As if writers need a new distraction like writing podcasts! We must have the cleanest houses in all the world because — let’s face it — if there’s something we can do other than write, most of us will do it! Procrastination, after all, is the writer’s most comfortable bedfellow.
I mean, how often have you sat at your desk and thought: “hmm, that mirror needs cleaning”?
Well, in my humble professional opinion, you sound entirely normal because it can be super-challenging to treat writing like a 9-to-5. And this is why I’ve put this article together — to help funnel in the focus and find fresh inspiration and words of wisdom that could keep us on track.
I’m going to look at 10 writing podcasts that will help inspire, train, and develop your writing skills.
Our Top 10 writing podcasts are:
- Guardian Books Podcast
- The Writer Files
- Grammar Girl Quick & Dirty Tips for Better Writing
- Please, Finish Your Book
- The WriteForTheStage Podcast
- Writers, Ink
- DIY MFA Radio
- Writing Excuses
- Write-Off with Francesca Steel
- The TED Radio Hour
1. Guardian Books Podcast
Many of us rely on The Guardian solely for the TV Guide, but — actually — The Guardian is THE place for literary reviews and publication news.
Running since 2018, The Guardian Books Podcast offers a wealth of inspiring content that provides the lowdown on a wide range of author stories.
Pick a genre, and there’s an episode that explores it, from fan fiction to food writing, from crime thrillers to dystopian nightmares.
Presented by professional writers, each episode features an in-depth interview with authors from around the world, making this particular podcast a must for avid readers and aspiring (and professional) writers of all genres.
2. The Writer Files
The Writer Files offers more than just interviews with writers. It explores the neuroscience behind creative writing. Its principal focus is how to maintain your productivity, so this is a valuable resource if you write for a living.
And with episodes such as “How to Write a Book in One Month” and “Busting the Myth of the Starving Artist”, there’s plenty to keep you on track for hitting that deadline.
Combining writer interviews that explore the minutiae of the writing process with a fascinating scientific observation of creativity, The Writer Files offers engaging content that demystifies the behaviors of “efficient” writers.
Sure, pulling the art of writing apart in a scientific way kind of kills the mystique of creativity, but it can be incredibly useful to understand HOW we write.
Full title, The Writer Files: Writing, Productivity, Creativity, and Neuroscience, this excellent series is a potent reminder that we don’t need to suffer for our art — something we should all tell ourselves now and then.
3. Grammar Girl Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing
I remember reading that a sure way to spot an inexperienced writer was the proliferation of indirect verbiage — the habit of excessively lengthy or technical writing. Specifically, we’re talking about the tendency for characters that “start to” do something, or when they “begin to cry” or “start to leave”.
Just get to the point, already…
Sure, writing is more than solely story and plot. It’s the joy of constructing beautiful and unforgettable prose.
But, actually, sometimes it’s just better to be direct.
And that’s what Grammar Girl obsesses about: making lazy grammar both entertaining AND educational. And these 15-minute insights offer a whole world of super-useful tips exploring subjects such as:
● Whatever happened to “thou”?
● Why ’em isn’t short for “them”
● Why tired people talk about being “out of salts”
4. Please, Finish Your Book
An excellent kick-up-the-butt for beginners and seasoned professionals alike, Please, Finish Your Book is a celebration of those who have overcome life’s endless distractions to finally complete and publish their first novel.
Full of inspiring tips and stimulating ideas, this podcast can help you prioritize completing your book project! Based on interviews with successful keynote speakers and writing entrepreneurs, these 30-minute episodes will gear you up and keep you focused.
Writing, after all, is 10% inspiration and 90% perspiration!
5. The WriteForTheStage Podcast
This podcast for script writers explores the technical elements that beginner playwrights and screenwriters always seem to get wrong. Get to the top of the pile with a range of tutorials, discussions, and interviews that always feel light-hearted and insightful.
From an in-depth exploration of 3-act structure to tension tools like The Dramatic Question, the WriteForTheStage Podcast is entertainingly presented by professional playwrights and university lecturers, Mike Heath and Dr. Stephen M. Hornby. Listen to them bitch and snipe about each other’s “crappy work” while exploring modern and classic theatre from one of the most down-to-earth perspectives you’re likely to find about the “high-art world of theatre”.
