Radio Race

KCRW's 9th Annual 24-Hour Radio Race


Calling All Radio and Podcast Makers – 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 13th 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 13th at 10 AM PDT 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 14th by 10 AM PDT, 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 PDT November 12th.

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.


Scott-Newman-Radio-Race Scott Newman - Founder & Creative Director, work x work & On-Air Fest 

Julie-Shapiro-Radio-Race Julie Shapiro - Executive Producer, Radiotopia / PRX & Ear Hustle

Nick-Quah-Radio-Race Nick Quah - Podcast Critic, Vulture / New York Magazine

Sean-Rameswaram-Radio-Race Sean Rameswaram - Host of Today, Explained / VOX

Sam-Sanders-Radio-Race Sam Sanders - It’s Been A Minute with Sam Sanders / NPR

Kitchen-Sisters-Radio-Race The Kitchen Sisters (Davia Nelson & Nikki Silva) - The Kitchen Sisters Present… / Radiotopia


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)

What are the requirements for my audio submission?

Each submission should:

  • reflect the theme you are given at 10 AM PT on 11/13.
  • 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 11/14 (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. 

How do I make radio while social distancing?

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 (wear a mask!) — 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 14th. 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