What are the Audio Verse Awards?

The Audio Verse Awards are an annual celebration, dedicated to the greatest people and productions in immersive audio fiction around the world, whether it’s an audio play, improvised, or spoken word production.

It started as a thread on Audio Drama Talk, ballooned to a Facebook group, then shrunk to a dedicated team who sat down and helped make the Audio Verse Awards a reality in 2013. Ever since then, the Audio Verse Awards have worked tirelessly to bring together the Audio Fiction Community every year.

Since 2013, we have opened every September to ask the Audio Fiction community for nominations, and to vote on who should be recognized.


The Audio Verse Awards are an annual celebration, dedicated to the greatest people and productions in immersive audio fiction around the world, whether it’s an audio play, improvised, or spoken word production.

In order for a production to be eligible for the Audio Verse Awards, it must meet the following requirements:

  • Be fictional (No news/current events, conversational interviews, behind-the-scenes)
  • Be exclusively in audio format (Not derivative of another format, for instance, an audiobook or the audio-only element of a video. )
  • Be discoverable via RSS feed or an open platform like Apple Podcasts, Spotify, etc.
  • Have performance elements (story acted out, not just read)
  • Include elements that contribute to a sonically varied, dynamic production (sound design and effects, music, foley, etc.)
  • All production elements must be in the public domain or have the rights secured for presentation via the rights holder’s direct license, Creative Commons, or other agreement/policy.
  • For the 2023 award season, the Production must have released an episode between October 1st, 2022, and September 30th, 2023. For the Hall of Fame, the Production must have released its final episode before October 1st, 2013.
  • We currently require a nominee to pay a $25 fee to the awards in order to cover our costs and time investment of the individuals bringing you the awards over the four months the award season lasts. However, we also have an open sponsorship path using the same form so productions can apply for sponsorship. Those shows are also listed on our list of nominees.

Our Current Glossary of Terms

These are the current terms and definitions we are using for the Awards:
Cover Art: The main art for the Production during the eligibility period.
Guest: A role or player that only appears in one episode.
Improvised: A style of storytelling where the story is made up in the moment.
Music Director: The person responsible for music underneath a scene.
New: A production that has premiered its first episode during the eligibility period.
Original music: A song written specifically for the production.
Performer: The person bringing a text to life through their performance.
Player: The person who reacts and responds to a scene as their character would.
Player Director: The person organizing and moderating a group of players in an improvised production. This is also known as the Dungeon or Game Master.
Scripted: A style of storytelling where the story is written and then brought to life.
Sound Design: The sound effects that convey the scenes the characters are in, the ambiance that immerses us in another location.
Vocal Director: The person encouraging and tempering the work of a performer as they record.
Writer: The person generating words on a page for a performer.

Our Current List of Categories

These forty categories will recognize ten productions as finalists with the top five in each as decided by preferential voting, recognizing 130 winners for this upcoming year.

Art Categories

  • Cover Art for a New Production
  • Cover Art for a Production

Music Categories

  • Original Composition for a New Production
  • Original Composition for a Production

Sound Design Categories

  • Sound Design for a New Production
  • Sound Design for a Production

Writing Categories

  • Writing of a New Scripted Production
  • Writing of a Scripted Production

Directing Categories

  • Player Director of a New Improvised Production
  • Player Direction of a Improvised Production
  • Music Direction of a New Production
  • Music Direction of a Production
  • Vocal Direction of a New Scripted Production
  • Vocal Direction of a Scripted Production

Voice Categories

  • Performer in a New Scripted Production
  • Performer in a Scripted Production
  • Performance of a Guest Role in a Scripted Production
  • Performance of a Guest Role in an Scripted Production
  • Player in an Improvised Production
  • Player in a new Improvised Production
  • Guest Player in an Improvised Production
  • Guest Player in a new Improvised Production
  • The Richard Nadolny Award for Narrating Excellence

Production Categories

  • New Improvised Production
  • Improvised Production
  • New Scripted Production
  • Scripted Production

Frequently Asked Questions

Are you having the awards this year?

