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Aug 19, 2019 at 10:00 am – Aug 23, 2019 at 5:00 pm

The Podcast School

With industry leaders from your favorite shows!

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. Martina Castro and Leila Day 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.

August Session:

$750 – Early Bird Registration. 

$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.

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.

To register for a workshop, participants must pay the registration fee in full via card, check or cash. If unable to pay the full fee upfront a payment plan may be accommodated, please contact us to arrange.

Prior to the early registration deadline of August 9th, 2019, participants may withdraw from the workshop and receive half the course fees as a refund. To withdraw from this course, please email info-at-uniondocs.org.

After August 9th, 2019, registration fees are not refundable or transferable. Any withdrawals after the deadline will result in the full cost of registration being forfeit; there will be no exceptions.

In the event that a workshop does not receive sufficient enrollment, it may be canceled. Participants will be notified at least 48 hours prior to the start of a cancelled workshop and will be refunded within 5 business days.

If a workshop is rescheduled, participants are 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.


Mon, August 19 – 10:00 - 5:00p - Introductions

DAY 1 – 8/19 – Introductions

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.

Run by Martina Castro and Leila Day

Workshop sessions include short introductions by participants. 

Lunch provided by UnionDocs

Tues, August 20 – 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:

Robert Smith (Planet Money, NPR)

Megan Tan (Millennial)

Workshop sessions include 4 participant’s presentations – (15 min each)

Wed, August 21 – 10:00 - 5:00p - Writing and 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:

Jorge Just (Executive Editor at Gimlet Media)

Julia Lowrie Henderson (30 for 30 Podcast)

Workshop sessions include 4 participant’s presentations – (15 min each)

Thurs, August 22 – 10:00 - 5:00p - Editing and Structure

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:

Eleanor Kagan (Pineapple Street/Julie)

Joe Richman (Radio Diaries)

Workshop sessions include 4 participant’s presentations – (15 min each)

Fri, August 23 – 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 & Field Trip:

Lee Hill (Senior Digital Editor, WNYC News) : *Held off-site at WNYC

Nick van der Kolk (Love + Radio): *Held at UnionDocs

Podcast School Mixer: TBD

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




Leila Day is the co-host, creator and producer of The Stoop Podcast: stories from across the Black diaspora. She’s also a Senior Producer with Pineapple Street Media. She’s worked as a criminal justice and healthcare reporter at NPR affiliate KALW in San Francisco, and was an editor at Al Jazeera’s podcast network. Her reporting has won various awards from the National Association of Black Journalists, Society of Professional Journalists and PRINDI. Leila has taught at the Transom Storytelling workshop, KALW’s Audio Academy, San Quentin State Prison’s Media Lab, and is often presenting on subjects like finding your audience, reporting in your own voice, and teaching creative ways to combine personal narrative with journalism. She’s been a guest speaker at the Third Coast Audio Festival, Stanford Storytelling Workshop, Spotify Bootcamp, Harvard, The The Wing and other podcast events. For Leila, one of the most fulfilling moments in this field is being an editor and witnessing when a producer realizes that a series of disjointed ideas starts shaping into a powerful story.

Martina Castro is founder and CEO of Adonde Media, a globally-minded podcast production company based in Brooklyn. Over the past fifteen years, Martina has produced and edited award-winning audio content in both the U.S. and Latin America. She has worked at NPR, KALW-FM in San Francisco, CA, and NPR’s Radio Ambulante, a Spanish-language narrative journalism podcast she co-founded in 2011. She has given numerous workshops and talks on the art of narrative audio storytelling, including being an Audio Doctor at the Third Coast Conference and teaching a university course on the topic as part of a 2015 Fulbright grant in her family’s native Uruguay. Martina launched Adonde Media in 2017 at the Start-Up Chile pre-seed accelerator program for female founders in Santiago, Chile. Since then, Adonde Media has worked with clients such as TED, Duolingo, NPR, and Vice News to create podcasts that aim to bring new audiences to the medium.

Robert Smith is a host for NPR’s Planet Money where he tells stories about how the global economy is affecting our lives. If that sounds a little dry, then you’ve never heard Planet Money. The team specializes in making economic reporting funny, engaging and understandable. Planet Money has been known to set economic indicators to music, use superheroes to explain central banks, and even buy a toxic asset just to figure it out. Smith admits that he has no special background in finance or math, just a curiosity about how money works. That kind of curiosity has driven Smith for his 20 years in radio.

