Podcasts for Writers

Posted: June 22, 2016 in Writing
Tags: , , ,


There is certainly no shortage of resources for writers if you go looking for them.  There are books on how to write books, online classes on how to write books, you can purchase lectures and listen to them, or attend one in person at your local college. There are critique groups and writers’ blogs and online writers’ forums for every possible genre and age group, and you can find links to most of them on Twitter.

What is lacking, of course, is time.  If you’re like me, you already have a full-time job (and maybe one on the side), as well as a family and extra-curricular activities and any number of time-consuming responsibilities.  Just finding the time to actually sit down and write without interruptions is a challenge. Who has time to take classes, too?

If only there were classes that came in tiny bite-sized chunks that you could consume on the go, like a breakfast sandwich or a fruit smoothie.

Well, there are. They come in podcast form, in 15-20 minute slices, and they can be downloaded right to your smartphone and listened to while you drive to work or go for a run. Let me tell you about four in particular that I find especially useful.

Grammar Girl.  Not only does she (Mignonette Fogarty) have a website, but she has an archive of over 500 brief podcasts you can download or stream, and you can subscribe to have new ‘casts download automatically. Examples of her most popular podcasts include “Is ‘Funnest’ a word?” And “How to use semicolons.”

The Odyssey Writing Workshop.  The Odyssey Workshop is an intensive six-week course for writers of fantasy, sci-if and horror who’s work is approaching publications quality, held in New Hampshire. They only can accommodate a couple of dozen writers each year and it is rather expensive (because it includes room and board).  However they regularly post excerpts from their guests lecturers in podcast form.

Writing Excuses. This is a long-running podcast (in it’s eleventh year), hosted by authors Brandon Sanderson, Mary Robinette Kowal, Howard Taylor, and Dan Wells. While they focus mainly on fantasy, sci-if, and horror, they cover everything from inception of an idea to how to snag a publisher, and they frequently have guest experts. Complete with weekly writing prompts, the podcast is perfect for writers on the go; their tag line is “Fifteen minutes long, because you’re in a hurry and we’re not that smart.”

Writing for Children by Katie Davis is the most recent (and possibly my favorite) addition to my podcast lineup. By subscribing, you can get a free copy of Katie’s excellent book, How to Write a Children’s Book.  Katie is also the director of The Instisute of Children’s Literature and the author of over a dozen traditionally-published children’s books. And she’s a blast to listen to.  In addition to the podcast itself, you can sign up to receive each episode’s show notes, which include the complete transcript of the episode, as well as many topic-specific links and other resources.

The great thing about these is that they are all free. Well, one of the great things. Also great is how much you can learn by listening to these experts enthuse about their craft.

  1. This is great! I love podcasts so I’m happy to add these to my line up. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

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