Episodes

December 23, 2020

Bye Bye 2020

Andrea and Allison say goodbye to 2020.

December 02, 2020

The Upside to a Downside

On today’s episode you’ll hear a story that takes a bad situation and finds the good. We don’t love sappy happy endings, but honest happy endings are the best, especially when they bring joy to the world. Jamie Katz got married on her balcony during lockdown and was greeted with some pleasant surprises. Her story also shows how much can be told with very few words.  Writing Class Radio is co-hosted by Allison Langer (www.allisonlanger.com) and Andrea Askowitz (www.andreaaskowitz.com). This episode of Writing Class Radio is produced by Matt Cundill of SoundOff Media, Andrea Askowitz and Allison Langer. Mia Pennekamp is our media specialist. Theme music is by Amadians. Additional music by John Destill and John Farla. There’s more writing class on our website (www.writingclassradio.com), Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/writingclassradio/), Instagram and Twitter (@wrtgclassradio). If you love the lessons you get on each episode, you can get them ALL in one place--our three-part video series--for $50. Click Video Classes on our website. Writing Class Radio is open to submissions from our listeners. Go to the submissions page on our website for guidelines. We pay! If you want to be a part of the movement that helps people better understand each other through storytelling, follow us on Patreon. For $10/month Andrea will answer all your publishing questions. For $25/month you can join Allison’s First Draft weekly writers group, where you can write and share your work. Go to www.Patreon.com/writingclassradio or click here to support us.

November 18, 2020

How Does a Man Get Away with Calling Women Bitches and Hoes in a Story?

This episode is about how home is love.

November 09, 2020

Should I Stay or Should I Leave This Country?

Today’s episode is part of a series called Home. Writing Class Radio helped produce a documentary to help end homelessness for Chapman Partnership, a homeless center in South Florida. On this episode, you will hear a story by writer Tiffanie Drayton who takes an idea that most Americans hold about our country and turns it on its head. Typically, people come to America to seek asylum. But, Tiffanie left America to seek asylum. She left because she didn’t feel safe here as a Black American.  Tiffany’s essay was published in the New York Times on June 12, 2020, which led to an agent signing and a 250k book deal. You’ll hear that story plus our conversation with Tiffanie about her experience as a Black person in America. Tiffanie came to America from Trinidad at four years old. She talks about her privilege as a dual citizen and her responsibility as a writer to call herself out for that privilege.  Tiffanie Drayton (@draytontiffanie) is working on a book about fleeing American racism. Writing Class Radio is co-hosted by Allison Langer (www.allisonlanger.com) and Andrea Askowitz (www.andreaaskowitz.com). This episode of Writing Class Radio is produced by Virginia Lora, Andrea Askowitz and Allison Langer. Mia Pennekamp is our media specialist. Theme music is by Ari Herstand. Additional music by Podington Bear. There’s more writing class on our website (www.writingclassradio.com), Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/writingclassradio/), Instagram and Twitter (@wrtgclassradio). If you love the lessons you get on each episode, you can get them ALL in one place--our three-part video series--for $50. Click Video Classes on our website. Writing Class Radio is open to submissions from our listeners. Go to the submissions page on our website for guidelines. We pay! If you want to be a part of the movement that helps people better understand each other through storytelling, follow us on Patreon. For $10/month Andrea will answer all your publishing questions. For $25/month you can join Allison’s First Draft weekly writers group, where you can write and share your work. Go to www.Patreon.com/writingclassradio or click here to support us.

October 21, 2020

At Home in My Skin

This episode features a story about feeling at home in one's skin and shows the art of planting seeds.

October 07, 2020

Torn Between Two Houses Feeling Like a Fool

How to write a story when the end is murky.

September 02, 2020

What Does Your TV Habit Say About You?

This episode is about story structure and all things done well in an essay. LiAnne Yu tells a story about watching TV with her Chinese immigrant parents. As a narrator she brings us into her world--dinners in front of the TV ...

August 05, 2020

Who's Your Voice of Reason?

