Jul 06, 2021

THE AMERICAN CENTER: Book Review Podcast Competition

  • Christine
  • Remote (Vietnam)



The American Center Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh city are excited to launch the 2021 Book Review Podcast Competition. Help others discover amazing stories by sharing which book has captivated your heart and why.

Readers aged 14 - 35 years old

Podcast Guidelines:

  1. Participants will submit a podcast of five minutes or less, reviewing one of their favorite books. 

  2. Books by American authors are preferred. (If you haven't found a book yet, here is a list of short stories you might consider.)

  3. Podcasts must be in English, using appropriate language.

  4. Use any podcast format: stories or narration, interview, conversation, etc.

  5. Submissions can be made by individuals or a small group of up to 3 people.

  6. Only one podcast submission per student or group is allowed. Group entries must include all participants’ names when submitted.

  7. The podcast must be an original work. Submissions that plagiarize the work of others or violate copyright will be disqualified.


Podcasts will be judged on originality, creativity, persuasiveness, English fluency, and quality.

Participants will receive prizes for the winner, runner up, and best peer review award. Also, Certificates from the U.S. Embassy. Top submissions will be featured on the U.S. Embassy’s social media pages.

  Winner: Kindle
  Runner up Fitness Tracker
  Best Peer Review:  Camera Instax

***Those who are unable to attend the ceremony at AC Hanoi will receive certificates and prizes via post. 

Key Dates:

June 28

Competition Opens

July 2 - 6

Training Sessions via Zoom: 

Registration: https://goo.gl/cNznmy . Zoom link will be provided later.

  • Session 1: How to Create Podcast Content (by The Finding Audio) at 3:00 - 4:00PM, Friday, July 2

  • Session 2: How to connect your speaking voice with listeners for more impact & Editing a Podcast at 3:00 - 4:00PM, Tuesday, July 6

July 25: Submission Deadline

By the end of August: Winners Announcement & Awards Ceremony at the American Center Hanoi


Submission Guidelines:

  • Upload your podcast to Soundcloud (https://soundcloud.com/)

  • Name your Soundcloud entry “AC Podcast_Book Title_Your name.”

  • Set privacy settings to the public, to ensure judges can listen to your entry. 

  • Submit Soundcloud link on Zoho: https://bit.ly/31DKG2v 

If you have any questions about this contest, please contact us at hanoiac@state.gov or 024 3850 5180

What makes a good book review?:

  • GIVE A QUICK DESCRIPTION:  Listeners probably haven’t read the book yet. Give the audience any essential information about the book: genre, main characters, plot, themes, the author. Just don’t spoil the ending!

  • STATE YOUR OPINION:  Did you love the book? Or did you think it was boring? Listeners want to know whether they should read the book too. Let them know what you thought of the book. 

  • SUPPORT YOUR OPINION:  Be sure to support your opinion with two or three main reasons why you would or wouldn’t recommend this book. Were the author’s arguments weak? Were the characters interesting and well-developed? Did the book have important ideas?

  • EXPLAIN THE IMPACT:  Let readers know why this book affected you. Did you relate to a character’s struggles? Were you moved by the author’s language? Did the ideas in the book change your mind about something?

  • PROVIDE EXAMPLES:  Incorporate two or three quotes from the book to give your audience a taste of the book’s tone.

  • IDENTIFY THE AUDIENCE:  Identify what type of readers would enjoy this book? People who liked the Wizard of Oz? Mystery lovers? Advanced readers only? 

(Reference from https://writetheworld.com/competitions/82 )

What Makes a Good Podcast?:

  • CONTENT: Podcast effectively uses conversations, storytelling and/or interviewing to review one of their favorite book. The books can be linked to a topic which you want to discuss and/or inform listeners.

  • FLOW: Podcast makes productive use of time to maintain listener interest. It includes a beginning, middle and end to create a complete listening experience within the time limit.

  • Beginning: draw the listener in or provide context. 

    • Middle: build on the themes and ideas raised in the beginning, take a deeper look.

    • Ending: offer a summary, raise a question or act as a teaser for the next segment.

  • EDITING: Podcast demonstrates a skillful use of sound, including spoken word, music, sound effects and environmental noise, to create a compelling listening experience.


An example of a book review podcast: https://soundcloud.com/wymhs/black-ink 


Type of Opportunity

Extracurricular Activity

Application Deadline

July 25

Age Range

Readers aged 14 - 35 years old