EPISODES SEASON 3
"I have been enjoying the chance to hear your voice on the podcast as I travel the roads of New England. Congratulations on building an inspiring platform for writers, giving them a very useful learning tool, and a connection to their fellow explorers in the art."
Episode 30: How to Write Your Story with Joyce Maynard
In this episode, you will meet Joyce Maynard, one of Andrea’s favorite teachers in the world. Joyce will read and deconstruct her essay, Letting It Fly which was originally published in 1997 in The New York Times Lives Column. Joyce explains what goes into writing a great story and tells us her secrets to making a good essay great.
Episode 29: Can You Hear Me if I Can’t Hear You?
This episode is about connecting through writing. It’s also about the job of storytellers to bring us into their world.
New student, Nilsa Rivera, tells a story about her fear of isolation, which stems from a very unique set of circumstances--she's hard of hearing. She uses writing to fight that fear.
Our teacher, Andrea Askowitz, relates to Nilsa in a very small way and emails her after class, which she immediately regrets. In class, students and teacher are only allowed to give feedback on the writing, not someone’s life.
You will hear how Nilsa felt about Andrea's email and more from Nilsa about what it sounds like to be hard of hearing.
Episode 28: Who Has Time?
Get ready folks, Allison and Andrea are hosting this episode together: an episode about time. Student Allison Langer is obsessed with the lack of time she has lately. So, in class teacher, Andrea Askowitz, gave this prompt: I wish I had more time to_______.
Andrea reads her story from class about wanting more time to work. Allison reads a story she brought into class about wanting more time PERIOD. You will also hear responses to the prompt from students Diego Saldana-Rojas, Lis Mesa and Viccy Simon.
Episode 27: When Is it OK to Bullshit?
Lies seem to be the new norm in our world. There’s probably a bumper sticker that says Lies Are the New Truth. Great bumper sticker, but it has Andrea Askowitz totally freaked out.
Andrea is the teacher of the class and the host for this episode, which is about lies in stories and lies in the world.
We start with a story by a new student, Claudia Franklin, that got us thinking about truth and lies in memoir and when, if ever, is lying fair game.
Andrea speaks to Terrie Silverman, her first writing teacher who said, “Don’t let the facts get in the way of the truth.” Andrea took that to mean that it was okay to exaggerate or change little facts for the sake of a bigger emotional truth. Now she's not so sure.
Episode 26: Writing is Therapy
This episode looks at writing as a way to understand these things we carry: secrets, pain, and shame.
New student Michelle Massanet tells about a rape that she hid for 22 years and how much lighter she feels since writing about it.
Lis Mesa explores getting to the real story she’s been trying to tell all semester and Jennifer Dertouzos finally talks about her brother’s suicide on the last night of class.
Allison Langer sits down with therapist, Loree Schrager who refers our podcast to her clients. Allison is the host for this episode.
Episode 25: A Time I FUCKED Up Part 2.
In this episode, the other writing contest winner, Susan Buttenweiser, reveals how she FUCKED up. In her story about getting into a bar fight, she discovers a persistent character trait--a need to be needed. Sometimes that need puts her in danger. But she re-channels that urge into motherhood.
Diego, our audio producer, takes the listener into a dark fantasy about torturing himself for repeated failures. This is a short episode hosted by Andrea Askowitz.
Episode 24: A Time I FUCKED Up?
This is the prompt we threw out to listeners for our first annual writing contest.
In this episode, you'll hear from one of our winners, Melissa Vincel, who wrote an essay about homosexuality from the viewpoint of a confused teenager and then reflected upon as a heterosexual adult almost twenty years later.
Melissa reads her essay then speaks with host and student, Allison Langer.
Episode 23. I Fart, You Fart, We All Fart and Most of Us Deny It.
Allison Langer is the host on this episode.
She shares all the reasons why writing class is so much fun. FUN: a theme chosen because life has gotten too busy, too scheduled and way too serious.
This episode hopes to show the humorous side of writing class; the goofy, first draft silliness that happens when we can write as if nobody is listening.
You will hear stories from Misha Mehrel, Nicki Post, Andrea Askowitz, Diego Saldana Rojas and Chaplin Tyler.
EPISODE 22: Walking in Someone Else’s Shoes Feels Impossible Right Now.
Andrea Askowitz is the host of this episode.
She talks about how writing a good story and understanding the results of this presidential election require a mammoth effort in understanding someone else’s point of view.
Andrea speaks to Stephen Elliott, senior editor at The Rumpus. Chaplin, Allison Langer and Yaddyra Peralta write and share their stories in order to understand other people.