A good device is to use another character to offer a voice of reason.

July 01, 2020

Every Word Matters

Today on our show, we’re talking about how every word in a story matters. We have a story to share that illustrates this point so well. Essayist, teacher, and Writing Class Radio listener Amy Paturel submitted her story called “The Other Love of His Life,” which was originally published in Newsweek, April 2009.  Amy’s story is a great example of how every word must lead to the final conclusion. Every scene, detail, and description should move the story forward. If not...cut.  This got us thinking about how our words matter, not just to move a story along, but also because what we say or don’t say impacts other people. In Episode 81, we spoke to agent Barbara Poelle about getting a literary agent. We left out a crucial part of the conversation about bringing out stories by and about people of color. Listener Taiwo Adesina wrote to us to let us know. We are grateful and sorry.   Writing Class Radio is a podcast where you’ll hear true personal stories and learn a little about how to write your own stories. Writing Class Radio is equal parts heart and art. By heart we mean the truth in a story. By art we mean the craft of writing. No matter what’s going on in our lives, writing class is where we tell the truth. It’s where we work out our shit, and figure out who we are. There’s no place in the world like writing class and we want to bring you in. Writing Class Radio is co-hosted by Allison Langer (www.allisonlanger.com) and Andrea Askowitz (www.andreaaskowitz.com). Writing Class Radio is produced by Virginia Lora, Andrea Askowitz and Allison Langer. Ariel Henley is our media specialist. Theme music is by Emia. Additional music by Podington Bear. There’s more writing class on our website (www.writingclassradio.com), Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/writingclassradio/), Instagram and Twitter (@wrtgclassradio). If you love the lessons you get on each episode, you can get them ALL in one place--our three-part video series--for $50. Click Video Classes on our website. Writing Class Radio is now open to submissions from our listeners. Go to the submissions page on our website for guidelines. We pay! If you want to be a part of the movement that helps people better understand each other through storytelling, we are now on Patreon. For $10/month you can join Andrea’s submissions conversation. We’ll support each other as we try to get our stories published. For $25/month you can join Allison’s weekly writers lunch, where you can write and share your work. Go to www.Patreon.com/writingclassradio or click here to support us.

June 03, 2020

A Poet's Response to Senseless Murders

This episode of Writing Class Radio is dedicated to George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and all those who have lost their lives in a senseless murder. The story we share with you on this episode is by student and poet Zorina Frey. Last Saturday, May 30, 2020, Andrea gave students a writing prompt and 14 minutes to write about whatever came to mind. Zorina’s response is helping us sit with the sadness, anger, and grief. It is a story that’s helping us reflect and process everything that’s going on.  The prompt was Religion.  Writing Class Radio is a podcast where you’ll hear true personal stories and learn a little about how to write your own stories. Writing Class Radio is equal parts heart and art. By heart we mean the truth in a story. By art we mean the craft of writing. No matter what’s going on in our lives, writing class is where we tell the truth. It’s where we work out our shit, and figure out who we are. There’s no place in the world like writing class and we want to bring you in. Writing Class Radio is co-hosted by Allison Langer (www.allisonlanger.com) and Andrea Askowitz (www.andreaaskowitz.com). Writing Class Radio is produced by Virginia Lora, Andrea Askowitz and Allison Langer. Ariel Henley is our media specialist. Theme music is by Emia.  There’s more writing class on our website (www.writingclassradio.com), Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/writingclassradio/), Instagram and Twitter (@wrtgclassradio). If you love the lessons you get on each episode, you can get them ALL in one place--our three-part video series--for $50. Click Video Classes on our website. Writing Class Radio is now open to submissions from our listeners. Go to the submissions page on our website for guidelines. We pay! If you want to be a part of the movement that helps people better understand each other through storytelling, we are now on Patreon. For $10/month you can join Andrea’s submissions conversation. We’ll support each other as we try to get our stories published. For $25/month you can join Allison’s weekly writers lunch, where you can write and share your work. Go to www.Patreon.com/writingclassradio or click here to support us.

