Podcasts have been around for a while, but have been really gaining momentum within the past few years. Covering anything and everything from education and music to sports and comedy — whatever you’re into, there’s most likely a podcast about it. And if you’re here, you’re probably into writing.
I’ve collected some of the best podcasts for those who make their living by writing (or aspire to). Whether you’re looking to further your career, push your writing to the next level, or just find some entertainment fit for a wordsmith, you’ll discover your podcast match-made-in-heaven below.
Why Listen to Podcasts?
If you’re not yet a podcast aficionado, hear me out. Podcasts are a great way to learn more about your chosen topic, and as a writer they are a method by which you can discover mentors and gain insider tips about the writing industry and process.
The best part is that, unlike reading a book or article, listening to a podcast is something you can do on the go, like in the car or while doing chores at home.
Optimizing time is a major draw for podcast listeners, but of equal value is the access that podcasts give you to expert minds. Listening to podcasts is like being mentored by leading writing professionals on a regular basis, and it keeps you educated and informed about the goings-on in our industry and the best ways to be successful.
Podcasts can also be major sources of inspiration, whether it be from listening to accomplished authors read their work, hearing a fascinating story, or learning some useful tips for finding inspiration.
The podcasts I have selected exemplify all of these reasons and more, making them fantastic places to start or to add to your list of subscriptions.
These podcasts are aimed at professional writers, and are valuable resources for developing your career as a writer.
This podcast by author and entrepreneur Joanna Penn discusses everything involved in making a living as a writer, including publishing options, book marketing, and creative entrepreneurship.
Most of her episodes include an interview with a professional in the field of writing, giving listeners an insider’s look at topics like using dictation for your writing, balancing art and business, and how to write stories that sell.
This podcast is ideal for those who are already working as writers, and is perfect for stealing secrets from successful writers, authors, and creative entrepreneurs.
Author Jake Bible describes his podcast as “an unedited, unscripted, uncensored pro writing podcast for pro writers or those who want to make a living with their writing.”
It talks about writing as a lifestyle and the daily problems faced by professional writers as well as giving tips for things like dealing with publishers and building an audience.
This podcast is great for those who are transitioning into writing full-time, but also for anyone looking for tips on surviving as a professional writer. Topics include coping with the stress of being a writer, writing for the market, and knowing when to walk away from a project.
The episodes feel very conversational and are frequently entertainingly rambly, but are also packed with useful advice that comes from a place of both experience and solidarity.
The Writing Process
The following podcasts deal with the process of writing itself — the nuts and bolts of grammar, staying motivated, and finding inspiration — and are awesome resources for when you need some practical tips to improve your writing.
True to its name, “Grammar Girl” Mignon Fogarty’s award-winning podcast supplies quick tips on tricky grammar issues and the technical side of writing.
With most episodes coming in under the 15-minute mark, this podcast is perfect for brushing up on your grammar on the go.
Episodes cover grammar and word choice issues that perplex even the best writers, like i.e. vs. e.g. and pluralizing product names, and also includes one intriguingly titled “How a Comma Can Get You out of a Parking Ticket”.
There’s a reason Grammar Girl’s podcast and blog are so popular — she delivers explanations clearly and concisely, and could be just the secret weapon you need when it comes to the practical side of writing.
Personal writing coaches may be pricey, but this podcast is the next best thing. In short episodes, experienced writing coach Ann Kroeker provides listeners with bite-sized, actionable tips to take their writing to the next level.
She believes that writers will find success by being more curious, creative, and productive, and her content reflects this encouragement, offering practical advice for improvement in all three areas.
Typical episodes address topics like self-editing, writing strategies, and generating ideas. The result is a well-rounded podcast that is sure to address whatever area of writing in which you may need a bit of coaching.
Just For Fun
In the midst of deadlines and pitches, it’s easy to forget how much you enjoy what you do. These podcasts will help you remember why you began writing to begin with — because you love words, books, and everything related to them.
Hosted by writer Damian Barr, this unique podcast features authors reading excerpts from their latest works and sharing personal stories in front of a live audience. Previous guests have included Jojo Moyes (Me Before You), John Waters (Role Models and the cult film Hairspray), and Diana Athill (Somewhere Towards the End).
Readings come from a wide variety of genres, including nonfiction, and are a great way to get a taste of new books and authors without having to take a chance on a whole book — you might even discover your new favorite author!
Described as being about “language examined through history, culture, and family,” this family-friendly National Public Radio program is full of fun explorations of words and language.
The typically hour-long episodes are made entertaining by quiz segments, lots of storytelling, and lively discussion of things like the different names for practical jokes, PG alternatives to “bullshit,” and phrases for being less-than-specific about your age.
The hosts are incredibly knowledgeable, and frequently have call-in guests to supply expertise, opinions, or questions.
And you don’t have to miss out if you can’t spare an hour — the website has handily split each episode into its various sections, so you can choose to listen to only what interests you most.
Anyone intrigued by words will enjoy this program, making it ideal for those for whom wordsmithing is part of daily life.
You’ll be happy to know that some of these podcasts have been around for years, meaning you’ve got a wealth of episodes to immerse yourself in.
These podcasts will help you optimize your time by giving you plenty of listening material for any long walks or car rides. Subscribe to your favorites for help developing your career, perfecting your grammar, finding inspiration, and to keep your ears happily busy for a while.