Rules and Regulations


The term ‘audio’ means documentary audio – true stories told purely through sound.

“Documentary” refers to a self-contained audio work with a factual basis. If a programme is composed of multiple parts created by different producers, it will only be accepted if there is a strong sense of it being a single creative work and that composite parts would feel substantially different out of the context of the programme. Audio that was originally broadcast as part of a longer programme will be accepted, provided it stands alone.  If in doubt, please email submissions [at]

“Completed” means that the programme must be finished by the award deadline. Works in progress will not be accepted. Posting online either publicly or privately before the deadline is sufficient, as are other forms of publishing such as through CDs or live listening events. Work does not have to have been broadcast or otherwise picked up by an established station or podcaster to qualify. Programmes that have been played in a public forum in their completed form (e.g. online or live listening event) before the 1st January 2014 do not qualify, even if a first broadcast date falls after 1st January 2014. Where older material has been re-cut into a new programme within this time frame, it needs to be substantially different from the original work to qualify.

Sheffield Doc/Fest dates:

The Sheffield Doc/Fest is taking place in Sheffield from June 5th to June 10th 2015.

Submission Guidelines

In The Dark Sheffield International Audio Award is open to all sectors of documentary audio production. We encourage submissions from independent producers, established or debut producers, co-operatives, distributors, media institutions and education institutions.

In The Dark Sheffield International Audio Award considers audio works up to one hour. You can submit as many pieces as you like, however you will have to pay the £15 fee for each individual programme application.

● Submitted audio must have English script or be in video format with English subtitles.
● Audio producers must submit documentaries completed between 1 January 2014 and 2nd February 2015
● In The Dark  cannot offer individual critiques of declined audio or reasons for declining audio from the nominations.
● The audio submission form on the In The Dark website must be completed and the audio received by 2nd February 2015.

Sending in your entry

● You must complete an online submission form in order to be considered for the Sheffield In The Dark International Audio Award. Your audio will not be listened to if you do not complete a submission form or if your submission form is incomplete.

● Audio should be submitted via an online platform without a downloading expiry date. Please read the audio submissions guidelines sheet.

● Payment of £15 entry fee must be paid via Paypal and the confirmation number copied into the online submission form

● If in special circumstances you can not upload your audio online by the closing date and are entering via CD please note:

– send 3 CD copies of your audio. Ensure they are in CD cases, and they are packed well to withstand the treatment they may receive in the post.

– Clearly mark your CDs and the CD covers with:

Programme Title

Contact information (email address and phone number)

Do not put a value on the package of more than US$5. In The Dark will not accept the package if customs fees are incurred.

If posting from outside the EU, mark the package as: No commercial value. For cultural purposes only. In The Dark will not accept the package if customs fees are incurred. In The Dark does not accept responsibility for loss or damage of preview materials such as CDs, electronic press kits and/or other promotional material submitted for selection.

Please email submissions [at] for a postal address for CDs.

In The Dark can not return submitted CDs.


● Please note that all submitted audio is listened to by members of the In The Dark team. Your audio may be passed on to several members of the selection team and Judges.

● Nominated works will be posted on the In The Dark website by early May, 2015. Nominees will be contacted directly.

● If your work is not nominated, there is still a possibility it might be played as part of our official selection at Sheffield or spotlighted in our Guardian podcasts. By submitting work you are agreeing that it can be played as part of the Official Programme at Sheffield Doc/Fest.

● You work will not be played in part or in full in the Guardian podcast without additional consent. In such cases, you will be contacted by a member of the In The Dark team.