New Jersey Web Festival has expanded its offerings to include the wonderful world of fiction podcasts!
Submissions from all over the world, and from every genre, are welcome.
Quality is the only criteria: we want to showcase the very best!
This year we are accepting both serialized and episodic fiction podcasts, including stand-alone fictional stories, anthologies, and pilots so that everyone can have a chance to #FeelTheMagic!
You can submit up to 30 minutes of material for consideration for the festival, this can be an individual episode, a section of an episode, or a custom-made "highlight reel" from across your show. Whatever you would like to submit is fair game, up to 30 minutes long. We require all submitted podcasts to have an RSS feed available to distribute their full show separate from their submission. This RSS feed can be hosted publicly or privately, and "full show" can be defined as a single episode.
If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Submissions have closed.
Event Date: September 17-19, 2021
The awards listed below are just a sample of what categories may actually appear at the festival (pending submissions in the respective categories). We will likely add more as we go!
Best Director of a _________ (Final Genre lists by Submission)
Best Writing of a _________ (Final Genre lists by Submission)
Best Actor in a _________ (Final Genre lists by Submission)
Best Supporting Actor in a _________ (Final Genre lists by Submission)
Best Ensemble Cast in a _________ (Final Genre lists by Submission)
Best Ensemble Cast in an Actual Play
Best Game Master
Best Sound Design
Best Theme Song
Best Series Premise
Outstanding _____ Series (Final Genre lists by Submission)
Outstanding Actual Play Series
Outstanding LGBTQ+ Series
NJ WEBFEST BEST OF THE BEST - PODCAST
Is my show eligible?
Whether you call your show a fiction podcast, audio drama, audio fiction, or anything in between, you're still welcome to submit! What we call this artform doesn't change the fact that we are all lovers and supports of podcasting!
Ideally, you should have at least three episodes produced, but if you have one or two outstanding episodes, with future episodes in the works, feel free to submit. If it's a can't-miss show, we won't pass up the chance to showcase you at our festival.
Series creators should also include a link for us to listen to your entire series. We are lovers of podcasts, and may want to listen to every episode before making our selections!
Audio submitted should be no longer than 30 minutes in length and should present what you feel is the best representation of the audio you would like to be considered for awards. This can be a trailer or a portion of an episode, or even several episodes. As long as it comes in under the 30-minute limit, we’ll take it!
We also accept productions in any language! The submission form features a final question of "Anything Else?" Please list the language of your submission and any specific dialect if applicable. We will ensure that your submission is judged by a fluent and properly trained judge. All accepted submissions in non-english languages will have to supply an english transcript with their "screening" file (~5-7 minutes long).
Is this a Podcast Convention?
In some ways, yes. Historically the New Jersey Web Festival has been one of the premiere film festivals for web series, music videos, and trailers in the world. On top of screenings (so that everyone can celebrate each others' incredible work), and an awards component, we offer panels with industry leaders, networking events, and a wide range of programming to give creators the best experience for their work, and to help create connections for their future artistic endeavors. In a way we are creating the first Fiction Podcast Film Festival.
But podcasts aren't fil--
Yep, yep, we walked right into that one. We don't have an exact term for what we're making, because honestly, its never been done like this before. We're bringing the magic of film festivals to the podcast space, and the magic of the podcast convention to the web series space. The best way to think of us is we're building a true WEB festival. We are creating an experience for creators on the web. We're here to support each other and that means taking risks and anything new and exciting is a risk worth taking. We understand that Audio and Film aren't the same thing, and that's why we've created the Fiction Podcast Planning Committee, led by Ned Donovan, to connect the worlds between these two communities.
Ned is a multi-hyphenate content creator, primarily focused on the New Media space. His web series The Hunted: Encore has won over 70 awards at more than 50 festivals worldwide, including Best Score and Best Comic Fiction at the 2019 NJWF. His podcast Encounter Party! spent nearly 8 weeks on Apple Podcasts' New & Noteworthy Charts and has charted in 50 countries for Comedy Fiction. They have been featured by Nerdist, Syfy Wire, Gilding Light, and on the official Dungeons & Dragons podcast Dragon Talk. Their first campaign has garnered over a quarter of a million downloads and is available wherever you listen to podcasts. You can find more about him and his work at his website, or through his production company, Charging Moose Media.
Meet our Fiction Podcast Judges!
We have some incredible judges from all over the industry. A collection of creatives, performers, writers, filmmakers, and some New Jersey Web Festival alumni! Not every judge is represented below as some asked not to be named and we're happy to honor that request. As we receive headshot/bio information from those who would like to be included they will be listed below!
Abie Ekenezar is an actress, singer, screen writer and VO artist living in Seattle, WA with an extensive background resume and has been in the entertainment industry professionally with IMDB credits for over seven years. Their acting and singing took on many spots while in the United States Navy for over ten years. Outside of the Navy, they are best known for their leading role on Retch (2018) and has done background work on shows like Grimm, Portlandia, Man in the High Castle, JourneyQuest 3.5 and Librarians.
