99 episodes

Always Take Notes is a fortnightly podcast from London for and about writers and writing. Hosts Simon Akam and Rachel Lloyd speak to a diverse range of people in the industry on a variety of topics, from the mysteries of slush piles and per-word rates, to how data are changing the ways newspapers do business and how to pitch a book. patreon.com/alwaystakenotes

Always Take Notes Always Take Notes

    • Arts
    • 4.6 • 75 Ratings

Always Take Notes is a fortnightly podcast from London for and about writers and writing. Hosts Simon Akam and Rachel Lloyd speak to a diverse range of people in the industry on a variety of topics, from the mysteries of slush piles and per-word rates, to how data are changing the ways newspapers do business and how to pitch a book. patreon.com/alwaystakenotes

    #99: Sirin Kale, feature writer

    #99: Sirin Kale, feature writer

    Rachel and Simon speak with feature writer Sirin Kale. After a stint in lobbying, Sirin turned to journalism and worked at Dazed & Confused and Vice UK. Now freelance, she contributes to publications including the Guardian, where she writes the widely read “Lost to the Virus” series, Observer, Vogue, Wired, GQ and 1843 Magazine. We talked to Sirin about her decision to change careers, the importance of time management and reporting sensitive stories.

    You can find us online at alwaystakenotes.com, on Twitter @takenotesalways, and on Facebook at facebook.com/alwaystakenotes. Our crowdfunding page is patreon.com/alwaystakenotes. Always Take Notes is presented by Simon Akam and Rachel Lloyd, and produced by Artemis Irvine. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.

    • 57 min
    #98: Ed Needham, editor Strong Words, former editor FHM, Maxim, Rolling Stone

    #98: Ed Needham, editor Strong Words, former editor FHM, Maxim, Rolling Stone

    Simon and Rachel talk with magazine editor Ed Needham. Today Ed single-handedly writes and edits Strong Words, a literary journal for book lovers who want to locate their next great read more accurately amid an ocean of new product. Formerly Ed was editor of FHM in London during its million-selling heyday in the 1990s, then moved to New York in 1999 to launch and edit the American edition. In New York he was also managing editor of Rolling Stone and editor-in-chief of US Maxim, at a time when that title was the biggest men’s magazine in the world. We spoke to Ed about his time at FHM at the height of 'lads' mags', his stints at American magazines, and how he set up and runs Strong Words.

    You can find us online at alwaystakenotes.com, on Twitter @takenotesalways, and on Facebook at facebook.com/alwaystakenotes. Our crowdfunding page is patreon.com/alwaystakenotes. Always Take Notes is presented by Simon Akam and Rachel Lloyd, and produced by Artemis Irvine. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.

    • 1 hr 3 min
    #97: Rebecca Giggs, author

    #97: Rebecca Giggs, author

    Simon and Rachel talk with the nature writer Rebecca Giggs. Rebecca, who is from Perth, Australia, writes about how people feel towards animals in a time of technological and ecological change. Her work has appeared in the Atlantic, the New York Times Magazine, Granta, and in anthologies including Best Australian Essays and Best Australian Science Writing. We spoke with Rebecca about “Fathoms: the World in the Whale”, her debut non-fiction book, her exhaustive research process and about the Australian literary scene.

    You can find us online at alwaystakenotes.com, on Twitter @takenotesalways, and on Facebook at facebook.com/alwaystakenotes. Our crowdfunding page is patreon.com/alwaystakenotes. Always Take Notes is presented by Simon Akam and Rachel Lloyd, and produced by Artemis Irvine. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.

