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August 19TH
Radio Race HeroRadio Race Hero
Register Now

Ready, Set, Go!

  1. Create your team.
  2. Get the theme.
  3. Make radio!
  4. Submit your piece.
  5. Celebrate!


KCRW’s 5th Annual 24-hour Radio Race is open for registration! This year’s race is August 19 - August 20. It’s a whirlwind day of high-stakes radio making for producers of any experience level. You will have 24 HOURS to write, record, and edit a nonfiction radio story.

Winners will get the opportunity to have your piece featured on KCRW’s “UnFictional,” but the Radio Race is more than a just a zany competition: it’s an opportunity to produce the most original, the most moving, the most inventive, the most unexpected piece of “instant radio” anyone will hear in 2017.

Whether you’re a seasoned news producer, a scrappy freelancer, an experimental sound artist, or just want to try radio for the first time, there’s room for you. You can join as an individual or as a team of your own devising.

Here’s how it works: Sign up now to register for the race. Then on August 19 at 10 am PT, we’ll email you the theme and you’ll be on your way! You’ll have until 10 am PT Sunday to complete your piece and upload it to Soundcloud.

You can participate from anywhere in the world, but if you happen to be in LA or Boston, you'll have a chance to meet and work alongside other Radio Racers! If you're in LA, KCRW will have a home base at Village Workspaces on Olympic Blvd. The PRX Podcast Garage, Boston's first community podcast studio, will be open to participants for the full 24 hours of the Radio Race. Come in to record in their state-of-the-art recording studio or take their audio field kit for a spin. Find out more and RSVP here.


  1. What is a “team?”

    A team can be you, or you and a friend, or you and five friends. As long as you are collaboratively working on a single piece which you will submit under a single entry, the team can be as large or as small as you’d like.

  2. Does each person on the team have to register individually?

    Nope! You should deputize one person to register … BUT we will ask for contact info for each team member, just in case your team takes home a prize.

  3. I want to use music in my piece. How does that work?

    The most basic rule of thumb is: If you didn’t write it (or can’t work out a legit direct agreement with the composer), you shouldn’t use it. This includes “Creative Commons” stuff that you haven’t directly licensed. We understand the ache of finding that perfectly synergistic popular song, but we need to keep this clean and simple for the benefit of humanity.

  4. Can I use pre-existing tape of any kind?

    The piece must be produced, recorded and edited within the 24-hour time frame. Sometimes the stars align and the theme will perfectly mirror some brilliant piece you’ve been sitting on for (months / years), but this isn’t the forum for that. The Radio Race is about invention and ingenuity, and we want you to maximize both!

  5. Will you be available to answer any emergency questions during the Race?

    Yes! Operators will be standing by on Twitter and Facebook for the duration of the Race. Feel free to ping us with any special considerations or unforeseen circumstances (after you read the FAQ and the registration page, of course).

  6. What will I win?

    The top 3 winners will be aired on KCRW and receive cash prizes. There are also 3 special prizes: the Unfictional award, The Social Butterfly award and an award from Werk It!. To register or get more details, including rules and prize information, go here.

Have questions? Reach us at IPP@kcrw.org. And be sure to sign up for the Independent Producer Project newsletter for updates here.

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