Writing Podcast: The Creative Nonfiction Podcast

Welcome to the next installment of Writing Podcast at Writers Forum.

Another great podcast I regularly listen to for writers is The Creative Nonfiction Podcast. I found this podcast a few years ago when I was looking for podcasts on nonfiction writing that might help me with my memoir. The Creative Nonfiction Podcast, or CNF, as host Brendon O’Meara likes to call it, was one of the first hits on my search. This is a weekly podcast in which Brendon interviews a nonfiction writer each week.

I’ll be honest. When I first hit ‘play’ on the podcast, I wasn’t sure I was going to like it. Brenden seemed a bit too brash for my tastes. A little bit too hip.

However, I really wanted to hear the author he was interviewing.

I’m glad I stuck around. Brendon’s persona during the interviews is totally professional. He asks penetrating and engaging questions, and then backs out to let his guest answer the question. I’ve tried to listen to too many podcasts in which the host seems to like the sound of his/her own voice too much. CNF is not like that at all. I have never come away from a CNF episode without learning something and being encouraged in my own writing.

Brendon is passionate about helping writers find their voice. Check out his podcast. I think you’ll be glad you did.


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Type of Material and Guidelines for e-newsletter and Website Submission: 1.) Your articles on the art or craft of writing. 2.) Essays on subjects of interest to writers. (200 words can be quoted without permission but with attribution.) 3.) Book or author reviews. 4.) Letters to the Editor or Webmaster. 5.) Information on upcoming events, local or not. 6.) Photos of events. 7.) Advertise your classes or private events. 8.) Short fiction 9.) Poetry

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Writing Podcast: Writing Roots

Have you ever listened to a writing podcast?

If you haven’t yet, you might want to look into this convenient trove of writing advice and inspiration. ‘Podcast’ might sound like a foreign high-tech word to some, but it’s really nothing different from listening to a radio talk program, except that you can listen to it at your own convenience instead of having to be at a radio at the right time to catch a broadcast.

Podcasts are also portable. You can listen to them anywhere you can take your digital device. I had to drive to Sacramento and back today for work, and I wasn’t at the mercy of whatever radio broadcasts I could pick up along the way. The podcasts that I regularly listen to are downloaded on my smartphone. I just had to connect it to my car stereo. You can do that with Bluetooth, or with old fashioned wires if you are so inclined.

The podcast I wanted share with you first is called Writing Roots. Writing Roots is hosted by Ley Esses and Leigh Hull, and every week they bring you informative and entertaining advice on the craft and business of writing. They are currently running a series on myths about writing. The latest episode is on the myth ‘Said is Dead.’ You can listen to the latest episode here. Previous episodes over the last few weeks have discussed the myths ‘Write What You Know,’ and ‘Don’t Judge a Book By Its Cover.’

The links in the above paragraph will take you to their podcast website, but you can listen via most services you might already use for podcasts. I listen on Podbean. They are also available on iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify, Pandora, Google Podcasts and others.

Ley and Leigh pack a lot of information into a short podcast. Episodes are less than fifteen minutes long, which is very short for a podcast, and they do not waste your time. They get right to the meat, and serve it up strong.

They are affiliated with AspenHouse Publishing, an ‘assisted publishing’ house. They are geared to helping you self-publish your book. Their website’s FAQ tells us:



Assisted publishing is all the convenience and professionalism of a traditional publishing house combined with the freedom of self publishing. We’re here to offer as much support as you like, but you maintain all the rights (and profits) of your work after you’re out there for the world to see.

Give the Writing Roots podcast a listen! I bet you will be glad you did.


Writers Forum is open to submissions for the blog or the newsletter.

Type of Material and Guidelines for e-newsletter and Website Submission: 1.) Your articles on the art or craft of writing. 2.) Essays on subjects of interest to writers. (200 words can be quoted without permission but with attribution.) 3.) Book or author reviews. 4.) Letters to the Editor or Webmaster. 5.) Information on upcoming events, local or not. 6.) Photos of events. 7.) Advertise your classes or private events. 8.) Short fiction 9.) Poetry

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March 4 is National Grammar Day

National Grammar Day

March 4 is National Grammar Day in the United States. Established in 2008, it is a yearly celebration of the nuts and bolts of the English language.

