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On The Hunt For Great Sound: A Student Podcast Challenge Video Guide

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So you've got a great idea for your podcast. You've written up the questions, shaped an outline, lined up your interviews. Now comes the big challenge that can turn a good podcast into a winning entry: gathering great sound.

Luckily for you, we're here to help. As students around the country are preparing their entries for the NPR Student Podcast Challenge, we're creating how-to videos to make your podcast sparkle.

The first video in our Guide To Sound series explained how a "pillow-fort" can make your voice sound crystal clear when you don't have a professional studio.

In our latest installment, NPR sound expert Elizabeth Acle offers simple tips and tricks that will improve other aspects of your recording.

And, there's still plenty of time to put these tips into action: You've got until March 24 to get your entries in. The NPR Student Podcast Challenge is open to students in two categories — grades five through eight and grades nine through 12.

So, grab your microphones and headphones, head out into the field, and grab some great sound!

Last year, more than 25,000 students around the country participated, with two grand prize winners, more than 40 finalists and 300 honorable mentions. The winning entries, and some of the other podcasts, were featured on All Things Considered, Morning Edition and other NPR programs.

The official rules, entry guidelines, training tips and resources for teachers and students can be found at the contest's home page. And you can sign up for the contest's newsletter below. And, subscribe to our podcast about the contest, which has a lot of great information, too!

Questions? Read through our frequently asked questions. If you're still looking for an answer, send us an email at

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit

LA Johnson is an art director and illustrator at NPR. She joined in 2014 and has a BFA from The Savannah College of Art and Design.