By Judith Schwartzstein, Director of Publicity, Sarah Lawrence College
Jan. 3, 2018: Sarah Lawrence College’s audio fiction awards program, The Sarah Awards, is partnering with Audible, Inc., the largest seller and producer of downloadable audiobooks and other spoken word entertainment, adding a new dimension to the Very, Very, Short, Short Stories Contest this year, calling it the Brave + Bold Audio Fiction Contest.
The winner of the contest will receive a $15,000 development deal with Audible Originals to create an audio fiction pilot. The deadline for submissions is Monday, January 15, 2018.
Brave + Bold asks contestants to create a short scene for their audio fiction vision, a two- to four-minute segment that can be placed anywhere in the story. “You can leave us hanging after the first few minutes, drop us into the middle of your story, or even tell us the end. Think of it like you’re teasing us with a clip of your story and have us wanting more,” directs the website's instructions.
In keeping with The Sarah Awards' Very, Very, Short, Short Stories contest tradition, Brave + Bold provides dialogue prompts written by members of the Sarah Lawrence College writing faculty that should be used as creative inspiration for all submissions. The 2018 prompts are:
1. “Nicknames are like death,” submitted by Clifford Thompson;
2. “Some people like Siri, but I prefer the Magic 8 Ball,” from Brian Morton;
3. “I could feel you shuddering next to me; you didn’t understand what was happening,” by Nelly Reifler; and
4. “They leave under the cover of dawn, like duck hunters or criminals,” provided by Jo Ann Beard.
Sarah Awards founder and Sarah Lawrence writing faculty member Ann Heppermann said: "We are extremely excited to be partnering with Audible. With this contest, we're not only able to encourage newer and diverse voices to enter the audio fiction space, but through the support and generosity of Audible, provide real opportunities for them to be heard."
Heppermann teaches audio fiction and narrative journalism and is a documentary artist, reporter, and producer whose stories air nationally and internationally on National Public Radio, the BBC, and numerous shows. Her Peabody Award-winning work has aired on numerous public radio shows, including This American Life, 99% Invisible, and Radiolab. In 2011, she was named a United State Artists Rockefeller Fellow.
Pictured here: Past Sarah Awards ceremony.
Photo courtesy Judith Schwartzstein, Director of Publicity, Sarah Lawrence College