Over the Memorial Day weekend, I had the opportunity to do some traveling. To get through the long walks down airport terminals and window seat imprisonment on long flights, I queued up a dozen podcasts on writing.
There are several things I look for in a good podcast:
Theme – Most podcasts will have a topic (it's usually in the title of the episode) and shows that stay on topic are more valuable for me than wandering monologues that seem interminable.
Formula – Shows with an agenda or a designated formula sound more professional, in my opinion. When the hosts stick to it, they demonstrate that professionalism and I'm more likely to come back for another show.
Relevance – Even the "famous author" podcasts will be clear about how this information is relevant to you, no matter your writing level, age or experience.
Here are some of my favorites:
Short Story Today – An SCWA member, Lis Anna-Langston from Columbia, was on a recent episode.
The Creative Penn – Joanna Penn is a BIG name in digital publishing and this podcast has been around for so long, she's getting really granular in her topics. But she's on the forefront of digital trends, such as NFTs, and if you don't know what those are or why writers should care, you should queue her up.
The Shit No One Tells You About Writing – Hosted by a couple of agents who spend the first 10 minutes critiquing a query with the writer on the line. So, so valuable for insight into what agents are thinking when they read your email query.
Learning the Tropes – This one is a romance-genre-specific one, but I'm sure there are some focused on other genres, too. Definitely helps in learning what is expected of the genre you're writing in. The romance genre has a ton of podcasts, actually, and they all have clever names like Heaving Bosoms, Fated Mates, and Smart Women, Trashy Books.
Write On SC – Of course, I'll add my own show here. Rex Hurst and I do this weekly and share not just S.C. writers, but all kinds of craft, publishing and marketing things we're learning. Find us at writeonsc.blog.
When starting a podcast listening habit, keep in mind that some are short (less than 30 minutes) and some are a good deal longer (as much as three hours). You may want to consider what length you need for a walk in the neighborhood versus a road trip.
I'd love to hear what you're listening to. Send me your suggestions at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll give them a listen!
This month we're planning a SUPER SOCIAL event called SCWA Inside Out. It will be on June 25 in Columbia, it's free and pretty casual. Just a chance for us to be face-to-face again. Check out the details below. I hope you'll all join me there and thanks to the Events and Education Committee for planning it and making it happen.
Lastly, it’s Pride Month and I’d like to wish a very happy celebration to all of our LGBTQ+ members, friends and allies. This month is about celebrating so much, including the unbridled emergence of diverse stories and characters we’ve seen over the past few years. SCWA supports you, loves you and wants your writing career to be spectacular as you bring your own stories into the light.
Cheers and happy writing!
President, SCWA Board of Directors