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Feb 16, 2017 at 7:08 pm

Podcast School

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Podcast School:

Learn how to make your own inspiring and successful podcast


An exceptional group of professional podcasters, artists, radio producers and entrepreneurs help you develop your audio practice and podcasting vision.

This seminar, designed by UnionDocs in partnership with Mathilde Walker-Billaud, will show producers the various creative practices of podcasting. It will offer them technical tools and skill sets for navigating through the podcasting revolution and finding their own path in this emergent medium.

10 years ago the internet and low cost audio production tools radically transformed the radio landscape, liberating makers from traditional media and the audience from time and space. Nowadays, anyone can become a broadcaster. But hosting a successful listener-supported podcast is a professional engagement. A successful podcaster has a great dose of imagination and a strong entrepreneurial initiative along with many technical skills, from audio engineering and radio journalism to sound storytelling and online marketing.

This week-long seminar will explore audio storytelling, interviewing, script writing, editing, mixing, sound design to audience engagement and more. 15 producers will learn from a team of seasoned guest speakers and practitioners — public radio reporters, sound engineers, radio auteurs, successful podcasters, media entrepreneurs and artists. Discussions, group and individual exercises, field trips and participants’ work-in-progress critiques will put this new knowledge into practice. Producer, writer and host of Flash Forward Rose Eveleth will lead the course.



Monday, August 22nd to Friday, August 26th, 10am – 5.30pm


UnionDocs, 322 Union Ave., Brooklyn NY 11211

Who is eligible?

We are looking for audio producers and podcasters (both new and experienced) from all aspects of the media industry and beyond with demonstrable skills in storytelling, sound editing and mixing.

Participants are accepted on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Give us an idea of who you are and why you are coming. When you register you will be asked for a short statement of interest that should briefly describe your experience in audio production and a podcast idea (it would be great if you have one. If not, you might come up with one during the workshop), plus a bio. There’s a spot for a link to a work sample (and CV, which would also be nice, but is not required).

Please note: Participants *will not* be producing an audio piece during the week. Focus is on discussing and listening. The goal is also to develop your podcast/audio project conceptually.


The fee for the intensive follows the schedule below. 

August Session:

$750 – Early Bird Registration. Deadline July 26th at 5:00 PM.

$850 – Late Registration

Participants coming from outside NYC are responsible for their own transportation and room and board during the intensive. UnionDocs can provide assistance in locating housing and guidance for getting around town for those not native to New York.

Refund Policy:

Should you need to cancel, you’ll receive half of your registration fee back until July 26th. After July 26th, the fee is non-refundable.


DAY 1 – – Podcasting is the New Radio

What makes podcasting different from traditional radio? The first day of our week-long program looks in-depth at the ways we make and hear audio podcasts.


Morning: Rose Eveleth (Flash Forward)

Afternoon:  Andrea Silenzi  (The Gist) 


DAY 2 – – Power of Voices

Voices convey a message, tell a story, make a point, guide the audience. What is magic with podcasts is that they are free from the radio clock and standardization. The second day of the intensive looks at the diversity of voices, the multiple ways to interact with audiences and build a relationship with listeners.


Morning : Brittany Luse (Sampler & For Colored Nerds)

Afternoon: Samita Sinha (vocalist and performance artist)

*Field Trip: TBA


DAY 3  – – Radio Storytelling

Radio making and storytelling are inseparable. How do you take an idea, a recording, an interview and turn it into a story?  On Friday, we focus on writing and shaping a sound story from scratch.


Morning : Sean Cole (This American Life)

Afternoon : Jonathan Mitchell (The Truth Podcast) 


DAY 4 – –  Turning a Podcast Into a Show

The podcaster sees beyond one episode to create a series. Behind each podcast, there is a strong concept and a recognizable identity. The session on Saturday explores the multiple roles of the podcaster: at once host, producer, editor and visionary.


Morning: Megan Tan (Millennial)

Afternoon: Caitlin Thompson (Acast)


DAY 5 – – Being Public

It is time to launch your podcast. How to generate an audience and evaluate its growth? How to make your practice sustainable? The last day of the seminar examines audience strategy, marketing and various business models for podcasting.


Morning: Nicholas Quah (Hot Pod) 

Afternoon: Final presentation, critique and discussion of individual projects 


Each day follows this general structure, with some minor variations and substitutions:

10:00a    Warm up, inspiring references, listening exercises, ear training.

