My favorite writing pods
Updated: Mar 5, 2021
How did we fill the in-between times before podcasts? I listen to a lot of them, especially pods on writing.
I like the ones where hosts talk to guests--writers or agents or editors--and deliver content efficiently, without extraneous chit-chat or tangents. It's certainly nice to learn a little about the host, but it's clear that some are more focused than others on moving the pod along and maximizing every second.
Here are some faves, my list-making (and many things) inspired by Sabrina Vienneau.
Writer's Routine - Dan Simpson talks to best-selling authors about their routine; granular questions about space and font and process that are surprisingly compelling.
Between the Covers - This one is super literary, like a class in criticism. Host David Naimon is famously well prepared and a favorite of many guests, dissecting novels, short stories, and poems like an English professor. His independent pod was so good that Tin House bought it.
Fiction / Nonfiction - This pod is a vehicle of LitHub. I really like the hosts, V.V. Ganeshananthan and Whitney Terrell, and their discussions touch on current events, politics, and culture in relation to both fiction and nonfiction.
Write-Minded - Hosted by Grant Faulkner, head of NaNoWriMo, and Brooke Warner, head of She Writes Press, Write-Minded typically focuses on a theme that they discuss and then weave into the author interview.
First Draft with Mitzi Rapkin - Confusingly, this is one of two writing pods called First Draft. I like it because Mitzi has in-depth conversations on fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. (I haven't listened to the other one, hosted by Sarah Enni, as I only recently learned about it from the afore-heralded Sabrina.)
How Do You Write? - This pod might be the exception that proves the rule when it comes to a host getting very personal. Rachael Herron has a beautiful voice--no vocal fry in sight--and I get the impression she has built an intimate connection with her listeners. She asks every guest the same broad questions, which put me off at first, but I find her so warm and open and interesting that I keep tuning in. She's also unusually transparent about the business: she recently devoted a pod to breaking down exactly how much money she earned from writing in 2020.
Longform - A longtime favorite, Longform is devoted to nonfiction magazine stories (with the occasional exception). Thoughtful hosts Aaron Lammer, Max Linsky, and Evan Ratliff talk to writers like Ta-Nehisi Coates, Sheryl Strayed, Jia Tolentino, and Malcolm Gladwell about their careers and recent or high-impact stories or books. A close look at longform journalism that highlights human-interest topics.
The Maris Review - I think this pod tends to be a bit shorter than others. Host Maris Kreizman talks to really interesting guests, most recently superstar journeyman writer George Saunders.
Inside Writing - A shout-out to Gotham Writers Workshop, where I have taken a few classes. Host Josh Sippie holds craft webinars on a wide spectrum of writing, including genre, comics, memoir, flash fiction, etc.; this is the pod.
Honorable mentions - Others I sometimes visit include Write About Now, Bookable, Great Writers Share, Manuscript Academy, Writers on Writing, The Writer Files, Literary Friction, How Writers Write.