Paul Spragg, the Big Finish podcast co-host, producer’s assistant and all-around good egg, sadly passed away on May 8th, 2014. In his honour, the chaps at Big Finish are running their annual short story competition to encourage new writing talent in the same way Paul did.
Paul joined the company in 2009 and became an integral part of the Big Finish family, proving himself a man of many talents: handling script distribution, managing the website, dealing with contracts, designing cover layouts and putting his time and energy towards keeping all manner of things at Big Finish ticking along smoothly. As well as running ‘The Paul Spragg Memorial Short Trip Competition’ annually, the team have also set up a fundraiser for the British Heart Foundation in Paul’s name. The campaign has raised over £6000 for the BHF and you can donate by going to their JustGiving page.
At Paul’s funeral, Big Finish Executive Producer Nicholas Briggs said of his friend, “Paul Spragg was a very funny man and he made me laugh a lot. He was so kind and considerate. I don’t remember him ever having a bad word to say about anyone…Not even about people who frankly deserved bad things said about them.”
To celebrate Paul’s life, Big Finish is again holding ‘The Paul Spragg Memorial Short Trip Competition’ in which one story from a writer new to the world of Big Finish will be contracted to develop a story for their ‘Short Trips’ series.
Big Finish’s ‘Short Trips’ pack a complete Doctor Who adventure into a short piece of prose, usually read by a cast member. Over the years, it’s been a great way to expand the story of those Doctors whose actors are no longer with us. The winning story will be read by Nicholas Briggs and released as a free download on the Big Finish website at the end of the year.
Ian Atkins, the producer of ‘Short Trips’ and judge of the competition, said, “We’ve already had a huge amount of entries, which I know Paul would have been delighted by, but there’s still plenty of time…to get that cracking new tale onto paper!”
Those wishing to pitch their story to Big Finish must do so by midnight (UK time) on June 30th, 2016 with a one-page synopsis along with a page of text from the story to firstname.lastname@example.org. Your story can only feature classic-era Doctors (First to Eighth; pre-‘Night of the Doctor’) and may not use any established monsters. So your fanfiction of the Eleventh Doctor battling the Jagaroth will need some reworking. The full set of rules can be found here.