Eight Podcasts for Writers

Today on the blog I welcome back writer and podcaster, Andrew Chamberlain as a guest blogger. Andrew is a successful podcaster and today he gives us an overview of eight top podcasts for writers. I already download two of these and I will certainly be looking for the others. 

Eight Podcasts for Writers

Podcasts are a great (and free) resource for writers who want to learn more about the craft, listen to some good writing, and pick up tips on how to present and market their own work. These podcasts all deliver on at least one of these objectives, and all of them can be accessed at the websites below, or from iTunes.

I should declare an interest at this point; number three on the list, The Creative Writer’s Toolbelt is the podcast that I present on a fortnightly basis. My aim with the podcast is to provide practical, accessible advice that writers can apply straight away to their own writing.

So my eight recommendations are:

1. Writing excuses www.writingexcuses.com

Four experienced writers come together to give tips and advice on the craft. The contributors tend to write genre fiction: fantasy, romance, and science fiction, but their advice applies across all genres. They are a pretty eclectic bunch, including someone who works in the medium of comics and a puppeteer. The real selling point for me is that these are all people with a lot of experience in the craft and what they say is both interesting and relevant. The show tends to be around 15 minutes long because, to quote the contributors: “you’re in a hurry, and we’re not that smart” – which goes to show that a little well placed humility is a good thing!

2. The Creative Penn www.thecreativepenn.com

This podcast is presented by the self-published author and entrepreneur Joanna Penn. Jo is a consummate professional, both as an author and as an entrepreneur. Each episode starts with a few minutes of news and comment on the world of publishing, and especially self-publishing. After that she usually interviews a guest on the show. This podcast is especially useful for finding out more about the process of publishing and marketing your own work.

3. The Creative Writer’s Toolbelt www.andrewjchamberlain.com

As mentioned above, this is my own podcast. The Creative Writer’s Toolbelt is a bi-weekly show, created with the express intention of providing practical advice on creative writing to as wide an audience as possible. Most episodes last about 20 minutes and explore an aspect of the craft with practical applications. Occasionally I’ll have a guest that I interview: a professional editor, author or, very occasionally, a creative person from another art form.

4. Helping writers become authors www.helpingwritersbecomeauthors.com

Presented by the Christian author and mentor K M Weiland, this podcast focuses on the craft of writing, exploring the techniques and tips to improve structure, characterisation, and a range of other issues related to becoming a great writer.

5. Grammar Girl. www.quickanddirtytips.com/grammar-girl

As you might expect from the title, this long established podcast gives regular doses of advice on grammar, punctuation, and English usage. Presented by Mignon Fogarty, the podcast describes itself as “Your friendly guide to the world of grammar, punctuation, usage, and fun developments in the English language.” Grammar Girl has been running for a number of years and the back catalogue is a useful reference source.

My final three recommendations are an acknowledgement to the fact that one of the most important things a writer can do is read (or in this case listen) to good writing.

6. The Guardian books podcast www.theguardian.com/books/series/books

A weekly look into the world of literature, with author interviews, readings and discussions. The podcast taps into the world of publishing as well as current literary trends and ranges far and wide across genre and literary fiction.

7. New Yorker: Fiction Podcasts http://www.newyorker.com/podcasts

The New Yorker Fiction Podcast is one of a number of podcasts from The New Yorker. Each month the magazine invites someone who has had a short story published there to pick their favourite story from the archives. The guest then reads that story and discusses it with the fiction editor. It’s a pleasure to listen to these stories, and a very good source of insight for techniques in literary short fiction.

8. A good read http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b006v8jn

A Good Read has been running for nearly 40 years on BBC Radio 4. In the show the main presenter is joined by two guests and all three of them choose a book, which they all then read and review on the programme. I find listening to the podcast of this show provides a double benefit, the show itself is entertaining, but also it provides a view of the critical process that readers engage in.

I hope you have found these helpful, please feel free to add your own recommendations in the comments section.



Andrew J Chamberlain is a writer, speaker, and creative writing tutor. He is the presenter of The Creative Writer’s Toolbelt, a podcast that offers practical direct advice on the craft. Andrew has self-published a number of science fiction short stories, and his novel, Urban Angel was published by Authentic Media. He has also worked on a number of ghost-writing collaborations, including the bestselling: Once an Addict with Barry Woodward.

In November Andrew will be a guest speaker at the annual Lakes School of Writing conference. You can reach him at: andrew@andrewjchamberlain.com


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