20 Inspiring Writing Podcasts to Subscribe to Right Now

20 Inspiring Writing Podcasts to Subscribe to Right Now

In the last decade, podcasts have exploded in worldwide popularity.

From celebrities like Dax Shepard 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.

1. Grammar Girl Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing

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 widely popular podcast is sure to help you improve your writing skills.

A great place to start: A  popular episode from this podcast is “I.e. Versus E.g.” Take a listen to an intriguing  recent podcast titled Fascinating Words for Colors (and the Battle of Magenta

2. The Writer Files

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 Reid’s recent and helpful podcast episodes titled  The Writer’s Brain on Productivity Part 1 and Part 2

3. A Way With Words

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 “Howling Fantods” examines our understanding of vocabulary and its relation to class.

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, 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 recent and relevant episode titled “Writing The Other – Bisexual Characters”, writer TJ Berry is interviewed on the topic of writing characters that are unlike you.

5. I Should Be Writing

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 “NaNoWriMo Primer” Mur talks about National Novel Writing Month.

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.” In a more recent episode titled “Setting The Stage” Terry and Paul talk about setting a stage that pops and creating characters that come alive.

7. Portfolio Life by Jeff Goins

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 offers insight on creating a daily writing habit in “Three Steps to Start a Daily Writing Habit.”

8. The Creative Penn Podcast

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.” A recent episode titled “Author Email List and Newsletter Tips with Tammi Labrecque” offers practical tips on a fundamental topic in book and author marketing.

9. The Story Grid Podcast

This podcast is hosted by two writers, veteran author Shawn Coyne and self-proclaimed struggling 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 “How to Refine a Manuscript”  Shawn walks Tim through the process of refining a final manuscript.

10. Beautiful Writers Podcast

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. In a more recent interview titled “Ann Patchett: Unplugged”, talks straight about her incredible writing career.

Get ready to binge-listen. We’ve hand-selected awesome writing podcasts for creators of all kinds.

11. StoryCorps

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.” In “Second Chances” listeners hear two stories about rocky starts and second chances.

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 popular episode, JoJo Moyes reads from her bestselling book, Me After You. In “Rose McGowan” famous actress McGowan reads from her memoir Brave, and offers an honest and revealing interview..

13. Helping Writers Become Authors

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 identify your brain’s natural writing process in “How To Create The Perfect Writing Process for You”. ”

14.  Writing Class Radio

This podcast offers an invitation into a writing class. Hosts Allison and Andrea love telling stories, and through their writing class listeners get the chance to learn and grow in their own storytelling.

A great place to start: In “Get Out of Your Way and Write” Allison and Andrea talk about the power of truth-telling in finding your voice. In a more recent episode titled “The Mean Letter You Always Wanted to Write,” Andrea pens a letter, a powerful way for writers to get their point across.

15. Happier by Gretchen Rubin

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 “There’s Such Joy in Giving Delight,” Gretchen shares a mini-podcast on the joy of introducing someone to a delightful experience.

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. This is an explicit show, you’ve been warned.

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 award-winning writer Brooke Bolander titled “Always a Bridesmaid with Brooke Bolander”  the hosts and Brooke cover many topics, including un-taught skills authors often require.

17. Mythcreants Podcast

A weekly podcast for writers to geek out over science fiction and fantasy writing. Podcast hosts are Oren Ashkenazi, Chris Winkle, and Wes Matlock.

A great place to start:  In a podcast episode  titled “Adverbs, Why All The Hate?” hosts discuss why adverbs don’t get the necessary positive attention they deserve. In “Political Theory in Star Trek”, hosts invite professor Kathy Ferguson to discuss a topic she teachers a class on.

18. The Copywriter Club Podcast

In this vibrant community for copywriters and would-be copywriters, experts in the field offer inspiration, encouragement, and concrete advice on advancing in this ever-growing writing niche. Copywriters Kira Hug and Rob Marsh host the show and offer many resources on their site.

A great place to start: In the episode titled “Copywriting Mastery” an expert copywriter offers insight in mastering your skills. In recent episode  “Achieving a Big Dream,” best-selling author Bryna Haynes offers insight on setting goals and reaching those big dreams.

19. The Drunken Odyssey with John King

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: ” Take a listen to the episode “We Drink,” where John sits down with some literary friends to drink and discuss writing and literature. Recent episode “Elliot Ackerman” features an interview with war veteran, journalist, and novelist Elliot Ackerman. Topics covered include composition, revision strategies, and more.

20. Ann Kroeker, Writing Coach

Hosted by writing coach Ann Kroeker, this podcast is designed to help writers hone their talent through practical tips and inspiring insight. Episodes are typically under fifteen minutes, and are meant to offer quick solutions to many different topics.