In honor of National Grammar Day, author and podcast host Mignon Fogarty has a piece on the Top Ten Language Myths.

Who is Mignon Fogarty? Form her website:


Mignon Fogarty is the founder of the Quick and Dirty Tips network and creator of Grammar Girl, which has been named one of Writer’s Digest’s 101 best websites for writers multiple times. The Grammar Girl podcast has also won Best Education Podcast multiple times in the Podcast Awards, and Mignon is an inductee in the Podcasting Hall of Fame. Mignon is the author of the New York Times best-seller “Grammar Girl’s Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing” and six other books on writing. She has appeared as a guest on the “Oprah Winfrey Show” and the “Today Show” and has been featured in the New York Times, Business Week, the Washington Post, USA Today, CNN.com, and more. She was previously the chair of media entrepreneurship in the Reynolds School of Journalism in Reno, NV. She hates the phrase “grammar nazi” and loves the word “kerfuffle.” She has a B.A. in English from the University of Washington in Seattle and an M.S. in biology from Stanford University.

You can read a short piece on her Top Ten Language Myths at her blog, Grammar Girl: Quick and Dirty Tips, or you can listen to her podcasts on them for more details. I will post a link to a playlist of them below, but first, I will give you Grammar Girl’s Top Ten Language Myths, in reverse order:

  • A run-on sentence is a really long sentence
  • You shouldn’t start a sentence with the word ‘however’
  • ‘Irregardless’ is not a word
  • There is only one way to write the possessive form of a word that ends in S
  • Passive voice is always wrong
  • ‘I.e.’ and ‘e.g’ mean the same thing
  • You use ‘a’ before words that start with a consonant and ‘an’ before words that start with a vowel
  • It’s incorrect to answer the question “How are you?” with “I’m good.”
  • You shouldn’t split infinitives
  • You shouldn’t end a sentence with a preposition

Be sure to read Mignon Fogarty’s explanations for these, or even better, listen to her podcast episodes for more details. You can listen to the Grammar Girl episodes for each of these top ten at the playlist that Mignon Fogarty has posted exclusively to Spotify. You can also find each of the episodes wherever you might already listen to podcasts, such as Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, or Podbean.

Come on back and post your thoughts on these language myths in the comments.

 


Writers Forum is open to submissions for the blog or the newsletter.

Type of Material and Guidelines for e-newsletter and Website Submission: 1.) Your articles on the art or craft of writing. 2.) Essays on subjects of interest to writers. (200 words can be quoted without permission but with attribution.) 3.) Book or author reviews. 4.) Letters to the Editor or Webmaster. 5.) Information on upcoming events, local or not. 6.) Photos of events. 7.) Advertise your classes or private events. 8.) Short fiction. 9.) Poetry.Please submit copy to the editor at writersforumeditor@gmail.com . Electronic submissions only. Microsoft Word format, with the .docx file extension, is preferred but any compatible format is acceptable. The staff reserves the right to perform minor copy editing in the interest of the website’s style and space.

Podcasts and Writers

Series Title: Podcasts For Writers

Podcasts and Writers

photo of author
By George T. Parker

A long time ago…so long ago that most of you won’t remember it…I sent Writers Forum members a survey that asked about podcast listening habits. I had intended to follow-up the survey with an ‘in-depth’ look at podcasting and the benefits of listening to writing podcasts. It was an ambitious project, let me tell you!

That went nowhere.

I’ve decided that instead of a Grand Overview in one article, I’ll talk a little bit about podcasts and what they are, and then in the future, I’ll post short reviews of podcasts I think you might find interesting as writers.

