15 Inspiring Writing Podcasts to Subscribe to Right Now

writing podcasts
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Planning a few lazy afternoons over the holidays?

Podcasts are the perfect way to sneak away from the festivities for a few quiet moments listening to a conversation about your writing craft or business. Think of it as professional development — perhaps accompanied by a chance to rest your eyes.

Podcasts aren’t new, but they’re seeing an exciting surge in listenership. But the problem with podcasts is that there are so many options to choose from.

There’s no shortage of writing-focused podcasts by amateurs and experts alike. Here, we’ve compiled 15 podcasts worth subscribing to.

But writer beware: You might find yourself binge-listening for hours.

1. Grammar Girl Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing

Every writer should bookmark this podcast. With helpful and insightful tips on grammar and storytelling, Mignon Fogarty’s podcast is sure to help you improve your writing skills.

A great place to start: One of the most popular episodes from this podcast is “Who Versus Whom?” Take a listen to get a feel for the podcast, or listen to a more recent episode, like “Dialogue Tags.”

2. Beyond Your Blog

Susan Maccarelli is a blogger who decided to seek publication outside her blog. She created a website and podcast based on her own need for the resource, and now helps others who want to publish their work on larger websites. She interviews editors from major publications who share tips and insight on publishing for their particular outlet.

A great place to start: Maccarelli’s interview with Amy Joyce, editor of Washington Post’s On Parenting section, is a popular episode. Alexis Grant, editor of The Penny Hoarder and founder of The Write Life, has also made an appearance on the show!

3. A Way With Words

This National Public Radio (NPR) program discusses language examined through the lens of history, culture, and family. This in-depth podcast typically runs about an hour.

A great place to start: A fun episode from October 2013, “Writerly Insults” looks at some poorly written query letters, and much more!

4. Writing Excuses

Writing Excuses is hosted by four writers who provide quick tips for writing techniques. This fast-paced podcast runs about 15 minutes per episode.

A great place to start: A relevant episode for all writers, “Breaking In” talks about the concept of breaking into the industry, how to do it, and what happens if you have a hard time.

5. I Should Be Writing

This award-winning podcast is hosted by author Mur Lafferty. Length varies, but episodes typically feature an interview with an author who has a new book. The episodes often provide encouragement to “would-be” writers to believe in themselves and get writing.

A great place to start: A recent hard-hitting episode titled “Crippling Fear” is one all writers should take a listen to: Lafferty opens up about her own fears and failures.

6. Dead Robots’ Society

Dead Robots’ Society is a fun podcast by aspiring writers, for aspiring writers. Inspired by Mur Lafferty’s podcast, the hosts share writing insights typically related to writing novels.

A great place to start: The hosts talk about writing excellent short fiction in the episode, “Write Short Fiction Like a Boss.”

7. Portfolio Life by Jeff Goins

Well-known author Jeff Goins hosts this podcast about life and collective work and artistry. Goins is known for his inspirational messages, and his podcast is no different.

A great place to start: In an inspirational episode, Goins talks about “Getting Paid to Pursue Your Passion in 48 Hours or Less.” Goins talks about his own passion-focused experiment and how it worked out for him.

8. The Creative Penn Podcast

Author Joanna Penn talks about everything related to writing, like publishing, developing your craft, and where to find inspiration. Penn also interviews many pros in the field.

A great place to start: Steal publishing secrets from Penn’s interview with successful indie author Dean Crawford, “Pros and Cons of Indie and Traditional Publishing”.

9. The Story Grid Podcast

This podcast is hosted by two writers, veteran author Shawn Coyne and amateur writer Tim Grahl. Their goal? Help writers create great stories. The twist? These hosts put their own work up for critique.

A great place to start: Shawn Rips it Apart,” where Coyne critiques the first scene in Grahl’s novel. They also discuss some literary greats, including Ernest Hemingway and Agatha Christie.

10. Beautiful Writers Podcast

Beautiful Writers Podcast features conversations with professional writers, including best-selling authors Elizabeth Gilbert and Martha Beck. Episodes are typically in-depth and include personal anecdotes from creatives in the business. Danielle LaPorte and Linda Sivertsen host.

A great place to start: The interview with Gretchen Rubin, where she chats about habits that spark creativity.

11. StoryCorps

In this NPR podcast, hosts gather stories from Americans across the country. This may not seem like a “typical” writing podcast, but much inspiration can be found in listening to stories about everyday people.

