Like many of you, I am an overscheduled person. As a way to fit in some work on the craft of writing for children, I’ve recently started listening to podcasts with my favorite authors. It’s been inspiring and thought-provoking, plus it’s really fun. I love getting to hang out with Kate Messner as I’m doing the dishes, Laurel Snyder as I’m driving, or Adam Rex as I’m running. Here are the ones I’ve enjoyed so far. All of these are available through the websites linked below or through iTunes.
This Creative Life by Sara Zarr
This was the first writing podcast I found. Zarr is a Young Adult author, but she interviews a number of middle grade authors, as well, including Varian Johnson and Gene Leun Yang. I love that she asks all of the authors about their writing process and the bumps they’ve encountered along the way. It’s somehow comforting to know that even bestselling authors have their moments of self-doubt and procrastination.
Let’s Get Busy Podcast by Matthew Winner
Winner is an elementary school librarian, and his podcasts are a celebration of books and how they’re made. He interviews picture book authors and illustrators as well as middle grade authors, and uncovers fascinating stories about their research and inspiration. Winner also has a tendency, when excited, to say “oh my word!,” which is incredibly charming.
Brain Burps by Katie Davis
I recently discovered these chatty podcasts with children’s book luminaries. They often have a business bent, on topics like marketing or the effective use of social media.
These aren’t focused on middle grade, of course, but I couldn’t leave this topic without pointing out a few great talks for writers. Mac Barnett has a fantastic talk on wonder and writing for children. Andrew Stanton, the filmmaker who did Wall-E and Toy Story, gives excellent tips on storytelling. Finally, Elizabeth Gilbert’s talk on creativity is a classic.
I’d love to hear in the comments about any other writing podcasts you’ve enjoyed. Happy listening!
Katharine Manning writes middle grade novels and has three kids under ten. She reviews middle grade books at Kid Book List. You can find her on Twitter @SuperKate and online at www.katharinemanning.com.