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503Studio: Writing Audio Drama

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503Studio Masterclass: Writing Audio Drama, Lou Ramsden

“But isn’t it harder to tell a story, if people can’t see what’s going on?” It’s a question I get asked often, if I tell people I write plays for radio.  But that lack of visuals, handled well, can become an audio drama’s profound strength. 

Audio dramas can really get inside people’s heads: by feeding directly into a listener’s imagination and getting them to provide the visuals, audio dramas can create stories that are incredibly powerful and memorable.   They can be intimate, thrilling, atmospheric, moving, creepy, or just downright gross.  And as a writer you can choose to take your audience to the surface of Mars, to the depth of the ocean, or to anywhere in history – and no one will ever tell you there isn’t the budget for it.

In this workshop, we’ll look at how to create audio dramas that engage audiences and stories in compelling ways.   We’ll listen to some examples of great recent radio plays and discuss what makes them work.  We’ll try some writing exercises to help you get ideas flowing for a great, ear-catching story and character.  And we’ll get practical too, discussing the commissioning process for mainstream radio, and exploring aspects of the production process that might affect writing.

Thanks to our Share The Drama scheme, we want to make sure those of you who are struggling in the current climate can still take part in our Writers Programme. While we prioritise anyone who is long term unemployed and/or claiming benefits, we’re also offering subsidies if you’re in financial difficulty as a result of the Covid-19 crisis.

To express interest in a bursary place through our Share The Drama scheme, please sign up here. If you would prefer to speak directly to a member of our team about your circumstance or to ask for more information about this scheme, please contact us.

If you have any access requirements, you can let us know here. If you would rather discuss any access requirements and how we can accommodate them prior to booking, please get in touch with us here.

Time: 7pm – 9.30pm

Running time of workshop: 2.5 hours – delivered online. Maximum class sizes are 14. A portion of spaces have been reserved for Share the Drama places.

To sign up for advanced booking for future iterations of the 503Studio: Writers Programme, please join the waiting list here.

Lou Ramsden has written extensively for BBC Radio 4. Her work includes several Afternoon Plays; three series of the popular drama TINSEL GIRL (created with Cherylee Houston); and an adaptation of the blog DOs and DON’TS FOR THE MENTALLY INTERESTING, which won a Mind Mental Health Media Award. She also writes for TV (RED ROCK, THE BEAKER GIRLS) and for Theatre – she’s had professional productions at Theatre503 (BREED) and Soho Theatre (HUNDREDS AND THOUSANDS). She’s been on attachment at the Royal Court, and the National Theatre. Her stage plays are published by Nick Hern Books, and several of her audio dramas are available on Audible, via Penguin Books, and on iPlayer.


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