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!





Special Category Awards

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


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 recut, this is the stream for you.

Entries to the CREATE and CELEBRATE Streams are automatically entered for Special Category Awards.


Special Category Awards honour the diversity of the creative audio world, celebrate creativity  & encourage new talent.


Award Categories 2021

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

Entries to both streams are also automatically considered 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 receives a Multi-day Festival Pass to attend the next HearSay International Audio Festival  The 2019 Festival had more than 150 events with attendees from 35 countries and was booked out 3 months in advance.

With Covid, the 2021 Festival may be online.


Please note - unlike a Film Festival, the events and contributors of HearSay19 are programmed separately to the prize.


The Award winners will be showcased in an 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.


This years HearSay prize Overall, GanBearla and Risiing Award winners living outside Ireland will receive a flight from anywhere in the world to attend the HearSay Festival in Kilfinane and to have a week long residency.

Should Covid prevent a physical festival being possible in 2021, winners will receive flights for the next physical festival.


The HearSay Prize 2021 - The incredible prizes in detail

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 4th January 2021

FINAL 21st January 2021


Shortlisted Creators Notified  

14th April 2021


Winners & Prize Ceremony

14th May 2021


Judges: Find our 2019 Jury here. 

(The 2021 Jury is revealed in May


13 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


8 Special Category Awards


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..


Want to participate? T

For 2021 , we've kept the focus on short form audio, maintaining the types of work that could be entered, revamped the special award categories, and encouraged the entry of pieces not in the English language.


Keeping HearSay Accessible

Covid-19 has wrought financial havoc upon many in our audio making community. To help as much as we can, this year we have simplified and radically reduced our Entry fees.


Our Student entry fee has reduced by 40% to just 15 Euro


Our EarlyBird Fee has been reduced from 45 euro to 29 Euro


Our Full Entry fee has reduced by 30% to 45 Euro


(1 Euro is approximately 0.9 Pounds Sterling,  1.2 US Dollars, 1.5 Canadian Dollars, 1.6 Australian Dollars, 7.8 Chinese Yuan, 26 Czech Koruna, and 95 Argentine Peso)


IMPORTANT NOTE - To avail of the Student or Early Bird Rate entries must be submitted by January 4th 2021

After January 4th 2021, the Full Entry fee will apply to ALL entries.

Special Category Awards – CELEBRATE & CREATE


There will be an award for the following categories for both CELEBRATE & CREATE:


HearSay HEARD Award – Audio that foregrounds under-represented experiences, perspectives, and voices – whether quietly intimate, or beautifully boisterous!


HearSay FEARLESS  Award  – Fictional or Factual Audio that tears up the unwritten rule book on treatment, sound design, content, edit, or form to simply demand to be listened to on its own terms



Special Category Awards – CREATE ONLY


Only Entries to the CREATE Stream are also eligible for the following special category awards:


HearSay RISING Award - Encouraging audio creativity for those in full time education and/or under 21yrs.


HearSay ZEST Award – audio that is the lemon slice in a refreshing drink on a too hot day – playful, funny, joyful, or surprising.


HearSay PROVOKE Award – deeply personal, or punchy political, abstract or direct – audio that unearths thoughts that unsettle, engage or enrage.


HearSay HUMAN  Award - audio, fictional or true, that forges a connection with lived experience, with our beautiful and sometimes fragile humanity


Hearay ART Award – Sound Art, Radio Art that is on the edge of our senses and understanding – audio that transports, transforms, evokes, immerses, transports.

Overall Awards

Each Stream has an Overall GOLD Award and a GanBearla Award for best work in a language other than English

The HearSay Prize 2021

(Now closed for submissions)