 words, and a one-page excerpt from your story of a further 500 words (prose, not drama script). This is to give an indication of the writer’s ability and intentions, which can change if the story is commissioned. You can download examples from previous years from the Big Finish website.    

  • Name the attached file only with your story title (e.g. Attack of the Glurgs.PDF). 

  • Do NOT include personally identifying details in your document (for example, name or email address), or the entry will be disqualified. 

  1. Submissions should propose a short story inspired by the Time War and set at any time in the Doctor Who universe between An Unearthly Child and Twice Upon a Time


  • Any television Doctor from the First to the Twelfth (including the War Doctor), but we do not want multi-Doctor stories.  

  • TV series companions (excluding K9 and UNIT soldiers), and companions created by Big Finish (such as Charlotte Pollard, Hex, Evelyn Smythe, Naomi Cross, etc.). 

  • Characters created by Big Finish specifically for our Time War ranges (e.g. Veklin, Layla Bridge, Ollistra). 

  • The Daleks. 


  • Create a new companion for the Doctor. 

  • Use any other established creatures (e.g. Cybermen, Judoon, Sensorites, etc.) or established characters (e.g. the Master, the Rani, Bret Vyon, the Sisterhood of Karn, etc.) or those from The Worlds of Doctor Who such as UNIT, Jago & Litefoot, Counter-Measures, etc. 

  • Base any fictional characters in the production upon any real individual, living or dead; nor include any real individual, living or dead, as a character in your story. 

  1. If you've never heard a Doctor Who – Short Trips story before, we recommend that you listen to some previous winners, to get a sense of how they sound and what can be done in the format. Each of these stories is available as a free download, and adding them to your account will also unlock downloads of the original winning submissions, along with copies of the final scripts, as bonus content.   

  1. The competition is to identify talent, enthusiasm, and ability to write to a specification – so everything you need to know is in these guidelines and the terms and conditions. Please note that no correspondence can be entered into, either during the entry period or afterwards, and the judges’ decision is final.  

  1. 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. 

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