Radio Race

KCRW's 10th Annual 24-Hour Radio Race

CHeck out the latest
2022 winners HERE!

Calling All Radio and Podcast Makers and Storytellers of all kinds – Mark Your Calendars! Whether you’re a pro or a newbie, there is a place for you in KCRW’s 24-Hour Radio Race. On Saturday, November 12th the race will begin and it’s this simple:

  • The task: You make a non-fiction radio story of 4-minutes or less.
  • On Saturday, November 12th at 10 AM PST we will give you a theme to base your audio piece on.
  • You spend the next 24 hours (solo or with a team) brainstorming, interviewing, recording, producing, and editing your piece.
  • On Sunday, November 13th by 10 AM PST, you submit it to us.
  • Then hold on tight while our team of pro ears listens and picks our faves! Winners will be heard on KCRW! Also, check out our other great prizes – keep scrolling!

SIGN UP HERE! Registration closes at 5 PM PST November 11th.

Need inspiration?

Prizes & Awards

1st Place Winner

2nd Place Winner

3rd Place Winner

10 Finalists

  • Featured on
  • One-year KCRW Membership for each team member
  • Consideration for placement on PRX Remix

The L.A. Award

Best radio story with a strong sense of Los Angeles!

  • $100 contract to air on KCRW’s Greater LA , chosen by the GLA Team of producers. 
  • Featured on
  • One-year KCRW Membership for each team member
  • Consideration for placement on PRX Remix 

The Newbie Award

Best piece from a team of first-time audio producers!

  • Featured on
  • One-year KCRW Membership for each team member
  • Consideration for placement on PRX Remix 

The Social Butterfly Award

Keep us posted on your journey via social by using #RadioRace and tagging @KCRW. This award goes to the team with the most compelling social engagement throughout the race.

  • $100 cash prize
  • KCRW swag & one-year KCRW Membership for each team member

ALL Participants who COMPLETE the race will get a free one-year KCRW Membership.


Mark Ramsey

Audio storyteller and maker of great podcasts

Scott Newman 

Multimedia Artist and Entrepreneur. He founded work x work to satisfy the needs of brands to express themselves through true storytelling. His approach is grounded in fifteen years’ experience building brands, and crafting successful cross-platform marketing campaigns. 

Ernesto Aguilar

Director of Radio Programming at KQED. His career has traversed daily newspapers and alternative weeklies to public radio news and program director roles. He joins KQED after serving as Executive Director of the National Federation of Community Broadcasters, where he served stations nationwide for five years. 

Vanessa de la Torre

Executive Editor of the New England News Collaborative, a regional hub of nine public media stations producing news and in-depth storytelling throughout New England.

Maxie Jackson

Executive Director 88Nine Radio Milwaukee - Eclectic and Urban Alternative music and cultural platform. He is a multimedia professional with over three decades of management, content, and audience development experience in radio, television, digital and live events, Jackson most recently served as the Chief Content Officer for New England Public Media (NEPM)

Keisha A. Salmon

Executive Director at Association of Independents in Radio (AIR), a 1500+ membership organization of independent radio and podcast producers, editors, engineers, and reporters. Keisha has a long history of working for equitable access to power, with over 15 years of experience developing high-impact programs that protect and amplify the voices of emerging creators, established media makers, and authentic storytellers. 


How does registration work?

You will register your team through Eventbrite (only one registration needed per team). You will receive a confirmation email from us with an outline of what to expect and who to contact with any questions.

What is a “Team”?

A team can be you solo, you and a friend, or you and many friends, as long as you are collaboratively working on a single piece that will be submitted under a single entry. Each team should register only once. You should deputize one team member to register, but don’t worry – we will collect your team name and each member’s contact info later in the process. 

What types of things do judges look for when choosing a winner?

Content that is compelling, flow, use of sound, editing, originality/creativity, effective use of theme & time.

What resources would you recommend for tips, tricks and good advice?

Podcaster Toolbox (Podcast Garage / PRX)

A Ridiculous Amount of Podcast Resources (Medium)

AIR's Audio-Centric and Multimedia Resource Community 

What are the requirements for my audio submission?

Each submission should:

  • reflect the theme you are given at 10 AM PT on 11/12.
  • be nonfiction and based on real events.
  • be produced, recorded, and edited within the 24 hours of the race.
  • be 4 minutes or less (over 4-min will be disqualified / no minimum time requirement)
  • include the following credits at the end: "This piece was produced by [team name] as part of KCRW’s 24-Hour Radio Race" This must be INCLUDED in your 4 minutes total running time.
  • be received by 10 AM PT on 11/13 (10:01 AM – you’re disqualified).
  • be uploaded and submitted via Soundcloud link.
  • Being FCC-compliant is not a requirement to participate or win, but we would need to edit or “bleep” anything on-air that falls outside of FCC guidelines (Consider how that might affect the flow of your piece, should you win on-air broadcast).

What are the rules for using music?

If you didn’t write it and/or don't have permission to use it, you shouldn’t use it – but there are ways to find music for your piece out there (Creative Commons, Royalty Free, Public Domain). Check out this article.

PS – if you're in a public place that has music in the background, that's OK! You can use the sounds of your environment. 

Can I use pre-existing or archival recordings?

This piece must be produced, recorded, and edited within the 24-hour time frame. You may be tempted to use something you created previously because it fits the theme, but this isn’t the forum for that. The Radio Race is meant to be spontaneous and challenging. Allow yourself to be challenged and seize the day! That being said, archival recording is permitted within your piece, if it is necessary to tell your story.

What exactly is considered an archival recording?

Let's say you are interviewing a widowed grandparent as the centerpiece of your story. Let's say you also happen to have a tape of your grandparents talking when they were both alive. You could use a small piece of that older conversation as supporting material for the larger story you're telling in the present day. But the whole Radio Race piece can't be extracted from that old conversation and it should only be a small element of the story and not used as a plot device. 

Can I do this from home?

You don't always have to physically be somewhere to get good tape. Consider phone calls, audio diaries and tape syncs. Find noisy things in your home or around your neighborhood — and look for moments and active tape, because it’s all around you. Check out these tips on getting good tape from home.

As a newbie with no professional equipment, what resources do I have to participate? 

Today’s smartphones have great microphones and there are tons of apps that help make podcasting super easy. Also, check out how you can edit a podcast with Descript. And you can get a free trial!

How do I submit my audio piece?

You will upload your finished audio piece to Soundcloud. You will have received a form from us to submit your team name, team members’ contact info, and the Soundcloud link to your finished piece. You will send us that form no later than 10 AM on Sunday, November 13th. Late entries will not be accepted.

Where do I go with additional questions?

Email us at

A big big thanks to our awesome partners!

Apogee-Logo-Radio-Race      PRX-Logo-Radio-Race     Air-Logo-Radio-Race      Descript-Logo-Radio-Race

About Apogee:
Makers of the best professional audio devices in the world. Products that deliver ultimate sound quality, inspiring simplicity and incredible value. Continuing to innovate and challenge old paradigms with new solutions that advance audio recording and elevate creativity.

About PRX:
PRX is shaping the future of audio by building technology, training talented producers and connecting them with supportive listeners

About AIR:
AIR (Association of Independents in Radio) provides training, resources and support to a global community of audio industry professionals integral to public media, journalism, podcasting and narrative storytelling."

About Descript:
Descript saves podcast creators from the technical drudgery of audio and video editing — so they can focus on making great content.