I love listening to podcasts. I walk a mile to and from work each day. I also try to walk a mile or two during my lunch hour. (What can I say, I hate running and I enjoy the solidarity of a good walk. The added health benefits are welcomed.) During my daily walks, I have my go to podcasts that I listen to on the regular.
For my sports cravings, I listen to the Bill Simmons Podcast and ESPN’s Pardon the Interruption with Michael Wilbon and Tony Kornheiser.
For my not-quite-news-but-sort of fix I listen to NPR’s This American Life with Ira Glass and Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me! hosted by Peter Sagal.
I have listened to Serial with Sarah Koenig since day one and I don’t plan on stopping anytime soon. I have also followed Radiolab with Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich since nearly it’s inception.
As an aside, let me add that I am still amazed that podcasts didn’t really become mainstream until Serial. For the amount of time we spend on the road or commuting on trains in most Western countries, and for the mundane predictability most radio shows bring to the table, how has it taken podcasts until 2014 to really take off? I’ve been listening to podcasts regularly since 2008. I continue to be surprised that it is still such a fledgling industry.
I have a few other podcasts that I keep in the bullpen for rainy days: Mystery Show, Fresh Air, The Tim Ferris Show, & How Did This Get Made?
I have recently pondered adding a writer/reader podcast into the rotation. From the research I’ve done, here are the best options out there in my opinion. I may try these out and see which podcast(s) make my regular listening lineup.
- You Wrote the Book: This podcast comes out twice a month. Blogger Simon Savidge selects writers that he enjoys or that pique his interest and interviews them. The episodes range from 30-60 minutes. If you enjoy the normal Author Interview format on blogs, this may be a new way in which you can consume interviews.
- I Should Be Writing: This might be the longest running podcast on writing. (I haven’t confirmed this, but it has been running since at least 2007.) It is a self-described “podcast for wannabe fiction writers” and is hosted by Mur Lafferty. It focuses on the craft of writing fiction and how writers can become professionals at their craft. “Focusing on the emotional road blocks one finds in a writing career, this show speaks to over 8000 listeners every week.” It’s award winning and seem’s to be the people’s choice for fiction podcasts.
- Grammar Girl: If you like editing and grammar, then this is probably your podcast. It’s a short form podcast and has been running close to as long as or longer than “I Should Be Writing.” Mignon Fogarty, who has a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Washington and a master’s degree in biology from Stanford University, hosts the podcast. If you want to learn about semi-colon use, their/they’re/there, effect vs. affect, passive voice rules, or any other number of grammar tips, this is one to check out.
- The Guardian Books Podcast: This podcast features author interviews, book readings (or portions thereof), and other discussions surrounding books. It comes out once a week and is created by Guardian Books editor Claire Armistead.
- The Journeyman Writer: Alastair Stephens and his wife, Lani Diane Rich, own and run a company called Storywonk, a company dedicated to helping authors understand and improve their stories. Stephens hosts “The Journeyman Writer” podcast, which runs a few times a week. It is a short-form podcast (about 10 minutes each) and it focuses on the practical–how to publish, issues with e-publishing, etc.
- Books and Authors: Radio 4 puts this podcast out. I know very little about it, but here’s the description from their site: “Host Cary Barbor is a seasoned arts producer who has worked on such public radio shows as WNYC-FM’s The Leonard Lopate Show and Studio 360. She hosted her own popular show, BookTalk, onSiriusXM. She has published in New York magazine, Salon.com, and The Huffington Post, among others.” The podcast explores new works and new authors.
Do you listen to any of these? Do you have other writing or reading podcasts that you enjoy? Let us know! I would love to hear about them.
One final note. I have been pondering a podcast for Nothing Any Good that would focus on Author Interviews and a unique take on book reviews. It would likely include my lovely younger sister, who is an English major and teacher, and is far smarter than I am. She does not know this yet, so needless to say, the Nothing Any Good podcast is still in the very, very early brainstorming stages. If you have advice or feedback, I would love to hear it.
Find more writing and publishing tips at Nothing Any Good.