A great place to start: Two people share their experiences with two separate hostage situations that had very different endings, in the episode “Hostage.”

12. The Literary Salon

In host Damian Barr’s The Literary Salon, authors read excerpts from their books — all in front of a live audience in glamorous locations.

A great place to start: In a recent episode, JoJo Moyes reads from her most recent book, Me After You.

13. The Narrative Breakdown

Hosts Cheryl Klein and James Monohan discuss the writer’s craft, covering topics relevant for fiction writers, children’s book authors, and more. Many top authors are featured, including Ailsa Chang, a reporter from NPR, and Tim Grierson, a film and music critic.

A great place to start: Screenplays of 2014” is a fascinating episode, especially for aspiring screenplay writers and movie buffs.

14. Self-Publishing Podcast

Self-Publishing Podcast is an interesting and informative show for anyone interested in self-publishing. The hosts share personal stories along with practical tips.

A great place to start: Video Game Writing” covers a writing niche that’s not talked about much.

15. Happier by Gretchen Rubin

New York Times bestselling author Gretchen Rubin hosts a podcast on ways to practice happiness and how to find a more fulfilling everyday life. Although this podcast isn’t specifically for writers, it features many well-known bestsellers who share helpful habits that have made them successful.

A great place to start: A fun and light-hearted episode with bestseller A.J. Jacobs is offbeat and amusing.

Your turn: What are your favorite podcasts for inspiration or writing tips?

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Brianna Bell is a freelance writer that specializes in articles on parenting, personal finance, and writing. You can ask her for free writing advice on her micro-blog, Write for Money.... .

Write for Money Microblog | @briannarbell

Comments

  1. Sometimes I find that podcasts are a lot of fluff without much substance. Not so for this Visual Mindscape screenwriting podcast with award-winning screenwriter Bill Boyle, hosted by the International Screenwriters Association (ISA): http://www.networkisa.org/podcast.php?id=3067. Bill provides lots of excellent tips for writing your screenplay in a more powerful, visceral way, and it’s free!

    • Brianna Bell says:

      Thanks for the great suggestion, I have not heard of that one yet.

      This list has something for everyone. Some light hearted posts, some very hard hitting, others that will really get your inspirational juices flowing.

  2. I would definitely mention The Writer Files at Rainmaker.fm with Kelton Reid who interviews different types of renowned writers (e.g. recently J. Goins or J. Penn of your list).

  3. Helping Writers become Authors by KM Weiland is one the best podcasts I’ve listened to.

  4. Podcasts are a fantastic way to gain new skills and perspectives for your writing. They can also help you to keep up with the latest industry news and trends. Thank you for the share.

  5. Thanks for the list. It gives me something to listen to the next couple of days I’ll spend scooping snow.

    Writing Excuses is by far my favorite. I love the format, and with only fifteen minutes, they get right to the point.

    • Brianna Bell says:

      Hi Jason, hope you find some new podcasts through this list. Come back and let us know which ones you listen to!

  6. This is a great list – thanks for sharing! I’m definitely going to have a listen and I agree with the “no-fluff” comment.

    I interview “no-fluff” authors and teachers of writing for my podcast, “Giving Voice to Your Courage” — with the theme of courage in mind. In the past I’ve interview Julia Cameron of The Artist’s Way as well: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/creatingcalmnetwork1/2013/12/20/giving-voice-to-your-story-with-julia-cameron

    Here’s the archive:

    http://www.blogtalkradio.com/givingvoicetoyourstory

  7. Thanks for the list Brianna! And I need to add the amazing Story Geometry podcast hosted by a filmmaker / aspiring novelist (me 🙂 in partnership with Pam Houston’s literary non-profit Writing by Writers. We launched in August and are 7 episodes in to our Season One. Thanks for giving it a listen!

  8. Gethin Morgan says:

    I’d have to add the authorstrong podcast to this list, and unlike all the others … its daily!

  9. Cecil Wade says:

    I’ll second the “Helping Writers Become Authors” recommendation, and add two others that I think are excellent: 1) “The Writership Podcast” and 2) “Writer 2.0”

  10. Very helpful. Thanks.

  11. I’d add Ben Hess’ Story Geometry mentioned above. Thus far, it features many of the great writers teaching at Pam Houston’s Writing by Writers workshops. Good stuff. Also, for years, I’ve listened to Barbara DeMarco Barrett’s Writers on Writing. Not a podcast, first and foremost, but a radio show that’s aired for 15-some years at KUCI 88.9 FM. Check out the extensive archives.

