So You Think You Can Pod

Got a podcast idea that keeps you up at night?

Here’s your chance to get that genius concept off the ground. For this, the second annual So You Think You Can Pod competition, three Australian podcast wannabes will have their pitches prodded, workshopped and sharpened by our panel of audio producers in front of a live audience – and the winner will walk away with a Wheeler Centre mentorship and prize pack worth $8,000.

(Last year’s winners – Michael Green, Andre Dao and Abdul Aziz Muhamat – ultimately co-produced their award-winning podcast, The Messenger, with the Wheeler Centre.)

The winner

The winning entry for So You Think You Can Pod 2017 is 'Waru', from Coel Healy. Named for the Martu word for fire, the pitch was for a proposed six-part podcast series about Australia's unique relationship with bushfires. The judges were impressed by Coel's clear, focussed idea, its uniqueness and its potential for development into a richly imaginative, soundful body of work.

Coel will receive a six-month audio mentorship with the Wheeler Centre to the value of $8000. This includes:

  • Editorial, production and marketing advice and feedback from the team that brought you Better Off Dead and The Messenger
  • Recording time in a professional, Melbourne-based studio
  • A cash prize of $3000
  • Free tickets to all Invasion of the Pod People events in 2018
  • Professional audio editing software (three-year Hindenburg Journalist PRO licences for up to three team members valued at $420 each)
  • A kit of podcaster essentials – including a microphone, headphones and portable recorder

The two runners-up were Penelope Bartlau (with Darius Kedros and Patrick Humbert) with 'The Sound of Cancer', and Melanie Thomson (with Nick Henderson of the Australian Lesbian and Gay Archives) for 'Queer Histories Australia'. These teams will each receive a one-year Hindenburg Journalist PRO licence (for up to three team members) valued at $120 each.

These three entries stood out from a very competitive field of smart, compelling pitches. All valid entries will receive a one-year Hindenburg Journalist licence, valued at $50. We'll share an audio recording of the pitching and judging live event soon!

The judges

So You Think You Can Pod 2017 was judged by Eric George (Australian), Kate Montague (Audiocraft) and Julie Shapiro (Radiotopia, USA), alongside Sophie Black and Jon Tjhia from the Wheeler Centre.

Shortlisted entrants were invited to join us on Tuesday 5 December to argue their case. (The event also featured Julie Shapiro in conversation.)

Deadline for entry

Entries have now closed; the deadline for submissions was Monday 13 November at 5pm AEDT.

Supported by Hindenburg Systems.


Photo of judges and finalists

Judges Jon Tjhia, Sophie Black, Julie Shapiro, Kate Montague and Eric George – with finalists Melanie Thomson and Penelope Bartlau — Photo: Claire Flynn

Photo of the winner announcement

The judges return to announce a winner — Photo: Claire Flynn