The Audio Verse Awards

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 Phases and Estimated Timeline

Nomination Phase

September 6th through September 30th

  • You nominate a great thing on our nomination form!
  • Multiple People also nominate a great thing! We take all the data and clean it on a weekly basis to make sure all nominations are accurate and productions meet our eligibility criteria.
  • Once a production receives multiple separate matching nominations, our system automatically puts it 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.
  • After the production submits a showcase episode, it goes in our Nominee Showcase, giving voters a curated playlist of shows on the ballot.
  • When Nominations close, the List of Nominees is set. We will do our best to make sure all nominations are clean and valid, but it’s a large Audioverse. Feel free to help us with the correct nominations.

Finalist Phase:

October 11th through October 31st

  • 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!
  • After voting closes, we verify and tally the ballots. All votes are weighted equally and the ballots verified by our team.

Final Voting Phase:

November 15th through December 5th

  • Finalists are announced
  • You and everyone else rank all finalists on the ballot, as many as you want to, in your order of preference, and cast your vote once!
  • Voting Closes. We verify and tally the ballots.

Winners are announced!

January 2021

We have some ideas how that’ll look, but stay posted.

Eligibility

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.
  • Production must have released an episode between October 1st, 2019, and September 30th, 2020.
  • 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 have multiple separate nominations from separate people in order to make 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 which operates in scripts are brought to life by performers to convey the story.
Cover Art: The main art for the Production for the 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.
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.
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 thirty-four categories will recognize the ten finalists with the top five in each as decided by preferential voting, recognizing 170 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
  • 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
  • Storyteller in a New Storytelling Production
  • Storyteller in a Storytelling Production
  • Player in an Improvised Production
  • 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?

Firstly, we currently require a nominee to have multiple separate nominations from separate people in order to make our list of nominees.

Secondly, our automated system requires nominee spelling to match in order to automatically publish to our list of nominees. We’ll be sitting down on Sundays during the nomination period to fix any strays, but please double check your nomination matches the show’s website.

Lastly, It could 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. We require multiple separate people to make a nomination in order for it to be nominated. 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. We shall ignore duplicate nominations from the same person.

Our production is an Audiobook. Does it qualify?

Our focus is on productions which 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 which are exclusive experiences in audio. Unless the audio version is unique and different than 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.

We also have a perk on our Indiegogo which allows our supporters to sponsor giving a winner of their choice a certificate.

We didn’t win. THIS AWARD SHOW IS OBVIOUSLY BIASED AND YOU’VE RIGGED THE SYSTEM!

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.

WHO’S RUNNING THIS THING ANYWAY?

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.

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.

PodTeen

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.
Home page background image by Will Fisher (link).
Website designed by Landon Beall.
Special thanks to Quirk Tools Screenfly.
For information on how we protect your privacy, please see our privacy policy.

Mini Cart 0

Your cart is empty.