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Podcasts for Writers

There are a few different podcasts that focus on tools for journalists and freelance writers that are worth listening to. While podcasts were all the rage around 2006, some still endure and have regular episodes, while others are archived and are still relevant. I took a listen to many of them on this topic. My recommendation is to try a few out if you have a long commute or want something to listen to at the gym.

A good first place to start is with Bob Baker, the head of the St. Louis Self Publishers Association and he blogs at FullTimeAuthor. He is a one-man think tank when it comes to the topic of self-publishing books and he has a lot of relevance for the general freelance market too. While he has produced only five podcast episodes of less than ten minutes each, they come packed with suggestions and are very professionally produced.

For example, episode 3 reviews the “7 Aattributes of highly successful authors”  such as: be on a mission and have something to say or a story to be told and be personally involved with your own promotion of your writing. Baker also has lots of other materials on his website.

If you want to listen to a lovely British accent, check out the more than 120 episodes of the Creative Penn by Joanna Penn. She offers tips on things such as author branding and Amazon tagging and interviews with mostly leading fiction authors, but there are some great tips for us non-fiction types too.

Janice Campbell is the director of the National Association of Independent Writers and Editors. Her podcast is called The Freelance Life. There are several dozen episodes that are mostly 40 minutes or so about topics such as what authors must know about publishing, or advantages of ebooks over print, how to use Twitter, and how to package your books. While she hasn’t done many episodes lately it is another great resource.  Most of the episodes are interviews with leading authors giving their own suggestions. has a series of podcasts that are more career-oriented, as you might suspect, including becoming a successful travel writer, or what you need to do to get into freelance speech writing. On their website there are also links to two other podcast series on copyrwrite law and book publishing.

Writing Excuses has 15 minute episodes that are produced weekly by four writers “who are not that smart” (or so they claim) but very engaging: Brandon Sanderson, Mary Kowal, Howard Tayler, and Dan Wells. For example, once you finish a project how do you start the next one? Having four perspectives is both amusing and annoying, depending on the topic.They are in their seventh “season” so there is a lot of ground to cover.

Finally, if you are in need of grammar or syntax help, then check out Mignon Fogarty’s The Grammar Girl. You can also read the transcripts of her podcast too on the site. She has produced more than 300 episodes.

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