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The winner of the VPM Pitch Party at RESONATE Podcast Festival is...

RESONATE Pitch Party Winner Katy Sewall
RESONATE Pitch Party Winner Katy Sewall

Katy Sewall won the VPM Pitch Party contest for her podcast concept called The Ex-Files. She'll get a $10,000 contract from VPM to produce a pilot episode for the podcast. The Pitch Party was part of the RESONATE Podcast Festival, held on Saturday, October 15th at the VPM + ICA Community Media Center. 

Sewall was inspired to create The Ex-Files after reflecting on her first relationship with her high school sweetheart. "I have always been interested in my exes and I’ve always stayed friends with mine," said Sewall. "I think that's because I’m curious. I want to understand what really happened—not just from my own perspective, but from the point of view of my ex-boyfriends." 

Despite a long and “traumatic” breakup, Sewall reconnected with her ex as a friend to talk about their relationship. “We uncovered so many memories, and even more interesting, so many misunderstandings,” said Sewall. “Hearing his version of our relationship made me feel like I understood my own life better. Like I had learned the fuller story. That is what (this) podcast is about.” 

“The Ex-Files" is meant to be more than just two people reconnecting to talk about their previous relationship. The idea of the show is to fuel curiosity in the listener that causes them to seek out the perspectives of others instead of relying on answers and assumptions based on societal scripts. 

“Learning that our personal perception isn’t the final word, is pretty cool, I think,” said Sewall. “A little unsettling, maybe, but it’s also illuminating.” 

Listen to The Ex-Files trailer on SoundCloud. 

Sewall is an award-winning senior public radio producer and host, writer and podcast consultant. Before moving to Rome in 2013, she spent 11 years at NPR in Seattle where she ran a daily morning show. Sewall also hosts a podcast titled "The Bittersweet Life” that is available on Apple, Spotify and Google Podcasts.  

Sewall was one of three finalists that were selected after a submission and review process that featured numerous original podcast proposals. The three finalists pitched their podcasts in front of a live audience and a panel of expert judges for a chance to win the top prize — a $10,000 production contract to create a pilot episode of their podcast with VPM. 

The other two finalists were Leaving Legacy: Letters from Black Fathers Podcast hosted by Jahi Whitehead, and Indoctrinated hosted by Mav Viola and produced by Natalie Gregory.