Podcasts for Writers, Word Nerds and Book Lovers

Ten years ago I wrote a mobile marketing column for a popular Internet magazine. Several of my articles centered around “podvertising” or the idea of advertising within podcasts. They were very popular for a period of time in the mid-2000s then their popularity waned until the extraordinarily excellent Serial came about. Not only is technology better but the quality and possibility of what podcasts can do has changed. For those of you who commute or love listening to quality radio shows, podcasting is a fantastic form of entertainment.

If you are going to listen to podcasts, having an app that allows you to easily manage them is extra helpful. I’m not going to run those down here, because someone else has done that for me, but I highly recommend the Overcast app if you are on iOS.

There are a number of great podcasts out there for authors in the midst of writing their books, or perhaps embarking upon the promotion journey. There are podcasts that appeal to grammar lovers and to readers as well. Here’s a list of some of the best out there:

  1. Writing Excuses– A super popular podcast featuring authors Brandon Sanderson, Mary Robinette Kawall, Dan Wells and Howard Tayler. It’s only 15 minutes long and they cover a wide variety of topics relating to writing.
  2. The Narrative Breakdown – A creative writing and screenwriting podcast featuring writing tips, publishing and filmmaking experiences and all manner of storytelling tidbits.
  3. Creative Penn – Joanna Penn produces this weekly podcast that highlights author interviews, creativity, book marketing and other important writerly topics.
  4. The Writing Show – This show has been around for over ten years now and is one of the best podcasts for writers out there. Episodes range in length from 30-60 minutes and are full of great interviews, writing tips and more.
  5. I Should Be Writing/Ditchdiggers – Mur Lafferty has two podcasts, one for writers who are just getting started and want to understand craft, and a second, Ditchdiggers, for writers who are deep in the business of writing.
  6. Novel Marketing – This podcast is fairly self-explanatory. You’ll learn everything from how to find a good editor, grow your email list and more.
  7. Dead Authors Podcast – One of my favorite podcasts, this is a comedy show where Paul F. Tomkin plays H.G. Wells, who goes back in time and brings authors back to the present to interview them. They record the episodes live, in costume, and the guest comedians that play authors such as Sylvia Plath, Henry Miller, Albert Camus, Roald Dahl and others put on a stellar and funny performance.
  8. Dead Robots’ Society – Writers helping writers. Topics range from NaNoWriMo to publishing to the craft of writing.
  9. Booked -- Book reviews by readers, for readers.
  10. Author MBA – Matt Gartland helps nonfiction authors, interviewing top experts that excel at the business of books.
  11. New Yorker Fiction/Poetry -- The New Yorker Fiction and Poetry podcasts are beautifully produced and highlights all sorts of great authors and poets.
  12. The Guardian Books Podcast -- Author interviews (most of them with well-known writers), readings and discussions.
  13. Slate Audio Book Club – Another fantastic podcast exploring the world of books and the authors who wrote them.
  14. Books and Authors – Books, books, books! You’ll find “intelligent, candid conversations withauthors of new books. You'll find authors of novels, essays, history, and short stories.”
  15. Litopia After Dark – A long-standing podcast that covers all things literary and culture. They describe themselves as an online “literary salon.”
  16. Longform Podcast -- A weekly podcast that focuses on a journalist or nonfiction writer about their craft and career.
  17. A Tiny Sense of Accomplishment – I’m not sure if the podcast is still running (last episode was October 2015) but there is a decent backlog of great episodes to listen to. Sherman Alexie and Jess Walter interview authors and talk about books and culture.
  18. A Way With Words – This is a podcast all about language, writing and words.
  19. Lexicon Valley – Slate delivers some excellent podcasts and this one is no exception. NPR’s Bob Garfield and Slate’s Mike Vuolo dig deep into the etymology of words. I love this podcast…every episode is a delight.
  20. Grammar Girl – One of the most popular and long running podcasts, Grammar Girl will answer any and all questions relating to the trickier topics of grammar.
  21. The Allusionist -- Another fave for me, this podcast is funny and brillia It “explores the English language and lexicon – from etymology to profanity.”
  22. Meet the Author – This podcast, brought to you by Apple iTunes, has been around since 2007 and interviewed many popular authors over the years.
  23. Selected Shorts -- One of my favorite podcasts, Selected Shorts brings on readers, many of them quite famous, to read selected short works of fiction. One of my favorites was Stephen Colbert reading T.C. Boyle’s “The Lie.”
  24. The Literary Salon – The show is recorded live and features authors reading from their own works. A great way to discover new books to read.

 Happy Listening!

About the Author

Crystal King is a 20-year marketing, social media and communications veteran, freelance writer and Pushcart-nominated poet. She is the author of the FEAST OF SORROW, about the ancient Roman gourmand, Apicius. Crystal has taught classes in writing, creativity, and social media at Harvard Extension School, Boston University, Mass College of Art, UMass Boston and GrubStreet writing center. A former co-editor of the online literary arts journal Plum Ruby Review, Crystal received her MA in Critical and Creative Thinking from UMass Boston, where she developed a series of exercises and writing prompts to help fiction writers in media res. Find her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or at her website: crystalking.com

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