As Virginia’s home for public media, VPM connects nearly 2 million people across Central Virginia and the Shenandoah Valley to insightful programming in arts and culture, history, science, news and education. In addition to its award-winning podcasts and acclaimed documentaries, VPM produces compelling original content across platforms for local audiences and national distribution. VPM’s programming is designed to reflect the diverse communities that they serve. VPM is a proud sponsor of RESONATE Podcast Festival and the VPM + ICA Community Media Center. Listen to VPM podcasts.
Eligible pitches must be focused on sound rich, creative non-fiction storytelling. Please do not submit fiction, chatcasts, or true crime shows. To be considered, your podcast idea must not have been previously published. Submissions will be evaluated on the following criteria:
Clarity: Features a focused, compelling vision that would grab a listener’s attention
Originality: Offers an entirely original concept or presents subject matter in a unique way
Reach: Has the potential to attract and retain a broad audience
Sustainability: Offers a clear production model and ability to stay fresh over time
Impact: Encourages engagement beyond the listening experience
August 14: Pitch Party announced
August 21: Submission window opens
September 18: Submission window closes
September 30: Finalists notified
November 4: Live Pitch Party! Three finalists will pitch their ideas in front of a panel of judges and a live audience at the RESONATE Podcast Festival. The winner will be announced at the conclusion of the event.
The podcast competition is open to United States residents 18 years of age and older who are able to attend the 2023 RESONATE Podcast Festival in Richmond, VA, and who are NOT current employees of VPM Media Corporation, the Institute for Contemporary Arts or a named sponsor of the 2023 RESONATE Podcast Festival, their immediate family members or anyone living in their household. Eligible contributors may submit individually or as a group. Prior experience with audio production is not required but is recommended.
A jury of podcast industry professionals will select three finalists from the qualifying submissions to advance to the live pitch competition at the RESONATE Podcast Festival on November 4, 2023. Finalists will be notified via email on or around September 29, 2023 and will have 72 hours to confirm their participation in the live competition before their invitation is nullified and an offer is made to an alternate. The grand prize winner and runners-up will be selected at the live event by a panel of judges.
Each finalist will receive complimentary admission to the 2023 RESONATE Podcast Festival on November 3-4, 2023. Finalists will also be offered virtual mentoring (over email, Zoom, etc.), in which professional producers will help hone pitches in preparation for the live event. The grand prize winner will receive $10,000 from VPM to create a pilot episode of their podcast. Runners-up will also receive a prize, TBD.
Terms & Conditions
2023 RESONATE Pitch Party Terms & Conditions
By participating in the RESONATE Pitch Party Podcast Competition (the “Contest”), participants agree to the terms and conditions set forth herein and the official rules of the Contest (https://www.resonatepodfest.com/pitch-party), and that VPM Media Corporation (“VPM”), Resonate, ICA and all parties acting in concert with them, including without limitation any producers, sponsors, service providers and affiliates or agents or employees thereof (collectively, the “Contest Entities”) will have no liability whatsoever for any injuries, losses, or damages of any kind resulting from their use or participation in the call for performances or participation in or utilization of any prizes awarded. Prizes are nontransferable and cannot be exchanged for cash. Each participant agrees to release and hold harmless the Contest Entities from any injury, loss, death, damage, action, claim, demand or other liability that may occur from participant's participation in this Contest or from the acceptance, use or misuse of any prize awarded, or attendance at any event, including the 2023 RESONATE Audio Festival (the “Festival”). We reserve the right to verify eligibility qualifications of any participant, including the winner of the Contest. There can be no substitutions for a prize of equal or greater value.
The copyright in and to the podcast entries will remain solely with the participants; however, participants acknowledge that there may be multiple submissions that are similar in nature. By entering into the Contest, each participant (including all members of each participant that is a group) grants permission to Contest Entities and those acting under their authority to use their name, photograph, voice and/or likeness in and in connection with their submission, the Festival and for advertising and/or publicity purposes, and the right to use and exploit their submissions and performances, in any and all media now known or hereinafter invented throughout the world and without compensation (except as otherwise set forth herein). Each participant represents and warrants that all submissions shall be free of malware or other viruses, and all submissions and resulting work product will not contain any material that is obscene, violates the legal rights of any third party (including any third party intellectual property rights), or defames any third party. Each participant agrees to indemnify, defend and hold harmless the Contest Entities from any and all claims, losses, damages, liabilities and expenses (including attorneys fees), arising out of any violation or breach of these official rules by such party.
We will notify applicable participants if they have been selected as Contest finalists using the email address associated with the participants’ entries. Failure to provide an accurate, working email account through which we can contact a participant will disqualify the applicable participant. All finalists are solely responsible for all costs and expenses associated with attendance at the Festival, other than entry to the Festival which will be provided for the finalists. Each finalist may be required to complete and submit additional documentation as requested by Contest Entities, including to verify eligibility and confirm acceptance of these terms and conditions and the official rules. The Contest Entities shall have the right to select a winner of the Contest in their sole discretion.
The winner of the Contest agrees to deliver a completed pilot episode of their podcast to VPM by August 4, 2024 (“Delivery Date”). Failure to do so may result in disqualification from the Contest. VPM shall have an exclusive 90-day first negotiation right commencing upon the Delivery Date, to negotiate a production agreement for the winner’s podcast.
The Contest Entities reserve the right to revoke any determination of a finalist or winner at any time for any reason, including for any failure of such party to comply with these terms and conditions and the official rules. The Contest Entities reserve the right, at their sole discretion, to disqualify any individual that the Contest Entities find to be tampering with the entry process or the operation of the Contest or website; to be in violation of the terms of service of the Contest Entities' website; to be acting in violation of these terms and conditions or official rules; or to be acting in a disreputable or disruptive manner, or with intent to annoy, abuse, threaten or harass any other person.
As a condition of participating in this Contest, each participant agrees that any and all disputes which cannot be resolved between the parties, and causes of action arising out of or connected with this Contest, shall be resolved individually, without resort to any form of class action, exclusively, before a court located in Richmond, VA, having competent jurisdiction, which court shall apply the laws of Virginia. Further, in any such dispute, under no circumstances will any participant be permitted to obtain awards for, and hereby waives all rights to claim punitive, incidental, nor consequential damages, and participant further waives all rights to have damages multiplied or increased.