5 Great Podcasts For Writers & Creative Folks

One of my favorite things is listening to podcasts while driving, cooking, and getting ready in the morning. As a writer and journalist, I love listening to stories. They inspire me and help me learn something new. One of my favorite poets, Nikki Giovanni, said in a talk before a reading of her latest collection, Chasing Utopia, that a writer should read something every single day. I couldn’t agree more. For me, that could be a fascinating article in a magazine, a chapter of a book I’m reading, or listening to one of my favorite podcasts. I think it’s important to surround myself with storytelling and interesting characters (fictional and not) as part of my own creative process. Without further ado, here are my five favorite podcasts.

1. Ted Radio Hour

Each week, there’s one single topic like “Growing Up” or “Why We Collaborate” and the host Guy Raz interviews different TED speakers on the very topic that relates to their talk. I love the interesting stories that emerge. Guy Raz is a great interviewer and each theme is varied and fascinating.

2. This American Life

This is a classic. Ira Glass hosts the series based on a theme with either one single story or several stories focused on a theme. Some times the stories make me laugh or cry, but I love every single one. Recent favorites include, “Birds & Bees” and “Is That What I Look Like?”

3. Mortified

As a young adult writer, Mortified is one of my favorite things to listen to and remember the awkwardness of adolescence. If you’ve seen the live show, you know that real-life people read from their teenage journals. Hilarity ensues. Some times the stories can be touching and sweet or so wonderfully funny. The podcasts air one single story told live.

4. Dear Sugar

Authors Cheryl Strayed and Steve Almond collaborate as the dual advice columnists of this podcast. I’m a fan of Cheryl’s work. Tiny Beautiful Things, her collection of Dear Sugar columns, is a gem of insightful life advice. She tackles the topic of being a writer beautifully (if you haven’t read “Write Like a Motherfucker”—it’s a must). This podcast is thoughtful and lovely and often brings in writer guests to weigh in on important topics.

5. Serial

This spin-off of This American Life was a huge hit when it debuted. The podcast focused on one story—the murder of high school teen Hae Min Lee—and spent the season delving into the different aspects of the suspect and the trial. It was fascinating and addictive. Season 2 is in the works and I’m sure it’ll be just as interesting. I can’t wait for it to come back!

Do you have a favorite podcast? Share it with me in the comments!

3 Comments on “5 Great Podcasts For Writers & Creative Folks”

  1. There’s a new podcast called Lady Plays, free on ITunes that is featuring plays by women My romantic comedy, Sunday Dinner, is this new group’s second podcast and I think they’ve done a beautiful job.

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