Episodes

April 03, 2018

Voices in Your Head

Writing is a gift of yourself. It should give the reader or listener a glimpse inside. It should be something true and new and vulnerable. In a story, we reveal ourselves through voice. What we mean by voice in a story is the tone, the mood, and the personality of the narrator. Voice can be created by word choice, sentence structure, and even punctuation. The way someone tells a story out loud plays a big role in how we receive the story, but in today’s episode, we are talking about voice as it appears on the page. We’re also talking about what happens in life when you lose your voice. Finding your voice is the most important element in storytelling. You should write like you speak because that’s what makes your story yours, and it helps the listener or reader connect with you. If you don’t use your true voice then your story doesn’t sound true. To avoid sounding fake, think of one person who knows you well. and write to that person. You’ll hear stories from Allison Langer, Lia Seirotti and Missy Hernandez. Their word choices, and their familiar tones reveal so much about each narrator. Missy’s story also shows what happens when you lose your voice, and not because of laryngitis. Someone got into her brain and she lost her sense of self. Thank you for listening to Writing Class Radio. 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 produced by Virginia Lora, Allison Langer (www.allisonlanger.com) and Andrea Askowitz (www.andreaaskowitz.com). If you have a business or a startup and need help telling your story, Andrea will come to your office and teach all your employees how to better articulate why they do what they do. Do it! Stories sell. Allison will come to your retreat and help guests write through their shit so they can live free and happier. Or, hire her to help your high schooler refine his/her college essay. Visit our musicians page to learn about the talented and generous people who allowed us to use their songs. There’s more writing class on our website(www.writingclassradio.com), Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/writingclassradio/) and Twitter (@wrtgclassradio). You can make writing a daily practice. We have a growing community of listeners who respond to our daily prompts and give feedback to each other. Join the party. Click on Daily Prompts on our website. If you love the lessons you get on each episode, you can get them ALL in one place--our three-part video series. $20 for one part or $50 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, please go to writingclassradio.com and hit the DONATE button.

March 07, 2018

Secret Pleasures, Who Are We to Judge?

On this episode, we’re talking about secret pleasures, with a twist. We’re bringing you the winner of our writing contest. We gave the prompt: Secret Pleasure and we got some good ones. Our winner, Erika Flynn from New York City is a professional mistress. She tells us how SHE is the secret pleasure. Lia Seirotti, a student in our class, tells a story called Ball and Chain, about her own secret pleasure. Both stories bring up the issue of fidelity. In writing class, we do our best to talk about the strength of the writing and leave the moralizing to our religious brethren. But in the case of these two stories, we think everyone’s going to have an opinion, so we give ours. This is the price of storytelling. We think it’s worth the price. Thank you for listening to Writing Class Radio. 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 produced by Virginia Lora, Allison Langer (www.allisonlanger.com) and Andrea Askowitz (www.andreaaskowitz.com). If you have a business or a startup and need help telling your story, Andrea will come to your office and teach all your employees how to better articulate why they do what they do. Do it! Stories sell. Allison will come to your retreat and help guests write through their shit so they can live free and happier. Or, hire her to help your high schooler refine his/her college essay. Visit our musicians page to learn about the talented and generous people who allowed us to use their songs. There’s more writing class on our website(www.writingclassradio.com), Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/writingclassradio/) and Twitter (@wrtgclassradio). You can make writing a daily practice. We have a growing community of listeners who respond to our daily prompts and give feedback to each other. Join the party. Click on Daily Prompts on our website. If you love the lessons you get on each episode, you can get them ALL in one place--our three-part video series. $20 for one part or $50 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, please go to writingclassradio.com and hit the DONATE button.

February 06, 2018

The Moment I Knew Everything Was About to Change

We’re in season 5! We decided, after 40 episodes, to follow a schedule. So please look out for us on the first Wednesday of every month. On this episode, we’re talking about moments. Going to a moment is a storytelling technique that requires the narrator to first remember something dramatic or important and then paint a scene. This technique works in memoir writing, fiction writing, in college essays and in your business marketing materials. If you remember a moment from childhood or last week, or whenever, there’s probably a reason. There’s probably a story there. Our job, as writers, is to discover why these moments have stayed with us. Student Karen Collazo is our first storyteller. Karen goes to a moment that takes her back to another moment that she fleshes out in scenes. Fleshing out the scene, really staying in the moment gives the story depth and clarity and helps the story come alive, like a movie. The second story is from inmate Luis Aracena. Luis is one of Allison’s students at the Dade Correctional Institution where she’s a facilitator for Exchange for Change. Luis reads his story American Hero. Thank you for listening to Writing Class Radio. 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 produced by Virginia Lora,  Allison Langer (www.allisonlanger.com) and Andrea Askowitz (www.andreaaskowitz.com). If you have a business or a startup and need help telling your story, Andrea will come to your office and teach all your employees how to better articulate why they do what they do. Do it! Stories sell. Allison will come to your retreat and help guests write through their shit so they can live free and happier. Or, hire her to help your high schooler refine his/her college essay. Visit our musicians page to learn about the talented and generous people who allowed us to use their songs. There’s more writing class on our website(www.writingclassradio.com), Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/writingclassradio/) and Twitter (@wrtgclassradio). You can make writing a daily practice. We have a growing community of listeners who respond to our daily prompts and give feedback to each other. Join the party. Click on Daily Prompts on our website. If you love the lessons you get on each episode, you can get them ALL in one place--our three-part video series. $20 for one part or $50 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, please go to writingclassradio.com and hit the DONATE button.

