20 Inspiring Writing Podcasts to Subscribe to Right Now

In the last decade, podcasts have exploded in worldwide popularity.

From celebrities like Dax Shepard to your 15-year-old nephew, everyone seems to have a podcast.

Still, there’s a reason podcasts are so popular. Their versatility, accessibility and ability to transport, educate and empower is hard to beat.

For writers looking to bust writer’s block, hone their craft or spice up a boring commute, there’s no shortage of podcasts from amateurs and experts alike. Here, we’ve compiled 20 writing-related podcasts worth subscribing to.

But writer beware: You might find yourself binge-listening for hours.

1. Grammar Girl Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing

Every writer looking to improve their knowledge of the English language should bookmark this podcast. With helpful and insightful tips on grammar and storytelling, Mignon Fogarty’s widely popular podcast is sure to help you improve your writing skills.

A great place to start: A  popular episode from this podcast is “I.e. Versus E.g.” Take a listen to an intriguing  recent podcast titled Fascinating Words for Colors (and the Battle of Magenta

2. The Writer Files

Hosted by Kelton Reid, The Writer Files is a long-running podcast that delves deep into habits and habitats of famed writers. Reid interviews writers from a broad spectrum, giving each listener a chance to see into the mind of an accomplished wordsmith within their genre or interest.

A great place to start: One of Reid’s biggest interviews was with best-selling author Douglas Coupland, titled “How Bestselling Author Douglas Coupland Writes.” Take a listen to Reid’s recent and helpful podcast episodes titled  The Writer’s Brain on Productivity Part 1 and Part 2

3. A Way With Words

This National Public Radio (NPR) program discusses language examined through the lens of history, culture and family. The podcast is rich with detail and exciting storytelling, and typically runs for about an hour.

A great place to start: A fun episode from October 2013, “Writerly Insults” looks at some poorly written query letters, and much more. In a more recent episode “Howling Fantods” examines our understanding of vocabulary and its relation to class.

4. Writing Excuses

Writing Excuses is hosted by four writers who provide quick tips for writing techniques. This fast-paced podcast runs about 15 minutes per episode, with the fun tagline “Fifteen minutes long, because you’re in a hurry, and we’re not that smart”.

A great place to start: A relevant episode for all writers, “Breaking In” talks about the concept of breaking into the industry, how to do it and what happens if you have a hard time. In a recent and relevant episode titled “Writing The Other – Bisexual Characters”, writer TJ Berry is interviewed on the topic of writing characters that are unlike you.

5. I Should Be Writing

This award-winning podcast is hosted by the always honest Mur Lafferty. Length varies, but episodes typically feature an interview with an author who has a new book. The episodes often provide encouragement to “would-be” writers to believe in themselves and get writing.

A great place to start: An honest and vulnerable episode titled “Crippling Fear” is one all writers should take a listen to: Lafferty opens up about her own fears and failures. In “NaNoWriMo Primer” Mur talks about National Novel Writing Month.

6. Dead Robots’ Society

Dead Robots’ Society is a fun podcast by aspiring writers, for aspiring writers. Inspired by Mur Lafferty’s podcast, the hosts share writing insights typically related to writing novels.

A great place to start: The hosts talk about writing excellent short fiction in the episode, “Write Short Fiction Like a Boss.” In a more recent episode titled “Setting The Stage” Terry and Paul talk about setting a stage that pops and creating characters that come alive.

7. Portfolio Life by Jeff Goins

Well-known author Jeff Goins hosts this podcast about life, collective work and artistry. Goins is known for his inspirational messages, and his podcast is no different. This podcast is all about finding what you were born to do, and getting started creating a portfolio of your dreams.

A great place to start: In an inspirational episode, Goins talks about “Getting Paid to Pursue Your Passion in 48 Hours or Less.” Goins discusses his own passion-focused experiment and how it worked out for him. In a more recent episode, Goins offers insight on creating a daily writing habit in “Three Steps to Start a Daily Writing Habit.”

8. The Creative Penn Podcast

Author Joanna Penn covers many topics related to writing, including publishing, developing your craft and where to find inspiration. Penn also interviews many professionals in the field.

A great place to start: Steal publishing secrets from Penn’s interview with successful indie author Dean Crawford, “Pros and Cons of Indie and Traditional Publishing.” A recent episode titled “Author Email List and Newsletter Tips with Tammi Labrecque” offers practical tips on a fundamental topic in book and author marketing.

9. The Story Grid Podcast

This podcast is hosted by two writers, veteran author Shawn Coyne and self-proclaimed struggling writer Tim Grahl. Their goal? Help writers create great stories. The twist? These hosts put their own work up for critique. Coyne also offers many practical tools to help writers craft a story that works.

A great place to start: Shawn Rips it Apart,” where Coyne critiques the first scene in Grahl’s novel. They also discuss some literary greats, including Ernest Hemingway and Agatha Christie. In “How to Refine a Manuscript”  Shawn walks Tim through the process of refining a final manuscript.

