Judges Spotlight September 12, 2022

Questions with Webby Executive Judge Roxane Gay, Host of The Roxane Gay Agenda

A few questions with Roxane Gay, Host of The Roxane Gay Agenda podcast, and new Executive Member of IADAS, who will be lending her expertise to reviewing this year's Webby Awards entries!

With the 27th Annual Webby Awards season kicking off this week, and Call For Entries now open, we wanted to shine a light on the jurors who make it all possible by highlighting a few Executive Webby Judges. Meet Roxane Gay, Host of The Roxane Gay Agenda.

The Roxane Gay Agenda, by Luminary, is the “*bad feminist* podcast of your dreams”, and tackles subjects like feminism, race, writing, art, pop culture, food, and politics.

For those who don’t know, tell us a little about your background.

I am a writer, editor, professor, sometimes publisher and public intellectual (or so I am told). I also host a podcast called The Roxane Gay Agenda.

What particular expertise are you bringing to the Academy?

I am someone with a lot of creative interests and I have been privileged enough to explore those interests so I bring that sense of creative openness and willingness to experiment to the Academy.

What are you most looking forward to about reviewing this year’s Webby Awards entries?

I am always interested in discovering new creative work and new (to me) voices. There is no shortage of talent out there and judging competitions like the Webbys is always a great reminder.  

Can you put into words what it is about podcasts that gives listeners a one-of-a-kind experience?

I am not a big podcast listener but when I do listen to podcasts, I enjoy the intimacy. Someone’s voice is in your ears and it can feel like they are talking to you and you alone. But what’s particularly nice about podcasts is how niche they can be. People take this specific-to-them set of interests and make them legible to a broader audience. I love that. 

There is no shortage of talent out there and judging competitions like the Webbys is always a great reminder.  ”
— Roxane Gay

What does it take for a podcast to be considered best-in-class?

A best-in-class podcast is beautifully produced and edited. It’s clear that the host(s) have done their homework and are well-versed in what they’re talking about or the people with whom they are in conversation. The hosts are intelligent, curious and willing to be surprised by what they learn. 

What podcast or piece of audio has most recently inspired you, and why?

Beyoncé’s new album Renaissance has inspired me. The transitions between each song are incredible.  

 What is a piece of audio you are most proud to have worked on?

We did an episode of Hear to Slay celebrating Toni Morrison’s legacy and I am proud of how that episode turned out.

Bonus: What would be your dream podcast to join as a one-off host?

I would enjoy hosting the Ezra Klein podcast.

The 27th Annual Webby Awards Call For Entries is now Open! Enter to get your work in front of Roxane Gay and our other esteemed judges by the Early Entry Deadline October 28, 2022.