KCRW’s 7th Annual Radio Race hits the airwaves

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The annual on-air presentation of KCRW’s Radio Race shares the five winning pieces, including an Honorable Mention and a special award for women or non-binary producers. Participants of the Radio Race have 24 hours to produce a completely original audio piece that fits with the theme.

This year’s theme was “Where the Sun Don’t Shine.” There were 165 submissions this year, the most ever, and the winners were selected for their craftsmanship, creativity, and incorporation of the theme. Podcast host Bob Carlson guides us through the five winners, and shares some anecdotes from the producers about what they went through to make their pieces. 

Please be advised that the audio stories contain sensitive or graphic content and some explicit language.

First place

Team: Megan Tan 

Prize: $1000 plus perks from our sponsors 

Megan Tan introduces us to Kim, a vibrant woman practicing Nichiren Buddhism in Brooklyn. Kim’s candid storytelling coupled with Megan’s strong writing and producing won judges over in this four minute narrative. 

Second place

Team: sad abumrad :(

Prize: $500 plus perks from our sponsors 

Becca DeGregorio and Sophie Bridges interweave two women's individual stories of their tumultuous relationships with menstrual cups. The use of sound design wonderfully accentuates these expressive characters and their graphic accounts of womanhood. 

Third Place


Prize: $300 plus perks from our sponsors 

Roommates Neena Pathak and Schuyler Swenson recount the night Schuyler was mugged. As the piece progresses, we’re comforted by their friendship as they walk to their neighborhood bodega in search of snacks. Major props to these producers for their creative use of sounds and scenes. 

Honorable Mention 

Team: Foggy Freelance Formation

Prize: KCRW swag 

This was a powerful first person story with original sound design from producers Emily Shaw, Chelsea Kigano, Lily Sloane and Lilia Vega. It scored high with our industry judges but didn’t quite make the top three. Because it was such a close call, we’re giving it an honorable mention. 

Werk It Award 

Team: The Void 

Prize: Complementary Two Day General Admission passes to attend Werk It.

This year’s Werk It Award goes to producers Sarah Dealy and Jamie Billings. Their non-narrated feature incorporated the theme — Where The Sun Don’t Shine — in a smart and empathetic way. It features a nurse who’s open about the vulnerabilities surrounding the night shift. 

Nocturne Award 

Team: Matt Livadary

Prize: Broadcast on Nocturne’s podcast feed in September. 

Last year’s Radio Race winner, Matt Livadary, is back with this vulnerable piece about his experience with a not-so-glamorous infection. The sound design was unparalleled, which made  it the right fit for Nocturne. 

Social Butterfly Award  

Team: Boyle Heights Beat 

Prize: $100 plus KCRW swag

These student producers stepped up to the plate as they documented the Radio Race on Twitter every step of the way. In the end, they created an audio story about the haunted history of Boyle Heights.

**Disclaimer: KCRW works with the BHB in other capacities. This decision was made independently of any existing relationship.

The top three winners will receive cash prizes and KCRW swag, plus a one-year memberships from the Association of Independents in Radio (AIR) and Public Radio Exchange (PRX). Otter.ai will offer an annual Team subscription to the first place winner and three months to second and third place teams. All Radio Race winners and finalists will be considered for air on PRX Remix, PRX's XM station and radio show.

Everyone who participated and completed a piece in this year's Race will receive a KCRW membership. 

Click here to listen to our official Radio Race playlist with all 165 submissions.



Bob Carlson