EPISODES SEASON 1
Allison's story in the first episode had me frozen on the side of the road during my walk with both hands over my chest trying to keep it from exploding. I am heartsick for her and her loss. And I am so, so grateful for and inspired by her courage. Holy fucking shit. Lola Mellowsky
PILOT EPISODE: The Hardest Thing to Write About.
Allison Langer and Andrea Askowitz create a podcast of their writing class. You'll hear what qualifies Andrea to be the teacher. And how YOU too can become a writer. And you'll hear why Allison, co-producer and student in the class, is sure the world needs this podcast. Because everyone needs a writing class. Because once you write about the thing you don't want to write about, that thing has less emotional power over you. Allison reveals the hardest thing in the world to write about.
EPISODE 2: How are You? Really?
In our first class of the semester, we got the writing prompt, "How are you? Really?" Danny and Inessa are two students in the class who share exactly how they are. Danny's story involves underwear. Inessa's involves stabbing hormones into her belly to create eggs that may become her future children. Both stories are about how they are influenced by their parents. Aren't we all?
EPISODE 3: What is the Story You Tell About Your Relationship with Your Mother?
We all tell stories, including to ourselves. Hear what Inessa, Danny, Bo, Jahn, Allison, and Andrea have told themselves about their relationships with their moms and how those relationships have shaped their lives.
EPISODE 4: Field Trip to the Fertility Clinic. Freezing Eggs at 6 a.m.
We followed Inessa to the fertility clinic on a Saturday morning where she successfully laid her eggs for future use. Inessa is about to turn 40. She wants a family, including a husband. She used this opportunity to buy more time to find the man. Actually, Mama pitched in $10,000 so Inessa would have eggs ready when the man comes. Turns out, Inessa's not the only one in Writing Class Radio who had or is going about having children via artificial means.
EPISODE 5: The Lies We Tell.
Danny and Bo reveal the lies they've told, especially to themselves. Danny falls in love with two women but neither knows about the other. Everyone is happy until he hears a knock at the door. Bo admits to his many sexual encounters with women, sometimes in the same day; all an attempt to cure himself from being gay.
Andrea talks about the importance of feedback and encourages the listener to find a writing group.
EPISODE 6: Wendi Tells the Story of Her Ex-husband’s Murder.
In her first story Wendi hints at not feeling like she can publicly express how she really feels, a theme she repeats in the other stories as well. In her writing though, she seems able to express how she really feels.
Andrea talks about trusting the creative process and "hot topic, cold prose," a writing technique where the narrator pares down the writing in a difficult moment. The story is told without sentiment. It’s just reported.
Wendi responds to the prompts: What is the story you tell about your relationship with your mom? And Your last intimate moment.
EPISODE 7: Story Structure is Sexy.
How should a story be structured? Start from the very beginning by using the concept of story spine. Story spine, a technique articulated by the playwright Kenn Adams, is the backbone of every traditional story. In this episode, Allison uses the story spine to write about her return to dating after having children on her own. Inessa writes about a date that goes wrong and Jahn uses this structure to tell stories about the first time he got a boner. In each story, the story spine structure brings clarity to the writer and makes the story easy for the listener to follow.
Andrea uses her own life as an example of why she fell in love with the story spine and why you will too. Witness the creation of these stories as you learn a new (old) way to structure your own.
BONUS EPISODE: Nobody Likes New Year's Eve.
We’re interrupting our first semester to give you a taste of who’s to come in our second semester. You’ll meet Frenchy. Does she get a kiss on New Year’s Eve? You’ll also meet Tobi Ash and hear why she’s been avoiding New Year’s celebrations for 30 years. Cynthia Castillo who wished for a tragic life to write about until tragedy hit. Nicki Post takes us on a trip to Korea. You’ll hear from Bo, who would rather stay home on New Year’s Eve and from Allison who tells us about waiting for her man.
Andrea tells the story behind Auld Lang Syne, that mysterious song we all know but don’t know. And it wouldn’t be New Year’s without resolutions. Because Andrea is a total dud, every year she resolves to drink more. But two weeks in, she’s back on the wagon. This year she resolves to try harder. And she challenges you to make a New Year’s Resolution you can keep--start writing.
EPISODE 8: You Don't Have to be a Clown to Write Funny.
This episode is about writing humor. Andrea tells a joke only she thinks is funny, then she calls our humor expert, Jay Wexler, who confirms just how funny her joke is. Jay is an attorney and the author of five books. Jay shares his ten suggestions for writing humor. Andrea adds four.
Terry Demeo tells her story, Fifty Shades of Gray in front of a live audience in Miami. Her story is about undying her hair, but you’ll realize as she realizes, that the story is about much more than hair.
EPISODE 9: Who Cares About Your Story? What Are The Stakes?
This episode is about stakes. What makes a listener or a reader care about a story? What is that thing that keeps a listener listening or a reader reading when there is every temptation to turn it off or shut the book? And we’re talking about what we have to lose as storytellers when we tell our stories. What’s at stake for us as artists? We discuss situation and story.
Inessa tells a story about the conflict between what her mother wants for her and what she wants for herself. Wendi's response to the prompt: What Do You Have to Lose? And Terry tells us how her friend Fred’s death sparked the fear of outliving those around her.
BONUS EPISODE: Will You Love Me Forever or Just on Valentine's Day?
Today, we are stepping out of order because it’s February and we can’t avoid thinking about love. We think a good way to approach a story is to ask a question and then to try to answer it. Students from season two and season one will ask their questions about love.
Miriam Herman asks, "Is it true that once you love someone, you love them forever?" Cynthia Castillo asks, "What if our best friend is not here forever?" Nicki asks, "Why is everyone so pathetic about love this month?" Allison asks, "Is love even worth the effort?"
EPISODE 10: How to Write a Story Meant to be Told Out Loud.
Today, Allison Langer is the host and substitute teacher. Andrea, our regular host and teacher is taking a personal day.
In this episode, you will hear were two stories told live on stage. Jahn Dope tells his story, Tackled, about the time he was raped. Andrea Askowitz tells her story Thank You For Listening, about the time she went 24 hours without talking about herself. You’ll hear how a performance can change the gravity of a subject. And you'll hear tips for telling your own story out loud.