Abie’s directorial debut was for the film short Prefer-Racial Treatment and is currently working on an Octavia Butler anthology to be filmed in 2022. They also released their first book anthology, Cooties: Shot Required was published in March 2021 along with their newest book Ageless: A Haunting of Orchard House.
Their VO work ranges from Amazon and Audible and currently teaches Voiceover, A Student’s Perspective at Freehold Theater in Seattle and they have recently been cast in the ElfQuest Audio Drama which is the longest-running independent fantasy graphic novel series in the USA, has appeared on the New York Times best-seller list, and has more than 20 million comics, graphic novels and other publications in print.
David Lee Huynh
David Lee Huynh is an actor and producer based in NYC. He played a young Richard III in the critically acclaimed Off-Broadway revival of Shakespeare’s Henry VI, stars in the episodic DnD actual play podcast Encounter Party!, and is a founding member of The Sống Collective.
Dennis Perkins is a writer for The A.V. Club, The Portland Press Herald, and anywhere else that pays him. He lives in Maine with his wife, the writer Emily L. Stephens, and his cat, Cooper, who is more of a visual artist. You can find him on Twitter at @DennisPerkins5, since four other Dennis Perkinses were faster.
Diana Gaeta (superdillin)
Diana, or superdillin, (she/they/he) is a game event coordinator, gaming entertainer, and author of the 5e setting Neverland: the Impossible Island
Ella Watts is a podcast producer at BBC Studios, as well as an international expert and advocate for audio fiction. She's best known for a ten-year overview of the English language fiction podcast industry that she was commissioned to write by BBC Sounds in 2018. Since then, Ella has been a regular contributor on BBC Radio 4 Extra's Podcast Radio Hour, repeatedly judged the BBC Audio Drama Awards, written often for International Podcast Month, and taken part in festivals around the world to speak about audio fiction - from Podtales in Boston to London Podcast Festival. In addition to her professional work, Ella is a community co-ordinator for the British audio fiction community, and runs the monthly 'UK Audio Fiction' virtual meet-ups for fiction podcasters. Ella's credits in independent audio fiction span sound engineering, producing, writing and voice acting, and include The Orphans, The Unseen Hour, Evelyn's Roots, Wooden Overcoats, Victoriocity, We Fix Space Junk, Seren and The Cryptonaturalist.
I’d say I grew up with podcasting, but I was already 36 when I launched my first podcast back in 2004. At the time, it was the 40th podcast ever. So perhaps it’s better to say that podcasting grew up with me? (I’ll let you do the math to figure out my age.)
I had the privilege of writing Podcasting for Dummies back in 2005. During my tenure in the podosphere, I’ve been the host or co-host of over 20 different podcasts. And counting! Professionally, I’ve either consulted for, edited, or advised on over 700 podcasts. And still counting!
Today I draw from those skills and the 20+ years I’ve been in business operations for digital advertising agencies to run a boutique strategic podcast consultancy, Simpler Media. We’re focused on the unique challenges businesses face in podcasting, both today and tomorrow.
US-based audio pioneer FRED GREENHALGH is best known for bringing location-recording techniques from his indie film background to the production of immersive audio movies. His work includes The Cleansed, Locke & Key, The X-Files: Cold Cases and Stolen Lives, The Mayan Crystal, and Expeditionary Force: Homefront. Additionally he’s the creator of The Dark Tome, and Of Fae and Fiends, both Sticher Premium exclusives.
Fred is the founder and original hose of Radio Drama Revival, which is in its 14th year. A tireless advocate for audio fiction, Fred’s efforts to promote the medium include offering a free online course teaching audio fiction, speaking at conferences around the world, and features in many of the world’s most influential media publications.
He and his family live in an off-grid home in rural Maine that he and his wife built. They have many goats.
Gabe Hicks is a game designer for digital and tabletop. Currently, he works as Game Designer at Roll20. He created the CMM (an alternative character creation tool for 5e focused on class narrative) that has been featured on the DnD twitch channel. He has worked with Paizo, Critical Role, MageHandPress, and Grim & Perilous Studios. Leading a group called Mythic Grove, he focuses on highlighting smaller creators to give them a platform and opportunity through streaming, design, writing, or other creative mediums with the projects that Mythic Grove creates. "Let's put more magic into the world, together."
John Bavoso (he/him/his) is a Washington, DC-based playwright, marketer, and aspiring wrangler of unicorns. He mostly writes plays about women and queer people who are awkwardly attempting (and generally failing) to engage with serious subject matter, using only their dry wit and impeccably timed combative taunts. John is a member of the Dramatists Guild of America, a Pinky Swear Productions company member, a 2019 Lambda Literary Fellow, and recipient of District of Columbia FY18 and FY19 Arts and Humanities Fellowships. His plays have been produced and/or developed on several podcasts and in theatres across the country as well as Canada, Japan, South Korea, United Arab Emirates, Australia, and the UK. For more information, please visit John-Bavoso.com.
