News & Events

Congratulations to the 2017 Sarah Awards Winners

We're excited to announce the winners of the 2017 Sarah Lawrence College International Audio Fiction Awards. Our inestimable judges waded through more than 200 from around the world and chose six as our finalists. They highlight the variety of radio dramas made this year from psychological thrillers to musicals to pieces that blend fact and fiction. Who won what will be announced at our 2017 Sarah Awards Ceremony at the Jerome L. Greene Space on Tuesday, March 28th. (tickets can be purchased below).  

The 2017 Sarah Awards Winners! (in alphabetical order)

"An Occurrence at B.E. Investments" by Andrew Wardlaw for Lamplight Radio Play podcast
In this modern update of “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge” by Ambrose Bierce, gunmen have entered the office building of B. E. Investments, and a woman fights to stay alive against impossible odds. Told through a collage of voices, sound effects, and music, "Occurrence" strives to be both intense and poignant.

Black and Blue: Two Radio Plays Exploring Race and Policing in America" by Judith Kampfner
of Corporation For Independent Media for BBC Radio 4
“Black and Blue” is a deliberate pairing of contrasting views of policing in black urban neighborhoods.  In “Hands Up,” six young, black male playwrights respond to the legacy of the 2014 shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson. The second radio drama, “String Music,” explores race and policing through the fictional story of a black teenager and a white cop struggling to balance hard realities in a crime-ridden part of Washington, DC, in 2001. Together, the plays present diverse perspectives on the realities and complexities of race in America today.

"Homecoming" by Eli Horowitz, Micah Bloomberg, and Mark Phillips of Gimlet Media
"Homecoming" is a six-episode series, centering on a caseworker at an experimental facility, her ambitious supervisor, and a soldier eager to rejoin civilian life — presented in an enigmatic collage of telephone calls, therapy sessions, and overheard conversations. Homecoming stars Catherine Keener, Oscar Isaac, and David Schwimmer.

"Randy's Mema Died" by Andrea Silenzi of Panoply's Why Oh Why Podcast
Randy and Andrea have been friends for years. But the friendship has been rocky. One night, he seems frantic to tell her something big about his life, so she invites him into the studio. When Randy shows up high on bennies, she has to decide how far she’ll go to help a friend who’s hurting.

"The Man in the Barn" by Jonathan Mitchell and Louis Kornfeld of Radiotopia's The Truth
A man wakes up in the barn of an elderly Irish couple with no memory or knowledge of who he is. Recorded on a farm in Kilfinane, County Limerick, Ireland, this story was commissioned by RTE Irish Public Radio, and produced in association with the HearSay International Audio Arts Festival.

"Wait Wait Don't Kill Me" by Dave Holstein and Alan Schmuckler with Wondery's Secrets, Crimes & Audiotape
"Wait Wait Don’t Kill Me" was the first-ever serialized podcast musical, inspired by the smash hit Serial and written by two This American Life superfans. While the podcast follows Sarah Koenig as she investigates the 1999 murder of high school senior Hae Min Lee, Wait Wait Don't Kill Me explores the controversial yet sadly unprovable thesis: What if Sarah did it? When Ira Glass begins to suspect Sarah’s involvement in Hae’s death, the two become locked in a collision course that satirizes our obsession with murder as entertainment and asks much larger questions about the American media.


Very, Very, Short, Short Stories Finalists (Part 1)

Serendipity Ep 17:

Very, Very, Short, Short Stories Finalists (Part 1)

In this episode of Serendipity, we play 5 of the 10 finalists for our 2016 Very, Very, Short, Short Stories Contest. Featuring: "Bitterly Cold" by David Garland, "The Staging Area" by Jason Gots, "Noir" by Pa Ying Vang, "#blessed" by Jackie Heltz, and "Blinking" by La Cosa Preziosa. Read More

Towards a Poetics of Audio: The Importance of Criticism


Towards a Poetics of Audio: The Importance of Criticism

It is an exciting time for audio. The tumultuous growth of podcasting and the concomitant development of digital channels, multiple platforms, and user-driven content has not only expanded and re-energized the form, but forced public radio to loosen its stays and let down its hair.Where once we might have talked of “the system” or “the industry,” we can now confidently say we are part of “a culture.” But—we are missing two important components of a vital culture: a critical language, and with it, a critical practice. The language should be expressly designed to describe our forms, tropes, and themes, but with reference to the larger culture and world of ideas. And the practice should be constant, robust, and open, with critical tools wielded to help us better understand our work, and ourselves, and to help our public to better understand us as artists. Read More

Getting On with James Urbaniak


Getting On with James Urbaniak

James Urbaniak is the kind of podcaster that other producers love to hate. His show, Getting On with James Urbaniak, consists of nothing but a single voice reading a fictional soliloquy, often written by someone else. There is almost no elaborate soundscaping, no intricate plot development, little evidence of endless editing sessions to get the thing just right. Getting On sounds like Urbaniak cruised into the studio, an iced latte in hand, and finished recording before his drink grew tepid. None of this would be infuriating if the podcast in question wasn’t so good. Read More