Narrator Mentorship Program
Launched in 2021, the Penguin Random House Audio Narrator Mentorship Program is an initiative for actors new to audiobooks, offering them the opportunity to work with our team of producers to strengthen their craft and gain industry knowledge. We believe that publishing and casting should be entirely inclusive and we created this program to widen the playing field for every actor who participates in the program.
Over a six-month period, mentees will be guided by their mentors in individual coaching sessions, producing a demo sample, as well as preparing for and completing an audio audition.
About the Producer Team
Currently, we are a bicoastal team of 20 audiobook producers, with over 200 years of combined experience. We produce approximately 1,800 titles per year and have garnered 17 GRAMMY® Awards and 104 Audie Awards®.
How to Apply
1. You’ll need to answer 17 questions about yourself and your skills. You can preview the questions here.
2. The application requires that you include a link to a brief narration sample via Soundcloud (instructions here). If you have not uploaded your sample already, please do so before you begin your application.
3. Fill out the application via Survey Monkey as directed.
4. Submit the application between Monday, August 21, 2023 and Friday, September 8, 2023 at 11:59 PM EDT. All applicants will be contacted directly about their status via email before the end of December. Those selected for Quick Consultations will be notified in January.
**Incomplete applications will not be considered.**
Mentorship Program Alumni
We’ve received thousands of applications from around the world and more than 50 narrators have participated in the program over three sessions since 2021. The vast majority of mentees who have completed the program thus far have gone on to narrate audiobooks for Penguin Random House Audio and other publishers, using the skills they developed during this mentorship.
See a couple of our mentees interviewed on our Meet the Voice YouTube series:
Frequently Asked Questions
Who is eligible to apply for the Narrator Mentorship Program?
It is our hope that this program will benefit members of BIPOC and other underrepresented communities. Any actor who is interested in becoming an audiobook narrator or who is relatively new to the audiobook industry (less than 10 titles narrated) may apply. You must be 18 or older.
What are the Submission Guidelines for the Narrator Mentorship Program?
You’ll need to answer 17 questions about yourself and your skills. Preview the questions here. Note the application will take approximately 1 hour to complete.
Please fill out the application via Survey Monkey and include a link to a narration sample via Soundcloud (instructions here). If you have not uploaded your sample already, please do so before you begin your application. If you don’t have one, just grab a book you love and read for a couple of minutes. Amateur phone recordings are okay in this instance. We will not be evaluating the quality of the audio. We’d just like to get a sense of what you sound like!
Can I print and mail my application instead?
All applications are to be submitted digitally. If you are having technical issues with the webform please contact us at NarratorMentorship@penguinrandomhouse.com.
How will the Narrator Mentorship Program work?
Mentees will be paired with one of our audiobook producers, who will mentor them over a six-month period (January–June). Over the six months, the mentee will be guided in learning about audiobooks and the audiobook industry, with the goal of creating an audiobook demo sample, auditioning for a team of industry professionals, and launching an audiobook career.
Do I have to live in the United States to apply or to participate in the Narrator Mentorship Program?
No. As the program is conducted virtually and audiobook narrators are located all over the world, we do not restrict applicants or mentees to living in the United States or being a U.S. citizen.
How many mentees will be accepted for the Narrator Mentorship Program?
For the January 2024-June 2024 session, 20 mentees will be accepted into the program.
What are the criteria for being accepted to the Narrator Mentorship Program?
Candidates will be narrowed down based on their responses and the potential we hear in their narration sample. The top candidates will each participate in an interview before final selections are made.
What do I need to participate in the Narrator Mentorship Program?
You will need a computer or laptop and access to the internet. A valid email address is also required.
Will you confirm receipt of my application?
Once you have completed and submitted the application you will be taken to a page within Survey Monkey that will confirm your application was submitted successfully.
How will I be notified if I’ve been accepted into the Narrator Mentorship Program?
All applicants will be contacted directly about their status via email before the end of December. Those selected for Quick Consultations will be notified in January.
Will I be notified if I am not accepted into the Narrator Mentorship Program?
Yes, all applicants not accepted into the current program will be notified by email.
Can I reapply to the Narrator Mentorship Program if I’ve applied previously?
Yes, all applicants not previously accepted into the program are eligible to reapply for future sessions. However, if you are currently in the Program or have previously been accepted to the program, you may not reapply.
If I’m not accepted into the Program is there a way for me to still receive guidance from an audiobook producer?
Yes! We will select some applicants, not accepted into the current program, to participate in Quick Consultations with an audiobook producer. They will receive demo feedback and tips on creating a profile for our global online casting platform, Ahab Talent. If you are selected for a Quick Consultation you will be contacted via email with the details.