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  • Hollihock

5 Podcasts and Audio Dramas For Writers

These days, it’s all too easy to become crunched for time. Juggling family, life, and a writing (or non-writing) career can force professional writing development onto the back burner. Wouldn’t it be great if you could stimulate your mind and grow your skill set in just a few minutes a day? If this is something you want or need in your life, then podcasts may be exactly what you’re looking for.

The term “podcast” was coined by journalist Ben Hammersley in 2004. It’s derived from “iPod” (the original medium) and “broadcast.” Podcasts can range from short daily news bites and analysis to heavily produced audio dramas with full casts – and they can be a useful tool in the writer’s professional development arsenal. Check out these podcasts for writing tips and inspiration:

1 | Writing Excuses

Hosted by Brandon Sanderson, Mary Robinette Kowal, Dan Wells, and Howard Tayler (and friends)

You’ll be surprised how much you can learn in fifteen minutes. This educational podcast has been around for over a decade and combines the collective experience of the Writing Excuses crew. Check out their tenth season, which is structured as a master class that walks the listener through crafting a story from initial brainstorming session to hand-selling a finished manuscript.

2 | Criminal

Hosted by Phoebe Judge

It isn’t your typical writing podcast, but Criminal has a wealth of true-to-life inspiration for anyone writing crime/mystery or characters with complex motivations. The show tells “stories of people who've done wrong, been wronged, or gotten caught somewhere in the middle,” and dramatically confronts themes ranging from ethics to psychology.

3 | Grammar Girl Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing

Hosted by Mignon Fogarty

As you might expect from the title, each sub-twenty-minute episode of the Grammar Girl podcast is simple and to-the-point. Fogarty breaks down complex style and grammar questions into simple, accessible answers that will do wonders for your technical writing skills.

4 | StoryCorps

Hosted by Michael Garofalo

StoryCorps started with a single storybooth in Grand Central terminal in New York City. Today, the nonprofit has published five books, is regularly featured on NPR, and continues to win prestigious awards for their work collecting unscripted stories from everyday people. The conversations range from happy to heart-wrenching. If you’re looking for a podcast that showcases the complexities of the human condition, this is it.

5 | The Self-Publishing Podcast

Hosted by Johnny B. Truant, Sean Platt, and David W. Wright

If you’ve already started your self-publishing journey or ever considered giving it a shot, it’s worth checking out The Self-Publishing Podcast, one of many from Sterling & Stone. From worldbuilding and gaining family support, to promotion and reader retention, there’s something for every “authorpreneur.”

BONUS: Writer’s Infusion

Hosted by Susan J. Zall, Ed DeJesus, Jennifer Rogala, Dave Sahl, and Julie Weil

Writer's Infusion isn't a podcast, but they’ll be recording a LIVE episode at Hollihock 2017! The W.I. team provides free critiques of written works up to five pages or 1500 words (please, no poetry or explicit scenes). If your submissions is chosen, you'll be given the opportunity to appear on the show – or, for those camera-shy authors, simply have your writing critiqued by the experienced and supportive W.I. crew. You can submit your work for a chance to be featured during the conference HERE.

Do you have a favorite podcast or audio drama that didn’t make the list? Let us know which ones we missed!

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