The 2019 edition of the Audio Verse Awards for fiction podcasts made room for new and established shows, whether based on scripts or off-the-cuff japes.
A show about a facility for the superpowered and a creepy debut about a modern Gothic mystery emerged as big winners from the 2019 Audio Verse Awards.
"The AM Archives" provided a new focus for fans, creators and cast members of previous audio fiction hit "The Bright Sessions," as therapist Dr. Joan Bright returns to secretive superhero oversight and former employer The AM to lead restructuring efforts.
It was named one of five winners across eight key categories: best instrumental composition, action sound design, environmental sound design, writing, vocal direction, leading role, supporting role, and overall best new audio play -- a victory for cast and crew, but also for its host, paid subscription service Luminosity.
Likewise, "Unwell" represented a new venture from an established team, HartLife NFP, though without links to previous show "Our Fair City."
It swapped upbeat dystopian sci-fi for eerie stories from a fictional town in midwestern USA, where grown daughter Lily has moved back home to look after her estranged mother and matched "The AM Archives" in nearly every category, replacing "AM"'s writing accolade with an award for vocal composition.
Voted for by fans and podcast creators, the Audio Verse Awards also honored fictional, offbeat late-night radio talk show "King Falls AM" with seven awards, while horror franchise "The White Vault" was responsible for a total of nine, thanks to recognition for not only the ongoing original show but also two backer-exclusive Patreon titles: miniseries "The White Vault: Imperial" and one-shot "The White Vault: A Musical."
Its sound designer, Travis Vengroff, was one of three to collect five awards across multiple shows.
Vengroff's accolades came for not only "The White Vault" but also on sci-fi miniseries "Liberty: Tales from the Tower" and newcomer "VAST Horizon." All three are distributed by Fool and Scholar Productions, which he co-owns with "White Vault" and "Liberty" creator K. A. Statz.
Mischa Stanton and Anna Rodriguez won the same five awards through "The AM Archives," "Unwell," and medieval fantasy multiverse adventure "Caravan."
For 2019, the Audio Verse Awards not only delivered five winners in each category, ensuring a broad celebration of audio fiction podcasts, but also ensured opportunities for both scripted and unscripted productions.
That led to multiple awards for a number of actual play podcasts based on live and largely improvised role-playing game sessions, such as "Friends at the Table," "A Horror Borealis," "Campaign: Skyjacks" and "Rusty Quill Gaming."