10. Beautiful Writers Podcast

Beautiful Writers Podcast features conversations with some of the most well-recognized writers in the world. Host and writer Linda Sivertsen interviews best-selling authors Elizabeth Gilbert, Rob Bell, Glennon Doyle Melton, and Brene Brown. Episodes are typically in-depth and include personal anecdotes from creatives in the business.

A great place to start: The interview with Gretchen Rubin, where she chats about habits that spark creativity. In a more recent interview titled “Ann Patchett: Unplugged”, talks straight about her incredible writing career.

Get ready to binge-listen. We’ve hand-selected awesome writing podcasts for creators of all kinds.

11. StoryCorps

In this NPR podcast, hosts gather stories from Americans across the country. Although not a traditional podcast for writers, this podcast offers inspiration for excellent storytelling.

A great place to start: Two people share their experiences with two separate hostage situations that had very different endings, in the episode “Hostage.” In “Second Chances” listeners hear two stories about rocky starts and second chances.

12. The Literary Salon

In host Damian Barr’s The Literary Salon, authors read excerpts from their books — all in front of a live audience in glamorous locations.

A great place to start: In a popular episode, JoJo Moyes reads from her bestselling book, Me After You. In “Rose McGowan” famous actress McGowan reads from her memoir Brave, and offers an honest and revealing interview..

13. Helping Writers Become Authors

Award-winning author K.M. Weiland hosts this podcast that offers mentorship and advice to aspiring writers hoping to publish their own novel someday. Weiland offers practical advice on many topics related to storytelling and story structure.

A great place to start:How to Calculate Your Book’s Length Before Writing” is a practical podcast chock-full of helpful advice. Weiland shares how to identify your brain’s natural writing process in “How To Create The Perfect Writing Process for You”. ”

14.  Writing Class Radio

This podcast offers an invitation into a writing class. Hosts Allison and Andrea love telling stories, and through their writing class listeners get the chance to learn and grow in their own storytelling.

A great place to start: In “Get Out of Your Way and Write” Allison and Andrea talk about the power of truth-telling in finding your voice. In a more recent episode titled “The Mean Letter You Always Wanted to Write,” Andrea pens a letter, a powerful way for writers to get their point across.

15. Happier by Gretchen Rubin

Bestselling author Gretchen Rubin hosts a podcast on ways to practice happiness and how to find a more fulfilling everyday life. Although this podcast isn’t specifically for writers, it features many well-known bestsellers who share helpful habits that have made them successful. It also includes co-host Elizabeth Craft, Gretchen’s sister, a TV writer living in Los Angeles.

A great place to start: A fun and light-hearted episode with bestseller A.J. Jacobs is offbeat and amusing. In “There’s Such Joy in Giving Delight,” Gretchen shares a mini-podcast on the joy of introducing someone to a delightful experience.

16. Ditch Diggers

In this Hugo Award Finalist, veteran podcaster Mur Lafferty and co-host Matt Wallace offer advice to writers with deadlines. The purpose of Ditch Diggers isn’t to offer information on honing the writer’s craft, but on pressing through tough deadlines and helping writers pay their bills through writing. This is an explicit show, you’ve been warned.

A great place to start: Spend an afternoon with “Hot Button Topics.” In this movie-length podcast, Mur and Matt discuss many hot button topics related to writing and earning an income from your craft, and major “no-nos” in the writing industry. In a fun interview with award-winning writer Brooke Bolander titled “Always a Bridesmaid with Brooke Bolander”  the hosts and Brooke cover many topics, including un-taught skills authors often require.

17. Mythcreants Podcast

A weekly podcast for writers to geek out over science fiction and fantasy writing. Podcast hosts are Oren Ashkenazi, Chris Winkle, and Wes Matlock.

A great place to start:  In a podcast episode  titled “Adverbs, Why All The Hate?” hosts discuss why adverbs don’t get the necessary positive attention they deserve. In “Political Theory in Star Trek”, hosts invite professor Kathy Ferguson to discuss a topic she teachers a class on.

18. The Copywriter Club Podcast

In this vibrant community for copywriters and would-be copywriters, experts in the field offer inspiration, encouragement, and concrete advice on advancing in this ever-growing writing niche. Copywriters Kira Hug and Rob Marsh host the show and offer many resources on their site.

A great place to start: In the episode titled “Copywriting Mastery” an expert copywriter offers insight in mastering your skills. In recent episode  “Achieving a Big Dream,” best-selling author Bryna Haynes offers insight on setting goals and reaching those big dreams.

19. The Drunken Odyssey with John King

A podcast about creative writing and literature, hosted by writer and literary reviewer John King. The purpose of this podcast is to discuss the writing life and foster a sense of community amongst writers.

A great place to start: ” Take a listen to the episode “We Drink,” where John sits down with some literary friends to drink and discuss writing and literature. Recent episode “Elliot Ackerman” features an interview with war veteran, journalist, and novelist Elliot Ackerman. Topics covered include composition, revision strategies, and more.

