As if writers need a new distraction? We must have the cleanest houses in 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 unwelcome 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 treating writing like a 9-to-5 can be super-challenging. 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 ten writing podcasts that will help inspire, train, and develop your writing skills.

Our Top 10 writing podcasts are:

  1. The Open University
  2. Fiction Writing Made Easy
  3. The Guardian Books
  4. DIY MFA Radio
  5. Longform
  6. Writing Excuse
  7. The Writer Files
  8. The Shit No One Tells You About Writing
  9. Writers, Ink
  10. Story Grid

Ready? Let’s get listening!

1.   The Open University

If you’re unfamiliar with the Open University (OU), it’s the UK’s largest higher education institute, offering flexible part-time under- and postgraduate degrees. But rather than donning your oversized scarf, throwing on your thrift-shop coat, and trekking through the snow to class, most people complete OU courses at home by watching or listening to lectures online and on TV.

The benefit is that you’re getting high-level instruction from experts without the crippling debt of higher education.

And while the OU podcasts accompany specific courses, you can listen for free and pick up all the hints and tips from professional writers and lecturers who make a living from writing and teaching.

We really like the Start Writing Fiction course, which includes interviews with best-selling novelists, including Alex Garland, Monique Roffey, and Louis de Bernières. The 14-episode course offers everything a budding author needs when writing narrative fiction, with episodes dedicated to character building, structure, and developing the seed of an idea into a work of readable fiction.

The OU’s Creative Writing podcast is a fantastic resource, with interviews from TV, radio, and stage writers that articulate how to develop an idea into a fully living, breathing story.


2.   Fiction Writing Made Easy

Created and presented by Savannah Gilbo, the top-ranked Fiction Writing Made Easy podcast offers straightforward, straight-talking, actionable tips and step-by-step strategies to help develop your next (or first) novel.

Savannah is a talented developmental editor and book coach and goes into great depth in this brilliant podcast about how to write a book, from developing compelling characters to building convincing worlds to believable character voices.

Some episodes explore the opening chapters of best-selling books, examining the strategies and techniques used by the author to draw the reader into the story’s world. Other episodes share expert guidance for overcoming the inevitable writer’s anxiety or tips for writing better fiction.

All in all, Fiction Writing Made Easy is an essential podcast for any aspiring writer!

3.   The Guardian Books

This one’s more for readers but also offers writers some great insight from authors and critics.

And while many of us rely on The Guardian solely for its TV Guide, it’s also 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 fanfiction to food writing, crime thrillers to dystopian nightmares.

Presented by professional writers, each episode features an in-depth interview with authors from around the world, making this podcast a must for avid readers and aspiring (and professional) writers of all genres.

4.   DIY MFA Radio

If you browse the net for writers’ podcasts, one that consistently appears is the DIY MFA Radio podcast. In fact, in a previous incarnation of this very same article, this podcast was hidden at the bottom of the list. However, due to its enduring popularity, we’ve bumped it up to number 4!

This valuable podcast is basically a Master of Fine Arts for people who can’t afford to get 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!

5.   Longform

For non-fiction or journalistic writers, there’s Longform, a weekly podcast showcasing the best in new non-fiction.

Indeed, if you look at the reviews (4.8 out of 5 on Apple Podcasts, no less!), there’s a large, dedicated fan base who relies on Longform for valuable professional insights and practical inspiration.

The process of finding a story and turning it into something sensational isn’t without its ethical downsides, and Longform explores how journalists navigate the moral minefield.

There’s a fair amount of writers using the platform to plug their latest books, but the podcast — on the whole — does a brilliant job of documenting the evolving industry.

6.   Writing Excuses

Another super-popular writing podcast that achieves a near-perfect 4.8 out of 5 on Apple Podcasts is Writing Excuses. Running since 2015, this is no flash in the pan, with a grand total of 716 episodes (at the time of publishing).

So, there’s tons here to keep you inspired and informed with regard to the craft and business of writing.

If you’re stuck on a project or unsure how to start, Writing Excuses is an excellent way to power-tutor you through your blockage.

And what we particularly love about this podcast is that it gives you homework! For example, Series 18, ep 28: Writing Conversational Dialogue gives you the task of deleting every third line of dialogue in your latest piece. It suggests replacing those lines with actions, which can be an inspiring way of preventing a piece from becoming too chatty, forcing characters to follow their objectives.

7.   The Writer Files

The Writer Files offers more than just interviews with writers. It explores the neuroscience behind creative writing. Its principal focus is maintaining 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 interviews with writers 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 scientifically 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 remind ourselves now and then.

8.   The Shit No One Tells You About Writing

Well, it certainly wins the prize for the best and most accurately descriptive title. This brilliant podcast deals with every writer’s nemesis — rejection. Let’s face it, every writer needs to develop a thick skin to endure the endless “thanks but no thanks” emails that inevitably appear in our inboxes.

The inevitability of rejection doesn’t make it any easier, though. So, when you’re feeling down and blue, click on The Shit No One Tells You About Writing for a reassuring voice that will guide you out from under the bed sheets to a once more sunshiny day.

This great podcast isn’t just for those blue days. Subscribe and you’ll discover a cornucopia of helpful tips about the publishing industry including: interviews from authors, agents, and editors that will get you back in the saddle in no time.

9.   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.

10.  Story Grid

The blurb for the Story Grid simply states, “Helping you become a better writer.” And you won’t be disappointed with this insightful podcast based on the book of the same title by Shawn Coyne.

Coyne is a fiction editor who devised a method to fix novels that weren’t working, and this is the insight he shares in this fantastic podcast. Both structural and practical, each episode guides you through the do’s and don’ts of genre-writing.

The later episodes follow Tim Grahl, a struggling writer being mentored by Coyne, discussing the ins and outs of how to make a story memorable and unputdownable.

An essential podcast for all aspiring writers intimidated by the empty page.

10 Writing Podcasts to Listen to Right Now

So, there you have it: our top ten writing podcasts to inspire, develop, and entertain.

All free, in your ears, whenever you need them. You’re welcome. 👍

Happy listening!