The 8th Annual 24-Hour Radio Race starts 10am PT June 13 and ends 10am PT June 14, 2020. 

Sign ups open Friday, May 22, 2020. 

Follow along on Twitter at #RadioRace. 

KCRW's 8th Annual 24-Hour Radio Race is a whirlwind day of high-stakes radio making for producers of any experience level. You will have 24 HOURS to write, record, and edit a nonfiction radio story. This year's Race will take place 10 a.m. PT June 13 and lasts through 10 a.m. PT June 14.

The Radio Race is more than a just a competition: It's an opportunity to produce the most original, the most moving, the most inventive, the most unexpected piece of instant radio anyone will hear in 2020.

Whether you're a seasoned news producer, a scrappy freelancer, an experimental sound artist, or you want to try radio for the first time, we encourage you to participate. 

You can join as an individual or as a group of your own devising.


  • At 10AM (PT) Saturday, June 13, you'll receive the THEME for this years Race.
  • You'll spend the next 24 hours making an all-original piece around the Theme. That means you CANNOT incorporate or repurpose ideas and pieces you've been working on prior to 10AM Sunday, August 11.
  • At 10PM (PT) on Saturday, you'll receive a Bonus Challenge that you have the option of weaving into your story. 
  • Upload your finished piece to Soundcloud and Submittable by 9:59:59AM (PT) Sunday, June 14. NO LATE ENTRIES will be accepted.
  • The top ten will be announced the week of June 22. Winners will be announced the week of June 29.

KCRW staff will listen to every submission. They will narrow down the batch and send their favorites to our industry judges. Submissions will be judged on four categories: creativity, storytelling, technical skills and incorporation of the theme.  Industry judges this year include


  • Winner: $1,000 contract for the piece to air on KCRW, one-year PRX Producer Account, one-year Association of Independents in Radio (AIR) Membership and Talent Directory listing, KCRW swag and a professional broadcast studio setup courtesy of Blue Microphones (featuring Yeti X professional USB microphone, Compass boom arm for perfect positioning and Radius III shockmount designed to isolate mic from ambient vibration).
  • 2nd Place: $500 contract for piece to air on KCRW, one-year PRX Producer Account, one-year Association of Independents in Radio (AIR) Membership and Talent Directory listing, KCRW swag and a streaming studio setup for your desktop courtesy of Blue Microphones (featuring a Yeti USB microphone, Radius III shockmount and the Compass premium microphone boom arm).
  • 3rd Place: $300 contract for piece to air on KCRW, one-year PRX Producer Account, one-year Association of Independents in Radio (AIR) Membership and Talent Directory listing, KCRW swag and a Yeti Nano USB condenser microphone courtesy of Blue Microphones.   
  • The 10 Finalists: The top 10 finalists will be recognized on and receive a Talent Directory listing with the Association of Independents in Radio (AIR) and consideration to publish on PRX remix, PRX's XM station and radio show featuring stories and podcasts.
  • The L.A. Award: KCRW’s David Weinberg, host of Welcome to LA, will choose a piece to air on KCRW. The story must resonate with Angelenos so give us something with a strong sense of place, a story that captures the essence of one person and/or place in the city of dreamers.
  • The Social Butterfly Award: The team that makes the best use of social media using Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and any other social media platform to document their 24-Hours doing the #RadioRace. Winning team gets KCRW swag and $100 cash prize.
  • All participants who complete the Race: All participants who COMPLETE the race will get a KCRW Membership. But you must fill our this form as directed to qualify.

Thank you to our fantastic sponsors: Association of Independents in Radio (AIR), Public Radio Exchange (PRX), Blue Microphones and


  • Entries can be no longer than four minutes, in English and non-fiction. This means that the narrative must be based on true events. 
  • All costs related to the finished piece are the sole responsibility of the contestant.
  • Each team must complete their submission and it must be uploaded to Soundcloud and Submittable before 10AM, Sunday, June 14 PT. Only pieces that meet the deadline will be considered eligible for judging. It is recommended that contestants begin uploading their piece at least 30 minutes prior to the deadline.  
  • After you upload your audio to Soundcloud, copy and paste that link into your Submittable application. We will email you the submission form when the competition begins. 
  • TRANSCRIPTION: is our 2020 sponsor. Get a free month of Teams using the coupon code OTTERKCRW2020 at checkout (no credit card required). Code is active today and expires June 30. 
  • All writing, editing, and mixing the piece must occur within the 24 hour period defined above. Please do not repurpose a piece that you have already produced. Archival tape is permitted, but special consideration will be given to teams who record the majority of their actuality sound on race day.
  • Any type of recording equipment may be used.
  • MUSIC incorporated into your piece MUST be either original or legally cleared by the rights-holders. We cannot be held liable for any legal, technical, or other punitive actions relating to your use of third-party music (including, but not limited to, the blocking of your upload by Soundcloud due to copyright detection algorithms). Creative Commons is OK, as long as it's fair game via the license presented.  
  • Each piece must include the following credits at the end: "This piece was produced by _________, as part of The 24-Hour Radio Race from KCRW's Independent Producer Project." This must be INCLUDED in your four minutes total running time (you cannot run over to add credits).
  • By submitting a work for entry into the Contest, producers retain their right to that work, and are encouraged to submit it elsewhere for broadcast (in which case the 24-Hour Radio Race credit must be included). In addition, KCRW retains permission to broadcast the piece on-air or online for promotional or programming purposes and edit the piece for promotional or programming purposes, on-air or online. 
  • In order to compete, at least one member of each team must be 18 or over.
  • A team may be comprised of an individual or a group of people.
  • KCRW Staff, Board of Directors, and their immediate family members are not eligible to participate.
  • Void where prohibited or restricted by law or regulations.