Best Serialized Story (BSS)


The call for 2021 Best Serialized Story (BSS) entries & all 2021 Categories are now open. Ready to send in your work? Enter now.

Overview

Best Serialized Story (BSS) awards narrative audio stories told in multiple episodes, chapters, or installments. Editorially, each part must build on a larger narrative or concept, open to the interpretation of the creator(s). For example, a serialized work may explicitly build on what came before to build a cohesive and single narrative. In other examples, a serialized story may contain more disparate or conceptual parts that reflect a broader narrative or concept, like an anthology. We are looking for work meant to be told as a series.

Serialized stories come in a number of formats. This includes work created to be, in its entirety, a single serialized story (e.g. Lord of the Rings ). Also eligible are limited series or single seasons of ongoing shows (e.g. Season 5 of American Horror Story ). Also possible are mini-series or limited series created by ongoing shows whose format may not always be serialized (e.g. TK TK)

Eligibility Information

  • Length: Multiple episodes that, in combination, equal between 75 minutes and 15 hours.
  • Publication: All episodes must have been published between February 1, 2019 and May 11, 2021.
  • Format: Multiple audio files (one per episode). All advertisements or sponsorship segments must be removed from the audio files — this includes previews for upcoming episodes of this or other shows.
  • Language: There are no language requirements for this category. If you are entering work in a non-English language, you must provide a translated transcript.

Entry Fees

Entry Checklist

  • Audio files (mp3 preferred, WAV also accepted) with all ads removed
  • Total length of the series (Minutes:Seconds)
  • Link to a published version of the series
  • Full credits (host, producer, sound designer, editor, etc.)
  • Description/summary of the series
  • Transcript (optional for English-language series, required for non-English)

Best Serialized Story FAQ

How do I enter this category?

If your entry meets the eligibility requirements above, you may select “Best Serialized Story” on the entry form.

How do I know if my series is eligible for the Best Serialized Story category?

Ask yourself if the episodes in the series stand alone, and if they could be entered & judged separately even though they are on the same topic. If so, then the answer is no, and you should enter the strongest episodes or stories of your series into the Best Documentary category.

On the other hand, if your series is a single narrative, told over multiple parts, where each episode must be heard sequentially, then you should enter your series into the Best Serialized Story category. If you're still not sure, please write to us for clarification at competition@thirdcoastfestival.org.

Not all of my episodes have been published yet. Can I still enter?

As long as you meet the general eligibility requirements (the episodes will finish being released in May), then you may enter before all episodes have been published.

Can I enter my submission for Best Serialized Story (BSS) to be judged for other award categories as well?

Yes. If you are entering the Best Serialized Story category, your entry is automatically considered for Directors’ Choice. It may also be eligible for Best New Artist, Impact, Best Documentary in a Non-English Language. It is not eligible (in its entirety) for Best Documentary: Short or Best Documentary.
To be considered for another award category such as Best Documentary or Best News Feature, you may enter a single episode of your series (if it would make sense to a first-time listener as a standalone episode). You will need to enter this episode as a separate entry, fill out information for that episode separately and pay the associated entry fee. The episode will then be judged as a standalone piece under whatever award category you have selected.

Why is this category priced differently than the other categories?

Because it takes significantly more time to listen to and process each serialized story entered into the Competition, the entry fee is higher to cover administrative costs. If the cost is prohibitive to you, please contact us: competition@thirdcoastfestival.org

What is the prize for winning a Best Serialized Story award?

See the complete list of Prizes + Why Enter? including other reasons why you might consider entering our Competition.