Yes. Every year, opening in September. Join our mailing list and follow us on social media for updates.

Lord willing and the creek don’t rise, the awards will go on, and on, and on, for many generations to come. 🙂

How does this work?

We try to open for nomination in September and voting in October.

I nominated something, why isn’t it on the website?

Give it some time to let the automation work. It could also be because the thing you nominated wasn’t eligible for some reason or another. If you are not sure if your nomination was eligible or not, feel free to drop us a line.

If I nominate something multiple times does it increase its chances of winning?

Nominating the same thing multiple times does not increase its chances of winning. You will receive an email with your nomination details, so if you continue to nominate the same thing over and over, you’ll continue to send yourself e-mails.

Our production is an Audiobook. Does it qualify?

Our focus is on productions that are experiences in audio. While most audiobooks have excellent narration and quality, unless there is performance and production design unique to the audiobook and not the text, it is likely ineligible.

There are awards specific to audiobooks, and they do not allow Audio Plays, Improvised or Spoken Word productions to participate due to them not having a published book. We would like to celebrate those productions.

Our production is the ripped audio from a video version. Does it qualify?

Our focus is on productions that are exclusive experiences in audio. Unless the audio version is unique and different from the video version, it is not eligible to participate.

Our production is behind a paywall. Does it qualify?

Starting in 2019, we are allowing productions behind a paywall to participate in the awards. We will watch the data we receive from that and consider how this move impacts our awards down the line.

Our production is a variety show, with some scripted sketches and some improvised portions.

Our production records our improvised sessions, transcribes, edits, and adds additional scripted content, before recording and releasing it.

Do we participate in the Improvised and the Scripted Categories?

At this point, the AVA’s committee is considering the production as a whole and how it’s perceived by the listener, and what shows the production should consider peers. Naturally, there are shows which cross lines and we’re going to look into those on a case-by-case basis.

As a whole, the Variety show described has a consistent cast in an ensemble, and the improvisation is supplementing content that originated as a script. We would ask that show participates in the Scripted Categories only.

The Improvised production described supplements the decisions made by the players during improvisation, which remains the focus at the heart of the production. We would ask that those shows participate under improvisation.

We want to keep people on an even level, as best as we can, and we feel this gives those shows a chance to compete with their peers. Hopefully, that allows you to have the best chance of success in the awards.

Where does the entry fee go?

In 2021 we began to charge a 25 USD Fee for productions to participate in the awards. For the previous years we relied on fundraising and merchandising to cover costs, but were unable to cover all expenses or pay a stipend to our volunteers.

Our operational expenses are our website and hosting, our mailing list for the number of participants we email for the awards, our voting systems to ensure fair and accurate, and tools for accessibility sadly kept behind paywalls. We use the fees submitted to cover any shows which can’t afford the entry fee, and the rest goes to our volunteers who share it equally. We do not offer cash prizes at this time.

While our team operates primarily on a volunteer basis, we believe in sharing the success of the season. All team members receive an equal share of the net revenue. For a glimpse: in 2021, each volunteer received $434, and in 2022, it was approximately $554 per volunteer. Beyond financial incentives, being a part of our team means connecting with like-minded enthusiasts, gaining invaluable experience, and championing the cause of audio dramas.

I know nominations ended on September 30th, but we just found out about this. Is there any way we could get our show on the list of nominees?

We’re sorry, but once the list is finalized and the voting form is set, there is nothing we can do. However, if you join our mailing list, we will make sure you know when nominations open up next year. We’ll look forward to seeing your show in the running then!

Who is allowed to vote?

Any lover of audio fiction, whether they show that passion in creating or listening.

The members of our team do not affect the outcome of the awards. Instead, we have the largest panel of judges; all of you.

If you let listeners vote, you’ll turn the awards into a popularity contest! What about voting fraud? Why are you letting people on the internet vote instead of letting a committee decide who wins?

In our experience, listeners vote even better than creators do. We have found that leveling the voting field is the fairest decision possible.