Including interviews with playwrights and theatre professionals, this podcast offers inspiration and professional insight that will be useful for beginners and seasoned playwrights alike.
But it’s not only for scriptwriters; the tutorial episodes offer insight into devices that all writers can apply to their toolkit.
6. Writers, Ink
If you’re struggling with your productivity, Writers, Ink could be the answer. The self-proclaimed “backstage pass” to the world’s most prolific authors, this accessible podcast shares frank industry advice from practicing writing professionals.
What I particularly love about this podcast is that there’s no sugar-coating. They tell it how it is. So, if you’re looking to build a writing career but finding it challenging to get beyond the first step, then Writers, Ink could inspire you to make it happen — warts and all.
7. DIY MFA Radio
How many acronyms can they fit into one title? Nonetheless, the DIY MFA Radio podcast is anything but condensed. It’s basically a Master of Fine Art for people who can’t afford to do one for themselves.
Host Gabriela Pereira doesn’t claim that this podcast is a direct replacement for a full-time grad program. Still, her thoughtfully-constructed show offers a comprehensive toolkit, making it a boon for writers wishing to develop their craft.
So, if you’re looking to avoid the existential weight of colossal student debt, you could do well to plug your ears into episodes such as “How to Turn Characters into People” and random stuff like “Crafting an Amish Romance”.
Niche, perhaps — but a great tool to get you working!
8. Writing Excuses
Writing Excuses offers 15-minute insights that focus on the ever-elusive craft of creative writing. Now in its 17th(!) season, they cover a massively diverse range of writing topics, from old-school tips and tropes to all-important trends such as writing “the other” and explorations of gender.
With super-insightful and endlessly witty hosts, Writing Excuses offers an enormously rich resource that will keep you thinking and — most importantly — writing.
9. Write-Off with Francesca Steele
Regardless of your creative medium, as artists, we have to learn to deal with rejection. Not that we’re trying to bring you down or anything, but getting that dreaded rejection email comes to us all — and in those dark moments, it’s helpful to remind yourself that you’re not alone.
And this is why award-winning writer and journalist Francesca Steele created Write-Off — because we’ve all been there.
Francesca talks to authors about their experiences of rejection and how they overcame the inevitable anger and frustration. A refreshing look at writing as a career choice that every author should listen to!
10. The TED Radio Hour
Okay, The TED Radio Hour by American broadcasters NPR isn’t a “writers podcast” per se, but it’s an endlessly inspiring resource for writers of all flavors.
Exploring some of the most critical questions of our time, this excellent podcast includes interviews and excerpts from TED Talks with some of the world’s most inspiring people.
Bringing to light worlds that you rarely glimpse, there’s bound to be an episode that provides the insight you need to create the world of your story, which is perfect if you’re on a research mission!
Covering subjects as diverse as heartache, sound and silence, the power of spaces, and warped reality, The TED Radio Hour is a window to the world of the familiar AND the unknown.
10 Writing Podcasts to Listen to Right Now
So, there you have it: our top 10 writing podcasts to inspire, develop, and entertain.
All free, in your ears, whenever you need them. You’re welcome. 👍
Harry Wallett is the Founder and Managing Director of Relay Publishing. Combining his entrepreneurial background with a love of great stories, Harry founded Relay in 2013 as a fresh way to create books and for writers to earn a living from their work. Since then, Relay has sold 3+ million copies and worked with 100s of writers on bestselling titles such as Defending Innocence, The Alveria Dragon Akademy Series and Rancher’s Family Christmas.
Harry oversees the creative direction of the company, and works to develop a supportive collaborative environment for the Relay team to thrive within in order to fulfill our mission to create unputdownable books.
Do you want to get paid to write stories?
Relay Publishing has several ghostwriting positions currently available and welcomes applications from all writers — we offer fair rates, interesting projects as well as a friendly, collaborative and fully flexible working environment. Please go to our recruitment portal to learn more: http://recruitment.relaypub.com