In 2017, the Austin Film Festival started its fiction podcast competition to much praise and excitement. Now, the Austin Film Festival is announcing their judges for the 2018 Film Festival:
In order to further expand their legacy of supporting storytellers,is pleased to announce a distinguished panel of judges for its returning Fiction Podcast Script Competition, which includes development heads and creators of successful fiction podcasts such as THE BRIGHT SESSIONS and TUMANBAY. They look forward to connecting audiences with incredible new stories, as well as continuing to connect writers with our incredible judges through a medium that offers unprecedented access to audiences and limitless opportunities to launch new stories.
- John Dryden, creator of the hit BBC podcast TUMANBAY and Peabody-winning writer/director of audio drama
- Jocelyn Gonzales, executive producer, STUDIO 360
- Lauren Shippen, writer/creator THE BRIGHT SESSIONS, Since its debut in November of 2015, the podcast has won numerous awards, and was named iTunes Best of 2016. Lauren was named one of Forbes 30 Under 30 in Media for 2018
- Tim Street, Vice President, Influence & Production, Authentic
- Chris Bannon, chief content officer for Stitcher and its growing network of original shows including hit podcasts HEAVEN’S GATE, KATIE COURIC, LEVAR BURTON READS and WOLVERINE: THE LONG NIGHT
The Austin Film Festival has also announced that Shippen and Street will take part in audio drama specific programming during the Austin Film Festival’s Writers Conference in October. According to the Austin Film Festival, “Programming will discuss the art of storytelling within an acoustic medium, as well as the address the nuts and bolts of creating a successful fiction podcast.” Programming will also include the creators of smash hit 36 Questions.
Submissions for the fiction podcast competition are currently open, currently set to close on July 6th, 2018. Entries are $30, but the winner gets a cash prize to produce their audio drama:
Not only is there a cash prize and our unmistakable typewriter statuette—five pounds of awesome you can carry around—but you win alongside legendary figures as part of our annual Awards ceremony. Last year, our winners received their awards next to Walter Hill, Kenneth Lonergan, and Kennen Ivory Wayans.
To enter the competition, your audio drama submission must meet the following criteria:
- The Austin Film Festival is looking specifically for scripts, not fully-produced episodes.
- The scripts must be submitted in English.
- The scripts must comprise 1-3 full episodes, no more than 90 total pages in length, submitted as one PDF.
Last year, one of my favorite audio dramas, The Amelia Project, was one of the finalists in the competition. The festival’s website cites this quote from The Amelia Project‘s Philip Thorne on his experience at the festival:
Fiction Podcasting is in an amazing place right now, and AFF’s new competition is an incredible opportunity for storytellers of all stripes…Having our script for The Amelia Project reach the finals, gave us that extra push we needed to launch our show. We learnt from some of the most innovative audio dramatists out there, workshopped our script and our pitch, and had BBQ and beers with likeminded and inspiring people who have now become good friends. I’m so thrilled Øystein and I submitted The Amelia Project to AFF. It’s opened doors for us, taught us a ton, and made us think big. I loved every minute of it.
For more information, be sure to check the Austin Film Festival website.