International Audio Arts Festival

April 4th-7th 2019

Kilfinane, Co. Limerick, Ireland




Get Inspired!

 The HearSay Prize Winners 2014 

Need some inspiration before you crack out your microphone?

We've dived into our prize archives so grab your headphones

and have a listen to the winning entries from our very first year!


The HearSay Prize 2020


What You Win!

Flights to Ireland for Every Award Winner!

EVERY HearSay prize category winner living outside Ireland will receive RETURN flights from ANYWHERE in the world to participate and accept their award in person at #HearSay21


Weeklong Residency in a luxury mountain lodge (including the Festival Weekend).


An Invitation to HearSay21!


Commissions for new Work!


And more to be announced.



Special Categories

The CREATE Stream is the home of brand new work, created especially for entry to the HearSay Prize 2020.


The openness of the criteria (all forms, any content) balanced with the constraint of time (maximum 7 minutes) provides the perfect creative challenge.


If you fancy a chance to flex your creative muscle this is the stream for you.

The CELEBRATE Stream aims to recognise brilliant audio that already has been made  - but in a twist, the work can be submitted as created, performed, podcast, broadcast or it can be reworked, extracted, or reimagined to suit the short format.


If you have a piece of work that's remarkable in its present short form or needs a little reimagining, this is the stream for you.

All Entries to the CREATE and CELEBRATE Streams will also be entered in the appropriate Special Category Awards.


This is an opportunity to honour the diversity of the creative audio world, to celebrate creativity and skill and to encourage new talent.



The HearSay Prize

Award Categories 2020

The HearSay prize invites entries of new work and existing work via two separate streams

Entries to both streams are also eligible for Special Category Awards

Creative Commissions 

Our Prize winners inspiring audio entries have subsequently been broadcast on radio stations around the world from ABC in Australia, to the BBC, and in some of the worlds finest podcasts.  


The two overall Award winners will also receive PAID commissions to create NEW  audio work in collaboration with the HearSay Festival. The commissions will be tailored to the interests and disciplines of the winners in a dialogue with the commissioning editors.

Weeklong Residency (including accommodation for the Festival )

The role of the stunning Ballyhoura Mountain Lodges and the welcoming Deebert House Hotel at the HearSay Festival is already legendary. It’s where our Festival contributors stay and break bread (and occasionally dance!) together. Since HearSay in 2015, people like Kaitlin Prest, Chris Brookes, Cathy Fitzgerald, and much missed Jesse Cox came for up to three weeks beforehand to share experiences and new audio experiences for the Festival.


Each of the Award Winners receives a weeklong residency in the Ballyhoura Mountain Lodges. The residency includes the 3 nights of the Festival and can be used to create new work, to forge connections with the Festival Contributors are be taking over the lodges, or simply as a base to fall in love with all that Ballyhoura Country and Ireland has to offer.

HearSay21 Festival Pass and Award Ceremony 

Each category award winner received a Multi-day Festival Pass to attend the HearSay International Audio Festival from the 22nd-25th April 2020. The 2019 Festival had more than 150 events with attendees from 35 countries and was booked out 3 months in advance. Please note - unlike a Film Festival, the events and contributors of HearSay19 are programmed separately to the prize.


The Award winners will be were showcased in a very special event at the Award Ceremony to be held on April 23rd 2021.  

Flights to Ireland for EVERY Award Winner!


If you’ve always dreamed of travelling to Ireland, the HearSay Prize is a creative way to make that a reality!


During the previous years of the festival, we flew HearSay Prize Winners from all over the world: Canada, Argentina, Israel, Australia,Czech Republic, China, Germany, Italy, England, USA, Denmark, Belgium and other countries. Their presence made a huge contribution to the magical atmosphere of the Festival.


Each year EVERY (yes you read that correctly...) HearSay prize category winner living outside Ireland receive a flight from anywhere in the world to attend the HearSay Festival in Kilfinane and to have a week long residency.

Best Irish Produced Award-Festival Package

The winner of the Special Category - HearSay Prize 2019 Best Irish Produced Award will win a specially tailored Festival Package. This includes a weeklong residency, an invitation to HearSay2017 in November plus a host of special HearSay2017 experiences (in previous years these have ranged from a special Audio Clinic with BBC Radio's Short Cut's Producer Eleanor McDowall to a mountain biking trip. ).


HearSay Prize 2020 - The incredible prizes in detail

Stream 1

Stream 2

KilfinaneDJI7 Kaitlin Award

It's not  just about winning

The HearSay Prize is about inspiring and celebrating creative audio. Its about people who discovering new audio passions and forging new partnerships. One of our favourite moments of 2015 was the hug shared by Sophie Townsends 2015 Gold Award Winner with the 2014 Gold Award Winner Kaitlin Prest. Sophie had just landed in from Australia into the nest at Grey Heron Media where Kaitlin was making a stunning installation. Sophies award winning piece subsequently featured during the summer of 2016 in Kaitlin's  The Heart podcast.


Sophie also was commissioned by CBC's wonderful new Love Me podcast in 2016 who met her at HearSay 2015. In fact the team behind that podcast came together at HearSay2015 when Mira and Cristal joined us as the Audio Fiction Winners and met the host Lu,


And its not just about prize winners either, we also worked behind the scenes with Radiotopia's The Truth to share powerful entries with podcasts, to place entries we loved which didn't win, to get more ears.


Finally, one of the richest events at the Festival is a session where entries that don't win get played out in a packed space by members of the jury in discussion with entrants who are attending the festival

Closing Date: 

EARLYBIRD 20th October 2020

FINAL 18th November 2020


Shortlists Announced 

December 2020


Winners Announced

January 2021


Prize Ceremony

23rd April 2021


Judges: Find our 2019 Jury here. 

(The 2020 Jury is revealed in October


9 Awards in total


2 Overall Awards

HearSay CREATE Gold Award

(Overall winner - for NEW audio work)


HearSay CELEBRATE Gold Award

(Overall winner - for EXISTING work)


2 Awards for Work in a

Language other than English

HearSay Create Ganbearla Award

HearSay Celebrate Ganbearla Award


1 Award to recognise emerging audio makers (Full-Time Student and/or under age of 21) 

HearSay Rising Award


Special Category Awards

to be announced in September 2020

amica nowlan 2

Since 2014, the HearSay Audio Prize has attracted incredible entries from very corner of the globe that have been infused with the adventurous spirit of HearSay. They were, by turns, sonically experimental, exquisitely simple, deliciously intimate, and above all inspirational. Our winners have been veterans and novices, sound artists, film-makers and documentary makers, students and podcasters. They've come from all around the world: Argentina, Israel, United States, Australia, Denmark, Belgium, Ireland, Italy, Canada, Germany, United Kingdom and beyond..


For 2020, we've kept the focus on short form audio, maintaining the types of work that could be entered, keeping the special award categories, added fantastic prizes and encouraged the entry of pieces not in the English language.


EARLYBIRD We make Prize entry more accessible via our special EarlyBird Entry Fee which offers a 30% reduction on the Entry Fee. The EarlyBird deadline this time is 20th October 2020.


Read on for details of this year's competition, our fantastic prizes and how you could enter!


Want to participate? The HearSay Prize in 2020 closes on 18th November 2020 (adjusted dates due to Covid-19)

The 2020 HearSay Prize

opens for entries 30th September

Deadline for entries is

18th November 2020 .

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