Third Coast’s 2015 ShortDocs challenge, deadline April 14

One of my favorite contests of the year – the Third Coast ShortDoc competition. I've entered twice and lost, but had a great time doing it. (2007 entry, 2010 entry) Maybe third time is a charm. Who's with me?



Here's your chance to take part in an international audio mega-project, whether you've been making radio for decades, or have always longed to utter "Testing 1, 2" into a microphone. The ShortDocs Challenge is for everyone!



As always, ShortDocs comes with a set of rules inspired by a creative partner. For 2015 that's the Studs Terkel Radio Archive from the WFMT Radio Network.

Terkel's work spanned an impressive variety of topics and figures – but his recordings have been largely inaccesible to the public. Until now! The good folks at WMFT are creating the first-ever comprehensive online collection of Terkel's radio work… and are giving us a sneak peek

We hope you'll be inspired by Terkel's interview style, spirit, and wild curiousity – and run with that inspiration in any direction you see fit. Sound art, documentary, oral history, radio drama, hybrids, all are welcome – just as long as your piece follows the rules.



Your radio story must:

– be two to three minutes in length
– be titled with a question that begins with one of the five Ws (who, what, when, where or why)
– contain the question "And what happened then?"
– include a shout of silence or a cry of laughter

The deadline for submitting your ShortDoc is 11:59pm CT on Tue, April 14th.



These rules were inspired by Studs' own words about interviewing, we encourage you to read the whole passage.

Want some clarification about the rules? Other questions or concerns? Check out the FAQ.



– Five winning ShortDocs will be featured at the 2015 Third Coast FilmlessFestival (TCFF), in fall 2015 in Chicago (dates tbd).

– Eight finalists will receive a free pass to the TCFF.

– Top submissions will be featured on Third Coast’s Re:sound and podcast, presented on PRX Remix, and at Third Coast listening events in Chicago and beyond.

– All participants receive a free one-year SoundCloud Pro account.

– All submissions are archived permanently on this site, and all producers are added to the Third Coast Producer Index.

Please note: Winners' travel and accomadaiton to/for the TCFF are not covered this year.



February 18-April 14: Submissions accepted
Late May: Finalists notified
June 2-18: Voting open for People's ShortDoc Award
June 24: Winners announced!



– Producers retain non-exclusive rights to their submissions.

– TCF retains the right to showcase all ShortDocs in service of Festival happenings – including at Listening Rooms, on Re:sound, and onPRX Re:mix. (Note – producers may also license ShortDocs themselves, through

– Four winners will be selected by Third Coast staff, with guidance from the Studs Terkel Radio Archive staff.

– The People’s ShortDoc Award will be selected by the international listening public.

Questions about how/what to submit? Check out the FAQ and/or feel free to ask.

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