EPISODES SEASON 6
Become a better writer in 2 minutes.
“And what, you ask, does writing teach us? First and foremost, it reminds us that we are alive and that it is a gift and a privilege, not a right.”
Ray Bradbury, Zen in the Art of Writing
Episode 58: Everyone Needs an Editor/Friend.
This is the final episode of the Andrea Show. For the last seven weeks, we brought you a story written and read by Writing Class Radio co-host, Andrea Askowitz, with commentary by her editor, co-host, Allison Langer. Andrea took a weekly essay challenge on her 50th birthday in May 2018, which was inspired by a quote by the author of Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury. He said, “Write a short story every week. It’s not possible to write 52 bad stories in a row.”
This week Andrea’s story conflates editors and friends, because in her mind, they both keep you from embarrassing yourself. Andrea makes the case that an editor is a friend you can’t live without. Allison + Andrea discuss what they’ve learned through the process of writing and editing stories.
Episode 57: What’s Your Achilles Heel?
This week Andrea takes us on a run through Miami, where she snaps something in her leg. She uses the experience to discover her real Achilles heel, which is her fear of getting fat.
In this episode, Andrea and Allison disagree over edits. Hear how they duke it out.
Episode 56: Write About Me!
This week, Allison and Andrea talk about a subject that comes up in every writing class: What do you do about writing about other people? Andrea tells a funny story about how everyone in her life wants to be included in her stories. She reveals she wants to be included too. After the story is read, Allison and Andrea discuss what it took to get to the why in the story and what edits were made along the way.
Episode 55: The Mean Letter You Always Wanted to Write
This week, Andrea uses the epistolary form--story written as a letter--to get her point across. The letter form is very intimate because the narrator is speaking directing to you. We hope this process will help writers get published or at least get inspire to write.
Episode 54: From Writing Prompt to Published Story
This week, something cool happened. Andrea didn’t know what to write about, so she called Allison and they both set timers for 15 minutes and wrote to the prompt: Christmas. On this episode, Allison and Andrea read the stories they wrote. And they talk about how to get from writing prompt to getting published. Andrea writes about what bringing a Christmas tree into her Jewish family meant for them. And, why she thinks the Christmas tree is the gateway drug to Christianity.
Allison reads her story, which was recently published in The Washington Post. The story is about her perspective as a photographer who takes holiday pictures of other families while suffering through the grief of losing her daughter. Andrea details exactly what was considered in the editing process and what ultimately led to the final paragraph, where Allison stepped into the higher register and spoke directly to the reader/listener. They also talk about the question they always ask their students: What is this story about?
Episode 53: Should I Edit Out the Dick Pics?
On this episode, Andrea tells a story about what girls have to endure in our modern world. She was inspired by Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony and wrote about when a 13-year-old boy threatened to rape her daughter. Allison and Andrea discuss using a current topic to tell a personal story and how that helps get a story published. They also discuss when threads in a story should be cut.
Episode 52: Funny Story...My Brother Has Cancer.
This week, Andrea tells a funny story about a not funny at all topic--her brother’s cancer diagnosis. After the story is read, Allison and Andrea discuss how Andrea uses humor to deal with tough subjects. They discuss what it took to get to the why in the story and what edits were made along the way.
Episode 51: It’s Not Possible to Write 52 Bad Stories in a Row.
This week, Andrea tells us why she took a weekly essay challenge, which was inspired by a quote by the author of Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury. He said, “Write a short story every week. It’s not possible to write 52 bad stories in a row.”
After the story is read, Allison + Andrea discuss the piece, what it took to get to the why in the story and what edits were made along the way.
Why, pray tell, is Andrea writing an essay a week? We hope this process will help writers get published or at least get inspired to write.
Coming next week (January 30, 2019)