Call for Proposals: Podcast Pitch Initiative

Deadline Date: February 25, 2024

Donor Name: The Whickers

Grant Size: $1000 to $10,000

Proposals are being encouraged for the Podcast Pitch a joint initiative with Sheffield DocFest.

The Podcast Pitch follows the growing global trend towards solo, episodic listening to factual audio on the move and replaces the Radio and Audio Funding Award (RAFA). Single episode proposals will also be considered.

They have moved away from supporting single documentaries exclusively to podcast series. They feel this more fairly reflects the needs and opportunities of today’s audio industry, and supports a format that is more likely to be funded in today’s world.

Award Details

  • The Whickers are giving a £5,000 production award to the winner and £2,000 to a runner up.
  • Five finalists will also receive a free pass to Sheffield Documentary Festival in June 2024, 1 nights accommodation, a contribution of up to £400 per project towards their travel expenses and access to top industry professionals and commissioners of the audio world.


  • They accept applications worldwide.
  • Open to audio producers from anywhere in the world, but the program must be in the English language
  • Award money will either be paid into the award-winner’s registered production company, or to an individual (if they are applying as a sole producer)
  • Up to four minutes of original taster audio recording is required at the time of applying
  • Applicants must have an executive producer on board at the time of applying
  • If applicants reach the finals they will be invited to pitch at Sheffield DocFest in the UK in June 2024
  • Applicants must be able to attend the final in person
  • The judges’ decision is final.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Engagement
    • Unique access to engaging characters in unusual or inaccessible locations
    • Contributors have agency, their story emerges in their own words
    • A demonstrable flair for coaxing the human spirit into revealing itself
    • The author demonstrates intimacy with but does not overshadow the subject
    • Flair for structure; for example: knows how to create a cliffhanger to ensure the listener tunes in to the next episode
    • An instinct for knowing what their audience cares about, or will care about in 6months time
    • They welcome applications from across the globe but projects must be accessible to an English language audience
    • A basic understanding of the podcasting process is welcome
  • Curiosity
    • Spirit of inquisitiveness that leaves viewers wanting more
    • Tells them about something new and unexpected about the world
    • Excites wonder
    • Understands how wit can illuminate the toughest or most nuanced real life drama
  • Authored Story
    • A story-teller with demonstrably strong interviewing skills
    • Demonstrates passion for the subject whilst retaining fair-mindedness
    • Demonstrates a real sense of independence
    • Wit is welcome
    • Strictly no ‘Whicker impersonations’
  • Original Use Of Technology
    • Playful with story-telling means – breaking new ground and/or using old ground to re-invent new style
    • An understanding that sound, as well as speech, can enrich the audience experience.
    • Creative use of the stereo or binaural audio landscape.
  • Personal Not Partisan
    • Investigative journalism is welcome
    • No campaigning, pre-set agendas or political theories

For more information, visit The Whickers.

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