January 09, 2018

Likable Narrator: Be the Biggest Asshole in the Story

On this episode, we’re talking about creating a likable narrator. The narrator is the I in the story. It’s YOU. We see this a lot with beginner writers and we probably did this too, and that is tell a story about a time we were the hero. Sad truth: no one wants to hear how great you are. This is true in life too. What people connect to in stories and in life are times when you’re vulnerable. This is counterintuitive because everyone wants to show a good face, but we connect to a narrator who’s willing to admit something ugly. By “ugly” we mean the stuff you don’t want people to know. Stuff like, when you were a jealous bitch. When you lost your moral compass. When you were mean to your kids. The truths you spend most of your days covering up. To find the ugly in your story, tell the truth, without leaving out all the good shit out. Here are five ways: Dig deep. Admit something you haven’t told anyone. Look at yourself from your partner or kids' or best friend’s point of view. Always be the biggest asshole in your story. Use self deprecation. Student, Misha Mehrel shows that being a dick is a sure way to be a likable narrator. Misha told a stunning story in our last episode. Student Karen Collazo also shows that even admitting to being a potential thief--because she’s admitting the truth--makes you a likable narrator. Allison Langer also proves to be a likable narrator in a stunningly honest story called Ungrateful Little Piece of Shit. Announcement: Andrea is teaching How to Tell Your Story as part of CreativeLive’s Writing Week. You can watch live and for free on January 15, 2018 at noon Eastern. If you miss the live stream, catch her 90 minute class any time on CreativeLive.com Thank you for listening to Writing Class Radio. 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 produced by Misha Mehrel, Virginia Lora,  Allison Langer (www.allisonlanger.com) and Andrea Askowitz (www.andreaaskowitz.com). If you have a business or a startup and need help telling your story, Andrea will come to your office and teach all your employees how to better articulate why they do what they do. Do it! Stories sell. Allison will come to your retreat and help guests write through their shit so they can live free and happier. Or, hire her to help your high schooler refine his/her college essay. Visit our musicians page to learn about the talented and generous people who allowed us to use their songs. There’s more writing class on our website(www.writingclassradio.com), Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/writingclassradio/) and Twitter (@wrtgclassradio). You can make writing a daily practice. We have a growing community of listeners who respond to our daily prompts and give feedback to each other. Join the party. Click on Daily Prompts on our website. If you love the lessons you get on each episode, you can get them ALL in one place--our three-part video series. $20 for one part or $50 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, please go to writingclassradio.com and hit the DONATE button.

December 11, 2017

Get Out of Your Way and Write

On today’s episode we’re talking about getting out of our own way when writing a story. The writing process starts with getting the truth on paper. We write about situations or problems we’re dealing with or have dealt with, things we’re still trying to understand or resolve. The goal is getting to the reason we’re writing the story and what the story is really about. Andrea is a huge believer in writing and rewriting. That’s her process. A first draft is usually shit. Then the second draft all the way to the 222 draft, is usually still shit, but those drafts are critical for telling the story well. But with all this writing and rewriting, we can get in our own way. In this episode, you'll hear student Misha Mehrel’s story Bad Breath. Misha brought this piece to class a couple of weeks ago and it needed very little editing. You will hear an interview with Misha about his writing process. Misha was wary of writing about his father’s cancer diagnosis. What he did instead was start by writing about physical problems that had been bothering him. He wrote graphically and intimately about his breath and bowel movements, which served to free him up to write about his dad. To help you, the listener, loosen up, here are two prompt ideas. Body Odor or Menstrual Blood. See where that takes you. Look for past stories by Misha in previous episode (Hurricane Irma) and (Comfort Zone where he told a story about his hairy ass). Thank you for listening to Writing Class Radio. 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 produced by Virginia Lora,  Allison Langer (www.allisonlanger.com) and Andrea Askowitz (www.andreaaskowitz.com). If you have a business or a startup and need help telling your story, Andrea will come to your office and teach all your employees how to better articulate why they do what they do. Do it! Stories sell. Allison will come to your retreat and help guests write through their shit so they can live free and happier. Or, hire her to help your high schooler refine his/her college essay. Visit our musicians page to learn about the talented and generous people who allowed us to use their songs. There’s more writing class on our website(www.writingclassradio.com), Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/writingclassradio/) and Twitter (@wrtgclassradio). You can make writing a daily practice. We have a growing community of listeners who respond to our daily prompts and give feedback to each other. Join the party. Click on Daily Prompts on our website. If you love the lessons you get on each episode, you can get them ALL in one place--our three-part video series. $20 for one part or $50 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, please go to writingclassradio.com and hit the DONATE button.

November 21, 2017

Write Better by Mimicking the Masters

On today’s episode we’re talking about mimicking the masters the way you’d imagine a painting class in Paris that goes to the Louvre to practice painting like Leonardo de Vinci. We think it’s worth copying a method that works because we know it worked in the past. Learn the rules before breaking the rules. In this episode, you'll hear stories that mimic the style of Boys, a story by Rick Moody. Andrea took a class at the Miami Writers Institute with Brian Turner, author of the memoir, My Life as a Foreign Country. In an excerpt of his book, Turner mimicked Rick Moody. Our students mimicked Turner mimicking Moody. Nilsa Rivera, Leah Messing and Andrea Askowitz nailed it. This style enabled them to take the listener into their worlds. The stories were written in the third person, but were still extremely intimate and specific. Thank you for listening to Writing Class Radio. 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 produced by Virginia Lora,  Allison Langer (www.allisonlanger.com) and Andrea Askowitz (www.andreaaskowitz.com). If you have a business or a startup and need help telling your story, Andrea will come to your office and teach all your employees how to better articulate why they do what they do. Do it! Stories sell. Allison will come to your retreat and help guests write through their shit so they can live free and happier. Or, hire her to help your high schooler refine his/her college essay. Visit our musicians page to learn about the talented and generous people who allowed us to use their songs. There’s more writing class on our website(www.writingclassradio.com), Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/writingclassradio/) and Twitter (@wrtgclassradio). You can make writing a daily practice. We have a growing community of listeners who respond to our daily prompts and give feedback to each other. Join the party. Click on Daily Prompts on our website. If you love the lessons you get on each episode, you can get them ALL in one place--our three-part video series. $20 for one part or $50 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, please go to writingclassradio.com and hit the DONATE button.

