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.  Tell us your ideas, and let’s make stuff!


Now Accepting Applications

You probably already know that NPR programs reach millions of people every day. We’ve been doing that since 1971. Today, NPR is at the forefront of the podcasting boom and we’re on the lookout for great new projects.

We’re looking for ideas that present new voices, explore innovative approaches, and bring attention to stories that preserve our histories, shape our futures and give us a better understanding of our communities and ourselves.  We want projects that will appeal to younger and more diverse audiences, that reflect NPR’s high standards of public service in journalism and cultural expression, and that are sometimes just plain fun.

Big ideas, personalities, expressions of joy and curiosity are all encouraged.

Lean more about the NPR mission and vision here.

Currently Open Applications
Apply for the Next NPR Story Lab Workshop
Deadline: 
November 16, 2016 at 11:59 p.m. ET

Pitch Your Program
Deadline: Rolling





Now Accepting Applications

You probably already know that NPR programs reach millions of people every day. We’ve been doing that since 1971. Today, NPR is at the forefront of the podcasting boom and we’re on the lookout for great new projects.

We’re looking for ideas that present new voices, explore innovative approaches, and bring attention to stories that preserve our histories, shape our futures and give us a better understanding of our communities and ourselves.  We want projects that will appeal to younger and more diverse audiences, that reflect NPR’s high standards of public service in journalism and cultural expression, and that are sometimes just plain fun.

Big ideas, personalities, expressions of joy and curiosity are all encouraged.

Lean more about the NPR mission and vision here.

How to Apply

Your submission will need to include the following elements:

  • Proposal
  • Resume 
  • Team Bios
  • Work Sample

Eligibility Requirements

Applicants must be 18 years old or older and eligible to work in the United States.

NPR Proposal Guidelines

The following is a list of information that your proposal should include.  Your proposal should be between 2-5 pages in length.  

Description

Communicate your program idea with as much detail as possible.  The description should include:

  • A synopsis of the program
  • Why is this program or topic relevant and/or timely
  • Details on the style, format and point of view
  • Current Status
  • What resources can you provide?  What resources do you need from NPR?

Producer Statement

  • How/why did the project come about?
  • What is your connection to this topic?

Unique Value Proposition

  • Why are you doing this now?
  • What is the competition out there?
  • What does this offer that nothing else out there does? 

Audience Target

  • Who is it designed to reach?
  • What do they care about?
  • How would this audience and NPR benefit from this content?
  • For programs applying for acquisition: what can you tell us about your current audience?  What is the number of unique users?  What is the number of downloads per episode? Where did you get that info (i.e. Podtrac, iTunes)?  Do you have any audience profile or demo information that you can share?

 Content Plan

Please provide as much detail as possible for the following categories.  For projects that are still in development, we realize the information provided may be tentative and is subject to change.

  • Product (i.e Podcast only, podcast and radio show, radio series etc.)
  • Length
  • Frequency
  • Production Value/Quality
  • Editorial Plan
    • Episode 1
    • Episode 2
    • Episode 3

What to Expect

All proposals will be thoroughly reviewed by NPR staff.  Please expect to hear an initial response within 3-5 weeks after submitting your application.

Submitting a New Project 

NPR staff will review the proposal and will decide which projects should receive support to create a pilot based on the Programming department's strategic priorities and the existing content pipeline.  If a pilot shows promise, it will go through listener testing.  Based on the strength of the pilot and the listener testing data, NPR staff will decide if the project will get greenlit.

Submitting a Project for Acquisition

NPR staff will review the proposal and existing episodes of the show.  We will decide on if we would like to acquire it based on based on the Programming department's strategic priorities and the existing content pipeline.

Questions?

If you have any questions, please contact Sr. Manager of Programming Acquisitions N'Jeri Eaton at neaton@npr.org.