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:

  • Production must be a fictional story, not news, conversation, or behind the scenes content. 
  • Production must be exclusively audio content created to be experienced in audio and not in another medium such as prose or video.
  • Production must-have elements of 
    • Performance where the words are brought to life.
      Production Design where the listener is being given a guided experience, not empty music or ambiance under the content.
    • Production must be released on a discoverable platform, ie, an RSS feed or marketplace, not a hosting service that requires a direct link to the content, as on dropbox or google drive.
  • For the 2021 award season, the Production must have released an episode between October 1st, 2020, and September 30th, 2021. For the Hall of Fame, the Production must have released its final episode before October 1st, 2011.
  • All elements of the production must either be in the public domain or have the rights secured for presentation through other means such as direct license, creative commons, or other agreement by the rights holder.
  • 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:
Action Sound Design: The sound effects that convey the actions, movements, and motions of characters. 
Audio Play: A style of storytelling that operates in scripts that are brought to life by performers to convey the story.
Cover Art: The main art for the Production during the eligibility period.
Environment Sound Design: The sound effects that convey the scenes the characters are in, the ambiance that immerses us in another location.
Guest: A role or player that only appears in one episode.
Improvised: A style of storytelling where the events’ outcome is decided as they are played out.
Instrumental Composition: A song where only instruments are played.
Leading Role: The main characters of the story, Leading roles anchor the production around them.
Music Director: The person responsible for music underneath a scene.
New: A production that has premiered its first episode during the eligibility period.
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.
Role in an Ensemble Cast: These are roles in shows without main leading roles where the cast operates in an ensemble, sharing the spotlight as each character gets a turn.
Storyteller: A Person who embodies a story and details as they convey them to the audience.
Storytelling: Through Prose or Poetry, these productions continue the tradition of oral storytelling with Production Design.
Supporting Role: These characters flesh out the world of production with leading roles, interacting and shaping the main characters.
Vocal Composition: A song with a vocal performance.
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 200 winners for this upcoming year.

Art Categories

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

Music Categories

  • Instrumental Composition in a New Production
  • Instrumental Composition in a Production
  • Vocal Composition in a New Production
  • Vocal Composition in a Production

Sound Design Categories

  • Action Sound Design in a New Production
  • Action Sound Design in a Production
  • Environment Sound Design in a New Production
  • Environment Sound Design in a Production

Writing Categories

  • Writing of a New Storytelling Production
  • Writing of a Storytelling Production
  • Writing of a New Audio Play Production
  • Writing of an Audio Play Production

Directing Categories

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

Performance and Player Categories

  • Performance of a Leading Role in a New Audio Play Production
  • Performance of a Leading Role in an Audio Play Production
  • Performance of a Supporting Role in a New Audio PlayProduction
  • Performance of a Supporting Role in an Audio Play Production
  • Performance of a Role in an Ensemble Cast for a New Audio Play Production
  • Performance of a Role in an Ensemble Cast for an Audio Play Production
  • Performance of a Guest Role in a New Audio PlayProduction
  • Performance of a Guest Role in an Audio Play Production
  • Storyteller in a New Storytelling Production
  • Storyteller in a Storytelling 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

Production Categories

  • New Improvised Production
  • Improvised Production
  • New Storytelling Production
  • Storytelling Production
  • New Audio Play Production
  • Audio Play 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 Audio Play 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 Audio Play 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.

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.

    2020 Audio Verse Awards Team

    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).

    Colin J. Kelly – 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. Colin is the current Chair of the Audio Verse Awards Team.

    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 – Community Manager

    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 – Graphic Design

    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.

    Ali Fuller – Email Marketing

    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.

    Adam Blanford – Ballot and Voting Systems

    Adam Blanford

    Former Team Mates

    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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