November 01, 2017

Ready to Write that Memoir or Novel? Nov. is National Novel Writing Month

November is #NaNoWriMo (https://nanowrimo.org/), and we have executive director, Grant Faulkner (http://www.grantfaulkner.com/), on our show. Today we’re talking about novels because we go both ways. And also because storytelling principles are the same when writing fiction or nonfiction. Get inspired and join millions of people around the world who are racing to finish a book this month. Allison’s in the race. Grant is the Executive Director of National Novel Writing Month and the author of “Pep Talks For Writers. 52 Insights and Actions to Boost Your Creative Mojo.” Among other things, Faulkner talks about the importance of what you wear when you write, making time to write, and knowing thyself. You’ll hear from students Aaron Curtis and Liz Marquardt and producer Virginia Lora. They responded to one of Grant’s writing tips, You are what you wear. You will also hear from Mike Gonzalez, a student in the class Allison teaches at the Dade Correctional Institution as a facilitator for Exchange for Change (http://www.exchange-for-change.org/). Thank you for listening to Writing Class Radio. If you have a business or a startup and need help telling your story, Andrea will come to your office and teach all your employees how to better articulate why they do what they do. Do it! Stories sell. Allison will come to your retreat and help guests write through their shit so they can live free and happier. Or, hire her to help your high schooler refine his/her college essay. 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 produced by Virginia Lora, Allison Langer (www.allisonlanger.com) and Andrea Askowitz (www.andreaaskowitz.com). Visit our musicians page to learn about the talented and generous people who allowed us to use their songs. There’s more writing class on our website(www.writingclassradio.com), Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/writingclassradio/) and Twitter (@wrtgclassradio). You can make writing a daily practice. We have a growing community of listeners who respond to our daily prompts and give feedback to each other. Join the party. Click on Daily Prompts on our website. If you love the lessons you get on each episode, you can get them ALL in one place--our three-part video series. $20 for one part or $50 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, please go to writingclassradio.com and hit the DONATE button. Thanks to Matt Cundill from Matt Cundill Voiceovers for reading Mike’s story. If you need a voice (male or female) for your radio project or podcast contact Matt. (http://www.mattcundill.ca/)

October 17, 2017

Hurricanes and Stories Define Us, Since the Beginning of Time

On this episode of Writing Class Radio we ask for your support, because producing ain’t free. Please go to writingclassradio.com and hit the donate button. This podcast is equal parts heart (the truth) and art (the craft). This episode was conceived after Hurricane Irma blew through South Florida. The entire state seemed to be preoccupied if not scared to death, leading up to the moment Irma made landfall on September 10, 2017. Afterward, Andrea couldn’t wait to get back to class to write and share hurricane stories. But University of Miami was closed for repair, so she had to wait. In the meantime, she went to Rosh Hashanah services at Beth Am and was so moved by Rabbi Jaime Aklepi’s sermon, she went back a few days later with her recorder. You’ll hear how the rabbi of one of the biggest synagogues in Florida prepares for a sermon and how she prepared for this one, delivered just days after the community went through this traumatic event. She helped her congregation put the storm into perspective by repeating the story her father-in-law told her of being herded away to Siberia by the Russians, when he was 9 years old. His stories came out for the first time in the dark during the storm. Rabbi Aklepi says we are shaped by the stories we share. Stories hold us together as a community. They help us make sense of difficult times and in doing so help us survive. This episode is also a collaboration with The Miami Foundation’s #MyMiamiStories. In this episode, you will hear students Karen Collazo, Misha Mehrel, Allison Langer, and teacher Andrea Askowitz tell their raw, first draft stories in response to the prompt A Hurricane’s Coming, Stay or Go. You’ll also hear from listeners Valerie Vargas and Carol Coombes. Thank you for listening to Writing Class Radio. If you have a business or a startup and need help telling your story, Andrea will come to your office and teach all your employees how to better articulate why they do what they do. Do it! Stories sell. Allison will come to your retreat and help guests write through their shit so they can live free and happier. Or, hire her to help your high schooler refine his/her college essay. 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 produced by Virginia Lora, Allison Langer (www.allisonlanger.com) and Andrea Askowitz (www.andreaaskowitz.com). Visit our musicians page to learn about the talented and generous people who allowed us to use their songs. There’s more writing class on our website(www.writingclassradio.com), Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/writingclassradio/) and Twitter (@wrtgclassradio). You can make writing a daily practice. We have a growing community of listeners who respond to our daily prompts and give feedback to each other. Join the party. Click on Daily Prompts on our website. If you love the lessons you get on each episode, you can get them ALL in one place--our three-part video series. $20 for one part or $50 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, please go to writingclassradio.com and hit the DONATE button.

September 19, 2017

What Makes You You?

