Open Pitch participant Chrissy Payne talks about her audio project Memoirs of a Little 'Un and her experience of the Open Pitch programme.


When I started writing seriously four years ago, a very close friend with a mutual interest in writing, and who had work published over the years, said to me: “Of course writing is the pleasurable bit, it's trying to find anyone within the industry who is prepared to read it, that's the difficult bit.” This comment wasn't intended to 'put me off' but a reality check as to how tough it is.

The same friend bought for me The Writers Handbook, page upon page of publishers, some large some small, every genre imaginable and all saying the same thing: 'We do not accept unsolicited manuscripts.'

Without  the help of charity funded organisations such as New Perspectives, I think it's highly unlikely  to ever break into the industry, particularly as a novice writer.

Having been selected for Open Pitch has worked for me on so many levels. My work is at last read by the professionals, not just dismissed. Encouragement, I cannot exaggerate just how crucial this is. I'm aware of how my own confidence has grown and this is evident in my further work.

Entering a different World for the first time can be a scary proposition. Will they all speak in code? Will I understand the jargon? 

I have felt completely at ease from my very meeting with NP. Attending a workshop with multi award winning script writers William Ivory and Anita Sullivan was both informative and a fantastic opportunity to discuss ideas with professionals at the 'top of their game'.

Naturally the pinnacle of my Open Pitch experience has been the production for my audio series titled Memoirs Of A Little 'Un.

My aim for the series is to spirit you away to a decade that is frequently referred to as the 'swinging 60s’. Remembered largely as a period of great innovation, changing attitudes and monumental world events. My large extended family made up of Victorian grandparents, Edwardian aunts and uncles, and us young Elizabethans navigated our way through the sweeping changes and challenges of the times, more often than not with a hilarious outcome.

Change was slow in the little market town of Oakham where I was born and raised  the youngest of seven girls. Livestock frequently shared the high street with the school bus, shops closed on Thursday afternoons and everyone knew what film was going to be screened at the local 'flea pit' that week.

Memoirs of a Little 'Un isn't just a series of anecdotes. Each part is a self-contained story full of vivid imagery and wonderful characters that have left a marked impression on me and hopefully you too, the listener.

And yes, it will stir memories both happy and poignant for some listeners. And for others? Perhaps an introduction to the simple pleasures, being part of a community and most importantly the joy of shared experiences - that will remain with you always. 

I have been involved in the whole process from start to finish and I'm deeply moved by the very high standard and total professionalism New Perspectives have invested in my words. With their encouragement I am striving to take my writing career to the next level. 

I can't predict what the future holds in this highly competitive industry, but for me, any personal success will be due in large part to the support I've received from New Perspectives.