Austin Film Festival, (AFF) is pleased to announce a distinguished panel of judges for its inaugural Fiction Podcast Script Competition:

  • Jeffrey Cranor, the co-author of the novels Welcome to Night Vale and It Devours! He is also the co-creator of the podcasts Welcome to Night Vale and Within the Wires.
  • Zack Akers and Skip Bronkie graduated from Tisch School of the Arts with a degree in Film & Television.  In Summer 2015, they co-founded Two-Up and released Limetown, which has received over 8 million listens and was an iTunes Best of 2015. 
  • Kathy Merritt is VP of Content Strategies and Development for Public Radio International, where she oversees podcasting, special projects, and distributed radio programs. An award-winning producer, she develops new talent and production partners and most recently launched Playdate with Sarah Jones. 
  • Ann Heppermann is the founder of The Sarah Awards, celebrating and rewarding radio drama for the 21st century, and hosts its fiction podcast Serendipity. She teaches audio fiction at Sarah Lawrence College in its writing program and is also a producer with Pineapple Street Media.

“Our judges truly feel like partners in this initial year of the Competition,” says AFF’s Executive Director, Barbara Morgan. “Each is committed to helping launch great stories into the podcast medium, and has a proven capacity to do so.”

Public Radio International (PRI) has officially signed on as the sponsor of the competition which is open until July 7.

Akers & Bronkie will also be featured in a new slate of audio fiction programming that will take place during the Austin Film Festival’s Writers Conference, October 26 – 29.  Programming will discuss the art of storytelling within an acoustic medium, as well as the address the nuts and bolts of creating a successful fiction podcast.