KCRW’s 6th Annual 24-hour Radio Race winners

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The wait is over. We’re proud to announce the winners of KCRW’s 6th annual 24-hour Radio Race.

When we released this year’s theme, The New Normal, we encouraged the 250 teams from around the world to interpret it in whatever way felt most relevant to them. The stories were heartfelt, funny, enlightening, weird and, at times, very personal.

Thanks to the independent producers who gave it their all. We were truly impressed by your work.

After announcing the top ten finalists last week, KCRW sent that batch of submissions over to a panel of audio industry judges: Vanessa Lowe, host of Nocturne, Jenna Weiss-Berman, co-founder of Pineapple Street Media, Sam Sanders, host of NPR’s It’s Been a Minute with Sam Sanders, Kathy Tu, host of WNYC’s Nancy and Madeleine Brand, host of KCRW’s Press Play.

The pieces were judged on creativity, storytelling, technical skill and incorporation of the theme: The New Normal. The winners will all receive cash prizes, plus one-year memberships from the Association of Independents in Radio (AIR) and Public Radio Exchange (PRX). The pieces will air on KCRW at 2 p.m. September 21. You can stream the special program online at kcrw.com.

First place

Team: Arroyo Parkway Productions
Prize: $1000

Matt Livadary won us over with this beautiful tribute to his father, Paul, who has Alzheimer’s.

Matt’s about to get married but he needs something from his dad beforehand. So he drops by and records the whole encounter. Not only is this story deeply personal, but it also sheds light on what it’s like to be a part of the growing sandwich generation.

Second place

Team: Larj Media
Prize: $500

Tina Nole, Sarah Leibovitz, and Carly Cassella of Larj Media said they struggled with several different story options. But after a long walk, they decided on a character-driven story. In the end, they created a moving piece on the impact of school shootings.

Third place

Team: A Team
Prize: $300

Take ’em or leave ’em, but dick pics are here to stay. In this innovative piece, A Team interviews Sarey Ruden, who founded the Unsolicited Dick Pic Project.

Social Butterfly Award

Team: Sleepless in Seattle
Prize: $100

Team Sleepless In Seattle set the social media bar high out of the gate this year. Just watch this super dramatic trailer video that they released within moments of the competition getting started. And then at 2 a.m. when most people were losing steam, they offered up tarot readings to fellow #RadioRace-rs on Twitter.

This team wasn’t only creative online. As you listen to their piece, you’ll notice they brought that same inventive energy to their audio.

Bodies Award finalists

This year, we have a new prize: The Bodies Award. Each of these three finalists tackle a different question about the human body.

All three of the pieces will be included on the KCRW podcast Bodies Wednesday, September 19. Listen to the special episode for commentary from host Allison Behringer and for the announcement of the official Bodies Award winner.

Team: Spork

Is there a social contract women must abide by to prove they’re aren’t getting older? Team Spork explores that question in this funny piece of audio.

Team: The Big Swing

Team The Big Swing captures what it’s like to be a young girl wearing a hearing aid for the first time through first-person narrative and fun sounds.

Team: Words Out Loud

Together, Lucy McDonald and her partner Daniel Higgott created this piece. It’s an intimate depiction of their own experience dealing with fertility treatment.

Thank you to our sponsors who helped make this year’s Radio Race happen: the Association of Independents in Radio (AIR), Public Radio Exchange (PRX) and our official AI Transcription partner Trint.

Listen to the top 10 finalists here.

Listen to all 150 submissions here.