Julia Lowrie Henderson is graduate of the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies. Her radio work has been featured on studio 360, MPBN‘s Maine Things Considered, New Hampshire Public Radio, and Public Radio Remix. She’s currently a producer for ESPN’s 30 for 30 podcast. Prior to that, she was an associate producer at WNYC’s studio 360 and was awarded a 2016 New York Press Club award for “compounding the paris tragedy, a blow to culture.” Julia holds a BFA in theatre from Boston University. She’s a radio producer, documentarian, storyteller, actor, and playwright who enjoys a good joke and a nice, long drive across the country.

Jorge Just is Executive Editor at Gimlet Media where he’s spent much of his time working on shows like Heavyweight, The Nod, and Habitat. Before joining Gimlet, Jorge helped create the sound and editorial vision for Detour, an app for deeply immersive location-based audio stories. He’s told stories on This American Life , worked with UNICEF to develop RapidFTR, an app that makes it easier for humanitarian workers to reunite children and families, and helped bands like OK Go find creative ways to use the Internet. As you might imagine, strangers tweet about him all the time.

Eleanor Kagan – I’m a curious human. Descriptivist, feminist, listener. I strive to build communities with my work whether it be through podcasts, live events, or public enthusiasm. Prior to joining Pineapple Street Media in 2018, I was BuzzFeed’s Director of Audio and spearheaded several critically-acclaimed podcasts, including Another RoundSee Something Say Something, and Thirst Aid Kit. I’ve produced more than 100 live events in three countries, and have been on staff at NPR’s Ask Me Another, NPR Music, and WFUV. I live in New York.

Joe Richman – Joe Richman is a Peabody Award-winning producer and reporter and the founder of Radio Diaries, a non-profit organization. For two decades, Radio Diaries has helped to pioneer a model for working with people to document their own lives for public radio. Joe has collaborated with teenagers and octogenarians, prisoners and prison guards, gospel preachers and bra saleswomen, the famous and the unknown. Through his career, he has interviewed hundreds of people, from a seltzer delivery man to a Civil War widow to Nelson Mandela. Joe also teaches radio at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism and Princeton University.

Nick van der Kolk – Nick van der Kolk (@nickvdk) is a radio producer, sound designer, and events organizer whose work has aired on numerous radio outlets worldwide. He’s the host of the critically acclaimed Love + Radio podcast and the co-founder of Megapolis — an audio art and leftfield radio documentary festival.

Lee Hill is the Senior Digital Editor for WNYC, where he oversees strategy, production and planning of WNYC news content across digital platforms. Before WNYC, he was a founding editor of Inside Energy, a Colorado-based journalism collaboration between NPR and PBS stations where he oversaw engagement. Prior to that, Lee worked at Colorado Public Radio in Denver as a Public Insight Network (PIN) analyst and reporter, where he reported on the experiences of everyday Coloradans on stories ranging from wildfires to gun policy, to marijuana legalization and racial inequities, and the 2012 presidential race. Lee arrived in Denver from Washington D.C., where he worked at NPR as a multimedia journalist and founding producer of Tell Me More, NPR’s first program to begin as a blog and evolve into a daily award-winning news and talk show. Prior to that, Lee supervised NPR’s Audience Services group and refocused the network’s daily online engagement with its audience. While Lee was producing NPR’s Tell Me More, the program won a national Edward R. Murrow Award and was recognized with a “Salute To Excellence Award” by the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ). Lee was a web producer and blogger until 2011 for NPR.org, which received a 2009 Peabody Award for its content. His work has also been recognized with a National Headliner Award and an “Award of Excellence” by the Colorado Broadcasters Association. In 2013, he was named Broadcast Journalist of the Year by the Colorado Association of Black Journalists. And in 2016, he received the National Association of Black Journalists’ “Salute to Excellence Award” for Digital Innovation. Lee is a 2003 graduate of Howard University, where he studied journalism and economics.

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

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Aug 19, 2019 at 10:00 am
Aug 23, 2019 at 5:00 pm


352 Onderdonk Avenue
Ridgewood, NY 11385 United States

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