Third Coast/RHDF Competition Categories


As of 2022, there are nine categories in the Third Coast/RHDF Competition.

Click on any individual category below to read detailed descriptions. Please note that specific eligibility criteria, entry checklists, and category-specific FAQs for the 2022 Competition will be released in September.


General Eligibility

Your entry must have been produced and available publicly for the first time on radio, podcast, internet, or in a public setting (including but not limited to a theater, gallery, museum, classroom, etc) between February 1, 2019 and our final deadline date in January 2023. The only exception to this is for the Audio Unbound category: we are currently accepting entries that have been produced and available publicly for the first time between February 1, 2018 and our final deadline date in January 2023.


Individual Categories

Best Documentary (3 Awards: Gold, Silver, Bronze)

Best Documentary (BD) is one of the founding categories of the TC/RHDF Competition. This category awards single-part narrative audio stories grounded in the traditions of documentary technique and nonfiction storytelling. Read more here.

Best Serialized Story (1 Award)

Best Serialized Story (BSS) awards narrative audio stories told in multiple episodes, chapters, or installments. Read more here.

Best Documentary: Short (1 Award)

Created in 2020, Best Documentary: Short (BDS) awards exceptional storytelling that clock in under 10 minutes in duration. Read more here.

Best New Artist (1 Award)

The Best New Artist (BNA) award is presented to an outstanding emerging producer (or producers) who entered the audio field between February 2021 and January 2023. Read more here.

Best Documentary: Non-English Language (1 Award)

Through the Best Documentary: Non-English Language Award (BNEL), Third Coast spotlights an outstanding audio work primarily produced in any language other than English. Read more here.

Impact (1 Award)

The Impact award recognizes a single audio story that has demonstrably impacted an individual or community. Read more here.

Audio Unbound (1 Award)

The Audio Unbound (AU) category awards audio works that experiment with format, function, genre, and live beyond the podcast feed or broadcast airwaves. Read more here.

Best News Feature (1 Award)

The Best News Feature (BNF) award honors exceptional news features produced in response to current events and pressing issues across the globe. Read more here.

Directors’ Choice (1 Award)

Unlike the rest of our juried awards, every single entry to the Third Coast/RHDF Competition is automatically entered into the Directors’ Choice category. Chosen by the Third Coast staff, Directors’ Choice is awarded to a piece of work deemed critical to the landscape of audio storytelling. Read more here.