20. Ann Kroeker, Writing Coach

Hosted by writing coach Ann Kroeker, this podcast is designed to help writers hone their talent through practical tips and inspiring insight. Episodes are typically under fifteen minutes, and are meant to offer quick solutions to many different topics.

A great place to start:  In “Write to Discover Your Reason for Writing” Ann shares why she writes, and encourages writers to put pen to paper to discover their own identity as a writer. In a practical episode titled “How to Use Lists to Transform Your Writing (and your life),” Ann talks about the power of list-making.

Your turn: What are your favorite podcasts for inspiration or writing tips?

This post was updated in February 2019 so it’s more useful and relevant for our readers!

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5 Tips for Writing a Young Adult Fiction Book

Writing a fiction novel is the ultimate goal for many aspiring authors today.

In doing so, you essentially create your own characters with unique backstories and evocative plots. It’s an intimate form of art that both heals and entertains.

However, this is no easy feat, and with it comes much responsibility. The young adult fiction (YA) genre especially is a fragile one to enter. Readers are often enduring pivotal times in their lives, and the right words can quite literally save them. Authors should understand the power they have and how careful they need to be with it.

While creating my YA book, I learned some valuable lessons about writing for this audience.

At first, I thought I could wing the entire project, simply writing from my heart without considering my readers. But once I put pen to paper, I realized just how pivotal they were to my novel. They are, in fact, who I was writing my story for — who I was hoping to connect with and speak to.

Here are six tips for writing a YA novel.

1. Start with the scene you envision best

When I first got the vision for my novel, one scene in particular stuck out to me. I knew it had to happen later in the book, but I just couldn’t get it out of my head. The passion burned within me; I had to write it down.

From there, I was able to get a better sense of the rest of the book, including its tone, characters and plot. I worked my way out better than I would’ve been able to work my through.

The YA genre is often one for experimenting. You don’t have to be so strict with your story; there’s no rule that states you must write from start to finish. Your writing process is entirely up to you. Write what you envision in that moment, and it will eventually come together the way it should.

2. Take notes

You never know when inspiration will strike, or when it will fizzle out. I often think up my best ideas while at the gym or driving, but sometimes, I forget them by the time I’m finished with my workout or at my destination.

Whether it’s on your phone or in a particular notebook, always jot down your thoughts and ideas. Even if that means pausing the treadmill or pulling to the side of the road the first chance you get. The details you create when you aren’t actively brainstorming are often the most natural and fitting.

I changed a major chunk of my novel’s plot while I was dancing around my apartment to emotional pop-punk music (no shame.) As silly as it sounds, you should always be working on your story. It should follow you throughout your day, and you should always be ready to jot down a few words — or possibly even an entire chapter.

Your story will thank you.

3. Create flawed characters

Nobody’s perfect, and you don’t want your characters to be either. In the YA genre, your readers will want someone they can relate to. They’re still learning and growing, and they’ll look to your characters for comfort and reassurance that they aren’t alone in their struggles and shortcomings.

However, be careful how you portray each person.

If you’re covering a heavy topic (think Jay Asher’s “Thirteen Reasons Why” where depression and suicide is discussed), you are responsible for doing so with grace and respect. You’ll want to avoid feeding stigmas or encouraging poor behavior, and instead use your story to raise awareness and offer a sense of comfort and support through your characters.

4. Draw from your experiences

Don’t just write what you think; write what you know.

This will help you create three-dimensional characters with real-life issues. For instance, my main character has obsessive-compulsive disorder, which I also have, and I’ve used many of my own experiences with the disorder to do her journey justice.

However, be careful not to put too much of yourself into your characters. They are still their own people. I struggled with this at first, writing certain chapters as if they were a creative memoir. But reading it back, I realized they read more like a personal confession than an entertaining novel.

If it fits, sure, don’t be afraid to include some details from your own life. But don’t force it. Your writing should be therapeutic, but it shouldn’t be a journal entry.

5. Research

Treat your novel like a creative research paper. Don’t assume you know everything. For example, if you’re writing about a character with a specific illness, reach out to a young adult with that illness to understand how it affects their day-to-day life.

Additionally, don’t be afraid to scour forums or social media platforms. Hang out where your audience does; search relevant tags on Tumblr (for example, I searched #OCD to read about other people’s experiences with the disorder) or listen to young adults talk at your local coffee shop. Note their word choice/slang, topics of conversation, main concerns in life, etc. to create realistic dialogue.

Am I telling you to spy on teenagers? Yes, yes I am. My favorite college professor once gave me this advice, and it’s changed my writing for the better. (Just don’t go around stalking anyone.)

These tips are meant to guide you, not to dictate your entire writing process. Take all advice and criticism with a grain of salt. At the end of the day, this is your novel. Tell it the way you want — the way only you can.

You never know who you’ll impact.

Photo via LStockStudio / Shutterstock 

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