The Stories of Our City podcast competition

Birmingham Podcast Competition

Have you ever wanted to make your own podcast? Now’s your chance!

National Literacy Trust, Birmingham Stories, Brum Radio and Birmingham Podcast Studios are delighted to launch an exciting podcast competition as part of the Connecting Stories project.

We are inviting young people aged 11-17 from Birmingham to create a pitch for a podcast episode based on the theme ‘The Stories of Our City’.

We would like you to use your stories and experiences with the people, places and spaces in Birmingham as a starting point for your podcast. Entrants could:

  • Talk about some of the adventures you’ve had in the city
  • Interview a family member or friend about their life in Birmingham
  • Discuss some of your favourite places in Birmingham with friends
  • Record a dramatic telling of a story set in Birmingham
  • Teach your audience about Birmingham’s history…

Get as creative as you’d like! How you interpret the theme is up to you – we can’t wait to see what you come up with!

Winning entries will be invited to the Birmingham Podcast Studios to record and produce their podcast episode.

Read on for tips and resources to help you write the perfect podcast pitch!

What is a podcast?

A podcast is an audio file you can stream or download from the internet.

There’s no one size fits all answer when it comes to podcasts. They can be about any topic imaginable. Comedy, true crime, chat shows, music, pop culture, and food are all extremely popular topics for podcasters and fans around the world.

Millions of people in the UK listen to podcasts every week – yours could be next!

Download the podcast pitch form and enter The Stories of Our City podcast competition before 3 September to be in with a chance of winning!

Choosing a format

Choosing a format that suits your podcast is extremely important. Some podcasts only have one presenter, while others have two or three – some even invite guest speakers every week.

There are lots of different formats you can go for, but it’s important to choose something that not only works for your topic or genre, but also one you’re comfortable with.

Interview

One of the most popular formats, interview type podcasts often involve one or two hosts interviewing guests knowledgeable about a particular topic or industry.

Interview podcasts work best with no more than two hosts, to avoid too many voices confusing the audience. To host a successful interview podcast, you’ll need to do your research on your guests and make sure you’ve prepared well in advance to ask them interesting and insightful questions.

Try listening to:

Conversation

These podcasts are a little different from the interview format and usually involve two or three hosts sitting around the mic discussing a topic. Conversation podcasts are often quite informal and, for the audience, can feel like sitting in on a casual chat between friends! They generally require less preparation than an interview podcast, but it’s still important to do your research so you’re clued up on whatever topic you’ll be talking about.

Try listening to:

Scripted

It’s important to always have a rough idea of where you expect your podcast episode to go, but scripted podcasts are more similar to listening to an audiobook. These podcasts can tell both fiction and non-fiction stories, are typically told in one standalone episode or across an entire season – much like a TV show. Instead of presenters or hosts, scripted podcasts often have a cast of voice actors to perform the script. They require a lot of careful thought and production to pull off.

Try listening to:

Educational

Podcasts are an excellent way of getting people interested and engaged in a range of topics. Educational podcasts can be about anything – from interesting facts about space to teaching others about the history of your city. These podcasts typically have one or two hosts who are extremely knowledgeable about their chosen topic. To pull off a great educational podcast, you have to do a lot of research and think carefully about how to make the topic fun and interesting for the listener.

Try listening to:

These are just a few examples. There are plenty of different podcast formats out there – do your own research and pick the right one for you!

Perfecting your pitch…

To enter the competition, you’ll need to fill out the podcast pitch form. Make sure to think about:

  • Format – for example, if you have four hosts think carefully about which format will suit your podcast…
  • Research – every podcast needs to be researched properly, but make sure you go the extra mile if you’re planning on interviewing anyone or trying to educate your audience about a complicated topic!
  • Audience – figuring out your target audience can be tricky, but once you’ve decided who you want to create your podcast for everything becomes a lot easier.
  • Topic – the best podcasts are produced by people who are enthusiastic about their chosen topic, so make sure to pick one that genuinely interests and inspires you. Just make sure it links to the theme ‘The Stories of Our City’!
  • Length – we’re looking for podcasts that will last for at least 20 minutes, so make sure to consider timings when you’re writing your pitch.
  • Get inspired – before you enter the competition, listen to a few podcasts and draw inspiration from them.

And remember…podcasts are audio rather than image based, so don’t worry about visuals.

Enter the competition

Good luck! We can’t wait to read your entries!