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Aug 20, 2018 at 10:00 am – Aug 24, 2018 at 5:00 pm

The Podcast School

With industry leaders from your favorite shows including This American Life, The Heart, RadioLab, The Stoop, and more!

This workshop is SOLD OUT.

Please sign up for the waitlist below to receive updates regarding any openings or similar future opportunities.

An exceptional group of professional podcasters, artists, radio producers, and entrepreneurs to 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 Mitra Kaboli (The Heart, Radiotopia) will lead the course.


We are looking for audio producers and podcasters 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. A non-refundable deposit of $350 is due upon application to the program. The balance payable two weeks in advance of the intensive

August Session:

$750 – Early Bird Registration. Deposit received by July 25th 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.

The deposit is non-refundable. Should you need to cancel, you’ll receive half of your registration fee back until July 25th. After July 25th, the fee is non-refundable.

In order to keep costs down, this workshop is a BYOL, i.e. bring your own laptop. Students must be fully proficient using and operating their computers.


Mon, August 20 – 10:00 - 5:00p - Podcasting: An Introduction

Why podcast? What kinds of podcasts are out there? What do they add to the media landscape?

The first day is an introduction to podcasting, including lots of listening to different types of shows: News, Talk shows, Storytelling, Art, etc.

This first day is also your opportunity to present your project and your vision of audio. You will be asked to introduce yourself and provide insight into why you signed up for the class and what you expect from this week.

Morning:  Mitra Kaboli (The Heart, Radiotopia)

Afternoon: Leila Day (Pineapple Street Media)

Workshop sessions include short introductions by participants. 

Lunch provided by UnionDocs

Tues, August 21 – 10:00 - 5:00p - Interviewing

How can you get a great tape? The second day will dig into the art of interviewing: how to find the right guest, how to set an interview, how to set up the recording materials, how to conduct the interview and generate great audio content.

Guest speakers:

Morning: Sean Cole (This American Life)
Afternoon: Tobin Low (Nancy, WNYC)

Workshop sessions include 4 participant’s presentations – (20 min each)

Wed, August 22 – 10:00 - 5:00p - Writing/producing

Radio making and storytelling are inseparable. How do you take an idea, a recording, an interview and turn it into a story? The third day of the workshop focuses on the art of writing with sound.

Guest speakers:

Morning: Molly Webster (Radiolab, WNYC)
Afternoon: Julia Lowrie Henderson (30 for 30 podcasts, ESPN)

Workshop sessions include 4 participant’s presentations – (20 min each)

Thurs, August 23 – 10:00 - 5:00p - Editing

How do you turn a pile of tape into a thing people want to listen to? The fourth day of the workshop looks at the production and finalization process of audio pieces.

Guest speakers:

Morning: Chiquita Paschal (Gimlet Media, BuzzFeed)
Afternoon: Michelle Macklem (CBC, BBC, ABC RN, Radiotopia, and Re:Sound)

Workshop sessions include 4 participant’s presentations – (20 min each)

Fri, August 24 – 10:00 - 5:00p - Turning a Podcast Into a Show

The podcaster sees beyond one episode to create a series. The fifth day explores the multiple roles of the podcaster: at once host, producer, editor and visionary. We will also examine the business side of podcasting: audience strategy, marketing and various business models for podcasting.

Guest speakers:

Morning: Fran Tirado ((Food 4 Thot and Hello Mr)
Afternoon: Field Trip to Pineapple Street Media

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


Warm up, inspiring references, listening exercises, ear training.






Share / Discussion / Exercise


Lunch (on your own – lunch will be provided on Monday)






Workshop Exercise


Workshop Critique




Sean Cole has contributed to This American Life on and off starting in 1999, and then joined its staff in February 2014. He’s also worked as a producer at Radiolab, a regular contributor to Marketplace, and a freelance reporter for lots of other shows and podcasts including Studio 369 and 99% Invisible. His career started at WBUR in Boston where he was a news-writer, engineer, announcer, field-producer, reporter and, finally, a correspondent for the station’s award-winning documentary unit Inside Out.