A great place to start:  In “Write to Discover Your Reason for Writing” Ann shares why she writes, and encourages writers to put pen to paper to discover their own identity as a writer. In a practical episode titled “How to Use Lists to Transform Your Writing (and your life),” Ann talks about the power of list-making.

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

This post was updated in February 2019 so it’s more useful and relevant for our readers!

Filed Under: Craft

89 comments

  • Nick says:

    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!

  • Diana Osberg says:

    Does anyone know of any podcasts for memoir writers?

    • CJ Childress says:

      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

    • Nixie says:

      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!

  • Mary Burns says:

    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.

  • Marianne says:

    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.

  • Allen Voigt says:

    A newer one to Add is Sham Fiction. Its a group of guys doing a writing group based on Fan Fiction. Marcus’ Cowboy BeeBop is a really good one to start with.

    Its just fantastic at seeing the writing process from conception to completion in little hour chunks, and theydo a reading of the story they wrote for the episode.

    Also if you want to listen to a ton of short stories their JustTheFics episodes are a wealth of new short fiction from all sorts of genres and styles!

  • Marcie says:

    My favorite podcast is magic lessons with Elizabeth Gilbert about helping us through when we are stuck creatively. She helps real people with the help of her friends, all experts in whatever topic they are talking about. It’s not all about writing but a lot of it is or could be.

  • Kimberly says:

    Thank you for compiling this list!!
    I’ve been searching for podcasts aimed at writers, and you have given me great information.

  • Thanks for the suggestions. I’ve just downloaded several off of your list to check out. Many years ago, I used to list to Storycorps and I had forgotten about them- great stuff, can’t wait to get back to being a regular listener!

    Cheers,

    Karen

  • Mariana says:

    I love Beyond Your Blog’s podcast by Susan Maccarelli. As a novice writer, I’ve really enjoyed listening to her interviews with a variety of editors giving the inside scoop on pitches, delayed responses and the art of freelancing.

  • ferhat says:

    Hi Brianna, It was a useful list for me. Thank you for sharing this beautiful post 🙂

  • Thanks for this eclectic list, Brianna! I’ve listened to many of these podcasts and subscribe to a few. I’m a special fan of K.M. Weiland, as someone else mentioned, and I never miss an episode from Jeff Goins or Grammar Girl—although I don’t always agree with Jeff’s prescriptions about the writing life, and Grammar Girl isn’t always right about grammar. I’ve found I particularly dislike podcasts that ramble, unscripted, in a conversational style that seems self-indulgent rather than for the benefit of the audience. Unfortunately, several of those on your list follow that format. And what’s with all the swearing on a number of these podcasts? I’m no prude, but it doesn’t enhance credibility or content.

    Finally, I was completely confused by Ditch Diggers (your number 16 recommendation) and their discussion of hot button #2 in episode #41, June 5, 2017. They spent a lot of time criticizing copyeditors for making unwanted changes. But copyeditors can’t make unwanted changes! They work in Word’s Track Changes feature, and all they can do is suggest or query changes. Authors must then accept or reject all suggested changes. If an author doesn’t want the change, it takes a nanosecond to reject it—and poof! anything the copyeditor did or undid is completely gone.

    Copyeditors don’t have the kind of power that Ditch Diggers ascribes to them, and authors retain ultimate control over their manuscripts. How can I trust a podcast from writers who don’t understand that basic piece of how the publication process works?

    Nevertheless, I appreciate your putting together this collection for our listening pleasure.

  • Great list. I’ll add one more please, with risk of self promotion lol The Whatcom Wordsmith http://www.jenniferkarchmer.com/podcasts.html#WhatcomWordsmith

    It’s a podcast with writers, authors and editors about the writing life and the craft of writing. Whatcom is the name of the county in Wash State. Here’s a favorite episode. Listen to the first 1-2 mins to get the gist: http://www.jenniferkarchmer.com/podcasts.html#WhatcomWordsmith#ElenaHartwell

  • Andrea says:

    In your bio you say “Brianna Bell is a freelance writer that specializes…”
    I was wondering if the word “that” is replacing the word “who” which I always thought was correct when relating to people. I would love to have this cleared up. Thanks!

  • The Subtext says:

    For playwrights and those interested in playwriting: The Subtext

  • Jackie Reid says:

    Thanks for the info! Any recommendations for podcasts geared towards freelancing and article writing?

  • Jim Azevedo says:

    Hi Brianna. Mark Coker, founder of Smashwords, launched the free Smart Author podcast on Oct. 27 and it’s already a New & Noteworthy podcast on Apple. It provides advice on ebook publishing best practices, from production to marketing.