This episode of Writing Class Radio is dedicated to everyone who’s dealing with some kind of natural disaster. For us in Florida, the last two weeks have been all consuming and also terrifying. Our hearts go out to those who got hit a lot harder than we did. We love that we have this podcast to come back to and we feel so much love and appreciation for you, our listeners. Thank you for listening. Today’s episode is about character, the things that make you you. We have a special guest, the author, Tiphanie Yanique who’s won tons of awards including the 2016 Bocas Prize in Caribbean Poetry, the National Book Foundation’s 5 Under 35, a Pushcart Prize, and a Fulbright Scholarship. Tiphanie says character is the most important element in storytelling and lays out the ways character is created including how you look, your past experiences, belief systems, cultural background, religion, and what you inherit from your parents. In order to write well about your character, in a way that’s truly believable, you have to know yourself really well. You will hear student Nicki Post tell a story about her fears regarding what she may or may not inherit from her father. Plus, student Tobi Ash tells a story that reveals how culture and religion informed her character. You’ll also hear quick responses to the prompt: No One Would Ever Marry Me Because... by student Nilsa Rivera and student and producer Virginia Lora. Thank you for listening to Writing Class Radio.If you have a business or a startup and need help telling your story, Andrea will come to your office and teach all your employees how to better articulate why they do what they do. Do it! Stories sell. Allison will come to your retreat and help guests write through their shit so they can live free and happier. Or, hire her to help your high schooler refine his/her college essay. 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 produced by Misha Mehrel, Virginia Lora,  Allison Langer (www.allisonlanger.com) and Andrea Askowitz (www.andreaaskowitz.com). Visit our musicians page to learn about the talented and generous people who allowed us to use their songs. 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. $20 for one part or $50 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, please go to writingclassradio.com and hit the DONATE button. There’s no better way to understand ourselves and each other, than by writing and sharing our stories. Everyone has a story. What’s yours? and enjoy our craft talks. There’s no better way to understand ourselves and each other, than by writing and sharing our stories. Everyone has a story. What’s yours?

August 19, 2017

Let's Ignore Writing Class Protocol and Talk About Our Lives

In this episode, we go off the rails...a little. We invited our class into Allison’s living room where in addition to writing advice, we gave life advice. Allison believes that the better we know ourselves, the better our writing will be. Andrea was scared shitless. She thought the class would be more like a therapy session. Andrea likes the boundary set up in class. She thinks not being allowed to talk about someone’s life allows everyone to write more freely. She doesn’t want to be judged on her life, only on her writing. Since Allison was making the rules for this class, she allowed the students to comment on the narrator’s life and allowed the narrator to defend herself. Allison threw out the prompt, “good enough” and gave everyone 20 minutes to write. In addition to Andrea and Allison, you will hear a prompt response from student Lis Mesa as well as feedback from producer Virginia Lora and student Viccy Simon. Allison loved the experiment. She loved getting advice and thinks the discussion will help her writing. She loved being able to explain what she meant. And, unlike in class, she got to have the final word. But hearing everyone talk about everyone’s life and blabbing back and forth could become a total shit show in class. Complete chaos...Because, let’s face it, nobody really wants life advice. Thank you for listening to Writing Class Radio.If you have a business or a startup and need help telling your story, Andrea will come to your office and teach all your employees how to better articulate why they do what they do. Do it! Stories sell. Allison will come to your retreat and help guests write through their shit so they can live free and happier. Or, hire her to help your high schooler refine his/her college essay. 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 produced by Misha Mehrel, Virginia Lora,  Allison Langer (www.allisonlanger.com) and Andrea Askowitz (www.andreaaskowitz.com). Visit our musicians page to learn about the talented and generous people who allowed us to use their songs. 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. $20 for one part or $50 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, please go to writingclassradio.com and hit the DONATE button. There’s no better way to understand ourselves and each other, than by writing and sharing our stories. Everyone has a story. What’s yours? and enjoy our craft talks. There’s no better way to understand ourselves and each other, than by writing and sharing our stories. Everyone has a story. What’s yours?

August 01, 2017

Great Writing Starts With a Question. What Don’t You Understand?

In this episode, you will meet the winner of Writing Class Radio’s spring writing contest. The prompt: Write about something you don’t understand. Andrea suggests that great writing starts with a question. Writing is about figuring out what you don’t understand. It’s a discovery process. Contest winner, Jeana Fleming’s reads her story. After, Andrea and Allison weigh in on why they chose her story and what makes the writing so great. Allison talks about Exchange for Change, an organization based in Miami, Florida that offers writing classes to incarcerated men and women. Allison spends two hours every Wednesday with 16 inmates at the Dade Correctional Institute. She helps them write their true and personal stories. If you’d like to learn more about Exchange for change, head to their website. (https://www.exchange-for-change.org/) Thank you for listening to Writing Class Radio.If you have a business or a startup and need help telling your story, Andrea will come to your office and teach all your employees how to better articulate why they do what they do. Do it! Stories sell. Allison will come to your retreat and help guests write through their shit so they can live free and happier. Or, hire her to help your high schooler refine his/her college essay. 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 produced by Virginia Lora,  Allison Langer (www.allisonlanger.com) and Andrea Askowitz (www.andreaaskowitz.com). Visit our musicians page to learn about the talented and generous people who allowed us to use their songs. 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. $20 for one part or $50 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, please go to writingclassradio.com and hit the DONATE button. There’s no better way to understand ourselves and each other, than by writing and sharing our stories. Everyone has a story. What’s yours? and enjoy our craft talks. There’s no better way to understand ourselves and each other, than by writing and sharing our stories. Everyone has a story. What’s yours?

July 11, 2017

Will This Ever End?

