March 6th, 2020

10 Noteworthy Podcasts for Writers

Julie Glover

Podcasts have grown a lot since their inception in 2004. According to Edison Research, as of 2019, fifty-one percent of Americans over age 12 have ever listened to a podcast, with 32% having listened in the prior month and 22% in the prior week. I suspect a number of WITS readers are among those listeners!

With that in mind, let's talk about podcasts specifically for writers.

The Basics of Podcasts

Podcasts are digital audio files you can listen to through any internet-connected device with audio, but most often it's your phone. In fact, the word itself derives from iPod + broadcast, though there are now many podcast subscribers beyond Apple.

If you don't know where to go to find podcasts, here are just a few apps you can use to discover and play shows:

  • Apple podcasts / iTunes
  • Stitcher
  • Google Play
  • Spotify
  • Castbox
  • PocketCasts
  • Podbean

Choosing the Right Podcast

The right podcast(s) for you depends on your goals and desires. Here are a few questions to ask yourself:

What information do you need or want? Are you looking for inspiration or camaraderie with other authors? Do you want writing craft advice? Are you focused on marketing know-how? Some podcasts cover a wide array of topics, while other niche down to give you their slice of the information pie.

How much time do you have? Podcast episodes vary in length, from a few minutes to over an hour. Choose podcasts that fit into your schedule. Also, most podcast apps include an option to speed up the audio and/or trim silence within the episode, which can save time.

How often do you want to listen? Podcasts also vary in how often they release. You might want episodes 2-3 times a week or only once a week or less. Some podcasts even have seasons, like TV shows, and take breaks in between.

What format do you prefer? Podcasts are simply downloadable audio shows and can include solo coaching, interviews, round-table discussions, or stories. What appeals to one listener won't appeal to another.

Whose "voice" do you like? We writers often talk about an author's voice, that style that distinguishes between reading a Stephen King horror novel and a Jill Shalvis contemporary romance. Likewise, podcast hosts have unique styles, and you should opt for the voices that engage you.

Some Podcasts to Try

This is by no means a cumulative or even sufficient list of podcasts for writers. I guarantee I've left out some amazing offerings, but we'll ask readers to add their recommendations in the comments section.

Here are some podcasts, though, to try out!

DIY MFA Radio

Gabriela Pereira interviews authors and industry experts about both the craft and business of writing. Now up to almost 300 episodes, so you can binge or hunt down the topic that appeals to you.

Helping Writers Become Authors

Author and writing coach K.M. Weiland gives writing craft advice, industry insight, and inspiration. With nearly 500 episodes available, you can definitely find a topic here that piques your interest.

Create If Writing

Kirsten Oliphant shares specifically and authentically about her career and provides excellent takeaways for productivity, branding, marketing, and more.

The Creative Penn

Joanna Penn describes her podcast best as having "interviews, inspiration and information on writing and creativity, publishing options, book marketing and creative entrepreneurship."

Red Sneaker Writers

NYT bestselling author William Bernhardt addresses industry news and interviews big-name authors and professionals on various topics.

The Self-Publishing Show

USA Today Bestseller Mark Dawson and James Latch discuss how to successfully self-publish, with everything from creating content that sells to running Amazon ads.

Shipping & Handling

Literary agents Bridget Smith and Jennifer Udden share behind-the-scenes industry knowledge and answer writers' questions.

Wish I'd Known Then...for Writers

Recently launched, hosts Jami Albright and Sara Rosett interview bestselling indie authors to reveal what works and what these pros learned from their missteps.

Write-Minded

Hosted by Brooke Warner of She Writes and Grant Faulkner of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), each theme-focused episode of Write-minded features a pep talk, a green-light moment, and a writing action.

Writing Excuses

Hosted by authors Dan Wells, Brandon Sanderson, Mary Robinette Kowal, and author and cartoonist Howard Tayler, these episodes cover a lot of ground in short snippets. "Fifteen minutes long, because you're in a hurry, and we're not that smart."

Hopefully, somewhere in there you can find something worth your listening time.

One final tip: You can listen to podcasts through Bluetooth speakers or from your desktop, but if you're using headphones, be sure to invest in a good set. They need to be comfortable enough in or around your ears that they won't distract you or prevent you from wanting to listen.

Okay, it's your turn...

What podcasts for writers do you recommend?

About Julie

Julie Glover writes mysteries and young adult fiction. Her YA contemporary novel, SHARING HUNTER, finaled in the 2015 RWA® Golden Heart® and is now on sale! When not writing, she collects boots, practices rampant sarcasm, and advocates for good grammar and the addition of the interrobang as a much-needed punctuation mark.