Leila Day is an award-winning producer and co-creator of The Stoop Podcast: Stories from across the Black diaspora. She’s currently a senior producer at Pineapple Street Media, and a former reporter and editor at KALW in San Francisco. Her work has appeared on NPR, 99% Invisible, Women of the Hour, and more. She holds a degree in anthropology from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and studied audio at the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies.  She’s taught audio storytelling inside San Quentin State Prison, and at the Transom Storytelling workshop, and has freelanced as an editor for various outlets. When she’s not making audio she’s often speaking and mentoring about reporting on communities you aren’t from and telling stories in your authentic voice.

Mitra Kaboli is an award-winning media producer and Peabody Finalist who has been working with The Heart since it’s inception. Her mixing and sound design has been included in ESPN’s Dunkumentaries, Latino USA, Making Contact, and Death, Sex & Money.

Tobin Low is the co-host and co-managing editor of Nancy. He also served as a producer on the first season of More Perfect. Tobin’s work has appeared on Marketplace, Studio360, and the Codebreaker podcast. He’s a graduate of the Transom Story Workshop, and was selected by the Association of Independents in Radio to be a New Voices Scholar in 2014. Special skills include moderate circus tricks and a truly awful British accent.

Michelle Macklem is an award-winning Canadian audio artist and radio producer exploring the possibilities of dissolving boundaries between sonic forms. Her work has aired on CBC, BBC, ABC Radio National, Radiotopia and Re:sound. She is the co-founder of Constellations, an experimental audio art podcast and online community space. Currently, she works as a producer on Sleepover with Sook-Yin Lee at CBC Podcasts.

Chiquita Paschal is freelance producer/editor and podcast consultant. Previously she worked on Gimlet Media’s Peabody Award-winning show Uncivil. Before that, she was a member of BuzzFeed’s Pod Squad where she helped produce Another Round. She is currently the editor of Panoply’s Bad With Money with Gaby Dunn, Democracy in Color with Aimee Allison, Essence Magazine’s celebrity pop-culture podcast Yes Girl and Crooked Media’s forthcoming feminist talkshow Hysteria. Before podcasting, Chiquita worked at public radio stations in New Mexico and Boston, as well as NPR, PRX and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Fran Tirado is the Executive Editor of Hello Mr, co-host of the Food 4 Thot podcast, and co-creator of Communion, a not-for-profit queer-only dinner gathering and artist collective. He has been published in Vice, Buzzfeed, Broadly, them., INTO, and Teen Vogue and has been recognized as one of Brooklyn’s 30 Under 30 for his work in editing, researching, documenting, convening, and creating community for queer people.

Molly Webster is a producer at Radiolab. Best described as someone who likes to “sit in the woods and stare,” Molly fell for science in the ponds, wildlife, and fields of Ohio. After focusing on biology in college, she began to pursue science journalism, and has written and produced (radio/podcasts) for outlets like Scientific American, Wired, Nature, NPR’s Science Friday, and National Geographic Adventure, as well as created live conversations at the World Science Festival, where she specialized in creating programs at the intersection of science, philosophy, and art. Her ability to comprehend and totally immerse herself in complicated issues has helped Radiolab investigate blood donation, drug prices and one very special jar. She also had a hand in the pilot of Freakonomics Radio, where you can still hear her voice at the top of every episode.

Julia Lowrie Henderson is an award-winning producer and storyteller based in New York. A graduate of the Salt Institute for Documentary studies, she’s currently a producer for 30 for 30 Podcasts at ESPN, which she helped launch in 2016. Prior to that, she was a producer for Studio 360 from PRI and WNYC. Her most recent project is Bikram, the 5-part series she reported and produced for 30 for 30.

Pineapple Street Media is a new kind of podcast company. Founded in 2016 in Brooklyn, NY, we work with partners to create high-quality content that has now reached more than 50 million listeners. Our shows are tailored to a diversity of ideas, interests, and identities, striving to make moving, thoughtful, and creative audio for all people in all genres.

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

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Aug 20, 2018 at 10:00 am
Aug 24, 2018 at 5:00 pm


352 Onderdonk Avenue
Ridgewood, NY 11385 United States

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