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Feb 16, 2017 at 7:08 pm

Podcast School: An Intensive 3-Day Workshop

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The Podcast School

A seminar for developing and expanding your podcast

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This seminar, designed by UnionDocs in partnership with Mathilde Walker-Billaud, will work with early-to-mid-level producers to explore 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. An exceptional group of professional podcasters, writers, radio producers and entrepreneurs will help develop participants’ podcasting vision into a sustainable audio practice.

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 must have 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 3-day seminar will explore topics from storytelling to audience engagement and more. 15 producers will learn from a team of seasoned podcasters and media entrepreneurs. Workshops, discussions, exercises and work-in-progress critique will put this new knowledge into practice.

Each guest speaker will provide students with ideas, guidance, and feedback on their individual projects.

Producer Sruthi Pinnamaneni will lead the course.

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When: Friday, January 22nd to Sunday, January 24th, 10am – 5:00pm

Where: UnionDocs, 322 Union Ave., Brooklyn NY 11211

Who is eligible?

This seminar is geared towards audio producers who already have a podcast, or are in pre-production for a specific upcoming project. This workshop is not suitable for complete beginners, and will not have a technical focus. If you are interested in audio production and/or don’t feel you are ready for this course, please consider signing up for Radio Boot Camp, January 30 – 31, also at UnionDocs.

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 work sample, a short statement of interest that should briefly describe your podcast project, 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 project conceptually.


The fee for the intensive follows the schedule below.

$385 – Early Bird Registration.

$450 – 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 December 21st. After December 21st, the fee is non-refundable.



DAY 1 – Friday, January 22nd

Morning : Sruthi Pinnamaneni (Gimlet Media)

Afternoon : Benjamen Walker (Radiotopia)

DAY 2 – Saturday, January 23rd

Morning : Megan Tan (Millennial podcast)

Afternoon : Jonathan Mitchell (The Truth Podcast)

DAY 3  – Sunday, January 24th

Morning : Sean Rameswaram (WNYC)

Afternoon : Nazanin Rafsanjani (Gimlet Media)


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 by guest speaker + individual work-in-progress critique

11:45a     Discussion

12:30p    Share / Discussion / Exercise

1:00p      Lunch (on your own)

2:00p      Presentation by guest speaker + individual work-in-progress critique

3:15p       Discussion

4:00p      Workshop Exercise + Critique

5:00p      End



sruthiSruthi Pinnamaneni
is a producer at Gimlet Media’s Reply All. Her work has aired on Studio 360, Radiolab, Freakonomics, Marketplace and Love+Radio. She worked on the award-winning feature film Kumare. As the audio/video correspondent at The Economist, she traveled between cities and villages in India to produce a series on rural education and the informal economy in slums. Sruthi grew up in South India. She has a B.A. in Mathematics from the University of Michigan and an M.S. in Broadcast Journalism from Columbia University. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two kids.

benjamenBenjamen Walker has made radio for NPR, WNYC, WFMU, and the BBC. Currently he produces and hosts ‘The Theory of Everything,’ part of the Radiotopia network from the public radio exchange (toe.prx.org).




meghanBefore 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.

sean-rameswaram-620Like Glenn Gould and Drake, Sean Rameswaram was born and raised in Toronto where, at a young age, he began to cultivate a passion for public broadcasting and the arts. At 16, he was snatched up by the circus and taken to the well-manicured stucco suburbs of Los Angeles, where he began to cultivate a passion for quesadillas.  As a reporter and producer, Sean has impressed his love of pop culture upon the listeners of WAMU in Washington DC, KUSP and KQED in California, and WNYC in New York. In 2014, Sean created and launched sideshow, a podcast that celebrates the kind of art you’d never see in a museum (think mash-up musicians, web series auteurs, and animated GIFs). As the host ofsideshow, Sean had many unforgettable moments, but none greater than being scolded by Mike D from the Beastie Boys for not using Google properly.

slack-imgs.com2_ (1)Nazanin Rafsanjani is a freelance radio reporter and producer based in New York City and the Creative Director for Gimlet Media. She began her radio career in the San Francisco Bay Area at NPR affiliates, KALW and KQED. Since then she has contributed to such public radio programs as This American Life, Morning Edition, All Things Considered and On the Media, as well as worked at the Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC as a senior producer. She has a B.A. in Political Economy of Industrial Societies from the University of California at Berkeley and an M.S. in Journalism from Columbia University.

Jonathan-finalJonathan 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.

Workshop Policies:

Registration & Cancellation: To register for a workshop, students must pay in full via PayPal. After the registration deadline of December 21st, course fees are not refundable or transferable and any withdrawals or deadlines will result in the full cost of the class being forfeit. There will be no exceptions. To withdraw from a course please email info-at-uniondocs.org.

In the event that a workshop does not receive sufficient enrollment, it may be canceled. Students will be notified at least 48 hours prior to the start of a cancelled workshop and will be refunded within 5 business days. If we reschedule a workshop to another date, students are also entitled to a full refund. UnionDocs reserves the right to change instructors without prior notification, and to change class location and meeting times by up to an hour with 48 hours prior notice.


Feb 16, 2017
7:08 pm

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