Changes to the 2020 Audio Verse Awards Season

The Return of the Finalists

Last year we removed a step we normally take, after nominations, we used to hold finalist voting to narrow down the nominees to finalists, before having them face off in Final Voting.

Our logic was that with a ranked voting system, the finalist step wasn’t as necessary, and by moving straight to Final Voting, we could speed up the award season. How little did we know, as the sheer number of nominees strained our voting and our calculation systems, and coupled with the time necessary to clean up voting data and prepare the winners announcements, the awards season took roughly the same amount of time last year.

In order to remain flexible, we’re bringing back the finalist stage. For each of our categories, we will recognize ten finalists, before narrowing it down to our five winners for each. As Audio Fiction has continued to see more new and amazing productions, we expect another record breaking season. We hope that making it to be a Finalist, even if one does not win their category, carries weight.

2020 Audio Verse Awards Process and Estimated Timeline

We’re going to attempt to estimate a timeline for our phases. However, we get swamped by the amount of work cleaning the data, every year, and we are an organization of volunteers. This is our current process and estimation of the Timeline for the Awards.

Audio Verse Awards Phases and Estimated Timeline*

 *Timeline is subject to change due to the workload of cleaning and verifying data

Nomination Phase: September 6th through  September 30th

The Audio Verse Awards Open for Nomination

You nominate a great thing!

Multiple People also nominate a great thing!

Great thing is nominated and is on our list of nominees! There is no need to nominate it any further, as this does not affect the winners.

We alert the production that they have been nominated and request a showcase submission, which is completely optional.

Show submits showcase episode.

The Nominee Showcase releases giving voters a curated playlist of shows on the ballot

Nominations close. List of Nominees is set.

Finalist Phase: October 11th through October 31st

The Audio Verse Awards open for Finalist voting

You and everyone else picks up to ten finalists of all the nominees on the ballot as you want to and cast your vote once!

Voting Closes. We verify and tally the ballots.

Final Voting Phase: November 15th through December 5th

Finalists are announced!

The Audio Verse Awards open for Final Voting

You and everyone else ranks all finalists on the ballot, as many as you want to, and cast your vote once!

Voting Closes. We verify and tally the ballots.

January 2021
Winners are announced!

Changing our Spoken Word Categories to Storytelling 

Last year we expanded to include productions such as actual plays, and intended for our Spoken Word categories to include productions which did not use devised methods or dialogue to tell their stories.

Unfortunately, Spoken Word had a lower number of nominations compared to the Audio Play and Actual Play Podcasts. We’re hoping some rebranding helps open the category up so Productions that do not realize they are eligible will be nominated or participate.

Storytelling podcasts through prose or poetry continue the tradition of oral storytelling with quality production design. Some of our favorite storytellers work alone or tell their stories collaboratively, but each will need to be nominated separately, just as performers are.

These are podcasts which are not audiobooks, but aren’t Audio Plays or Improvised Systems, which explores the other ways to tell stories in audio. As long as it’s fiction, we hope they find a home in this category.

New Category: Cover Art

It’s part of the overall production we’ve never covered before, and every production has. We see no reason why graphic designers/artists shouldn’t get some recognition too

Changes to Nomination

Raising the Bar for Nomination

We’re in a bit of a crossroads here. We want the bar to be nominated to be attainable, especially for independent productions, or productions with smaller teams. We welcome audience nominations and especially the nominations from other podcasters about what great things they’ve heard about.

However, there is a lot of great content out there. Last year we heard of 2,366 nominees, and we’ll hear more than that this year. The gate of three nominations last year worked to hold back 49.74% of those nominees, but we noticed that since the number was publicly available, attempts were made to game our system. Especially when contrasted with our voting data.

We feel it necessary to raise the bar to be nominated, but in light of reducing gamed nominees who fare poorly in voting, we will reveal the quantity of nominations necessary after nomination has concluded and our list of nominees is finalized. To keep it attainable for newer productions, there will be a lower bar for new productions that have premiered in the past year, and this allows us to vote to lower the bar if we have raised it too high. Once a production makes the list of nominees, unless it is ineligible for other reasons, it will 

Introducing a Character Limit and Teams

This change makes creating the 170 graphics for each winner easier. With more teams working in tandem, where the individual’s contributions contribute to the tapestry of the whole, attempting to fit everyone’s name on a certificate is a challenge, and creating certificates for each individual on the team increases the workload substantially.

We also wish to highlight individuals who solely make a thing come to life, as that is an accomplishment. To that end, we’re going to allow up to two individuals to be named as a winner, otherwise, the certificate and win will be ascribed to “the Team” behind the podcast. We’re also imposing a limit of 50 characters in our forms, this should not affect much outside of incorrect nominations.