In this episode, Allison and Andrea are talking about endings. How to end an essay when often the issues we write about are ongoing. Should we know the ending when we begin? Does the end of the essay have to show a change in the narrator? Can we show change or find meaning without distance? Can we leave the reader to interpret the ending or must we bang them over the head with the change? Listen as we answer these questions. We bring you examples of great endings from students Lis Mesa and Aaron Curtis, who worked on their stories in and out of class. Phoebe Scott, a listener in Tennessee and student Viccy Simon share short prompt responses. Andrea comments on what the students did so well in their stories. Both stories end in a scene, which is what Joyce Maynard does in a previous episode. Joyce tells writers to find a landing place that shows change. Thank you for listening to Writing Class Radio. If you have a business or a startup and need help telling your story, Andrea will come to your office and teach all your employees how to better articulate why they do what they do. Do it! Stories sell. Allison will come to your retreat and help guests write through their shit so they can live free and happier. Or, she can help your high schooler refine their college essay. 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 produced by Virginia Lora, Allison Langer (www.allisonlanger.com) and Andrea Askowitz (www.andreaaskowitz.com). Visit our musicians page to learn about the talented and generous people who allowed us to use their songs. 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. $20 for one part or $50 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, please go to writingclassradio.com and hit the DONATE button. There’s no better way to understand ourselves and each other, than by writing and sharing our stories. Everyone has a story. What’s yours? and enjoy our craft talks. There’s no better way to understand ourselves and each other, than by writing and sharing our stories. Everyone has a story. What’s yours?

June 19, 2017

Take Me Into Your World

In this episode, Allison and Andrea are talking about worlds again because Andrea got so excited by Nilsa’s story in the episode Can You Hear Me if I Can't Hear You? where she brought us into the world of the hearing impaired. In class Andrea had us make a list of the worlds we live in. Then she said, “Pick one and take us into that world.” Allison wrote: single mom, tennis player, online dater, windsurfer, gym rat, health nut, tighty-whitey. Andrea wrote: mom, daughter, younger sibling, gemini, Miamian, bike rider, curly haired person, lesbian, softball lesbian. She tried to get as specific as possible. When she hit on softball lesbian, she decided to explore that world. The first story is by student Viccy Simon who takes us into her world of a minyan, which is a ten person Jewish prayer group. Then Andrea tells her story, Softball Lesbian. Thank you for listening to Writing Class Radio. If you have a business or a startup and need help telling your story. Andrea will come to your office and teach all your employees how to better articulate why they do what they do. Do it! stories sell. Allison will come to your retreat and help guests write through their shit so they can live free and happier. Allison also coaches high schoolers with their college essays. 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 produced by Virginia Lora, Allison Langer (www.allisonlanger.com) and Andrea Askowitz (www.andreaaskowitz.com). Visit our musicians page to learn about the talented and generous people who allowed us to use their songs. 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. $20 for one part or $50 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, please go to writingclassradio.com and hit the DONATE button. There’s no better way to understand ourselves and each other, than by writing and sharing our stories. Everyone has a story. What’s yours? and enjoy our craft talks. There’s no better way to understand ourselves and each other, than by writing and sharing our stories. Everyone has a story. What’s yours?

May 19, 2017

How to Write Your True Story with Joyce Maynard

The format for this episode is a little different. Today we’re bringing you a guest teacher, because we think it’s smart to get different perspectives. Joyce Maynard is one of Andrea’s favorite teachers in the world. Joyce has 17 books and has been writing for 50 years. She started when since she was 13. Andrea asked Joyce to read and deconstruct her essay, Letting it Fly which was originally published in 1997 in the New York Times Lives Column. In the interview, Joyce explains what goes into writing a great story and tells us her secrets to making a good essay great. Thank you for listening to Writing Class Radio. If you have a business or a startup and need help telling your story. Andrea will come to your office and teach all your employees how to better articulate why they do what they do. Do it! stories sell. Allison will come to your retreat and help guests write through their shit so they can live free and happier. 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 produced by Virginia Lora,  Allison Langer (www.allisonlanger.com) and Andrea Askowitz (www.andreaaskowitz.com). Visit our musicians page to learn about the talented and generous people who allowed us to use their songs. 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. $20 for one part or $50 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, please go to writingclassradio.com and hit the DONATE button. There’s no better way to understand ourselves and each other, than by writing and sharing our stories. Everyone has a story. What’s yours? and enjoy our craft talks. There’s no better way to understand ourselves and each other, than by writing and sharing our stories. Everyone has a story. What’s yours?

April 21, 2017

Can You Hear Me if I Can't Hear You?

This episode is about connecting through writing. It’s also about the job of storytellers to bring us into their world. New student, Nilsa Rivera, tells a story about her fear of isolation, which stems from a very unique set of circumstances--she’s hard of hearing. She uses writing to fight that fear. Andrea relates to Nilsa in a very small way and emails her after class, which she immediately regrets doing. In class, students (and teacher) are only allowed to give feedback on the writing, not someone’s life because whether or not a reader or listener has had the exact same experience is irrelevant. What readers relate to is the emotion. When a story is well-told anyone can relate. You will hear how Nilsa felt about Andrea’s email and more about what it sounds like to be hard of hearing. Thank you for listening. If you love this podcast, tell your friends. 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 produced by Diego Saldana-Rojas, Virginia Lora,  Allison Langer (www.allisonlanger.com) and Andrea Askowitz (www.andreaaskowitz.com). Visit our musicians page to learn about the talented and generous people who allowed us to use their songs. 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. $20 for one part or $50 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, please go to writingclassradio.com and hit the DONATE button. There’s no better way to understand ourselves and each other, than by writing and sharing our stories. Everyone has a story. What’s yours? and enjoy our craft talks. There’s no better way to understand ourselves and each other, than by writing and sharing our stories. Everyone has a story. What’s yours?