    • 59 min
    #96: Samanth Subramanian, magazine writer and author

    #96: Samanth Subramanian, magazine writer and author

    Rachel and Simon talk to magazine writer and author Samanth Subramanian. Samanth is a contributing writer to the Guardian Long Read, and his writing has also appeared in the New Yorker, the New York Times Magazine, WIRED, Granta, Harper's and 1843, among other publications. He is the author of three books, “Following Fish: Travels Around the Indian Coast,” (which won the Shakti Bhatt First Book Prize in 2010), “This Divided Island: Stories from the Sri Lankan War” (winner of the 2015 Crossword Prize for Non-Fiction) and his latest, “A Dominant Character: The Radical Science and Restless Politics of J. B. S. Haldane”, published in 2020. We spoke to Samanth about studying journalism as an undergraduate, his transition to narrative journalism, and about the gruelling realities of freelance life.

    You can find us online at alwaystakenotes.com, on Twitter @takenotesalways, and on Facebook at facebook.com/alwaystakenotes. Our crowdfunding page is patreon.com/alwaystakenotes. Always Take Notes is presented by Simon Akam and Rachel Lloyd, and produced by Artemis Irvine. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.

    • 1 hr 8 min
    #95: Emily Hayward-Whitlock, book-to-film agent

    #95: Emily Hayward-Whitlock, book-to-film agent

    Simon and Rachel speak with agent Emily Hayward-Whitlock, head of the book-to-film department at The Artists Partnership. Emily handles the film and TV rights for various literary agencies and publishers, including Rogers Coleridge and White, Serpent’s Tail, Janklow and Nesbit, Unbound, Profile Books and Nosy Crow. Her recent deals include Richard Osman’s bestselling novel, “The Thursday Murder Club”, to Amblin Pictures and Gail Honeyman’s “Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine” to Hello Sunshine, Reese Witherspoon’s production company. We spoke to Emily about what kinds of books are most attractive for film and TV, how much involvement a writer can expect to have in adaptations of their work and the ascendancy of streaming services.

    You can find us online at alwaystakenotes.com, on Twitter @takenotesalways, and on Facebook at facebook.com/alwaystakenotes. Our crowdfunding page is patreon.com/alwaystakenotes. Always Take Notes is presented by Simon Akam and Rachel Lloyd, and produced by Katy Lee. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.

    • 55 min
    #94: Patrick Radden Keefe, author and New Yorker staff writer

    #94: Patrick Radden Keefe, author and New Yorker staff writer

    Rachel and Simon speak with Patrick Radden Keefe, a staff writer at The New Yorker magazine and author of three books. Patrick's most recent title is the best-selling “Say Nothing: A True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland.” His work at The New Yorker, where he has been a contributor since 2006, has received the National Magazine Award for Feature Writing. “Say Nothing” received the Orwell Prize for Political Writing and the National Book Critics Circle Award. We spoke to Patrick about his early reporting on the US National Security Agency, his entry to The New Yorker, and the challenge of researching and writing “Say Nothing.”

    https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2016/05/30/herve-falcianis-great-swiss-bank-heist

    https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2019/01/07/how-mark-burnett-resurrected-donald-trump-as-an-icon-of-american-success

    https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2015/09/28/the-avenger

    You can find us online at alwaystakenotes.com, on Twitter @takenotesalways, and on Facebook at facebook.com/alwaystakenotes. Our crowdfunding page is patreon.com/alwaystakenotes. Always Take Notes is presented by Simon Akam and Rachel Lloyd, and produced by Katy Lee, who also handles our social media. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.

    • 53 min

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5
75 Ratings

75 Ratings

Rvdrnaut ,

Great view into a hidden world

Gets into the details of publishing including the touchy subject of money. Insightful. Ian Rankin episode my favourite.

PrincessJen70 ,

Really informative

Am making my way through the back catalogue and am learning a lot. The interviews are great. Only downsides are that I had to turn one of them off because the person was SO negative about the world of writing I started to feel a bit depressed about ever getting published, and most people are so terribly posh it would be nice to have a few more working class people on there!

Londonfitnesskitchen ,

Incredible guests but wish hosts would let them speak

A brilliant idea & fantastic guests. However, the hosts butting in with their own anecdotes is beyond frustrating. They could do their own episodes instead of trying to hijack interviews with their experiences. Happens every episode

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