John was bitten by a radioactive Phil Collins at a young age and has been spending their time split between filling out online forms, fanboying over The Aquabats, and stage managing a variety of shows ever since. John Craig began working with the Chicago Sketch Comedy Festival in 2009 and took over the Technical Director role in 2014. John has been producing the Chicago Nerd Comedy Festival since 2013 and became Encounter Party's Community Manager in 2020.
A friend once remarked that "every conversation you have with John will be the nerdiest conversation you have all day."
Lee Uehara, host of the shows House of Lee NYC and UWS Corner Talk, is a serial podcaster and prefers her newly coined term, "Pod-PAUSE," not pod-fade. She is also the co-founder of the Asian American Podcasters Association, home of the Golden Crane Podcast Awards and the world's first Asian Podcast Festival. Lee also co-produces Podthon.com, a 2-day inclusive virtual summit held every July. When she's not podcasting, you'll most likely find her at other podcast conferences as a speaker photographer. For funsies, Lee loves make stuff to sell on Etsy and traverse through New York City in search of the perfect cupcake. If you're in the area, hit her up because you just never know what fun collabs could happen, say, for instance, a fiction podcast contest in NJ...
Meagan Sogge is a stage and production manager based in Minneapolis Minnesota. Meagan earned her BA in Theater and Film from the University of Minnesota - Duluth and has since worked on numerous stage and film productions in the Minneapolis area. She was introduced to the Web Festival world through her work with Seeka TV and is the Assistant Director for Minnesota Web Festival. She is excited to be judging submissions for New Jersey Web Festival for the first time.
Puja is a queer South Asian nerd with a love for theatrics, fantasy and storytelling. She loves playing in every TTRPG system she can get her hands on and has recently forayed into game writing. When she isn’t playing or dreaming of her next buff character, she moonlights as an Among Us impostor.
Rick Toscan’s audio dramas have been broadcast by the BBC (Radio 1 & World Service), ABC (Australia), CBC (Canada), and in the US by Pacifica and NPR. He was executive producer and story editor of the original Star Wars radio series for Lucasfilm, the BBC, and NPR – the first contemporary audio drama to attract a major national audience in the US. Other audio adaptations include work by Raymond Chandler, Damon Knight, Ed Bullins, and docudramas on the Vietnam War and psychoanalytic case histories. He was an Armstrong Award nominee for Creative Use of the Radio Medium and a founding member of First Stage, the Los Angeles new play development program. His workshop, Writing for the Ear, on podcast fiction was offered nationally by Oakland’s Play Café in 2021 and will be offered again in 2022. He consults on audio drama writing and production and is currently a writer-producer with Pod People. For many years he was Dean of the USC School of Theatre. His handbook, Playwriting Seminars 2.0 is a widely used resource in the field.
Shannon is the lyrical half of the comedy songwriting podcast Song Salad, which she cohosts with musician and composer Scott Wasserman. A professional writer and trained dramatist, Shannon has been publishing poems, songs, essays, fiction, and reportage for more than half her life and helping playwrights craft compelling stories for the stage as a dramaturg and script consultant. You can follow her and her show on Twitter (@sldeep and @songsaladcast) and subscribe to Song Salad on any podcatcher.
A redhead who hails from Kentucky, Taylor Coriell is a New York-based writer, director, and award-winning filmmaker. She is a two-time semifinalist for the Sundance/YouTube New Voices Lab, and the first season of her digital series, You're The Pest, made a highly successful run of the international festival circuit, collecting awards and nominations for Best Acting, Best Ensemble, Best Writing, Best Comedy, and Best of The Fests along the way. Taylor served on the reading and screening committees for the Nantucket Film Festival in 2020, and is a member of NYWIFT, Ghetto Film Roster, and Big Vision, Empty Wallet's Kickstart Diversity incubator.
Taylor's recent writing/producing projects include Ginger Bread House, Adulting With Jane, Renaissancing, Super Girl Gang Turbo Squad 5000, and We Will All Be Dead Soon. Her recent directing projects include Step Into My Office, The Maples, Run Ins, and the short film, Til Death Do Us Part.
On an unrelated note, Barack Obama follows Taylor on Twitter (no, for real).
Wayne Tunks is the breakfast announcer on Sydney radio station, My88 and is the co-host of music podcast, “You, Me, the 80s & 90s”. His web series, “After Nightfall”, has won awards all over the world, and his short, “Overcaterers Anonymous” is currently wowing festival audiences. He is a former storyliner on TV’s, “Neighbours” and his debut novel, “Normal or Nothing Like It” is out July 1.