The five podcasts you should be listening to if you want to understand the world of books, publish more, or simply improve your writing skills.
BY HELENA GRANDE
I thought it was a waste of time listening to fiction podcasts until I realised I could get inspired and study them as writing pieces. The big audiobooks vs. books debate has shown that reading and listening are almost the same, so listening to inspirational information about writing is no longer considered ‘cheating’ or procrastinating for writers anymore.
This quirky list offers you a different perspective on how podcasts can help you boost your writing skills. It may be pointless for those who love rules and are very well organised, but if you are the kind of writer that follows quirky and unconventional methods, this is your podcasts list.
Created by the prolific podcaster and comedy writer Helen Zaltzman, this podcast covers specific curious aspects of linguistics. You will learn how linguistics is not only about grammar, syntax or phonetics, but also society, psychology and even computers! If you want to deepen your understanding of language usage, try this podcast.
Mike Ingram and Tom McAllister, editors of the Barrelhouse Magazine, take you into a deep analysis of books and authors, from the classics to the most recent publications. They take a chatty approach to highly intellectual topics which will make you feel engaged all the time. I would recommend this podcast to fiction writers, especially because they delve into creative writing aspects such as narrators’ voices or the latest topics on storytelling.
This is definitely the weekly podcast of all wannabe writers!
The Guardian Books podcast
This is the podcast to stay up to date about new books in English (including translations), covering the Who’s Who of award-winning new literature. Claire Armitstead, Richard Lea and Sian Cain not only guide you through our contemporary book world but critically present and interview authors from around the world. This is definitely the weekly podcast for all wannabe writers!
Welcome to Night Vale
More than a podcast, this is like a classic radio show with modern crafted sound by Disparition and a magnificent interpretation by Cecil Baldwin. Set in the deserted village of Night Vale, writers Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor have created a Lynch-like story you cannot miss. They have produced more than 150 episodes and are still growing. They are a source of inspiration for all messy and bizarre writers who like weird and way-out stories.
Modern Love is the podcast of the New York Times column Modern Love. Hosted by Meghna Chakrabarti, it offers readings by notable personalities, mostly actors. This is the perfect podcast for both essay and romance writers, but also for anyone who enjoys listening to people reading. Podcasts such as Modern Love are a great way to get a sense of flow and rhythm in a text, which at the end of the day can help you finish that piece of writing you really want to get published.
I hope this list offers a different approach to podcasts and how they can benefit writers.
About the author
Helena Grande is a writer, film curator, and video artist. Her writing practice draws from personal experiences and seeks to dramatise the role of theory in everyday life. Her prose and criticism have appeared in international journals such as La Grieta, nY, Re-Visiones and Research Catalogue. She frequently collaborates with other artists and has written texts for exhibitions and performances such as A Future of Archive (Amsterdam, 2018), Moton Actuator Tour (Munich, 2018) or All Things Want To Run (Amsterdam, 2019). Originally from Spain, she now lives in Amsterdam, where she practices artistic as well as academic research.