Entries for this year's Audio Production Awards have now closed - thanks to all who entered, and good luck! Nominations will be announced soon.
Top producers and presenters behind the UK’s very best radio and audio content will be honoured at the Audio Production Awards on Thursday 22nd November at the BFI Southbank, London. Sponsored by Audible, the world’s leading provider of spoken audio entertainment, the awards – which are now in their ninth year – reflect the continued expansion of audio distribution online and via downloads, in addition to traditional broadcast radio. The awards are open to all audio producers, from BBC and commercial radio to community stations and podcasters, as well as production companies working across all forms of audio, including audiobooks, podcasts and radio.
AUDIO PRODUCTION AWARDS 2018
Best Arts Producer
This category celebrates the best of arts and culture-based audio, reported and produced to the highest of standards, giving a sense of special insight into the subject. Potential subject matter might include: traditional/modern art, design, literature, poetry & film.
IMPORTANT: Music programming should be entered for Best Music Producer, not here.
Best Music Producer
This award is for an exceptional producer working in music audio. Entries can range from single programmes and documentaries to sequence programmes, as well as specialist music programming, live music and discussion. Judges will be looking for an understanding and appreciation of the music and the genre.
Best Factual Producer
This category is for non-news based factual programming. The judges will be looking for a strong storytelling capability and a crystal clear, gripping narrative, plus compelling and creative production values that resonate with the audience. Entries can range from single programmes and documentaries to sequence programmes, as well as specialist programming and discussion.
IMPORTANT: News-related programming should be entered for Best News Producer, not here.
Best News and Current Affairs Producer
Celebrating the best in news and current affairs production. Entries here should be from programmes which are clearly led by the current affairs agenda. Entries can include extended news bulletins, along with documentaries and/or features, and can cover a range of topical subjects. The judges will be looking for a strong journalistic instinct and a riveting narrative.
Best Sports Producer
Entries can feature outstanding, engaging sports programming from many formats; from live daytime programmes to round-table podcasts, but they must relate to sports in a clear and defined way. For example, submissions might include commentary, event coverage, discussion and/or storytelling. Judges are looking for evidence of compelling and distinctive production, covering sport in its widest context.
Best Entertainment Producer
Recognising producers who successfully create fresh and fun entertainment content. For example, entries might be drawn from live programmes and/or light-hearted podcasts. Judges are looking for sparkling entertainment served up with creativity and distinctiveness.
IMPORTANT: Pure comedy should be entered for the Gethin Thomas Comedy Award, not here.
Gethin Thomas Comedy Award
All comedy-based audio can be entered here, including sitcoms, scripted comedy, sketch shows or comedy-led panel shows. Any format with the primary aim of making people laugh fits the bill. The judges will be looking for creativity matched by innovative production, though sublimely-executed traditional comedy is also warmly welcomed. The category is named in honour of the pioneering Welsh comedy producer and performer, Gethin Wyn Thomas, who died suddenly and prematurely earlier last year.
IMPORTANT: Entertainment programmes (i.e. content that’s not primarily focused on getting laughs) should be entered for Best Entertainment Producer, not here.
Best Live Event/Outside Broadcast Producer
Entries here may span a wide range of formats and subject matter. The key is that they must have been created in a live broadcast setting. Judges will be looking for exceptional production values which bring the listener into the beating heart of the action. Including but not limited to sport, music, news, comedy, drama, special interest etc.
Best Podcast Producer
Celebrating an outstanding podcast producer who truly understands the special possibilities of the medium. Judges will be looking for compelling content and creativity that takes full advantage of the podcast format. Please note this category should not be used to enter broadcast radio content, which is then made available in podcast form.
Best Drama Producer
Recognising exceptional producers who know how to bring the story, characters and narrative to life in listeners’ minds. Producers can enter an unedited section from a single drama or extracts from several dramas. Judges are looking for for the perfect combination of brilliant performances combined with expertly edited scripts.
Best Audiobook/Readings Producer
Judges will be looking at the range and choice of material, performance, direction and production values here. Producers can enter an unedited section from a single book/reading or extracts from several books/readings. Judges are looking for expertly directed narratives that draw the listener into the story.
Best New Producer
Celebrating a newcomer to audio production who shows potential to reach the very highest level. The judges will be looking for evidence of a sustained contribution to a production or production company, or for an exceptional debut as a producer in any form of audio. Please note: the entrant must have made their producer debut within the qualifying period. It is not essential to be associated with a single (or any) production company to be successful in this category, and producers who work entirely for themselves are equally welcome.
Best Station Sound Producer
For exceptional contributions to audio imaging and/or station sound production. Judges will be looking for ultimate creativity in audio branding and/or station promotion, such as station/podcast IDs, jingles, music beds, voice-overs, programme trails and promotions. This category embraces imaging work for radio stations and/or podcast and downloadable content.
Best Sound Designer/Engineer
Celebrating the talents of sound designers, mixers, studio managers and others who create startling soundscapes that elevate audio from great to extraordinary. Judging criteria will include technical skill, sound quality, innovation and creative contribution.
Grassroots Production Award
For an individual, production company, radio/audio station or community-based organisation that has shown extraordinary achievement in identifying, nurturing or mentoring new and diverse talent to the audio industry.
