115 episodes

Writing Class Radio is for people who love stories and who get inspired by hearing other people tell their stories and who wants to learn a little bit about how to write their own stories. You'll hear students write their way to the truth. And you'll hear students trying to deal as we follow them outside of class and into their real lives. Plus you'll hear all the juicy stuff that happens in writing class---resistance, crying, break-throughs, connection. There's no better way to understand ourselves and each other than by writing and telling our stories. Everyone has a story. What's yours?

writing class radio andrea askowitz and allison langer

    • Education
    • 4.7 • 230 Ratings

Writing Class Radio is for people who love stories and who get inspired by hearing other people tell their stories and who wants to learn a little bit about how to write their own stories. You'll hear students write their way to the truth. And you'll hear students trying to deal as we follow them outside of class and into their real lives. Plus you'll hear all the juicy stuff that happens in writing class---resistance, crying, break-throughs, connection. There's no better way to understand ourselves and each other than by writing and telling our stories. Everyone has a story. What's yours?

    How Do You Fulfill a Promise When You’re Stuck in Prison?

    How Do You Fulfill a Promise When You’re Stuck in Prison?

    How do you fulfill a promise when you're stuck in prison?

    • 34 min
    What I Learned from Men in Prison

    What I Learned from Men in Prison

    Welcome to Season 12. Today, we’re starting a 10-part series inspired by the people Allison Langer taught memoir writing, in a men’s prison. We put a call out for stories, so you will hear stories her students have written recently and stories from other incarcerated or formerly incarcerated people around the world.

    To help us get this right, we asked Xaire, who is a poet, singer-songwriter, actor, and teacher to co-host with us. Xaire teaches writing and poetry to kids in the foster care system. 

    THIS MUST BE SAID: We don’t mean to sensationalize crime or someone who breaks the law. Airing these stories is in no way meant to take anything away from the victims of violent crime. Instead, we want to share stories, because we believe that stories lead to understanding. And if there’s something we need more of these days, it’s understanding. 

    The first story in our series was written by our own Allison Langer. It’s a story about change. A change in the way Allison sees the justice system and the way she sees the people caught up in the justice system. 

    Our hope (after hearing all the stories in the series) is that you will see in the men and women, what we have come to see: intelligent, motivated, kind human beings who made a mistake--sometimes, very big, huge, awful mistakes. Most of the people who are incarcerated are suffering from trauma, had to make very difficult choices at a young age, and got tangled up in a flawed system. Some have been misjudged and wrongfully convicted. But those men and women are NOT their crimes. They have paid their debts, matured, and are ready to move on with their lives.

    Maybe you will fear the incarcerated and formerly incarcerated less or not at all. Maybe you will support laws that provide equal justice and job opportunities to the formerly incarcerated. Maybe you’ll give your family members a break when they disappoint you. Maybe you will have more patience with young people who have messed up. 

    Our hope extends to those who are victims of violent crimes. These stories are for you too. We hope hearing some of these stories will bring some relief.

    Writing Class Radio is produced by Allison Langer, Andrea Askowitz, Xaire, and by Matt Cundill, Evan Surminski and Courtney Fox at the Sound Off Media Company. Music by Xaire and Marnino Toussaint.

    There’s more writing class on our website, writingclassradio.com: including video classes, essays to study, and editing resources. 

    If you love the lessons you get on each episode, you can get them ALL in one place--our three-part video series--for $50. Click Video Classes on our website.

    If you want to be a part of the movement that helps people better understand each other through storytelling, follow us on Patreon. For $10/month Andrea will answer all your publishing questions. For $25/month you can join Allison’s First Draft weekly writers group, where you can write and share your work every Tuesday 12-1 (ET). www.Patreon.com/writingclassradio.

    A new episode will drop every other WEDNESDAY. So look for us. 

    There’s no better way to understand ourselves and each other, than by writing and sharing our stories. Everyone has a story. What’s yours?

    This series is dedicated to Luis Aracena. You are missed and loved. May you rest in peace.

    See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

    • 32 min
    Sometimes It's Better Said in a Song

    Sometimes It's Better Said in a Song

    Amber Petty tells her story about how she's her best self when singing karaoke.

    • 22 min
    I Was the Real Life's Queen's Gambit

    I Was the Real Life's Queen's Gambit

    How to frame an essay for publication.

    • 21 min
    Voice Isn't Everything, Is It?

    Voice Isn't Everything, Is It?

    Today on our show, we’re talking about voice in a new way. We always say, write like you speak. That’s one of the most important writing tenets, because if you write like you speak, you’re writing in the most truthful way. If you curse, curse. If you don’t speak in fancy prose, don’t write fancy prose.

    To hear more about voice, listen to Episode 43: Voices in Your Head, and Episode 44: Voices Carry.  

    On today's episode, we ask the question, What if your physical voice says something about you you don’t want it to say? Also, does your physical voice translate onto the page? 

    You'll hear an essay by Mark Jason Williams, an award-winning playwright, essayist, and traveloguer who writes for The Washington Post, HuffPost, Thrillist, and more. He is currently working on an essay collection. 

    His story is called You’d Be Cuter with a Deeper Voice. A version of this story was previously published in Out Magazine.

    You can also find Mark on Twitter and Facebook. 

