NPR Story Lab

The NPR Story Lab is looking for great ideas. In fact, we’re an idea hub – generating new segments for our news programs, creating radio shows, and launching new podcasts. We want to collaborate with member stations and independent producers. We want to work with new talent that brings a fresh perspective to NPR. We want to keep innovating and leading in the podcast and radio world. The NPR Story Lab is a true creative studio at the heart of NPR, one that fosters experimentation and continues to evolve the sound of public radio.  

Since its inception in 2016, the NPR Story Lab has developed or acquired several series.  Here are a few examples: 

       Been There                    What's Good with Stretch & Bobbito

       Rough Translation          Radio Ambulante

Now Accepting Applications

NPR is currently accepting applications for new radio shows, podcasts and recurring segments for our news magazine program. Projects can range from being in development to looking for acquisition. 

We’re searching for ideas that present new voices, explore innovative approaches, and evolve the sound of public radio. We want projects that will appeal to younger and more diverse audiences, and that reflect NPR’s high standards of public service in journalism and cultural expression

Lean more about the NPR mission and vision here.

NPR reaches millions of listeners each week through our radio broadcasts. As platforms have evolved, so has NPR.  Listeners now engage with NPR in many new and innovative ways including podcasts, videos and photo essays. 

The NPR Story Lab wants to create the next great public radio series with you!

Ends on February 11, 2018

Do you have a big idea that you haven’t had time develop? A public radio series? A podcast? An innovative audio storytelling project?

We want to help you move it from idea to execution. We are now accepting applications for the third NPR Story Lab Workshop, a free training experience designed to help small teams shape an audio project. It’s part of NPR’s mission to elevate new ideas and help develop great storytelling on all platforms.

The workshop will be held May 8-11, 2018 at NPR HQ in Washington, D.C. Applications are due by Sunday, February 11, 2018 at 11:59 p.m. ET.

We will choose up to 10 teams made up of public media journalists from Member stations and NPR, as well as independent audio producers. During the workshop, you’ll be given the space to incubate your ideas and learn storytelling best practices from some of public media’s most creative and innovative people. You’ll also be matched with an NPR mentor who will serve as your guide while you are here. By the end of the four days, you will have focused your idea and created an editorial blueprint for your project, so you can start making things as soon as you get home.

The event is run by the NPR Training team with support from the NPR Story Lab. We're partnering with the Association of Independents in Radio (AIR) to review applications from talented independent producers, as well as provide mentorships after the workshop.

We are looking for audio storytelling project ideas that … 

  • Are in the early stages of conception — an idea with promise and some research to back it up, but still notional. If you’ve already launched a project, it’s too late for this workshop.

  • Have the potential to respond to a clear need from a well-defined audience (local, regional, national, affinity group, etc.)

  • Represent diverse topics, formats, locations and makers

  • Are distinct; stand out from existing public media content

  • Present opportunities to learn something about craft


For more details about eligibility, the application and the workshop, check out the FAQ on the NPR Training site