Julie is represented by Louise Fury of The Bent Agency. You can visit her website here and also follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

About Cruising Writers

Cruising Writers brings writers together with bestselling authors, an agent, and a world-renowned writing craft instructor writing retreats around the world. Cruise this November with Angela Ackerman, fabulous writing coach and co-author of The Emotion Thesaurus, NYT bestselling author Darynda Jones, and agent Jennifer Udden of New Leaf Literary.

Source: Edison Research. “The Podcast Consumer 2019.”

Photo credit: Image by Csaba Nagy from Pixabay

24 responses to “10 Noteworthy Podcasts for Writers”

  1. Excellent resources! One podcast I like is WritingClassRadio.com. They feature a subscriber essay each month, with commentary from the hosts about writing craft. They are raw, funny, and a bit crass, as you'll see in this from their website: "Our mission is to change the way people interact through shit-owning, wound-healing, truth-telling. There's no better way to understand ourselves and each other than by writing and telling our true personal stories."

    • Julie Glover says:

      I hadn't seen that one! I will check it out. Thanks, Karen!

    • jeannenicholas says:

      Karen, Do they just take a subscribers work and break it down? Or are they just reading it out and acknowledging the writer?

    • jeannenicholas says:

      I downloaded my first podcast in 2019 *GASP* Watching a D&D gaming show on some random click through channels late at night I found Critical Role. A fun group of people that record themselves playing D&D. They have a popular podcast so I figured out how to download the cast and started listening. But as I looked at that podcast I searched out a few others. NOw I have four regular podcasts I visit. I was stunned at this opportunity. Duolingo is a podcast *another gasp* There are probably tons of other shows that discuss weird nerdy things I like. So now from this article I've found four new podcasts. Thank you very much.

  2. Maggie Smith says:

    I recommend Hear Us Roar (and not just because I host it) - it's available to the public but is housed on the Women's Fiction Writer's Association web-site. I interview members about their debut novels and they tell their journey from their first glimmer of an idea through their path to publication, whether that's with a publisher or indie.

  3. Some of these Podcasts I've never heard of. Will take a listen. Thanks for the recommendations.

  4. Alice Fleury says:

    I have to put in a word for Mary Kole's Good Story Company. Mary was an agent for Kidlit writers, and this endeavor is new. But she has a wealth of information.

  5. Jenny Hansen says:

    So far, my podcast listening has been for entertainment. It's hard to beat the sheer good humor of Dax Sheppard's Armchair Expert. He cracks me up.

  6. Eldred Bird says:

    I'm a little ADD, so I haven't slowed down enough to listen to any podcasts recently. I need to download a few of these and listen to them in the car. Thanks for the list. It looks like a great place to start.

  7. dholcomb1 says:

    I'm really bad at paying attention to podcasts--I use the radio for background noise--so it's easy for me to unintentionally tune out the podcast if I'm working on something else. I really don't listen to them.

    denise

  8. lesedgerton says:

    One of the best out there is the long-running podcast, Booked, with Livius Needham and Robb Olson. Been around for over a decade and they read all the books they review in great depth. Their shows are always entertaining and informative.

  9. Renee Michaels says:

    I really enjoy down-to-earth tones from J. Thorn and Rachel Herron from The Writer's Well. Also, Rachel has a podcast on her own called How do you write? How Writers Write is also a good one. I have found so many good writing podcasts. I'm addicted to them, now I need to get butt in chair!

  10. ecellenb says:

    I've listened to two podcasts you've mentioned, The Creative Penn and The Self-Publishing Show. Both are excellent. I'll have a look at some others you've mentioned. Thanks!

  11. I listen to several you mentioned, but some are new to me and I will check them out. Some others I enjoy are The Career Author, Six-Figure Authors, and the Story Grid Podcast.

  12. Amanda H. says:

    The Story Blender with Steven James is one I like.

    • Joyce Glass says:

      Love this one!

    • Adrian Marable says:

      I listen to The Write Hour podcast. I think I saw some other people mention this podcast. It actually motivated me to get started with my first book with just simply using Evernote properly.

      It's a no fluff and honesty podcast. You can tell the host Joyce is passionate about the subject.

  13. Veronica says:

    I like and listen to The Write Hour - Nonfiction Tips from the Write Coach. Thewritecoach.biz/TWH

  14. Patrick O'Donnell says:

    I enjoy The Sell More Books Show, The Wordslinger Podcast and if you are a crime or thriller writer who wants to get their story accurate, The Writers Detective Bureau and FBI Myths and Misconceptions: A Manual for Armchair Detectives.

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