First, let’s look at what podcasts even are. I think The Podcast Host gives us the simplest definition: “a podcast is an audio programme, just like Talk Radio, but you subscribe to it on your smartphone and listen to it whenever you like.”

A podcast is just like a talk radio program, with one important difference. If you miss the traditional radio broadcast, you are out of luck. You missed the show. Some radio shows will archive their programs and make them available online, but they are not necessarily podcasts. If you have to go to their website to listen to the shows, it’s not a podcast. You have to be able to subscribe to the program and have episodes downloaded to your smartphone or other device for it to be a ‘podcast.’

This might seem like a small difference, but it is huge. One of the reasons that people gave in the survey for not listening to podcasts was that ‘they don’t have time.’ Well, there really is no such thing as ‘having the time’ to listen to podcasts. You can listen to them whenever might be convenient to you, and you do not have to dedicate exclusive time to listen to a podcast. In fact, most of my listening time is when I’m doing something else, like driving to town and back. I have forty-five minutes in each direction in which all I’m doing is driving. That’s a perfect time for podcast listening. I have also been known to listen while I’m cooking dinner. Or doing other household chores. This makes podcasts very portable and very easy to work into your schedule.

Podcasts come in a wide variety of episode lengths. Some are only five minutes long. Some are more than an hour. And there is everything in between. You might think, “But I don’t have an hour to listen to a podcast.” This is where the portability and convenience magic happens. Listen to as much of the episode as you want and walk away from it. When you come back to that episode, it will automatically pick up where you left off. I listen to several long podcasts that way. If the subject matter is compelling enough, I will come back and listen to a 75-minute podcast in three pieces.

Where do you find podcasts?

The two Big Boys in the podcast hosting world are probably Apple Podcasts and Google Podcasts. Let’s work with Google Podcasts. Click on that link. If you already have a Gmail account, you are already signed up with Google Podcasts. You can search for any category or title you like. Search for ‘writing’. Go ahead. I’ll wait…

Were you overwhelmed by the choices? That’s okay. There is a lot out there. And you know what? It’s all free. Yep. It doesn’t cost you anything to sample podcasts and find ones you like. You can search for any category you might be interested in. Try ‘mystery writing.’ ‘E-publishing.’ ‘Writing plays.’ Try searching for the names of authors you like. Have fun with it!

When you find podcasts that you like and would like to hear more from, don’t forget to click the ‘subscribe’ button that will be somewhere on the podcast’s page. That’s important! When you subscribe, you will never have to search for that podcast again. New episodes will automatically be saved to your queue for you to listen to at your convenience.

Apple Podcasts and Google Podcasts might be the biggest players in the podcast world, but there are many others. You can listen to podcasts through Spotify, which you might already use for listening to music. I actually have a podcast (about the California Conservation Corps, not writing) that I base on Podbean. Since I already had an account there, I use the Podbean player for listening to all of my podcasts.

So that is the quick and simple introduction to podcasts. I would love to leave you with a great sample of a short podcast that is definitely worthwhile. And it will demonstrate one more way to find and listen to podcasts.

Tracy K. Smith was the 2017 Poet Laureate of the United States. Ms. Smith currently has a podcast called The Slowdown. If you follow that link, you will go to her website for the show. On that page, you can see links to click to ‘Listen on Apple Podcasts’ or ‘Listen on Google Podcasts.’ Click on either of those links to open the program in either of those players. Once there, you can subscribe to the podcast and never miss an episode. Look farther down on The Slowdown’s page, and you can see an option to sign up for e-mails. Yes! You can get Ms. Smith’s podcast delivered right to your email every morning.

So what is The Slowdown about? Each weekday, Ms. Smith delivers a five-minute podcast with a commentary from her, and a poem reading. A very mellow, relaxing start to the day, I think. Yes, I do subscribe to this podcast.

Give it a listen! Let us know what you think of The Slowdown, or of podcasts in general, in the comments. What podcasts on writing to you listen to? Let us know.