IMPORTANT: this category is not aimed at the new talent themselves. They would be eligible for the New Voice Award.
Audio Performer of the Year
Recognising and rewarding a performer who has demonstrated exceptional talent at interpreting the written word over the year, as exemplified by a single outstanding work or a body of work. This could include narrators of audiobooks or actors in an audio drama. Judges are looking for evidence of outstanding vocal capabilities and the ability to translate the written word into compelling audio content. Entries are welcome from professional narrators to Hollywood stars,
Best Presenter - Speech
For exceptional on-mic talent presenting speech programmes. Judges will be looking for compelling conversation, high production values, brilliant interviews, a sustained contribution to the genre, outstanding creativity and deep-rooted connection to the audience. Both individual presenter and co-hosts can enter.
Best Presenter - Music
For exceptional on-mic talent presenting music programmes. Judges will be looking for an unrivalled understanding of their chosen music genre(s), the ability to share that passion, plus constant creativity, strong production values and powerful audience connection. Both individual presenter and co-hosts can enter.
New Voice Award
For outstanding presenters who have recently entered the audio world or recently gained significant mainstream recognition for the first time. The presenting debut must be during the qualifying period.
Recognising and celebrating an individual who has made an outstanding contribution, usually over a number of years, to the audio sector in the UK. This category is primarily aimed at individuals but the Gold Award Committee will also consider strong cases made for teams. We accept nominations from AudioUK members, who need to provide a supporting statement (250 words or less) as their entry.
To nominate someone for the Gold Award, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with the name of the nominee, their workplace, and a supporting statement. Please include your name and organisation when sending your application.
Production Company of the Year
This award recognises and celebrates a company’s success across the year. Entries are warmly welcomed from the smallest to the largest companies. In this category, entry length is up to 30 minutes and judges will consider the level of creative excellence as well as the business challenges and growth of the company during the qualifying period, taking into account the size and resources of the company in each case.
Entry Deadline: All entries must be completely received by Noon on Monday 24th September. We realise that you all have busy lives (us too!) and that it’s tempting to wait until the very last minute. But please note that if you do this (1) we cannot promise instant replies to your last minute email queries on deadline day, (2) you are risking failed entries if you run into upload problems or your broadband suddenly goes down, and (3) there will be no extensions to the entry deadline and you will have missed your chance to lay your hands on an APA trophy this year.
Qualifying period: All audio content entered must have been first broadcast/streamed or made available to download in the period 1st July 2017 to 30th June 2018.
Entry fee: The cost is just £35 + VAT for AudioUK members, and £45 + VAT for non-members. You can register to be a member at www.audiouk.org.
Discount codes: You may see a 'Discount Code' box during payment. Please ignore it. There are no discount codes for the APAs. The member and non-member entry prices don't rely on codes.
Invoicing: If you wish to invoice for entries, you will be required to enter a PO number at the time of entry. Please allow enough time for this process or your entry may not be permitted. Following this, you must email email@example.com with your PO number, plus the amount paid and reference number.
Inclusive meaning of ‘audio’: Unless specifically stated otherwise, every category welcomes entries from the whole audio world, which includes radio (broadcast via airwaves or online) and all podcast/downloadable/non-broadcast audio. For simplicity, we use the word ‘audio’ in this wide, inclusive sense throughout the category descriptions. In addition, the term ‘programme’ is used to include podcast/download content unless stated otherwise.
Content: All entries will be required to demonstrate creativity and excellent production values.
Judging: Our judges are a diverse group of people from across the audio sector. We will publish their names once all judging has been completed but we will not publish which individual categories they judged. All categories will follow the usual process of audio/written submissions assessed by judges except for the Gold Award.
Conflict of interest: We always strive for fairness and will allocate our judges to categories in a way that eliminates any conflict of interest.
Audio clips and written statements: The maximum length of audio clips is 15 minutes, unless stated otherwise and written nominations/supporting statements must not exceed 600 words.
One-off and series programmes: Unless the category description says otherwise, you may enter audio drawn from an ongoing strand programme, part of a series, or a one-off show or feature.
Body of work: Please remember that our judges are usually seeking to recognise a ‘body of work’ produced over the qualifying period. You can choose to base your whole entry on a single show, but it would need to be an exceptional piece of work.
Non-exhaustive examples: Many categories below give some guidance on the sort of programme topics which might be a natural fit for entries. These are not meant to be exhaustive lists of examples and all entries are welcome which fall sensibly within the broad title of the category.
Blind judging: We strive to judge all entrants solely on their production talents and to avoid any (un)conscious bias. For this reason, our judges will not know the names or companies of the people whose entries they are considering (except for Audio Production Company of the Year and on-air Presenter Awards). So, whenever possible, we ask you not to include information which identifies a producer in terms of their name, gender, age, ethnicity, sexuality etc in your audio clips or supporting written statement. We know this may not always be possible (e.g. Presenter Awards or Production Company of the Year) but we ask you to follow this principle wherever possible. In the case of gender pronouns, we encourage all written material to refer to producers as ‘she/he’, ‘s/he’, ‘he/she’ or some other commonly understood gender neutral term.
In case of doubt, we’re always happy to answer your questions: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks to Audible for their continued support of the Audio Production Awards.