The Words I Listen to…Podcasts for Writers

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It’s getting close to Spring Break.  That means it’s crunch time – every time you turn around, there’s another paper to be written, another test to be taken, another lab report to complete.  Where’d all that extra time for all those extra things you promised yourself you’d do to be a “good” student this semester go?  What about that book you borrowed from the library that sounded interesting or that film your professor recommended last semester? If you’re afraid that one book will lead to an all-night reading session or that one movie will turn into Netflix binge since you are the master of procrastination, never fear.

Here’s another suggestion for you to enhance your work as a writer that won’t take over your schedule: podcasts.  Podcasts are great because you can listen to them while doing other tasks – commuting to school, folding your laundry, etc.

Let’s get you started:

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For the creative writer: 

  • DIY MFA: Thinking about applying for a MFA? Why not dip in your toes first? This podcast offers some great interviews with writers.
  •  The New Yorker Fiction podcast: There’s a reason why writers still dream of being published by The New Yorker. Their podcast features a short story that’s discussed in great detail.
  • Poets and Writers: Ampersand: The creators say it best: “Hear from the editors of Poets & Writers Magazine as they offer a behind-the-scenes preview of the new issue, talk with contributors and authors featured in the magazine, and discuss the lighter side of writing, publishing, and the literary arts in this decidedly DIY podcast.”
  • Writers on Writing: This radio program is available to stream on the web.  Learn from journalist Barbara DeMarco-Barrett along with her co-hosts Marrie Stone and Nicole Nelson about the art/business of writing.
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For the reader: 

  • StorycorpsSometimes, the most interesting stories are true ones. This NPR podcast features the stories of ordinary Americans from across our nation.
  • LongformThis podcast, sponsored by the University of Pittsburg’s writing program, brings the best weekly round-up of longform journalism to their listeners.
  • The Literary Salon: Even the blurb on this podcast should interest a listener: “Damian Barr’s Literary Salon tempts the world’s best writers to read exclusively from their latest greatest works and share their own personal stories […] all in front of a live audience at leading glamourous locations.”
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For the life-long learner: 

  • A Way with WordsEver wonder about the origin of some words and phrases? Check out this podcast focused on “language examined through history, culture, and family.”
  • Merriam-Webster’s Word of the DayDo you still miss that “Word of the Day” calendar your second-grade teacher had in her classroom?  Now, you can listen to a new word each day.
  • Grammar Girl Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing: Love the Grammar Girl website?  Now, you can listen to her tips too!
  • HappierLet’s be honest, now you’re worried you’re going to procrastinate by listening to too many podcasts.  That’s where Gretchen Rubin comes in with her tips on how to be more fulfilled in your daily life.  Plus, there are plenty of famous writers who share their path to success.

Happy listening!

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