Entry Guide

A Note from the Third Coast Team

Hi there,

Thanks for visiting this page to find out more about our Entry Guide. Before you dive in, we hope that you might take a second to support our We Need Third Coast Campaign (#WeNeedThirdCoast) for our annual Competition — made by makers, for makers!

We are working to raise $50,000 in order to re-launch Third Coast’s Competition as an independent program by July 2024. To learn more, and make a donation, click here.

Thanks for reading,
The team at Third Coast

Over the past few years, we've streamlined the Competition entry form to be as straightforward as possible, while still capturing a comprehensive picture of your entry. As you move through the form, we try to be as clear as possible about how we will use your answers throughout the competition, judging process, and beyond. If you ever have any questions about how your entry information will be considered, please reach out to us. Keep in mind: while there is no limit to the number of entries one organization/entity/show/individual can make to our Competition, our entry form only allows for the submission of up to 5 entries at once; you'll need to fill out a new form for every subsequent 5 entries.

We strongly recommend that you prepare your materials in full before beginning the entry form. Below, we've outlined everything you'll need to read, consider, and gather before you fill out the entry form, and send in your best.

Review the Categories

The best way to complete eligibility and entry requirements for each entry is to read through the page for the category (or categories!) you’re interested in entering.

On each category page, you’ll find detailed FAQs specific to submitting in that category. If you have further questions, we suggest you read through the General FAQ.

Note: Every single piece entered into the Third Coast/RHDF Competition will be considered for the Directors' Choice category, regardless of length or language.

Understand the Offerings

As we continue to expand our vision for what the Third Coast Competition can offer our audio community, we’re committed to offering more to entrants. Familiarize yourself with all of this year's offerings & rewards. If you have ideas for future offerings, we’d love your feedback: Please fill out our first Pilot Offerings Survey!

Find Your (Collectively Priced) Rate

You may want to familiarize yourself with the breakdown of this year’s entry rates before diving into the process. The entry form will also guide you through considerations for identifying the rate(s) that are right for you. If the collectively priced rates are still cost prohibitive for you, please reach out to us: competition@thirdcoastfestival.org.

Note: Our lowest rates apply only through the Early Deadline of January 13. Rates will then increase before the Final Deadline of March 10. To receive your best price, enter before the Early Deadline!

Use the Basic Entry Checklist

Below, we've listed the essential information needed for each entry. Please note that some categories require additional materials. For complete, category-specific information about eligibility and all required materials, please see the individual categories page.

Important to note: Once you've begun to fill out the form, you won't be able to save your progress and return to it at a later date.

While there is no limit to the number of entries one organization, entity, show, or individual can submit to our Competition, please note that our entry form only allows for the submission of up to 5 entries at once. When preparing your entries, you'll need to batch your entries in increments of 5 or fewer.

Basic Contact Information

  • We ask that you designate one person on your team as the point person for your entry for the duration of the 2022-2023 Competition process. If you are submitting an entry on behalf of someone else, please make sure that the point person for your entry is prepared to answer any follow-up questions that Third Coast may have. (After you’ve submitted your entry, if this contact person is no longer able to be the point person, we ask that you update us directly.)

Audio File

  • If applicable, please remove any redundant host ledes or introductions; the audio portion of your entry should consist only of the actual story.
  • If applicable, please remove any preroll or midroll ads in your entry. (This saves us hundreds of hours in our judging process.) Ads or promos that appear in the final credits are fine to leave in.
  • Each entry should be exported as an audio file in the .mp3 format (.wav files are also accepted, but .mp3 is preferred). If you are submitting multiple audio files for a serialized entry, please label and number them in the correct sequence: 01_EntryTitle, 02_EntryTitle, etc. If possible, we ask that each audio file is under 100mb in size.

Written Materials

  • Each entry should include a text summary (150 words maximum).
  • Each entry should include a list of any explicit language, preferably with time codes for each instance.
  • Each entry should include a short description of any content warnings for your piece, with time codes when applicable.
  • Each entry should include a comprehensive credits list.
  • For entries primarily in a language other than English: Entries not in English should include a translated transcript according to the guidelines for the Best Documentary: Non-English Language category.
  • For entries in English: We strongly request that each entry include a transcript of your entry.

Category-Specific Materials

Optional Materials

  • We're interested in learning more about you and your team in order to make our Competition more accessible. The entry form will prompt you with a few options to tell us about the demographics of your production team, the intentions and process behind your work, and any challenges you encountered while making your entry. Providing this information is strictly voluntary and will only be used in attempting to better serve our community of makers in future Competition cycles.

After you’ve gathered your materials in full, please expect the submission process to take upwards of 10-15 minutes to complete for each piece of work you’re entering.

If you have any questions as you go, please check out our General FAQ, or see each individual category page (below) for category-specific FAQs.

Ready to enter? Here is our 2022-23 Entry Form.

Still have questions? Email us directly: competition@thirdcoastfestival.org.