May 06, 2020

An Insider Conversation with a Literary Agent

Today on our show, we share a New York Times Modern Love essay we love by Jessica Strawser, editor-at-large at Writer’s Digest. Her essay caught the attention of literary agent Barbara Poelle, an agent with the Irene Goodman Literary Agency and the author of Funny You Should Ask: Mostly Serious Answers to Mostly Serious Questions About the Publishing Industry. Her book is based on her Writer's Digest column of the same name. On today’s show, we share our conversation with Barbara about how to get an agent. We asked Barbara all kinds of questions: Is now a good time to query? How do I find an agent? Is there such a thing as a dream agent? Do authors even need an agent? What should I do before signing an agent? We also ask the big question: Can we write about certain experiences that aren’t our own? Barbara gives us the insider info.  Writing Class Radio is a podcast where you’ll hear true personal stories and learn a little about how to write your own stories. Writing Class Radio is equal parts heart and art. By heart we mean the truth in a story. By art we mean the craft of writing. No matter what’s going on in our lives, writing class is where we tell the truth. It’s where we work out our shit, and figure out who we are. There’s no place in the world like writing class and we want to bring you in. Writing Class Radio is co-hosted by Allison Langer (www.allisonlanger.com) and Andrea Askowitz (www.andreaaskowitz.com). Writing Class Radio is produced by Virginia Lora, Andrea Askowitz and Allison Langer. Ariel Henley is our media specialist. Theme music is by Emia. Additional music is by Justina Shandler and Poddington Bear. There’s more writing class on our website (www.writingclassradio.com), Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/writingclassradio/), Instagram and Twitter (@wrtgclassradio). If you love the lessons you get on each episode, you can get them ALL in one place--our three-part video series--for $50. Click Video Classes on our website. Writing Class Radio is now open to submissions from our listeners. Go to the submissions page on our website for guidelines. We pay! If you want to be a part of the movement that helps people better understand each other through storytelling, we are now on Patreon. For $10/month you can join Andrea’s submissions conversation. We’ll support each other as we try to get our stories published. For $25/month you can join Allison’s weekly writers lunch, where you can write and share your work. Go to www.Patreon.com/writingclassradio or click here to support us.

April 01, 2020

You Have Permission to Write or Not to Write

We bring you two stories that about the coronavirus pandemic that bring you something more about the human condition.

March 04, 2020

How to Write About Death: Use an Obsession

Writing about an obsession is a creative and interesting way to write about death.

February 05, 2020

Writing Helps You Figure Out How You Think

Today on our show, we’re talking about how writing helps you figure out how you think. And helps you see yourself, specifically your failures more clearly because it’s hard to ignore a pattern when you see it in writing. We share an essay by listener, Karen Debonis who’s story, “Even the Weak Can Weather the Storm” is about what it ultimately took to make her change from being overly agreeable to a fierce badass defender of her child. It wasn’t his illness that was the catalyst, but reading back on what she’d written about herself years ago when her son was going through his illness and not liking herself. Karen Debonis began writing twenty years ago after her eleven-year-old son was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Then she put the writing aside to care for her kid. A few years ago, Karen revisited her manuscript. Karen lives and writes in upstate New York. You can find her writing at www.KarenDeBonis.com. Facebook: www.facebook.com/KDeBoniswriter/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/KarenDeBonis Instagram: www.instagram.com/karendeboniswriter/ Writing Class Radio is a podcast where you’ll hear true personal stories and learn a little about how to write your own stories. Writing Class Radio is equal parts heart and art. By heart we mean the truth in a story. By art we mean the craft of writing. No matter what’s going on in our lives, writing class is where we tell the truth. It’s where we work out our shit, and figure out who we are. There’s no place in the world like writing class and we want to bring you in. Writing Class Radio is co-hosted by Allison Langer (www.allisonlanger.com) and Andrea Askowitz (www.andreaaskowitz.com). Writing Class Radio is produced by Virginia Lora, Andrea Askowitz and Allison Langer and sponsored by The Launchpad at The University of Miami, which aims to make the practice of entrepreneurship available to all students and alumni.  Theme music is by Christine Corey. Additional music is by Ari Herstand and Podington Bear. There’s more writing class on our website (www.writingclassradio.com), Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/writingclassradio/), Instagram and Twitter (@wrtgclassradio). If you love the lessons you get on each episode, you can get them ALL in one place--our three-part video series--for $50. Click Video Classes on our website. Writing Class Radio is now open to submissions from our listeners. Go to the submissions page on our website for guidelines. We pay! If you want to be a part of the movement that helps people better understand each other through storytelling, we are now on Patreon. For $10/month you can join Andrea’s submissions conversation. We’ll support each other as we try to get our stories published. For $25/month you can join Allison’s weekly writers lunch, where you can write and share your work. Go to www.Patreon.com/writingclassradio or click here to support us.