March 23, 2017

Who Has Time?

Get ready folks, Allison and Andrea are hosting this episode together: an episode about time. Student Allison Langer is obsessed with the lack of time she has lately. So, in class teacher, Andrea Askowitz, gave this prompt: I wish I had more time to_______. Andrea reads her story from class about wanting more time to work. Allison reads a story she brought into class about wanting more time PERIOD. You will also hear responses from students Diego Saldana-Rojas, Lis Mesa, Claudia Franklin and Viccy Simon. Allison and Andrea discuss the stories and try to figure out why people without children have no time. Ok, so maybe they have a full time job, but still. We’d love to know how your life is affected by time? If you have time, send us your thoughts on twitter @wrtgclassradio. Or on our Facebook page or email us at info@writingclassradio.com Thank you for listening. If you love this podcast, tell your friends. 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 produced by Diego Saldana-Rojas, Virginia Lora,  Allison Langer (www.allisonlanger.com) and Andrea Askowitz (www.andreaaskowitz.com). Visit our musicians page to learn about the talented and generous people who allowed us to use their songs. 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. $20 for one part or $50 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, please go to writingclassradio.com and hit the DONATE button. There’s no better way to understand ourselves and each other, than by writing and sharing our stories. Everyone has a story. What’s yours? and enjoy our craft talks. There’s no better way to understand ourselves and each other, than by writing and sharing our stories. Everyone has a story. What’s yours?

March 03, 2017

When Is It Okay to Bullshit?

Lies seem to be the new norm in our world. There’s probably a bumper sticker that says Lies Are the New Truth. Great bumper sticker, but it has Andrea Askowitz totally freaked out. Andrea is the teacher of the class and the host for this episode, which is about lies in stories and lies in the world. We start with a story by a new student, Claudia Franklin, that got us thinking about truth and lies in memoir and when, if ever, is lying fair game. Claudia’s story takes a surprising turn as she imagines what life would have been like if her father wasn’t the hen-pecked man he really was. Her story left Andrea wondering when, if ever, is trust broken between narrator and listener/reader. Fifteen years ago, Andrea took her first memoir writing class from Terrie Silverman who said, “Don’t let the facts get in the way of the truth.” Andrea took that to mean that it was okay to exaggerate or change little facts for the sake of a bigger emotional truth. There’s an unspoken pact between a memoir writer and reader or listener that says, what’s being shared is the truth. But what is the truth? In 2003, James Frey wrote a book called A Million Little Pieces that was distributed as memoir. But Frey stretched the truth. In one example, he wrote that he spent 87 days in jail. According to police records, he served 5 hours. A lot of people thought he lied, including Oprah. Andrea wrote a story once about taking her wife, Vicky, to a tantric sex retreat. The story’s about how she couldn’t handle the intimacy and acted like a clown. In the privacy of their hotel room, they were instructed to stand facing each other, perform pelvic thrusts back and forth, then arm motions with elbows in, and hands out to the sides. Andrea added jazz hands. Except she didn’t actually add jazz hands in their hotel room. In the story she wrote, she added jazz hands because that perfectly expressed her feelings in that moment. Allison Langer, co-producer and student in the class, challenged her. When Andrea says she tells the truth, Allison says, “What about jazz hands?” Before this current presidential election, Andrea would have defended jazz hands as an expression of her truth. Now she’s not sure. Because now something has shifted in our culture. Now, we don’t know what we’re getting from America’s highest office. And now with the normalization of lies no one knows what to believe. So, in a panic, Andrea called Terrie Silverman, to ask her if storytellers can be trusted anymore. Terrie alleviates Andrea’s fears. She says that the rules and intentions are different in storytelling and politics. Politicians intend to manipulate. And the number one intention of the memoir writer is to get to his or her truth. Now Andrea thinks that if anything has changed for storytellers because of the lying culture we’ve been thrust into lately, it’s that now, more than ever, we need jazz hands. When do you think it’s okay to bullshit? We want to hear from you. Send us your thoughts on Twitter @wrtgclassradio. Or on our Facebook page or email us info@writingclassradio.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 produced by Diego Saldana-Rojas, Virginia Lora,  Allison Langer (www.allisonlanger.com) and Andrea Askowitz (www.andreaaskowitz.com). Visit our musicians page to learn about the talented and generous people who allowed us to use their songs. 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. $20 for one part or $50 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, please go to writingclassradio.com and hit the DONATE button. There’s no better way to understand ourselves and each other, than by writing and sharing our stories. Everyone has a story. What’s yours? and enjoy our craft talks. There’s no better way to understand ourselves and each other, than by writing and sharing our stories. Everyone has a story. What’s yours?

