Friday, June 21, 2013


by Linda Hall

I’m pretty much known in my local group of writers as the podcast queen or the podcast groupie. I listen to a lot of podcasts. I plug myself into my iPhone when I’m walking, working out at the gym, baking or cooking, or at night when I’m lying there and can’t sleep. (I used to lie there and just lie there and just lie there - some of you know the drill?) 

I listen to some news and politics podcasts, a few on health, a few more which review movies, a devotional one - and a whole lot on writing and stories.

Because I didn’t attend Write Canada this year - and for that I sadly cannot come with memories and things I learned - I thought I would share here a few of my favorite writing podcasts. 

One of the earliest podcasts I tuned into - even before I had an iPod and merely listened on my computer while I did busy work - is Writers on Writing out of California with Barbara DeMarco Barrett. When I first started listening it was affiliated with U of C in Irvine, but I think through the years it has morphed into a podcast on its own. Barbara interviews literary agents and authors and is aways very interesting. Her interviews are more on the literary side, but I have ‘met’ some fascinating authors and learned a whole lot from the agents and editors she has interviewed.

Another I really enjoy is The Creative Penn  with Joanna Penn. All about indie publishing and marketing, she is on the other end of the spectrum from Barbara. I have learned a lot about genre writing from her. Plus, she is spunky and fun and you’ll love her Aussie accent. 

The Narrative Breakdown is great fun to listen to. The two hosts dissect movies and books as they talk about craft. Recent episodes have been about craft, revision techniques, subtext, irony and point of view. 

And it goes without saying that CBC’s The Next Chapter with Shelagh Rogers is always at the top of my list. You also might enjoy Writers and Company there, as well, and Canada Reads. 

I also listen to stories. Every month The New Yorker,  Alfred Hitchcock Magazine and Ellery Queens Magazine present one of their stories in audible form as a podcast. I’m first in line for those each month. I also enjoy the short, short stories at Bound Off  Plus, did you know all of the Dave and Morley stories are available as podcasts? They are faves of Rik and me as we travel. (And if you don’t know who Dave and Morley are I will ask you to turn in your Canadian membership card immediately!)

I also listen to the short stories at Selected Shorts.  The beauty of these is that they are read by well known actors, so it’s more like listening to a professional audio book. 

A brand new one I've just discovered is Kindle Love Stories, sponsored by Amazon to showcase some of their new writers.

There may be more. I am only scratching the surface. If any of you have favorite podcasts, can you share them here? I'd love to add them to my Playlist!

I’ve given you the web addresses of the various podcasts, but they are all on iTunes, and you can more easily subscribe to them there - just follow the directions for your particular device, whether it be iPhone, android, Blackberry etc, or just a plain old computer. And most of all they are free.

Happy listening.


Peter Black said...

Linda, this is great.
Hmm, but *this* dinosaur is not plodding his way through podcasts. However, I love Stuart McLean's Vinyl Cafe and his Dave and Morley stories -- story-telling at its best! (Our son has given us a number of the CDs.)
I catch the broadcasts of Shelagh R.'s "The Next Chapter" and Eleanor W.s "Writers and Company" when I can.
Keep podding' on, eh. :)

Norah Wilson said...

Wow, you *are* the Podcast Queen! But seriously, thank you for these recommendations, Linda. I'll have to give some of them a try! I think the only one I've listened to from your list is Kindle Love Stories. I need to clone myself so I can listen to more podcasts, more audibooks, read more books...

Linda Hall said...

Thanks Peter! And Norah - I know! There is only so much time to 1) read books, 2) listen to audio books (which I didn't even mention here!), 3) watch movies - especially the ones that I listen to reviews of and 4) watch a few fave TV programs and 5) hopefully not last - WRITE!

Kate said...

What great recommendations. Guess I'm going to have to break down and buy an ipod. So much to do, so little time to do it in!

Thanks, Linda.
PS. Don't forget The Moth. Fascinating stories there, too.

Dawn Torraville-Cairns said...

I'm always looking for new/interesting podcasts to add to my list, as well. Two of my faves are 'Writing Excuses' (15 mins on various aspects of writing) and 'White Coat, Black Art' (a CBC podcast on medicine). Both can be found on iTunes.

Linda Hall said...

Oh yes! I love The Moth, Kate - but felt I had to limit this post to 'fiction.' :) I also listen to White Coat Black Art, and if I miss The Current in the morning (if I'm working, for example,) I like to catch up with that news program in the evening. I'll have to look at 'Writing Excuses!' That sounds interesting, Dawn!

Glynis said...

Well, Linda. If you are the podcast queen - then I am the podcast princess! I love listening to Podcasts and Joanna Penn is one of my favourites, too. And Dave and Morley - well, let's just say a Canadian icon! I love the 'buying hockey equipment' one. Do you remember that? Laughed my head off.
Great stuff.

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