From Our Staff | February 21, 2013

So, you want have a written piece that you’d like to submit to The Missouri Review Audio Literary Competition, but you’re worried about producing a high quality recording without a sound lab and/or recording studio?  Have no fear, concerned author. No need to get Jay-Z on the horn.  Here is some simple advice courtesy of the interwebs.

The first thing you will need to do is determine what sort of machine you’ll be working with. Is it a Mac, a PC, or an iPhone/iPad?

If you are working with a Mac, you will need to download Audacity. Select the free download that works for your computer from this website:

When the installation is complete, open Audacity and record your audio submission by pressing the red circle. To stop, click the yellow square. It couldn’t be any easier.  Now, save your audio file by selecting “Export AIFF” from the file menu. You will need to name the file and select the location to save it to.  After you have everything saved, open iTunes and click “Import settings” in the “General tab.”

Choose “MP3 Encoder” from the “import using” menu towards the bottom of the window. Here you can also adjust the sound quality in the “Settings” tab. Click “Ok” twice to move on.  Finally, click “Add to Library” in the iTunes file menu and choose your audio recording.  From here, iTunes will automatically convert your audio file into an MP3 and you are ready to submit.

Now that wasn’t so bad, was it?

If you are using a PC to record your audio, you’ll first need to first locate the built-in microphone or attach an external one.  Next, open the Windows Sound Recorder by clicking Start—Programs—Accessories—Entertainment—Sound Recorder.

When you click record, wait three seconds before you begin to speak as well as waiting an additional three seconds before clicking “stop” when you finish. This will give you some buffer room for editing as well as making the beginning and end less abrupt. Now, save your recording as a WAV file. This should be the automatic setting anyway, so you shouldn’t have to change anything.

After it is saved, you will need to convert the file into an MP3. If you do not have a converter already installed on your computer, you will need to download one from the Internet.

When the file is converted, you are ready to submit!

Finally, if you are trying to submit from either an iPhone or an iPad, you’re in luck. This is probably the easiest way to record an audio file.  Simply download an audio recording app, such as iAudition 2: (

From this app, you can pause, edit, and submit your literary piecesSo now you know the basics and are ready to submit your 15 minute or less recording to The Missouri Review’s 6th Annual Audio Literary Contest, where you’ll compete for publication of your work on TMR’s Podcast and a $1,000 prize for the winner in each category (poetry, prose, and audio documentary).  More details on the contest as well as some previous winning entries for your listening pleasure can be found here

So please submit, because we here on the Audio Contest Team are looking forward to hearing some of your best work!