February 15, 2017

Writing is Therapy

This episode looks at writing as therapy. We look at writing as a way to understand these things we carry: secrets, pain, and shame. Allison Langer, a student in the class, is the host of this episode. Three new students share their stories. Michelle Massanet tells about a rape that she hid for 22 years and how much lighter she feels since writing about it. Lis Mesa explores getting to the real story she’s been trying to tell all semester and Jennifer Dertouzos finally talks about her brother’s suicide on the last night of class. Allison came to class to learn the rules of writing and to get better at it but never imagine that writing down all her hidden shit and then sharing it would feel so therapeutic. Listeners will hear questions Allison has been forced to look at in her life. Things like why did she marry a man with addiction problems? Was she trying to save him? Fix him? What does that say about her? She’s also written about the difficult relationship she has with her mom, her ex-boyfriend’s suicide, her pathetic dating life, her children, her wrinkles, and her tits. Like Allison, many new students eventually write about a trauma they have hidden and carried for way too long. There is an emotional release, and then their writing changes. The shame is lifted. They seem free and their stories roll out. Brene Brown is someone who has dedicated her life to researching shame and vulnerability. Her TED talks are something we suggest our first time students to listen to or watch because we want them to open up, have the courage to be vulnerable, to be seen, to be honest. Brown says, “We have to talk about shame. Life is about daring greatly.” We think writing the truth is daring greatly and we know from experience that once you’re vulnerable on the page, you feel better in life. One of our listeners, Loree Schrager is a therapist who told us she refers our podcast to her clients. Allison spent an hour with Loree, milking her for free therapy and talking about why she recommends our podcast to her patients. She said, “When you write things down it helps you make sense of them, and get some perspective. Think about change. See a little bit clearer.” Class can feel like therapy although we comment on the writing, not the trauma, which diffuses the emotion. Thank you for listening to Writing Class Radio. If you love our show, please tell your friends. If you’d like to participate in one of our workshops, visit our website. 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 produced by Diego Saldana-Rojas, Virginia Lora,  Allison Langer (www.allisonlanger.com) and Andrea Askowitz (www.andreaaskowitz.com). Visit our musicians page to learn about the talented and generous people who allowed us to use their songs. 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. $20 for one part or $50 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, please go to writingclassradio.com and hit the DONATE button. There’s no better way to understand ourselves and each other, than by writing and sharing our stories. Everyone has a story. What’s yours? and enjoy our craft talks. There’s no better way to understand ourselves and each other, than by writing and sharing our stories. Everyone has a story. What’s yours?

February 01, 2017

A Time I Fucked Up Part 2

We picked two winners of our first annual writing contest. Listeners responded to the prompt: A Time I Fucked Up. We got tons of submissions revealing your major fuck ups and tons revealing your little mess ups. One woman’s vacation slideshow accidentally included a naked selfie. Another woman almost killed a sheep. One did kill a chicken. And here’s what gringa Hope Torrents said to her Spanish mother-in-law on Thanksgiving. “Hoy es el dia del polvo,” which means, “Today is the the day of the fuck.” What we know about good storytelling is that it doesn’t matter if the mistake was big or small. The story is not as much about what happened to a person, as what the storyteller makes of that experience. Susan Buttenweiser is the winner featured on this episode. She teaches writing in New York City public schools, in a women’s prison and in a juvenile facility. In her story about getting into a bar fight, she discovers a persistent character trait--a need to be needed. Sometimes that need puts her in danger. But she re-channels that urge into motherhood. Diego Saldana-Rojas, our audio producer and student in the class, responded to the prompt with a story about the time he fucked up the audio at Writing Class Radio’s live show. Diego is extremely hard on himself and takes the listener into a dark fantasy about torturing himself for repeated failures. Like Susan, Diego is looking to discover what it is about him, what is that persistent trait, that sets him up for failure. Thank you for listening to Writing Class Radio. We hope you enjoyed hearing from our listeners. 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 produced by Diego Saldana-Rojas, Virginia Lora,  Allison Langer (www.allisonlanger.com) and Andrea Askowitz (www.andreaaskowitz.com). Visit our musicians page to learn about the talented and generous people who allowed us to use their songs. 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. $20 for one part or $50 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, please go to writingclassradio.com and hit the DONATE button. There’s no better way to understand ourselves and each other, than by writing and sharing our stories. Everyone has a story. What’s yours? and enjoy our craft talks. There’s no better way to understand ourselves and each other, than by writing and sharing our stories. Everyone has a story. What’s yours?

January 11, 2017

A Time I FUCKED Up

This is the prompt we threw out to listeners for our first annual writing contest. Listeners wrote in with lots of crazy and sad and funny stories. One of our winners was Melissa Vincel, who wrote an essay that stood out for its simplicity, clarity, and subject matter. Instead of the all-too-common story about the jilted lover, Melissa was the jilter. Plus, she answered our teacher, Andrea Askowitz’s, three most important questions. What has the author come to say? Why is she writing this now? And how has she changed? In this episode, Melissa reads her essay then speaks with host and student, Allison Langer, about the details that were impossible to include in 1,200 words or fewer...but details we were all dying to know. The subject of sexuality, specifically homosexuality, is discussed from the viewpoint of a confused teenager and then reflected upon as a heterosexual adult almost twenty years later. Thank you for listening to Writing Class Radio. We hope you enjoyed hearing from one of our listeners. Look out for our next contest, the prompt has not yet been revealed. If you’d like to participate in one of our workshops, visit our website. 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 Diego Saldana-Rojas, Andrea Askowitz and Allison Langer. Visit our musicians page to learn about the talented and generous people who allowed us to use their songs. 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. $20 for one part or $50 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, please go to writingclassradio.com and hit the DONATE button. There’s no better way to understand ourselves and each other, than by writing and sharing our stories. Everyone has a story. What’s yours?

December 14, 2016

I Fart, You Fart, We All Fart and Most of Us Deny It.

