Welcome to Season 6. For the next eight weeks, we will bring you a story a week written and read by co-host, Andrea Askowitz, with commentary by her editor, co-host, Allison Langer.
EPISODES SEASON 7
This is our seventh season. This season, we plan to bring you stories we love from various publications, editors who offer insight into how to get published on their sites, stories from our class and stories our listenerssubmit to us. You’ll also hear stories from Andrea + Allison.
Episode 68: What's a Meta Phor?
Today on our show, we’re talking about metaphors and how they work in a story. We share a story by Elizabeth Newdom whose story is shaped around a metaphor. Elizabeth’s essay first appeared in Motherwell, an online magazine that tells all sides of the parenting story.
We called the editors of Motherwell, Randi Olin and Lauren Apfel, a badass editing duo and talked to them about their tag team approach to editing, what grabbed them about Elizabeth’s story, and the use of metaphors.
We’ll take you behind the scenes, so you can learn how to submit to Motherwell.
Episode 67: Ready, Set, Go Get into College
Today on our show we’re talking about perseverance, a quality important if you want to be a writer, a runner, or someone successful at crafting the dreaded college essay. What makes your essay stand out to publishers and to college admissions directors is the situation and the story. They want to see the loss or the win, because that’s what allows others to connect with your story. They also want to know what you learned from the experience and how that experience informed your character.
Allison has been working with high school students all over the country on their college admissions essays. This is the second episode in a two-part series where we bring you common app essays.
Ransom Everglades recent graduate Wesley Cusack wrote this essay about the challenges he faced in track and cross country and what he learned from not quitting.
EPISODE 66: How to Brag and Pull it Off.
Today on our show we’re talking about bragging, specifically on the dreaded college essay. How do you brag yourself up without sounding like a total $#&%$#? (We’re PG for the high schoolers...as if). The answer is, you have to be willing to get vulnerable and reveal your ugly side, then you can brag all you want.
Allison has been working with high school students all over the country on their college admissions essays. This is the first episode in a two-part series where we bring you common app essays.
Palmer Trinity high school senior Julia Irvin wrote this essay from the point of view of her sister, which is a clever and effective way to reveal good and bad details about the narrator.
Episode 65: Slow Down. You Don’t Want to Miss this Moment
Do you know how sometimes when you’re reading a story you feel like the story slows down in a critical moment? Maybe the narrator describes the people in a room or the birds on a tree nearby. Maybe there’s a flashback to a memory. In that moment, the reader becomes hyper aware and hopefully totally drawn in.
Today on our show we’re talking about slowing down and expanding a moment. A moment in a story that says to the reader, “Hey, pay attention. I’m about to give you some details that are important to the story.”
Devan Sandiford, a listener from Brooklyn, NY submitted a story where he slows down in the most important moment, both by explaining what’s happening in detail and by going back to another memory that explains why this moment matters.
Episode 64: Inspiration Sometimes Comes in the Form of a Dress
In class, sometimes we ask people to close their eyes and smell sunblock, or freshly baked bread. Sometimes we play a Beatles song or have students squeeze Play-Doh. Sometimes we throw out a word. Then, we ask students to write about the first thing that comes to mind. All of these prompts inspire stories.
Today on our show we’re talking about how inspirationfor stories can come in a word, a song, a scent, or an object like a dress.
You will hear a story by Nancy Brier, a listener from Palm Desert, California. Nancy’s essay starts with a dress, goes to another dress, to cancer and then back to the dress. But it is really a story about seizing the day.
EPISODE 63: From Pitch to Publication
Today on our show we’re talking about pitching to publications, what to include in a query letter and all the homework you need to do before you pitch to an editor.
Writer Baylea Jones shares her pitch and her story. We speak with Ravishly editor Erin Khar about what it was like to receive Baylea’s pitch, as well as why she chose Baylea’s story. Erin will also discuss the basic how-to’s for submitting stories for Ravishly and elsewhere.
EPISODE 62: The Devil’s in the Details
Details matter. Details bring the reader/listener into a world they may know nothing about. They help us trust the narrator. The more specific the details, the more universal the story. In this episode we bring you a story by Inessa Freylekhman.
inessa in class 2015
Inessa uses details well throughout her story, but there is one specific detail that exemplifies the type of detail we’re always looking for. Listen for it. To help you get specific in your own stories, ask yourself: Like what?
EPISODE 61: How to Stop Procrastinating + Write Your Story.
Welcome to procrastination. We’ll talk about that eventually.
Also on this episode, we get into the art of speaking directly to the reader from a place of experience. And we discuss how to give advice in your story, which is really hard in a story and in life.
Jenni Berrett reads her story called You Aren’t Lazy--You’re Just Terrified: On Paralysis and Perfectionism. Jenni is a columnist at Ravishly, which is an online magazine that celebrates the mess of being human. Now that’s a celebration. And it’s so relevant to all of us messy humans, especially the messy writers among us.
Episode 60: If You Want to Write About Death and Get Published, Tell the Truth.
In this episode we’re talking about writing about death. We have a story by Leslie Gray Streeter, a columnist for the Palm Beach Post who also contributes to Modern Loss, the online magazine dedicated to normalizing the way we talk about loss.
Leslie’s story is called, What I did with My Husband’s Life Insurance Money. Leslie uses humor and a conversational style when writing about the death of her husband, the same humor and voice she’d use to write about anything.
We also speak with Gabi Birkner, the editor and co-founder of Modern Loss and editor of a book with the same name. Gabi reveals her process of editing and publishing stories about death. She also speaks about working with writers who are often, not only writing about very difficult and personal topics, but also submitting stories for publication for the first time.
Next episode available April 24, 2019
Writing Class Radio
Writing Class Radio is a podcast of a writing class. It is for people who love stories and who get inspired by hearing other people tell their stories and who want to learn a little bit about how to write their own stories.
There's no better way to understand ourselves and each other than by writing and telling our stories.
Everyone has a story. What's yours?
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