Tuesday, April 7 - Monday, May 25, 2020

Update [3.12.20]: For now, we intend to proceed with the 2020 Third Coast/RHDF Competition, but we are discussing the impact of COVID-19 on our annual Competition. We understand that this is a precarious time for everyone, and that affects every sphere of life. We'll update you as soon as we have more information about how COVID-19 will affect the TC/RHDF Competition.


The Third Coast / Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Competition seeks the best narrative audio stories produced worldwide and across languages, empowering the audio industry as a whole to push the boundaries of the medium.

Since 2001, the TC/RHDF Competition has celebrated the most masterful, experimental & groundbreaking works in audio storytelling, and has offered over $300,000 in cash prizes to many of the most innovative producers of the past two decades. Deeply rooted in the narrative audio industry, the Third Coast/RHDF Competition invites a cohort of expert judges in the field to award the winners every year.

The Third Coast/RHDF Competition has accepted Non-English Language Entries since 2016, and we strongly encourage international communities of audio producers to consider entering. While the Competition was initially created to honor documentary and non-fiction audio stories, we also welcome works that are rooted in documentary technique, but blur methods of fiction and non-fiction storytelling. To read more about the categories awarded in 2019, click here.

The 2020 Third Coast/RHDF Competition winners will receive a slew of prizes: industry-wide recognition, a cash prize of up to $5,000, at least one gratis registration to the 2020 Third Coast Conference (October 8-10 in Chicago), celebratory recognition at the Third Coast Awards Ceremony, October 10 in Chicago, and will reach national audiences on Third Coast’s radio show & podcast(s), including Best of the Best.

Stay tuned for the full details about this year’s categories, eligibility requirements, and entry guidelines on Wednesday, March 25, 2020, posted here and in Producer News.

Got questions? Email us. The annual TC/RHDF Competition is made possible with support from the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation.


Full details about this year’s eligibility requirements, categories & entry guidelines: March 25

Call for Entries Opens: April 7

Early Deadline: May 1, 5pm CST

Final Deadline: May 25, 5pm CST

Winners Notified: Late August

Winners Announced: Mid September

Awards Ceremony (Chicago, IL): October 10


At Third Coast, accessibility is at the core of our programming; we believe that all people should have access to the art, craft & resources of audio storytelling. We are committed to making our programming and the audio industry at large a more equitable and inclusive space. We acknowledge this work is never complete. We remain in dialogue with you, our community, through the belief that there is always more work to be done.

In 2020, we are restructuring our entry fees to help lower the barriers of entry to the Third Coast/RHDF Competition, particularly for independent producers & producers from countries outside of the U.S, Western Europe, Canada, and Australia.

We will announce the details of this year’s pricing structure alongside the rest of the details about the 20th annual Competition on March 25, 2020.

Do you want to help us further accessibility efforts at Third Coast? If so, contribute directly to The Third Coast Fund, an initiative to increase access across all Third Coast programming!

The annual TC/RHDF Competition is made possible with support from the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation.

From 2003-2016, Third Coast encouraged the production of new work via our ShortDocs Challenge. In cahoots with an artistic partner, we designed a set of rules and invited anyone and everyone — to submit short audio works that follow these rules. Ah, the possibilities in "creativity through constraint!"

Use the dropdown menu to check out the hundreds of short audio gems created through the Third Coast ShortDoc Challenge over the years.