10:30a    Presentation

11:45a    Discussion

12:30p    Share / Discussion / Exercise

1:00p      Lunch (on your own – lunch will be provided on Monday)

2:00p      Presentation

3:15p      Discussion

4:00p      Workshop Exercise

5:00p      Workshop Critique

5:30p      End


IMG_0597Rose Eveleth is a producer, designer, writer and animator based in Brooklyn who explores how humans tangle with science and technology. She’s the host and producer of Flash Forward, a podcast from Boing Boing that takes on a new possible tomorrow every episode. She’s also a columnist for Motherboard, the producer of The Story Collider podcast, and a regular contributor to The Atlantic, BBC Future and more.


AAndreaSilenzi2ndrea Silenzi is the Senior Producer of The Gist with Mike Pesca, and is the host of Why Oh Why. Her work has aired on the Organist Podcast from Believer Magazine and KCRW, BBC4, StoryCorps, PRI’s Studio 360, Re:Sound, APM’s Performance Today, Saltcast, and on Too Much Information with Benjamen Walker. She holds the world record for most guests booked for an hour-long radio show, and that’s 67.



V5Lk8H-bBrittany Luse is host of Sampler, a podcast about podcasts, at Gimlet Media. She is also co-host of For Colored Nerds, an independent podcast about race, news and pop culture. She hails from Farmington Hills, Michigan and is a very proud graduate of Howard University.




IMG_4028Samita Sinha is a performer and composer who combines tradition with experiment to create bold new forms, combining a deep grounding in North Indian classical vocal music with jazz, electronic, folk and ritual music in multiple languages. Samita has composed for a number of film and dance projects and has performed her solo projects at venues across NYC and around the country. Committed to combining art and civic practice, Sinha has devised and led social singing rituals for diverse groups of people in varied public settings. The development of her new work, CIPHER, includes the Open Voice workshops for young women of color in NYC. Her awards include grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, New York State Council on the Arts, Queens Council on the Arts, Urban Arts Initiative, and a Fulbright Scholarship; and residencies with Atlas Performing Arts Center (DC), BRICLab (NY), Coleman Center for the Arts (AL), Millay Colony for the Arts (NY), Ohio State University, and The Watermill Center (NY).

unnamed-7Sean Cole began his radio career as an intern at Boston station WBUR in 1997, and went on to work as field producer for WBUR’s “Morning Edition” and then as a reporter for the documentary series “Inside Out.” Over the years, he’s contributed to lots of other public radio programs including “Radiolab,” “Marketplace,” “Studio 360,” “All Things Considered,” “99% Invisible” and “This American Life” where he is currently on staff. Sean’s awards include an Overseas Press Club citation for his documentary “South Africa’s Kwaito Generation – Inside Out” and a UNITY Award for his story about P.B.S. Pinchback, the first African American governor in U.S. history. He has also published two short collections of poetry and a full-length volume of postcard poems titled “The December Project.”

jonathanmitchellJonathan Mitchell is the creator and producer of The Truth, a podcast that makes short films without pictures. He’s contributed a wide range of pieces—documentaries, fictional stories, non-narrated sound collages, and original music— to all sorts of public radio programs: Radiolab, Studio 360, This American Life, Hearing Voices, Fair Game, The Next Big Thing, and All Things Considered, to name a few. His work has won many awards, including the Peabody, Third Coast, and the Gold Mark Time Award for Best Science Fiction Audio. He studied music composition at University of Illinois and Mills College, and lives in New York City.

mTan_headshot-3-e1447274544915Before graduating with a degree in Photojournalism from Western Kentucky University, Megan Tan interned at WNYC’s Radiolab as a production assistant, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune as a photojournalist and spent six months in Ecuador creating three short films. Her work has been awarded by the National Press Photographers Association, the William Randolph Hearst competition and College Photographer of the Year. She is also the founder, host and producer of Millennial, an independent podcast about navigating your 20’s, captured in real time.

caitlinCaitlin Thompson is the Director of Content at Acast, a podcast platform based in Stockholm, Sweden. She’s worked as a development executive at WNYC, in digital and multimedia roles at TIME, The Washington Post and in public television. She thinks the future of podcasting sounds like women and people of color.



headshot (1)Nick Quah writes and publishes Hot Pod, a newsletter about podcasts that’s also syndicated on Nieman Lab. Previously, he worked on audience development for Panoply, Slate’s podcasting network, and before that, he held brief stints at BuzzFeed and Business Insider.


Feb 16, 2017
7:08 pm

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