• Third Coast Festival
  • Navy Pier
  • 848 East Grand
  • Chicago, Illinois
  • 60611-3509

Now it's your turn to make radio

And the winners are...

Congrats to the 2013 ShortDocs Challenge winners! You can listen to all five stories over in our Radio Potluck.


For the first time ever, this year's ShortDocs Challenge invited the public to weigh in on their favorite story. Eight finalist submissions were chosen to be considered for the first ever People’s ShortDoc Award (PSDA), and over the course of two weeks, 630 people listened and voted for their favorite.

The PSDA winner was revealed on Saturday, August 3, on NPR's Weekend Edition.

Hear the People's ShortDoc, and the other four ShortDocs winners, over in our Radio Potluck.


Here's your chance to take part in an international audio mega-project, whether you can produce radio in your sleep, or have always hungered to utter the words "Testing, 1, 2, 3. Testing" into a microphone. ShortDocs are for everyone.

Read on to learn more about how to participate. Or head over to our Radio Potluck, to hear the ever-growing pool of submissions!

introducing all the Cooks in the Kitchen

As always, the ShortDocs Challenge comes with a set of rules inspired by a partner. For 2013 that's the James Beard Foundation – a great organization that celebrates, nurtures, and preserves diverse culinary heritages through awards, education, and outreach. 

Additionally, five Chicago-based "ShortDocs Chefs" will concoct original dishes (!) inspired by the winning ShortDocs stories. Starring: Rick Bayless (Frontera), Abraham Conlon (Fat Rice), Jason Hammel (Lula Cafe), Paula Haney (Hoosier Mama Pie Company) and Iliana Regan (Elizabeth Restaurant).


The ingredients/rules

The 2013 ShortDocs Challenge invites anyone and everyone to produce audio stories that are:
- inspired by the idea of “appetite
two to three minutes in length
- presented in three “courses” (think: chapters)
- include one of the five tastes in the title: bitter, salty, sour, sweet, umami. (Kudos to you umami-goers.)

The deadline for submitting your ShortDoc is 11:59pm CT on Monday, May 6.


MORE ON appetite

Inspired by the James Beard Foundation's 2013 Conference theme, we encourage you to interpret "appetite" broadly, from the literal to the figurative. Consider stories of hunger and obesity, craving and satiety, profit and desire. Make us laugh, make us cry, make us angry, make us think – so long as your story explores appetite in some way, and follows the other ShortDocs rules.


INCENTIVES (we know, they help.)

- Four winning submissions will each inspire an original dish from a ShortDocs Chef (listed above).

- Winners and ShortDocs Chefs’ will take the stage to present their creations publicly at the Third Coast Filmless Festival (TCFF), October 19-20, in Chicago.

- Eight finalists (including winners) will receive a free pass to the TCFF.

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

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

- All eight finalists will receive a free two-year SoundCloud Pro Unlimited account.

- Top submissions will be featured on Third Coast’s Re:sound (WBEZ, Chicago) and podcast, and presented on PRX's Public Radio Remix, and at Third Coast listening events in Chicago and beyond.

shortdocs TIMELINE

March 12 - through May 6 - Submissions accepted
Early July - Eight finalists notified
July 18 - Eight finalists announced publicly
July 18 - 31 - Voting open for People’s ShortDoc Award
August 1 - Winners announced (four + People's choice)
October 19 - Winning producers and ShortDocs Chefs take the stage at the TCFF
December - Top 12 - 15 submissions featured on Re:sound



- 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, on PRX’s Public Radio Re:mix. (Note – producers may also license ShortDocs themselves, through PRX.org)

- Four winners will be selected by Third Coast staff, with help from the James Beard Foundation and ShortDocs chefs.

- The People’s ShortDoc Award will be presented in addition to these four winners.

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


Our apologies for all the food metaphors and puns, but we've found them near-impossible to avoid in, um, cooking up this year's Challenge.


Hundreds of appetite stories await your ears over at our Radio Potluck!

your 2-3 minute

- be inspired by the idea of "appetite" 

- be presented in three "courses"

- include bitter, salty, sour, sweet, or umami in the title


Voting for the PSDA is now closed.

The PSDA winner will be announced 8/3 on NPR's Weekend Edition Saturday.

The four other TC/JBF winners will be announced 8/5.

Follow ShortDocs you-know-where: #shortdocs

Check out past ShortDocs Challenges.

Questions? Our FAQ may answer them. If not, ask away.



And to supporters


And to 

for providing free Pro accounts to all participants. 

Tile_twitter_horiz_1 Tile_facebook_horiz_1 Tile Tile_shoppe_square