    Writing Class Radio is a podcast where you’ll hear true personal stories and learn a little about how to write your own stories. Writing Class Radio is equal parts heart and art. By heart we mean the truth in a story. By art we mean the craft of writing. No matter what’s going on in our lives, writing class is where we tell the truth. It’s where we work out our shit, and figure out who we are. There’s no place in the world like writing class and we want to bring you in.

    Writing Class Radio is produced by Allison Langer, Andrea Askowitz, and Courtney Devon of Sound Off Media. Courtney is also the lead singer for Amadians, one of our contributing musicans. Theme music by Justina Shandler. Additional music by Amadians.

    There’s more writing class on our website (www.writingclassradio.com), Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/writingclassradio/), Instagram and Twitter (@wrtgclassradio).

    If you love the lessons you get on each episode, you can get them ALL in one place--our three-part video series--for $50. Click Video Classes on our website.

    Writing Class Radio is now open to submissions from our listeners. Go to the submissions page on our website for guidelines. We pay!

    If you want to be a part of the movement that helps people better understand each other through storytelling, we are now on Patreon. For $10/month you can join Andrea’s submissions conversation. We’ll support each other as we try to get our stories published. For $25/month you can join Allison’s first draft weekly writers class, where you can write and share your work. Go to www.Patreon.com/writingclassradio or click here to support us.

    If you love this podcast, please rate and review us on ApplePodcasts. And tell your friends.

    See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

    • 18 min
    It’s a Matter of Time

    It’s a Matter of Time

    Today on our show, we are featuring an essay by former student Sharon Rothberg. Sharon uses a philosophical concept to work out her feelings about the death of her daughter-in-law.  Sharon's use of time and all lingo related to time is masterful. The story structure is also exceptional as is the balanced use of humor and vulnerability.

    This story really shows how writing helps people figure out things we can’t really understand. 

    Sharon Rothberg lives in Miami, Florida with her husband of 57 years. She was an English major at Tulane University and taught seventh grade English. She loves to read novels, memoirs, and biographies. Sharon came to class on a whim (and because Andrea convinced her), having nothing in particular she wanted to write about. The class pulled up the grief and trauma she’d been holding inside. Writing the story of her daughter-in-law helped Sharon release her feelings and clarify her understanding of time (that we have) on this planet.

    Writing Class Radio is a podcast where you’ll hear true personal stories and learn a little about how to write your own stories. Writing Class Radio is equal parts heart and art. By heart we mean the truth in a story. By art we mean the craft of writing. No matter what’s going on in our lives, writing class is where we tell the truth. It’s where we work out our shit, and figure out who we are. There’s no place in the world like writing class and we want to bring you in.

    Writing Class Radio is hosted by Allison Langer (www.allisonlanger.com) and Andrea Askowitz (www.andreaaskowitz.com). This episode was produced by Virginia Lora, Andrea Askowitz and Allison Langer. Theme music by Justina Shandler. Additional music by Kevin Myles Wilson and Poddington Bear.

    There’s more writing class on our website (www.writingclassradio.com), Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/writingclassradio/), Instagram and Twitter (@wrtgclassradio).

    If you love the lessons you get on each episode, you can get them ALL in one place--our three-part video series--for $50. Click Video Classes on our website.

    Writing Class Radio is now open to submissions from our listeners. Go to the submissions page on our website for guidelines. We pay!

    If you want to be a part of the movement that helps people better understand each other through storytelling, we are now on Patreon. For $10/month you can join Andrea’s submissions conversation. We’ll support each other as we try to get our stories published. For $25/month you can join Allison’s first draft weekly writers class, where you can write and share your work. Go to www.Patreon.com/writingclassradio or click here to support us.

    If you love this podcast, tell your friends. 

    See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

    • 21 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
230 Ratings

230 Ratings

robuzzi ,

Excellent podcast for listening to & learning to write personal essays

I started listening to the essays for entertainment and sideline nd teacher banter.be insights into writing. Got attached to the teacher/creator tips to the point I tried the weekly first daft then tried second draft. Excellent classes, great teachers and thoughtful student feedback as well. 5 Stars!

Constance C. Luo ,

I’m unsubscribing

I recently listened to Episode 115, titled “What I Learned from Men in Prison”. The premise had so much potential to be good, highlighting the stories of men in the prison system (many of which are men of color). But this episode seriously came off as more ignorant than Piper was in Season 1 Episode 1 of Orange is the New Black. Even Piper knew better than you both. There was acknowledgement from Allison and Andrea about their privileged backgrounds and not personally knowing people in the justice system, which is fine.

I’m not too versed in the world of criminal justice reform but even I know that this episode came off so insensitive and ignorant that I have no option but to unsubscribe. There’s a LOT of pandering to what seems to be a wealthy, white, female audience in this episode. Allison and Andrea, instead of proclaiming that you’re not “defending criminals” here, please realize that there’s so much wrong with the current justice system that needs to be reformed! And when Xaire (poor Xaire) shares a bit about after a lot of inner reflection and turmoil as a young writer, he finally begins to write about his FATHER (don’t y’all know how difficult it is for young men to open up about things like this?), y’all interject and say, “That’s just like me, I opened up and wrote about my DOG!”.

THIS is why there’s so much tension between white women and men of color (and people of color in general). I encourage you all to carefully consider how your stories are being framed, because this episode clearly had overtones of power imbalance and ignorance.

hair62 ,

thank you

I just found this podcast tonight I absolutely love it thank you! I will keep listening and maybe sign up for the class it sounds interesting.

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