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Type of Material and Guidelines for Newsletter and Website Submission: 1.) Your articles on the art or craft of writing. 2.) Essays on subjects of interest to writers. (200 words can be quoted without permission but with attribution.) 3.) Book or author reviews. 4.) Letters to the Webmaster. 5.) Information on upcoming events, local or not. 6.) Photos of events. 7.) Advertise your classes or private events.

Please submit copy to the editor at writersforumeditor@gmail.com . Electronic submissions only. Microsoft Word format, with the .docx file extension, is preferred but any compatible format is acceptable. The staff reserves the right to perform minor copy editing in the interest of the website’s style and space.

Podcast Survey Results

 

Writers Forum members may recall that almost exactly one year ago, I ran a survey asking members about their podcast knowledge and experience. The time is overdue to get back to those results!

 

1. Do you listen to podcasts?

  • Yes: 8
  • No: 7

 

Over half of people responding to the survey in 2019 listened to podcasts.

 

2. If not, why not?

  • I don’t have time: 2
  • What’s a podcast?: 1
  • I don’t listen well and really have a hard time watching things on my computer. Eyes are going
  • Most are not of great interest to me personally. Hard to find.
  • Don’t TAKE the time, but my 40, 50 year old kids do, so I know they are popular.
  • Confusing…too many choices.

 

Answers were sure varied here. But there are answers here I can help you with!

One great thing to know is that podcasts are not videos. You don’t have to stay glued to your computer monitor, stressing your eyes, to enjoy them. Listening to a podcast is like listening to a radio program.

You might not think you have time to listen to podcasts, but you would be surprised about how much time you actually do have to listen. I have a thirty-five mile commute to town, so that is ninety minutes of prime podcast listening time for me any time i go to town. Maybe you have chores to do around the house that don’t require your full concentration. Listen to a podcast while you wash dishes or fold laundry.

There sure are a lot of choices out there, and it can take work to find good ones. How about if you had help in finding good ones that are worth your time? I can help you with that.

 

3. If you do listen to podcasts, do you listen to writing podcasts?

  • Yes: 4
  • No: 11

 

Eight people listened to podcasts, but four of those didn’t listen to writing podcasts.

Say, what?!

I can help you with that! If you’re a writer, there are many podcasts out there that can help you with the craft of writing, or the business, or even motivate you to sit your bottom down and write.

 

 

4. If you do listen to writing podcasts, what is your current favorite?

  • The Well Storied Podcast
  • Writers Digest whatevers
  • I’ve been watching youtube
  • I don’t have a favorite, but they’re always about writing.

 

I can help you here, too. Look forward to seeing podcast recommendations here at the blog in the future.

 

 

5. What types of writing podcasts would be of most interest to you?

  • Interviews with writers: 2 (14.29%)
  • Craft of writing: 6 (42.86%)
  • Business of writing: 4 (28.57%)
  • Writers reading their work: 0 (0%)
  • Other-Inspirational exercises: 1
  • Other- The first three, but this only allows me to make one choice

 

I can help you here! Most respondents were interested in the craft of writing. I can start you out by directing you to DIY MFA podcast. Looking for interviews with writers? I can help you there, too: Writers on Writing, at KCUI, the radio station from UC Irvine in SoCal.  The business of writing? You can find a lot of that at The Author Inside You. I looked into The Well-Storied Podcast, mentioned  by one survey respondent. Thanks for the recommendation! I’ve subscribed to it, myself. (BTW: podcast ‘subscriptions’ are free. That just means that I will always receive updates on the latest episodes which that podcast releases.)

I am going to help you with your podcast listening. Over the summer, starting next week, I am going to describe exactly what podcasts are; how to find and listen to them on your phone, tablet, or computer; and show you where to find podcasts specifically geared towards writers. (It’s not YouTube.) I am going to offer reviews of regular podcast series. And I will also highlight individual podcast episodes that would be particularly valuable to writers.

Look forward to more detailed reviews of these podcasts and more over the summer here at the Writers Forum blog.

 

Geo.