January 08, 2020

Gotta Be a Good Literary Citizen if You Wanna Get Published

Being a good literary citizen means helping other writers and promoting their work.

December 04, 2019

Abortion Stories Matter

On this episode, you’ll hear two stories about abortion, because we believe abortion stories must be told to keep abortions safe, legal, and accessible. If all women who had abortions told their stories, abortion would not be stigmatized, public perception would change, and laws would change.  We put a call out for abortion stories. We received several, all from women who did not regret their abortions. According to The Guardian, 95% of all women who have abortions don’t regret them. So this is the story we’re telling on this episode.   The two stories are told from different perspectives in terms of time. It’s really important to be aware of where you’re standing in time while telling a story. Nicki Post, a past student in our class and a regular on our podcast, tells her story from 10 years out. Holly Bullis, a listener from Boulder, Colorado sets her story on the day she has her abortion.  If you want more Nicki Post, you can hear her stories on Episode 12: Emotional Hangover, Episode 14: Taboo, Episode 23: I Fart, You Fart, and Episode 35: What Makes You You?. For more Holly Bullis, you can find her on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/HollyBullis or go to her blog The Underside of Leaves. https://theundersideofleaves.wordpress.com/  Writing Class Radio is a podcast where you’ll hear true personal stories and learn a little about how to write your own stories. Writing Class Radio is equal parts heart and art. By heart we mean the truth in a story. By art we mean the craft of writing. No matter what’s going on in our lives, writing class is where we tell the truth. It’s where we work out our shit, and figure out who we are.  There’s no place in the world like writing class and we want to bring you in. Writing Class Radio is co-hosted by Allison Langer (www.allisonlanger.com) and Andrea Askowitz (www.andreaaskowitz.com). Writing Class Radio is produced by Virginia Lora, Andrea Askowitz and Allison Langer and sponsored by The Launchpad at The University of Miami, which aims to make the practice of entrepreneurship available to all students and alumni.  Theme music is by Christine Corey. Additional music is by EMIA, and Podington Bear. There’s more writing class on our website (www.writingclassradio.com), Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/writingclassradio/), Instagram and Twitter (@wrtgclassradio).  If you love the lessons you get on each episode, you can get them ALL in one place--our three-part video series. You get three videos for $50. Click Video Classes on our website. Writing Class Radio is now open to submissions from our listeners. Go to the submissions page on our website for guidelines. We pay! If you want to be a part of the movement that helps people better understand each other through storytelling, we’ve made it easy for you to get involved. We are now on Patreon. For $10/month you can join Andrea’s submissions conversation. We’ll support each other as we try to get our stories published. For $25/month you can join Allison’s weekly writers lunch, where you can write and share your work. Go to www.Patreon.com/writingclassradio or click here to support us. Click to Join our camo-elephant hat project. Get an elephant hat for all the elephants (people who support you/people you love) in your life or make a donation to The Pink Wig Project.

