Are you interested in writing fiction but need a kick in the pants to get started? Are you keen to put pen to paper, but keep stumbling over different things? Are you unsure whether to go the traditional publishing route or to strike out into the realm of podio books, e-books or self publishing? Then you should check out some – or all – of these writing podcasts.
Mur Lafferty is a hard working writer and podcaster who shares her trials and tribulations, successes, joys and low moments with her listeners. As well as talking about her own endeavors, Mur does great interviews with new and established authors exploring their writing journeys and habits. When you are lacking motivation Mur’s always friendly demeanour and encouraging advice is just the thing to remind you that “You should be writing.” I love Mur’s honesty about what she is going through. If she is having a bad day she lets listeners know, but also talks about how she intends to get through it all. A more recent addition to the show is a feedback show called “Good Cop, Bad Cop” where Mur (good cop) is joined by Matt Wallace (bad copy) to offer advice to people that write in. While Matt’s comments are often outrageous and inflamatory, the segment always has me laughing out loud, at Matt’s comments, Mur’s reactions and the great chemestry between the two.
Best selling authors Brandon Sanderson, Dan Wells and Howard Tayler do this short, punchy podcast and impart their extensive knowledge and practical advice on a huge variety of topics. Their tag line “15 minutes long, because you’re in a hurry, and we’re not that smart”, hints at the fast-pace and light hearted approach to topics that make the show so easy to listen to. Each episode focuses on a single topice that writers often wrestle with, and the hosts unpack it, describe it and offer advice on ways to overcome the challenge or improve your skills. The fifteen minute format is just long enough to take a good bite at the topic, but each episode ends with a writing exercise for listeners to go away and try which gives you the chance to practically explore the topic yourself.
Mike Mennenga and Mike Stackpole talk books and publishing. NY Times best selling author Mike Stackpole is particularly keen on watching, exploring and talking about e-books and their impact on the future of publishing. Each episode tends to be a “grab bag” of discussion on current topics related to publishing, with a smattering of reviews and often an interview with an author. What I like about this podcast is the banter between the hosts, it sounds like just a couple of buddies kicking back and having a chat (an informative chat) about their favourite topic – it is really easy to listen to.
Adventures in Sci-Fi Publishing
Hosted by Shaun Farrell, Moses Siregar III and Brent Bowen, Adventures in Sci-Fi Publishing delivers interviews with successful speculative fiction authors. The show’s intro says “If you want to know how to be discovered in today’s industry, then you need to talk to people that have actually been discovered in today’s industry”, and this really sums up what the show is about. The interviews are engaging, in depth and provide listeners with great detail about the interviewee’s experiences and processes as a writer. The three hosts certainly spread themselves around the conventions and writing workshops, which means listeners get to hear from a wide variety of authors talking about a lot of different things. The website also has a lot of great additional material, including video posts and reviews of books and films.
Great suggestions – I’ve only just started getting into podcasts again this year. I will definitely listen to a few of these!
Thanks for the feedback Liz. These are four of my favourites on the topic of writing and writers. Writing Excuses is particularly writer-centric, while Dragon Pages is the most “general discussion” of the four.
Is the first one for fiction writers only? Because I have the feeling I should be writing, too, very often…
While Mur’s podcast is aimed at fiction writers, it is just plain good advice that all writers would be advised to take. A lot of her personal discussion is about motivation, staying on task and getting on with the business of writing. The interviews are almost exclusively with fiction writers, editors and podcasters.