In the last few years podcasts have exploded in worldwide popularity.
From celebrities like Anna Faris to your 15-year-old nephew, everyone seems to have a podcast.
Still, there’s a reason podcasts are so popular. Their versatility, accessibility and ability to transport, educate and empower is hard to beat.
For writers looking to bust writer’s block, hone their craft or spice up a boring commute, there’s no shortage of podcasts from amateurs and experts alike. Here, we’ve compiled 20 writing-related podcasts worth subscribing to.
But writer beware: You might find yourself binge-listening for hours.
Every writer looking to improve their knowledge of the English language 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.
Hosted by Kelton Reid, The Writer Files is a long-running podcast that delves deep into habits and habitats of famed writers. Reid interviews writers from a broad spectrum, giving each listener a chance to see into the mind of an accomplished wordsmith within their genre or interest.
A great place to start: One of Reid’s biggest interviews was with best-selling author Douglas Coupland, titled “How Bestselling Author Douglas Coupland Writes.” Take a listen to a fascinating episode titled “The Best of the Writer’s Brain: Creativity.”
This National Public Radio (NPR) program discusses language examined through the lens of history, culture and family. The podcast is rich with detail and exciting storytelling, and typically runs for 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. In a more recent episode “A Shoo-in” shares writing advice from Mark Twain, and the origin story of words including polka, smarmy and bully pulpit.
Writing Excuses is hosted by four writers who provide quick tips for writing techniques. This fast-paced podcast runs about 15 minutes per episode, with the fun tagline “Fifteen minutes long, because you’re in a hurry, and we’re not that smart”.
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. In a very practical episode titled “Tools for Writers,” the four writers share their favorite writing software.
This award-winning podcast is hosted by the always honest 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: An honest and vulnerable episode titled “Crippling Fear” is one all writers should take a listen to: Lafferty opens up about her own fears and failures. In “Must You Be Writing Daily?” She answers the age old question.
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.” In a more recent episode Terry and Paul discuss the unique topic of “Complete Characters with Incomplete Speech,” bringing characters to life by creating dialogue that is not grammatically correct.
Well-known author Jeff Goins hosts this podcast about life, collective work and artistry. Goins is known for his inspirational messages, and his podcast is no different. This podcast is all about finding what you were born to do, and getting started creating a portfolio of your dreams.
A great place to start: In an inspirational episode, Goins talks about “Getting Paid to Pursue Your Passion in 48 Hours or Less.” Goins discusses his own passion-focused experiment and how it worked out for him. In a more recent episode, Goins interviews author Elizabeth Marshall about how to “Avoid the Ravenous Monster of the Bestseller Game.”
Author Joanna Penn covers many topics related to writing, including publishing, developing your craft and where to find inspiration. Penn also interviews many professionals 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.” Another episode titled “How to Use Dictation to Write Faster and Stay Healthy” offers tips on writing with energy.
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. Coyne also offers many practical tools to help writers craft a story that works.
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. In “Micro to Macro: Editing Your First Draft,” the authors discuss what to do after crafting your initial draft using their story spreadsheet.
Beautiful Writers Podcast features conversations with some of the most well-recognized writers in the world. Host and writer Linda Sivertsen interviews best-selling authors Elizabeth Gilbert, Rob Bell, Glennon Doyle Melton, and Brene Brown. Episodes are typically in-depth and include personal anecdotes from creatives in the business.
A great place to start: The interview with Gretchen Rubin, where she chats about habits that spark creativity. Expert in inspiring writers, Anne Lamott, shares many nuggets of wisdom in “Hallelujah Away.”
In this NPR podcast, hosts gather stories from Americans across the country. Although not a traditional podcast for writers, this podcast offers inspiration for excellent storytelling.
A great place to start: Two people share their experiences with two separate hostage situations that had very different endings, in the episode “Hostage.” A popular episode from 2016 was re-released in 2017, titled “Sissy,” this story explores the relationship between a husband who likes to wear women’s clothes, and his wife who has stood by him for four decades.
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 popular episode, JoJo Moyes reads from her bestselling book, Me After You. “Amor Towles” is interviewed in the Lancaster Ballroom at the Savoy Hotel about his sophisticated novel A Gentleman In Moscow.
Award-winning author K.M. Weiland hosts this podcast that offers mentorship and advice to aspiring writers hoping to publish their own novel someday. Weiland offers practical advice on many topics related to storytelling and story structure.
A great place to start: “How to Calculate Your Book’s Length Before Writing” is a practical podcast chock-full of helpful advice. Weiland shares how to write powerful scene arts in “How to Create Awesome Scene Arcs That Surprise Readers.”
Self-Publishing Podcast is an interesting and informative show for anyone interested in the world of self-publishing. The hosts share personal stories along with practical tips.
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. It also includes co-host Elizabeth Craft, Gretchen’s sister, a TV writer living in Los Angeles.
A great place to start: A fun and light-hearted episode with bestseller A.J. Jacobs is offbeat and amusing. In “More Advice about How to Be Successful,” Gretchen shares a two-minute mini-podcast on success.
16. Ditch Diggers
In this Hugo Award Finalist, veteran podcaster Mur Lafferty and co-host Matt Wallace offer advice to writers with deadlines. The purpose of Ditch Diggers isn’t to offer information on honing the writer’s craft, but on pressing through tough deadlines and helping writers pay their bills through writing.
A great place to start: Spend an afternoon with “Hot Button Topics.” In this movie-length podcast, Mur and Matt discuss many hot button topics related to writing and earning an income from your craft, and major “no-nos” in the writing industry. In a fun interview with Lexi Alexander the hosts and Lexi discuss “Punching Hollywood. Metaphorically.”
17. Story Geometry
A podcast hosted by aspiring novelist and screenwriter Ben Hess. Story Geometry features interviews with industry experts on their craft and the community of writing. Although this podcast isn’t updated regularly, there’s plenty of exciting content in the archives.
A great place to start: One of the intriguing podcasts titled “The 80s, Espionage, & Editing,” an interview with a 90-year-old debut author who was stationed in six countries while raising three children with her CIA Agent husband. Take a listen to “Sexuality in Lit,” where Hess interviews three authors on writing about sex.
This podcast hosted by Jeff Rutherford feels almost like an online book club. Rutherford interviews the author of a particular book in each episode, and also discusses the author’s writing habits and their inspiration. Readers can engage by calling and leaving a voicemail for Rutherford.
A podcast about creative writing and literature, hosted by writer and literary reviewer John King. The purpose of this podcast is to discuss the writing life and foster a sense of community amongst writers.
A great place to start: Listen to an interview with the sophisticated poet and novelist “Kathleen Rooney.” Or, take a listen to the episode “We Drink,” where John sits down with some literary friends to drink and discuss writing and literature.
Hosted by the mega-popular Nerdist platform, The Writers Panel features interviews with the hottest writers in a variety of genres, from TV, film, fiction, comic books and more.
A great place to start: An interview with creators of both Fargo and HBO’s The Leftovers titled “Fargo and The Leftovers.” Or take a listen to an interview with the executive producer and creator of the mega-hit “The Handmaid’s Tale.”
Your turn: What are your favorite podcasts for inspiration or writing tips?
This post originally ran in December 2015. We updated it in August 2017.