5 Writer Podcasts

5 Writer Podcasts

Are you on the podcast bandwagon? It seems like everybody these days has some earbuds parked in their ears, and they're not all just listening to music. In fact, the world of podcasts has become an absolutely fascinating place for amazing stories, writing tips, and thoughts on the writing life. Just when I've caught up with a new podcast, I discover another that I'm dying to listen to. Above all, writerly podcasts can provide inspiration, encouragement, and a much-needed kick in the pants to get us writing. Here are a few of my can't miss podcasts.

1. Mystery Show Everyone's talking about Serial these days, which is a great listen, don't get me wrong. But for writers, Mystery Show might be even better. Each week, intrepid amateur sleuth Starlee Kline takes on a strange mystery that can't easily be solved by Google. Did Britney Spears really read her friend's obscure novel (photographed holding it by the paparazzi)? A friend rented a video from an old-timey rental shop, and when he returned the next day, the store was gone, the windows boarded up. Who is the owner of this mysterious belt buckle found in the street in the shape of a toaster? Along the way, Starlee beautifully develops the stories within the story, meeting odd characters and raising questions about the meaning of life.

2. Selected Shorts You write short stories, right? Well, why aren't you reading them? If you want to really get good at being a writer, you must immserse yourself in the best writing out there -- and that means heading straight to the amazing podcast that is Selected Shorts. Each week, famous actors like Alec Baldwin and Stephen Colbert read classic and contemporary short stories by the best writers in the business.

3. The Bindercast I've just started listening to this brand new podcast, but I wouldn't miss a new episode. Started by the amazing group of women writers with a Facebook group called Binders full of Women Writers (after Mitt Romney's unfortunate phrasing about his female employees), this smart, funny, and practical podcast interviews writers every week and asks them about their writing careers and their lives on the internet.

4. New York Times Book Review You want to be reading the latest and the best in the book world, don't you? Then you need to know what's good and what's not. The NYT Book Review podcast discusses what books the esteemed review has written about in that week's issue, as well as discussing current publishing trends and bestseller news.

5. Welcome to Night Vale And now for something a little different, but no less inspiring -- do you love sci-fi or fantasy? Are you a fan of The X-Files or Twin Peaks? Then the weird and wonderful Night Vale is right up your alley. Each week, a radio announcer on a local station reporting for the small (fictional) town of Night Vale reports on when the town hall meeting will be held and what time dogs can be left off the leash in the park -- oh, and when angels or aliens visit, or when mysterious government agents are likely to kidnap you, and for god's sake don't ever, ever, enter the dog park. It's chilling and strange and paranoid and definitely inspiring for those crafting their own speculative fiction tales.