My favorite writerly podcasts:
Host David Naimon leads his guests through thought-provoking conversations about books and the writing process. A writer himself, Naimon asks the questions I’d love to ask and some I never thought to ask. He’s interviewed well-known authors, like George Sauders, Mary Gaitskill, and Robert Boswell, and new-to-me writers like Thalia Field.
Short discussions on the writing process by a wide variety of writers, like Michael Cunningham and Jennifer Egan.
Elizabeth Gilbert is still excited about the creative process. In each podcast she talks to a struggling artist about their artist block, and then interviews one of her artist friends to get more advice. Even if the primary problem isn’t mine, I usually find some good advice in the discussion. Plus plenty of encouragement all around.
It’s fun to hear a well-respected author read another author’s story from the New Yorker archives and discuss it with Fiction Editor Deborah Treisman. What could be better? If it came out more than once a month. (yeah, I’m greedy.)
Need inspiration or an infusion of words? Selected Shorts can refill your well as they read aloud short fiction. When I heard Lauren Groff’s “At the Round Earth’s Imagined Corners” performed, it confirmed for me that fiction can be just as lyrical as poetry. Usually Select Shorts reads short stories, but occasionally they will read a chapter of a novel, like “Wildwood” by Junot Diaz (from his novel The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao).
Writing buddies Jess Walters and Sherman Alexie chat about the writing process and their new work. They mix it up with readings and interviews with other writers. I love this show. Sadly they’ve stopped producing new episodes, but it’s still worth a listen (or a re-listen).
Resources for submitting to literary magazines:
I remember when Duotrope.com was free, and when it became a fee-based service, like many writers, I quit and refused to pay. Guess what? It’s still a very helpful service, especially for tracking submission deadlines to all the literary journals. I recently re-joined on the monthly basis, $5 a month, and it helped me identify all the deadlines from April through June. Then I let my membership expire until my next round of submissions. So if you hate shelling out the $50 annual fee, you can go month-to-month. They also have a free trial period so you can poke around and see what you’re missing here.
I’m also a fan of Cliff Garstang’s Literary Magazine Rankings, based on Pushcart Prize Awards, and Book Fox rankings, based on how often literary magazines have their work chosen for the Best American Short Stories anthologies. Are these rankings perfect? No. Are they still helpful? Yes.