As many of you know, I do a podcast called Writing Excuses with two other writers, both far more famous than I am: Brandon Sanderson and Howard Tayler. It’s a quick, 15-minute audio show with a new episode every Sunday night, each focusing on a different aspect of writing such as dialogue, outlining, world-building, plot twists, and so on. We think it’s pretty good, and apparently a couple of people agree with us, because we just won a Parsec Award for Best Writing-Related Podcast. Huzzah!
Podcasts are a relatively young form of media, but they come from a long tradition of audio broadcasting; in many ways they’re just radio shows that you listen to over the Internet. The Parsec Awards are one of the first system created to recognize and promote excellence in this medium, and they cover a broad range of categories: instructional stuff like our cast, various news casts, and a wide selection of “performance” casts covering everything from short stories read aloud to actual radio-style dramas. You can do pretty much anything you want with a podcast, and the pervasiveness of the Internet opens podcasting up to an enormous audience: anyone can make a podcast, and anyone can find it and listen to it. Thanks to groups like the Parsec awards, you can get a pretty good idea of which podcasts are awesome and worth your time. We’ve heard some of the other nominees, and some of the winners and nominees from past years, and it’s all excellent stuff. We’re honored to be in such great company, and humbled that they picked us as this year’s winner.
If you’re completely unfamiliar with what podcasts are and how they work, let me explain our process in better detail. Brandon and Howard and I (and our producer, a friend named Jordan who handles all the technical stuff) get together every other week or so and record several episodes back to back. Brandon asks questions, we try to provide pithy answers, we crack jokes to make ourselves sound smarter than we are, and Jordan records everything on his computer. Every Sunday he posts a new 15-minute chunk on both our website and on iTunes; if you want to listen, just visit the site, look for the big arrow universally recognized as “Play,” and click it. You don’t even have to download anything. If you prefer to listen via iTunes or some other system, you obviously already know all about podcasts, and this paragraph wasn’t really intended for you. Stop reading it.
If you are a writer, or if you have even the vaguest inclination to write, I recommend Writing Excuses very highly. We keep the episodes short and sweet and to the point, trying to cram in lots of great advice without meandering off into useless tangents and idle chatter. Each episode sparks a lot of comments, and you’re welcome to chime in as well, plus our awesome listeners even went so far as to create an online writing group (called Reading Excuses) right on the same forum Brandon and Howard and I use for our message boards, The Official Time-Waster’s Guide.
We’re very proud of our little podcast, and we’d love to have you join us.