Welcome to another installment of Have You Heard About…, a space where we discuss resources that have improved my writing. This week, I want to talk about a long-running but unassuming podcast simply called The Reading and Writing Podcast.
Given the explosion of podcasts available today, you might guess that with such a straightforward title, The R&W Pod must have been around for a while… and you would be correct. Since 2009, creator Jeff Rutherford has interviewed over 400 authors of all genres and career-stages about their work.
Obligatory Disclaimer: the articles in this series are not ads. They don’t earn me a dime. These are my opinions, nothing more or less.
What Is It?
The R&W Pod is a series of interviews in easy-to-consume 20-minute segments. The conversation follows a familiar cadence, wandering from the author’s latest book, to their writing process and career arc, turning towards helpful advice, the author’s favorite books, and, finally, an excerpt from their work. There is comfort in the sheer unerring consistency of Rutherford’s formula.
Who Is Its Audience?
The R&W Pod’s twin purpose – equal part helpful librarian and book coach – is an interesting blend. This podcast walks the line well, serving both its audiences in equal measure.
While my other favorite writing podcast, Writing Excuses, focuses on fantasy and sci-fi, The R&W Podcast recommends intriguing titles from all genres. If your reading queue is already stacked waist-high, avoid this podcast. You’ll inevitably throw a few more titles onto the pile, and who has time for that?
Emerging and mid-career writers will find current, relevant advice from people just like themselves: writers who pull on their boots and do the hard work in the trenches of writing and publishing.
What Sets it Apart?
The R&W Podcast feels like a guest speaker at a college seminar.
There are many places around the internet (you’re on one of them) where readers can wax poetic about a book for 500 words. It is interesting to hear authors explain their work in their own words.
While listening to authors who have made it big is invaluable, many well-known authors broke in twenty years ago or more. Publishing has changed. Audiences have changed. It is intriguing to hear authors of all stripes explain their different paths to publication. No two are alike. For example, I recommend anybody interested in self-publishing check out this Duncan Swan interview on his book Monstre. It offers a frankly detailed picture of the commitment in time and money it takes to successfully market as an indie author.
The final unique feature worth calling out is the openness of the R&W pod. They publish a new podcast nearly every day, and openly invite authors to appear on the show. That’s free marketing, folks.
Whether you’re looking for something new to read or encouragement and advice from a fellow writer, the The R&W Podcast is an efficient, modular, and informative option. I recommend checking it out.