November 06, 2019

How to Go From Idea to Published Essay to Book Deal

Ariel Henley suffers from crouzon syndrome, a rare disease that affects her appearance. Her writing shares her experience and emotional growth. A Face Like Picasso is the book, There’s a Mathematical Equation that Proves I’m Ugly--Or So I Learned in My Seventh Grade Art Class is the essay and Ariel Henly is the Author. In this episode she reads her essay and we talk to her, and her publisher, about how she got her essay published and her how she got her book deal.

October 02, 2019

Think Like a Writer with Dani Shapiro

This episode is about how to think like a writer, which means, how to figure out what your story is about, how to understand your themes, and how to respect other people's privacy.

August 28, 2019

How to Write When Shit Gets Real

Three weeks ago, Allison was diagnosed with Stage 3 ovarian cancer. In this emotional episode, we share the stories we wrote about this situation. We are treating this episode as if we’re in writing class by sharing our own writing and critiquing it.

August 14, 2019

Create Scenes So People Remember

A suicide bomber in Afghanistan, with children around him, headed straight towards our base. This is the picture painted by listener Michael Howell in his essay, How Are You Really? We read Michael's essay and discuss what goes into creating a memorable and relatable scene.

July 31, 2019

What’s Inside Your Container?

A visit to the hair salon provides a container for a story about mental health. A container is a method to tell your entire story while contained in a place or period of time. This story is told while sitting in the stylists chair and details the author's 20-year-old daughter’s attempted suicide.

July 17, 2019

How to Write About the Unbelievable

To be reliable when describing the unbelievable we must express doubt, we must focus on details and we must convince our reader that we believe. Pat Martin achieves all these things in the story that she shares on today's show.

July 03, 2019

How to Write Your Story While You're Still Living It

Today on our show, we’re talking about how to end a story when the situation is ongoing. You’ll hear an essay by the Brazilian born Miami writer, Camile Flosi Araujo. Camile brings us into her world, which changed dramatically for her when she got into a car accident that left her paralyzed from the waist down. She made a startling discovery, not that she’s pissed about the accident, although she is, but that she’s pissed at herself for how she lived before the accident. Listen to hear how she expertly ends the story that she’s still living. A version of Camile’s story was first told at Lip Service, a live storytelling event in Miami. Our co-host Andrea Askowitz produced Lip Service for nine years before leaving it under the leadership of the Miami Book Fair. Writing Class Radio is a podcast where you’ll hear true personal stories and learn a little about how to write your own stories. Writing Class Radio is equal parts heart and art. By heart we mean the truth in a story. By art we mean the craft of writing. No matter what’s going on in our lives, writing class is where we tell the truth. It’s where we work out our shit, and figure out who we are.  There’s no place in the world like writing class and we want to bring you in. Writing Class Radio is co-hosted by Allison Langer (www.allisonlanger.com) and Andrea Askowitz (www.andreaaskowitz.com). Writing Class Radio is produced by Virginia Lora, Andrea Askowitz and Allison Langer and sponsored by The Launchpad at The University of Miami, which aims to make the practice of entrepreneurship available to all students and alumni.  Theme music is by Justina Shandler. Additional music is by Kevin Myles Wilson and Podington Bear. For more Camile Flosi Araujo find her at https://www.facebook.com/camileflosiaraujo/. There’s more writing class on our website (www.writingclassradio.com), Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/writingclassradio/) and Twitter (@wrtgclassradio). If you love the lessons you get on each episode, you can get them ALL in one place--our three-part video series. Through summer 2019, you get three videos for the price of two. That’s $40 for the series. Click on Video Classes on our website. Writing Class Radio is now open to submissions from our listeners. Go to the submissions page on our website for guidelines. We pay! If you want to be a part of the movement that helps people better understand each other through storytelling, we’ve made it easy for you to get involved. We are now on Patreon. For $10/month you can join Andrea’s submissions support group. We’ll support each other as we try to get our stories published. For $25/month you can join Allison’s weekly writers club (Tuesdays 12-1pm ET), where you can write and share your work. Go to www.Patreon.com/writingclassradio or click here to support us.

June 19, 2019

What's a Meta Phor?

Hear how to make a metaphor work in your essay