Opening voting up to the entire audio drama community keeps things fair, fresh, and open in ways our committee never could. We find a great number of people willing to listen to other productions and find joy when they discover something new.

We get the popularity contest comment a lot. Our response is that Art is subjective, and the criteria to judge can vary from person to person. However, we find objective truth in consensus. We have a voting system designed to learn the greatest preference for that reason. Rank the nominees on the ballot as best as you see fit. We trust your judgment.

As far as voter fraud is concerned, we take steep precautions to prevent cheating. Any votes we determine to be fraudulent will be disqualified and those voters will no longer be allowed to participate in the Audio Verse Awards.

How do you deal with ballot stuffing?

Look, we get it, you really like a particular production or show. That’s a good thing!

However, our voting system is designed to reward voters who listen to a variety of productions. The more nominees you rank, the more powerful your vote becomes.

Maybe you should check out our Nominee Showcase?

What I’m nominated for is really truly great and deserves my vote. Can I vote for my own thing, right?

We love this question because the people who do make something truly great always ask it.

Like any election, who and what you vote for is completely your prerogative. Please be an informed voter, and take some time to look through the other Nominees and listen to their Showcases. You can always rank them alongside yourself.

What do we get if we win?

Besides fortune and glory, a special graphic for your website, your Facebook, or wherever you’d like to share it. We’re also offering the graphic in a certificate on our store, which allows us to keep the awards operating and pay the people behind the awards.


Okay, calm down. There are a lot of shows out there.

While the idea of being like Oprah and going “You get an award! You get an award! Everyone gets an award!” (Check under your seats) is awesome, and probably would be a fun thing to do, it wouldn’t be meaningful to win. By all means, we hope you win, and if you don’t, hopefully, this gives you some exposure and the community selects your production next year.

As for us being biased, we have made every attempt for the Audio Verse Awards to be fair, our data is checked as thoroughly as Santa’s list for malfeasance, and that includes internally. We are not a secret panel of judges making secret decisions on our own criteria.

The Awards are for the community, by the community.

We’ll keep that intact any way we can.

My question wasn’t answered here.

Hit us up on our contact page, and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can, in the order we received it!

Awards season is very busy, please bear with us.

Contact Us

Comments? Concerns? Read through the FAQ and not find your question? Drop us a line bellow, and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible!

We are an annual awards show, we open for nominations in September. Please join our mailing list to be notified when our awards open, and follow us on social media for updates.

During the awards season, we receive a high number of emails, please forgive us if we are slow in response.

– The Audio Verse Awards Team

    Before you ask, we plan on opening the Awards for nominations in September.


    The Audio Drama Awards is staffed by a board currently consisting of the following members and headed by a chairperson. They act as facilitators and take a scientific approach to our data. If a member of the team chooses to vote in the awards, it has the same weight as any other vote.

    2023 Audio Verse Awards Team

    Colin Kelly Rodriguez – Chair

    Colin’s first love is Audio Fiction, and loves talking about it, and what makes audio great. He doesn’t tweet much, but you can find him on twitter if you want to talk about how awesome someone else’s thing is. Otherwise, he’ll likely be crafting eldritch excel formulas and writing the latest crazy idea that has popped into his head.

    Landon Beall – Webmaster

    Landon sees value in a great story. And for him, the Audio Verse Awards are where great audio stories get the spotlight they deserve. When he’s not making sure the website is working, Landon can be found working his day job, working on the farm, working at the Farmer’s Market, working on projects for his production outlet, Story Bake, or talking about just how awesome Myst is (it’s SERIOUSLY awesome, y’all).

    Alexandra Pal – Data Scientist

    Alexandra Pal can usually be found bringing cheer to anything she does, be it programming, drawing or just enjoying a good story. Find her on Twitter posting about audio drama and whatever makes her happy.

    Erin Sellars – Nominee Showcase Producer

    Erin started listening to audio dramas as a way to prevent herself from bursting out into song at work but it turned into a whole new obsession. Erin truly loves audio fiction and can’t think of a better way to express that than by helping the amazing AVA team recognize the incredible work of the community. She’s currently working on a PhD but if you want to talk science or podcasts, she can be found on Twitter anytime!

