Virtual Awards Ceremony: December 12, 2021!

Join us for a virtual, worldwide Awards Ceremony, featuring the winners of the 2021 TC/RHDF Competition!

*For updates on the 2021 Competition, plus more from Third Coast, make sure you’re signed up for our bi-weekly-ish Producer News.

Overview of the 2021 TC/RHDF Competition

The Third Coast/RHDF Competition awards the best narrative audio work produced worldwide — across borders and languages — and seeks to challenge barriers to entry in the industry and to Third Coast itself. We aim to capture a snapshot of the audio landscape in 2021, while igniting a future of possibility, evolution, and increased equity in the field of narrative audio storytelling.


The deadlines & announcement timelines for 2021 are as follows:

  • Early Deadline (Early Bird Rates): Thursday, April 1st at midnight CT
  • Final Deadline (Regular Rates): Tuesday, May 18 at midnight CT
  • Winners Notified & Announced: Fall 2021
  • Awards Ceremony: Fall 2021

2021 priorities & updates

Every year we update our Call for Entries and the Competition itself. In 2020, in honor of the 20th year of the Competition, we made a number of significant updates to the Competition, including new categories, broadened eligibility requirements, and a commitment to making our Call For Entries truly global. This year, we are focused on:

  • Honoring 11 winning stories in nine categories with distinctions including industry-wide recognition, national broadcast, cash prizes up to $4,500, and more;
  • Continuing to forefront recent evolutions of Competition, including our newest categories — Best Documentary: Short & Audio Unbound;
  • Gathering more feedback from producers worldwide about their creative process, and how our Competition — and organization — can better serve them;
  • Introducing new Entry Fees (part of our Collective Pricing model!) that respond to the needs of producers worldwide and venture to make our field more equitable;
  • Piloting a new, streamlined submission form that allows you to enter up to five (5) works at a time;
  • Honoring & uplifting the work being made from our community beyond the walls Competition itself.

We understand the Third Coast/RHDF Competition as an ongoing dialogue between Third Coast and the producer community. Our goal is to consistently push the boundaries of audio storytelling, break down hierarchies within the industry, and collectively embody the possibilities of the medium.

2021 Categories & Entry Information

This year, we will award 11 winners in nine categories: Best Documentary (Gold, Silver, Bronze), Best Serialized Story, Best Documentary: Short, Best New Artist, Best Documentary: Non-English Language, Impact, Audio Unbound, Best News Feature & Directors' Choice.

This year, we’ve streamlined the submission process so that you can enter multiple works at a time (up to 5!) at once. Before you fill out the submission form, make sure you've determined what categories you'd like to submit to, and prepared all the materials you'll need. We suggest you check out:

If you have any general Competition questions, find answers in our General FAQ. If you have a question about the category you’re entering, check out the FAQ on the individual category page.

Our Competition

The Third Coast/Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Competition (lovingly nicknamed the "Oscars of Radio") has awarded the most groundbreaking and influential documentary work in the audio storytelling industry, thanks to the generous support of our founding donor, the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation.

At Third Coast, experimentation, community, and accessibility are at the core of everything we do. We encourage you to read more about the values, history, and context most critical to our annual Third Coast/RHDF Competition by exploring the links below:

Now in its 21st year, we see our annual Competition as a living archive of work that adapts, responds to, and reflects changes in the field and in our world. Each year, the cohort of winners represents an exciting revision to this living body of work. While the Competition is one of the oldest in the country, we take particular pride in recognizing audio that complicates or questions what has come before, and pushes the medium forward.