We knew when we had the idea for a 24-Hour Radio Race it was kind of crazy. We hoped that anyone who was curious about making radio, not just seasoned radio producers, would want to participate. We had NO IDEA that there would be so many people willing to stay up all night making radio stories, and we are totally blown away by the results.

 

Team "Big Boom" in Washington DC, interviewing Phillip Choobin, an Iranian journalist who also runs a computer repair shop in Georgetown.

Team “Big Boom” in Washington DC, interviewing Phillip Choobin, an Iranian journalist who also runs a computer repair shop in Georgetown.

 

In a mere 24-hours, given nothing but a kind-of-abstract theme, radio producers of all levels of experience, in five countries and 22 different US states, created 101 non-fiction radio stories. You can hear them all on the 24-Hour Radio Race group page on SoundCloud.

Team KHSU working late into the night at their community station in Arcata, CA.

Team KHSU working late into the night at their community station in Arcata, CA.

 

The race started on Saturday, August 17th, at 10AM PT on the dot, with an email to all contestants that included some very important reminders, and the THEME. Bob Carlson, creator of KCRW’s UnFictional, explained the theme in this video:

 

 

For the next twelve hours, while on stand-by to answer questions, we were entertained by the photos and updates that started coming in via Instagram and Twitter using #RadioRace and on our Facebook event page.

 

A member of Team "Talcahuano" at Centro de Producciones Radiofónicas in Buenos Aires!

A member of Team “Talcahuano” at Centro de Producciones Radiofónicas in Buenos Aires!

 

At 10PM PT, we emailed the BONUS ELEMENT to contestants: this picture (below) of a red, 20-sided die, typically used to play Dungeons & Dragons. Using the bonus element was totally optional, but any team that did it creatively would have an edge in the judging process. Plus, it’s not hard enough making a non-fiction radio piece in 24 hours, right?

 

The BONUS ELEMENT photo: a D&D die!

The BONUS ELEMENT photo: a D&D die!

 

The results spanned the radio spectrum. Some were amazingly good, some were heartbreaking, hilarious, and some were totally bizarre. We heard the story of a man who ran 12 marathons in 12 months to raise money for the Congotwo hermit monks living in a tiny Texas ghost town, a cross-country quest to find kindness, and much, much more.

 

Aryiel Hartman from Los Angeles-based team "Sparkle Pony" takes a little nap after filing her piece before the 10AM deadline.

Aryiel Hartman from Los Angeles-based team “Sparkle Pony” takes a little nap after filing her piece before the 10AM deadline.

 

We’ll be announcing our Top Ten finalists very soon! And the winners will be announced (via email) on Monday, August 26th. The 1st Place winner will receive $1000, a spot on UnFictional, a one-year PRX Producer’s Account, a SoundCloud Premium account, and a KCRW T-shirt!

We’re also giving the ‘Most Liked’ Award to the piece that receives the most Likes on our SoundCloud page. Go there and click the little heart below the piece(s) that you like the most.

 

Garret Calcaterra from team "Wheel House" in Orange, CA.

Garret Calcaterra from team “Wheel House” in Orange, CA.

 

Thank you again to all the intrepid contestants who dared to compete in KCRW’s first annual 24-Hour Radio Race. As the title suggests, we’re really hoping to make this a yearly thing! We were totally inspired by your enthusiasm, creativity, and resourcefulness.

 

Hailey Marsh of Team "HailStorm" in Manhattan Beach, CA, shows off her makeshift bathroom studio.

Hailey Marsh of Team “HailStorm” in Manhattan Beach, CA, shows off her makeshift bathroom studio.

 

And big THANKS to everyone at KCRW and beyond who has made this event possible. Thanks to KCRW Talk Program Director Harriet Ells for being on call through the weekend to answer questions. Thanks to the 24-Hour Radio Race Committee who made sure every single piece was carefully considered: Bob Carlson, Matt Holzman, Gary Scott, Nick White, Harriet Ells, Jenny Radelet, Avishay Artsy and Jasmin Lopez. Thanks to Subtractive for editing our theme video and to Jon Bessire for shooting it. Thanks to Jayme Catsouphes and Jim Colgan for helping us navigate SoundCloud and kindly sponsoring our project. Thanks to John Barth and PRX for their consultation, and for sponsoring the Race. Lastly, thanks to Jimmy Shaw and Loteria Grill Hollywood for hosting our LA wrap party!

Now, go vote for your favorites!

 

Ali Lightfoot of Paonia, CO, records as she drives in front of their story subject: the llama in the hill.

Ali Lightfoot of Paonia, CO, records as she drives in front of their story subject: the llama in the hill.

 

Two team members burn the midnight oil at KVNF in Paonia, CO.

Two team members burn the midnight oil at KVNF in Paonia, CO.

Rasika Mathur shows off her van studio in Toluca Lake, CA.

Rasika Mathur shows off her van studio in Toluca Lake, CA.

 

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