My Favorite Writing Advice Podcasts for Speculative Fiction
Summer is always a great time for road trips. To help the miles and hours fly by, here’s a list of podcasts and audio files dedicated to writing speculative fiction.
- Writing Excuses: Short, focused, practical writing advice from smart, award-winning SF/F writers.
This is my go-to podcast. Each episode is only 15 minutes long and is focused on craft, not guests trying to promote their latest book. It’s been around for 16 whopping seasons, so you can lose yourself in the archives, which are searchable by topic.
2. Between the Covers by Tin House: In-depth interviews with literary greats.
As mentioned above, I don’t usually gravitate toward writing podcasts that are focused on one writer promoting their latest book. I make an exception for Between the Covers because of the depth of the interviews. David Naimon is an incredible host and the thoughtfulness of his questions bring out the best in his talented guests. I always take away something — sometimes technical, sometimes inspirational — to fuel my own work.
3. Odyssey Writing Workshop Podcast: Peek inside this invitation-only workshop
Wish you had the time, money or talent to attend this highly respected workshop? Never fear! They put excerpts from some of their guest lectures online for all of us to learn from.
4. Brandon Sanderson’s Creative Writing class at BYU: Free, accessible college-level writing course
Author Brandon Sanderson clearly loves teaching almost as much as he loves writing 1,000-page fantasy novels, and we are all better for it. His lectures are clear, practical and particularly encouraging for the new writer or the writer who is new to the science fiction and fantasy genre. Given his reputation, you’ll probably want to check out his sessions on world-building and magic systems first, but don’t miss his lectures on the business side of writing, which are more detailed-yet-digestible than almost anything else out there I’ve found on the subject. (Note: Also, technically, this not a podcast. Rather, it’s a series of free videos on YouTube. But there is little lost by just listening as you drive.)
5. Audio Archive from the Key West Literary Seminar: Extensive archive of literary interviews and talks
I’ve always wanted to attend this event in my home state, but I haven’t yet had the privilege. In the meantime, the archive tides me over. It is organized by author, stretching all the way back to a talk by playwright Tennessee Williams in 1971. I started with the always-fabulous Margaret Atwood, but there are conversations with Colson Whitehead, Karen Russell, Madeline Miller, William Gibson, China Mieville, Kurt Vonnegut, George Saunders, Naomi Novik and more.