  12. Another couple I enjoy are:

    The Rocking Self-Publishing Podcast (http://rockingselfpublishing.com/) with interviews of successful self-published authors.

    Ditch Diggers (http://ditchdiggers.murverse.com/) where Mur Lafferty and Matt Wallace talk about writing as gritty job, i.e. less listening to your muse and more digging a ditch.

  13. Great list, Brianna. Thanks so much! And I’ll cast another vote for Story Geometry where Ben Hess weaves the words and craft of writers like Steve Almond, Ron Carlson, Lidia Yuknavitch, and Pam Houston into inspiring podcasts. A great place to start: Episode 1–you don’t want to miss any of it!

  14. Great list. Thanks for compiling it. I have been adding episodes like crazy! I would also add So you want to be a writer an Aussie Podcast by two fantastic writers Allison Tait and Valerie Khoo. They talk about writing, blogging and freelancing as well as interviewing writers, agents and other industry experts.

  15. There are so many to choose from – thanks for compiling this list, Brianna! Like Renee, I’m a big fan of “So You Want to Be a Writer” – actionable, practical advice served up in a friendly environment.

    For a “deep dive” into the craft of writing, I’d recommend “Story Geometry”, mentioned above. It talks about the art of storytelling and how to weave that throughout the prose. And then if you’re wondering about the reality of making a business out of writing, that’s covered too.

  16. I have been really enjoying In Her Room featuring women writers from around the world. Some beautiful conversations where I often find myself talking to the podcast, or just nodding along with something that has been said.

    http://www.in-her-room.com

    Thanks for this list. I now have some new ones to try out!

  17. Fantastic List.

    I listen to a few of those podcast – my favourite being The Creative Penn by Joanna Penn. I also enjoy The Rocking Self Publishing podcast, The Worried Writer and a new one I’ve just started listening to is Elizabeth Gilbert’s podcast, based on her new book, Magic Lessons.

  18. Thanks for mentioning The Narrative Breakdown, Brianna! We just posted episode #60, on writing quality dialogue.

  19. This is fabulous. Thank you!

  20. I’m surprised you haven’t mentioned The Writing Show. Deep archives, deep data.

    The Lone Comic TM
    Defender of Creativity and Entertainment SM

  21. Ed Gandia and Ray Edwards both have writing related podcasts that are a wealth of information, especially if you’re doing copywriting or content marketing writing.

  22. Great list – may I suggest, http://www.writergroupie.net – I interview authors of all genres to see how they did it.

  23. Your Creative Life Podcast with Vanessa Carnevale is my favorite. Really inspiring for writers!

  24. I totally recommend Writing Class Radio. It’s a writing class, but it’s so much more. You get to hear the real stories of people’s real lives as they read them out loud, and as they pass through the scariest, best, and worst moments of their lives. This podcast inspires me in my own writing to be brave and more honest in my own writing. In one episode, they ask, “what’s at stake?” And that’s a great question. If you’re not pissing someone off, then maybe you’re not doing it right!

  25. Does anyone know of any podcasts for memoir writers?

    • Hi Diana! The National Association of Memoir Writers has member webinars every month. Not quite a podcast but always packed with good info for memoirists.

      Its worth checking out: http://namw.org

    • Hi Diana! I know the PERFECT podcast for memoir writers! Check out Writing Class Radio. It’s a writing class, and student’s stories from that writing class. So not only do you get to hear true and vulnerable stories, but you also get writing tips from the teacher. Season 1 just finished, and season 2 is about to start. I hope you enjoy!

  26. Try This is the Reason for Time podcast https://itunes.apple.com/ca/podcast/this-is-reason-for-time-podcast/id1154318859 Especially useful for historical fiction writers.

  27. Thank you for the list. I have been listening to several on the list for a while and like to check out the others. This one I like as well. Create if Writing http://createifwriting.com/podcast-and-show-notes/ It is not only about writing, but also covers podcasting and how to connect with an audience.

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  1. […] Brianna Bell is a freelance writer who specializes in articles on parenting, personal finance, and writing. Follow her on Twitter @briannarbell. A version of this article first ran on TheWriteLife.com. […]

  2. […] 15 Inspiring Writing Podcasts to Subscribe to Right Now […]

  3. […] It’s time to rest your eyes and use your ears! If you leave your earbuds in, all the time, no one will talk to you. Make the most of this alone time by listening to these writing podcasts. The Write Life has found the 10 Best for you!  […]

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