3 Essential Podcasts for Writers

Podcasts, in case you missed it, are the dog’s bollocks at the moment.

You can pretty much find one for any topic — from the finer points of needlework to the history of heavy metal to star gazing to lawn care.

Somewhere along that spectrum lies the world of writing and publishing.

Now, you could be forgiven for not wanting to even dip a toe in such a flooded market, but there is wisdom to be absorbed and entertainment to be relished with the right ones.

Here, then, are my 3 favourite podcasts for wannabe authors.

So You Want to Be a Writer

Hosted by Valerie Khoo and Allison Tait, this weekly podcast (recently increased to twice weekly) talks aspects of story, tips on author platform building, and how to develop and hone your writing craft.

They interview successful authors and industry insiders from across a host of genres, as well.

I learn something new from nearly every episode — even, surprisingly, from interviews with authors who write in genres I’m likely never to read.

The pair have a fantastic rapport with each other — you get the sense they’ve been close colleagues for many years.

My only gripe with this podcast is that it tends to focus on traditional publishing.

That aside, I cannot get enough of Val’s word of the week (#norant wordsmith, that she is).

The Self-Publishing Podcast

Johnny B Truant, Sean Platt, and Dave W. Wright are a scream to listen to.

They offer great insights into the industry — mostly taking the form of their own professional anecdotes, including where they went wrong.

The three of them play off against each other so well, that even if they weren’t talking self-publishing, I’d probably still listen.

The only down side of this podcast, language aside, is that the hosts can come across as born-again converts to their processes and business plans.

It takes an episode or two to get used to their humour. But once you do, you won’t want to miss another.

Writing Excuses

This is the king of writing podcasts.

Brandon Sanderson, Dan Wells, Mary Robinette Kowal and Howard Tayler are the core crew of this long running podcast.

It deals purely with the craft of writing.

And even better: it’s short (usually 20-odd minutes long, despite their pitch line — ’15 minutes long, because you’re in a hurry and we’re not that smart’).

Between them, they have countless writing credits their names, with novels that are stand out in their genres (mostly speculative genres).

With 12 seasons, it’s hard to know where to begin with this one.

Here are some good starters:

  • Season 10 was a master class, walking you through the process of writing a novel, from the initial inspiration to the final edits
  • Season 11 detailed the elemental genres — that is, the basic story lines — and the components that make them

If you only choose one podcast, make it this one.

Honourable mentions include Joanna Penn’s The Creative Penn Podcast and Mark Dawson’s Self-Publishing Formula.

By and large, these are hosted by giants in the independent publishing industry — and while I enjoy their insights, I always feel quite inadequate hearing about their well-intentioned successes.

Lastly, if you’re a fan of science geekery you must listen to Science Vs — Wendy Zukerman’s quirky take on matters scientific cracks me up every time.

What podcasts are essential listening for you?

All images from the various podcast websites and Pixabay

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