Guidelines for Open Submissions
Guidelines for writers’ submissions to Sunday Miscellany, RTÉ Radio 1
Sunday Miscellany, now in its fifth decade on the air, runs throughout the year for about 45 minutes every Sunday morning at 9.10am on RTÉ Radio 1.
The programme presents a range of short essays and occasional poems, interspersed with complementary music, which is chosen by the producer.
The majority of the scripts heard on the programme have been selected from open submission, with some commissions.
If a script is being considered for broadcast, unless in exceptional circumstances, we request that the writer come into studio to record their own work.
General guidelines for submissions:
We accept original, unpublished essays, from new and established writers alike, on a wide range of subjects. Memory, or personal memoir, is a common theme, but we are also interested in reflections on contemporary events and ideas; essays with a historical, or geographic, literary or philosophical theme; comic essays; travel pieces, and more.
By "unpublished" we mean in any format, including online.
We also accept poems, which, again, should be unpublished, and self-contained (we prefer poems not to be part of a longer series), and of about a minute long.
Essays should be 700 to 800 words long.
Please note, we do not include fiction in the programme.
Submissions by email to email@example.com are preferred, but you can also send your submission by hard copy.
If submitting by post: the script should be typed, doubled spaced on A4 pages, on one side only.
- One copy only of scripts to be sent. –
Pages should be numbered and each page should end with a full stop. –
The author’s name and contact details, including phone number as well as email, should be included at the end of each page of the script with the word count on the final page.
If submitting by email: format as above, and please send the file in an attached Word document, or equivalent, making sure to include the word count at the end.
Please include your contact details on the actual pages of the submitted essay or poem: phone number as well as email.
Other points that may be useful:
It’s important that the script be written with the radio listener in mind. Aim for clear, conversational language, even if the ideas are complex. If some name or detail is critical to the story, it often needs to go in twice – the listener can’t glance up the page to see what they’ve missed. The listener has only your voice to guide them through your essay; do they know where they are at all points, or did you skip over something too quickly, losing them?
It’s good to practise reading your essay aloud. Are you tripping over words in places? Have you punctuated it in such a way it’s easy to know where to breathe, or are you running out of breath with some sentences? If so, rewrite those bits.
Essays which fit the word count, more or less, without a sense of strain, are welcome. If you send something in that is far over or under the word count, it’s less likely to be selected for the programme, for practical reasons.
Suggestions for music are always welcome, but in most cases it’s preferable if a script isn’t written in such a way that it can only logically be followed by one specific piece of music – where possible, it’s better to have options on that front.
As mentioned above, scripts must be the original work of the author and must not have been previously broadcast or published in any other format, including online.
If a contributor’s material is accepted for the programme and is broadcast, that recording becomes the outright property of RTÉ and can be included in podcasts and other repeat broadcasts on the decision of RTÉ without further payment being made to the contributor.
A once-off payment is made to contributors for scripts broadcast on the programme.
Scripts received will be acknowledged shortly after they have reached the programme.
Submitted scripts will not be returned.
All scripts not yet broadcast will be kept on file for six months after they have been received by the programme.
Submissions and queries should be sent to: Sarah Binchy, the producer, Sunday Miscellany, RTÉ Radio One, RTÉ Radio Centre Donnybrook, Dublin 4 or to:
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