The work of being a writer is never ending.
When you’re not writing, you’re reading. When you’re not reading, you can listen! Podcasts are a wonderful way to learn about new books, hear authors talk about their writing practice, learn new skills, improve your writing craft, and gain fresh perspectives on the business of publishing.
Here’s a short list of some of my favorite podcasts for writers.
Fresh Air – This weekly program airs on WHYY in Philadelphia and is rebroadcast on many public radio stations nationwide. You may have heard this program on the radio and not even realized it was also a podcast, available for downloading and listening at your convenience. Offering intimate conversations with contemporary authors, this podcast is one of public radio’s most popular and long-running programs. Host Terry Gross asks the questions you want answered and elicits the best responses from bestselling authors of fiction, memoir, and nonfiction.
Reading and Writing Podcast – Jeff Rutherford hosts another podcast with tremendous crossover appeal for readers and writers alike. He interviews authors about their new books, writing habits, favorite novels and how they got started. He includes genre fiction – mystery, romance, thriller, fantasy and science fiction.
Grammar Girl Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing – Mignon Fogarty’s podcast helps you improve your writing skills and answers those questions you’re too embarrassed to ask. Every episode is short, answers a question, and provides examples. I got hooked on her website which offers a great guide to grammar, punctuation, usage, and new developments in language and style.
The Guardian Books Podcast – Indepth interviews with authors, investigations into thematic trends in contemporary writing, and news about the world of books and poetry. Refreshing perspectives from the other side of the pond.
Writing Excuses – Fiction writing podcast which didn’t really get good until season ten. Episodes end with a writing prompt and “You’re out of excuses. Now go write.”
Nerdist’s Writers Panel – Informal chats moderated by Ben Blacker with professional writers about the process and business of writing. Includes TV, film, comic books, music, and books.
Odyssey SF/F Writing Workshop Podcasts – If you are a science fiction or fantasy writer, you may know about the Odyssey six-week workshops held each summer on the campus of Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire. These podcasts are excerpts from guest lectures from authors, edits, and agents.
SCWBI Conversations – If you are a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators, you have exclusive access to a new podcast series featuring award-winning authors, editors, illustrators, and poets. Writing inspiration, methods of craft, paths to publishing, and career advice. Matt de la Pena, Laurie Halse Anderson, and Kwame Alexander have recorded episodes you’ll want to hear.
Nerdette Podcast – From WBEZ Chicago, this podcast is hosted by Tricia Bobeda and Greta Johnsen. They cover an impressive array of topics which bookworms and word nerds will delight in. One of my favorite episodes is an interview with Dr. Eugenia Cheng whose new book, Beyond Infinity: An Expedition to the Outer-Limits of the Mathematical Universe will be out this coming March. Her recent release, How to Bake Pi: An Edible Exploration of the Mathematics of Mathematics (Basic, May 2016) offers a perspective on math that is funny and contagious. Cheng spreads the beauty and power of math to audiences. She’s the Scientist-in-Residence at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Longform Podcast – A weekly conversation with a nonfiction writer on how they tell stories. The podcast is an extension of Longform.org which recommends new and classic nonfiction from around the web. Sponsored by the Writing Program at the University of Pittsburgh, this podcast features writers and editors of long-form journalism.
Radiolab – Broadcast live from WNYC and heard around the country on more than 500 member PRX radio stations, it is also a podcast. You can’t listen to an episode without your curiosity aroused. Science, philosophy, culture, and things which fall between the cracks. For nonfiction writers who seek to learn more about the craft of storytelling, this is an ideal podcast to inspire you.
The Memory Palace – A storytelling podcast created by Nate DiMeo. He’s the Artist in Residence at the Metropolitan Museum of Art for 2016/2017. If you’re writing memoir, history, or historical fiction, this is a podcast for you.
New Yorker Fiction Podcast – On each episode, a writer who has been published in the magazine selects a favorite story by another writer to read and discuss.
The Writer’s Almanac – Daily poems, prose, and literary history. Hosted by Garrison Keillor.
Poem of the Day – Classic and contemporary poems read by poets and actors, delivered every day from the Poetry Foundation.
What do you listen to for inspiration, instruction, and advice?