    Dan Whitelaw – Senior Graphic Designer

    The most patient and professional graphic designer we could find, Dan is constantly improving and creating better graphics for the website, or other media things. When he’s not being hounded to resize an image, Dan runs Madgeek productions, and it’s flagship show, BlueSky.

    Pedro Musella – Graphic Design

    Coming soon!

    Samuel Robinson – Accessibility Consultant

    Sam is a passionate supporter of collectively run projects, such as the AVA’s, and is equally dedicated to improving the accessibility of these initiatives. He recently launched ‘Working to Work,’ a project that delves into the challenges faced by neurodivergent individuals when it comes to securing and sustaining employment. Sam continues to create and contribute to a diverse range of audio and music productions, many of which can be found in his website‘s archives.

    Chrisi Talyn Saje – Community Manager

    Chrisi Talyn Saje (who you might see pop up under the name “Madison Standish”) has been in and around the Hollywood entertainment industry for nearly 3 decades, after spending her formative years amongst Chicago’s improv scene. Starting with a love of the Golden Age of Radio, and a pandemic keeping her from performing, she’s finally found her home in audio drama. Chrisi loves the medium, and the connections she’s made in the audio drama community. Large or small, creators have an audience here, and she’s happy to be a part of the AVAs to celebrate everyone amazing efforts. Chrisi’s own show, “Madison on the Air,” can be found here: https://linktr.ee/madisonontheair

    Damian Szydlo – Juried Ratings and Sponsorships

    Damian Szydlo is a seasoned showrunner, writer, and sound designer. He founded Red Fathom Entertainment, a Canadian audio drama company working with talent around the globe. Beyond his professional achievements, Damian has a deep connection to the tabletop RPG community and has been a consistent supporter of the AVA’s. He believes that the AudioVerse Awards are paramount in recognizing indie audio talent and is honored to contribute to the AVA team.

    Evo Terra – Hall of Fame

    Evo Terra is an award-winning podcaster and member of the Podcast Hall of Fame. The author of both Podcasting For Dummies and Expert Podcasting Practices for Dummies, Evo had the 40th podcast ever, published in October of 2004.

    He’s been the host or co-host of over 20 different podcasts and has either consulted for, edited, or advised on over 1000 podcasts. He runs a strategic podcast consultancy (Simpler Media) and curates the best of audio fiction for his newsletter, The End.

    Chloe Wilson – Accounting and Project Management

    Coming soon!

    Former Team Mates

    Ali Fuller

    Ali is a Digital Marketing Strategist with a background in content creation, marketing automation, and web development. Over the last few years, they have been helping smaller brands grow with organic content and their online community. When Ali’s not busy talking about code or social media, you can usually find them catching up on the latest podcasts or taking photos of their tuxedo cats.

    Alex Gilmour

    Alex was involved with the Audio Verse Awards decision making since its inception, serving through the 2013 and 2014 award seasons. Between juggling real life and answering emails with thoughtful optimism, he serves as head of production at Gypsy Audio.


    When the ‘Verse turns up the hype, PodTeen is on the case. When she’s not replying to your comments and emails, you can most likely find her on Twitter talking about podcasts.

    Gwendolyn Jensen-Woodard

    Gwendolyn served as AVA Chair during our first year and assisted the team throughout the 2014 award season. When she’s not juggling a new book project, voicing a new character, or brainstorming a new idea for Alex to give his two pence on, she serves as Executive Producer at Gypsy Audio.

    Jordan J. Scavone

    When the Audio Verse Awards needs an injection of optimism, Jordan’s your man. When anyone on the team needs a second opinion, Jordan’s your man. And when he’s not mixing Nominee Showcases or making sure our website is color blind friendly, he’s busy keeping WGA Productions marvelous.

    Website Credits

    Logo and graphics by Dan Whitelaw.
    Website designed by Landon Beall.
    Special thanks to Quirk Tools Screenfly.
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