We appreciate that entering the Awards is a time consuming, not to mention nail biting undertaking. While there's no secret formula that will guarantee success, we have put together a few tips which we hope will make the process a little easier. Some of our judges have also passed on advice that's specific to the categories they judged last year and you'll find these within the rubrics, so do make sure you take a look!
We've also produced a special How to Win a Sony Podcast featuring John Myers as host, alongside Maria Williams from Sound Women, Steve Ackerman from Somethin' Else and Paul Sylvester from Absolute Radio - all of whom have judged and won Sony Radio Academy Awards.
- When deciding which category or categories to enter, make sure you read through the rubrics and entry requirements carefully! Some are designed to recognise an individual's or team's outstanding contribution, others an amazing programme or series, or a station or brand as a whole. For some, your audio submission will need to demonstrate excellence across a range of broadcasts and include a number of extracts; others are looking for that killer one-off show. Make sure you know which is which and follow the instructions!
- In general, there are no restrictions on how many categories you may enter or how many programmes you may enter into any one category. Please check the criteria for each category however as there are a few exceptions - for example, a programme that's entered Breakfast Show of the Year, can't also enter Best Entertainment.
- Wondering about the competition? Take a look at the lists of previous winners from 2010, 2011 and 2012. If you'd like to listen to some of them, email firstname.lastname@example.org to request a copy of the audio.
- If you are entering the same programme into more than one category (and there are no rules to say you can't - if it fits the rubric, it's eligible), we’d strongly advise that you tailor each entry, both the audio and the written supporting information, according to the criteria outlined for each category. Each category exists to recognise a different type of programming and/or skill and one size rarely fits all.
- Remember, it's all about the entry. Any prior knowledge of your station or your station’s work will not be taken into account by the judges.
- Take time to plan your write up. For most categories, you'll have just 250 words, so make sure they count! What makes your programme stand out from the crowd? What's special about it? Write it down! Don't assume the judges will know your station history or who your listeners or presenters are. The written submission is your opportunity to fill in the gaps and provide a context for the audio.
- When it comes to preparing your audio - be choosy! Don't focus on the maximum duration, think only about submitting your very best work. Aim to grab the judges' attention from the get go and thrill them with you choice of audio.
- One really simple tip - put your best bits first. Your audio doesn't have to be in date order - as long as you provide a list that itemises what's what so the judges know what they're listening to, you're free to pick and choose as you see fit. And, if you're done 20 minutes in, stop! Don't fill the last 10 minutes for the sake of it, sometimes less really is more!
- When you've finished putting your entry together, why not ask someone who wasn't involved to take a look at it - sometimes a fresh pair of eyes and ears can add valuable perspective and make all the difference!
- And finally, bear in mind that awards are never given to people who are simply doing their jobs and the Sonys are no different. There has to be something that sets your entry apart from the rest and makes it stand out from the crowd. First and foremost, these awards exist to reward and celebrate excellence. Your entry is your showcase: make sure it refects the very best of what you do.
Once you’ve decided on the category or categories you want to enter, you’ll need to register/log in online and then complete an entry form and prepare an audio submission for each entry you make.
Please note you do not need to send a hard copy of your audio or entry form - the whole process can be completed online.
If you have any questions, please contact Riza Jones or Mandy O'Connor at The Radio Academy.
Entries to the 2013 Sony Radio Academy Awards have now CLOSED.
The NOMINATIONS will be announced on Wednesday 10th April 2013 via a live webcast from this site.
The WINNERS will be revealed on the evening of Monday, 13th May at the Grosvenor House Hotel on London's Park Lane.