Allison Langer is a student in the class and the host on this episode of Writing Class Radio. She shares all the reasons why writing class is so much fun. FUN-- a theme chosen because life has gotten too busy, too scheduled and way too serious. In writing class, we laugh. We disconnect from social media and from judgement. We share our most intimate and peculiar “things” and then cry or crack up, whatever the context requires. Instead of judgement, there’s compassion, requests for more details, suggestions to make the second draft better. In writing class, we bond through story and life experiences. This episode hopes to show the humorous side of writing class; the goofy, first draft silliness that happens when we can write as if nobody is listening. The students you will hear responded to prompts given in class. Misha Mehrel tells us about the time he and his dad pretended to have accents just for the fun of it. Nicki Post reveals a secret: she squeezes and releases her butt cheeks all day long. Why does she do this? Listen and find out. Allison reveals her once private and now not so private “things.” But first, Allison invites her dad and everyone who has ever dated her or anyone who plans to date her to tune out. With just fifteen minutes left in class one evening, Andrea throws out a random word as a prompt. The word: Fart. Everyone let’s it rip: Diego Saldana Rojas, Chaplin Tyler, Nicki, Misha and even Andrea Askowitz, the teacher of the class. You’ll learn about HAFE (high altitude flatus expulsion)...a real thing. And then Andrea and Allison discuss what stories about farts says about someone’s character. We hope you enjoy sitting in on our writing class. If you’d like to participate in a real writing class, visit our website for options all over the world including our miami workshops offered every other month. 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 Andy Benoit, Andrea Askowitz and Allison Langer. Visit our musicians page to learn about the talented and generous people who allowed us to use their songs. 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. $20 for one part or $50 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, please go to writingclassradio.com and hit the DONATE button. There’s no better way to understand ourselves and each other, than by writing and sharing our stories. Everyone has a story. What’s yours?

November 23, 2016

Walking in Someone Else’s Shoes Feels Impossible Right Now

Andrea Askowitz is the host of this episode. She talks about how writing a good story and understanding the results of this presidential election require a mammoth effort in understanding someone else’s point of view, an effort she is failing at right now. She interviews Stephen Elliott, who is the author of seven books and two movies and the founder and senior editor at The Rumpus, about the job of a memoir writer. Stephen says that in literature, memoir and in life there are no bad guys. “Everybody is part hero and part villain. Most people know that intuitively. But sometimes in our writing we get so angry at somebody that we decide to portray them as strictly a villain. And we forget that somebody loves them. That they’re capable of love. That they do good things. We don’t look for the reasons why they do what they do. We paint them as evil and that’s just never an accurate portrayal of anybody, so it comes off as false because you’re not really exploring that person’s character.” It is our job, according to Stephen, to strive for honesty, which is not someplace you arrive at, but a constant quest. To get her students closer to the real truth, Andrea had them write from another person’s point of view or to put themselves in another person’s position. Chaplin tries to understand his dad by writing about a time they worked the same difficult job. Allison Langer also tries to understand her ex-boyfriend Gerald by writing letters in Gerald’s voice. Andrea and Allison have a conversation about a time recently when Allison stepped into someone else’s shoes. She was teaching a writing class and felt challenged by one of the students. Allison was able, in the moment, to realize that the student probably just needed to be known as someone more than the way she appeared. Andrea on the other hand, has been struggling for months to put herself in her friend, Esther’s shoes. Esther spent the months leading up to the election spewing vitriol against Hillary Clinton, including arguments professing women’s inferiority. Andrea knows that to tell an honest story, she has to be able to really understand Esther’s motivations. But she’s not sure she can. Certainly not now. Yaddyra Peralta, a new student in Writing Class Radio, does the hard work in figuring out why her brother, who hurt her, did what he did. 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 Diego Saldana-Rojas, Andrea Askowitz and Allison Langer. Visit our musicians page to learn about the talented and generous people who allowed us to use their songs. 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. $20 for one part or $50 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, please go to writingclassradio.com and hit the DONATE button. There’s no better way to understand ourselves and each other, than by writing and sharing our stories. Everyone has a story. What’s yours?

October 28, 2016

How To Tell Your Inappropriate Story: Live Show with Ann Randolph

Writing Class Radio goes live to the stage. This episode is part live show, part interview with star of our show, the award-winning, solo-performer, Ann Randolph. Allison Langer is our host. This episode is about the importance of telling stories--not fairy tales, but the real scary, true stories we like to hide. Allison got into writing after the death of her young daughter. Writing about the situation helped her deal with the pain and get back to the job of mothering her other children. Telling that story also helped her let go of the label she cast on herself as that woman who lost a child. Listen to how she learned to get personal with her writing. Andrea tells the story of being rejected by a man when she was 8 months pregnant after being inseminated with donor sperm. When a man offers to give Andrea a massage, she gets excited by the possibility of finally getting laid, even though she’s a lesbian. Andrea describes the massage in very intimate detail. She also shares her shame from the ultimate rejection and how that shame disappeared when she told her story in her very first writing class. Ann Randolph was a student in that class. Andrea feels forever indebted to Ann for laughing at her pain. Ann tells the story of how she worked her way up to performing off-Broadway and then lost it all. Ann persists in telling her stories even after being called inappropriate or failing miserably and ending up broke. When Ann goes off mic, Allison asks Ann why she comes out on stage in costume as Shanti Lightgiver and then disrobes. Ann tells us what she goes through each time she walks into a new theater. She talks about the time she bombed and how she recovers from failure. She details her experience with producers Mel Brooks and Anne Bancroft and how her dream of being a successful performer almost came true. Ann then takes the audience through a writing exercise, where several of them step to the mic and tell their own stories. 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 Diego Saldana-Rojas, Andrea Askowitz and Allison Langer. Visit our musicians page to learn about the talented and generous people who allowed us to use their songs. 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. $20 for one part or $50 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, please go to writingclassradio.com and hit the DONATE button. There’s no better way to understand ourselves and each other, than by writing and sharing our stories. Everyone has a story. What’s yours?

September 09, 2016

Where Do I Go From Here?

This episode is about those moments in life when you have no idea how you got here, whether to stay or go, or where to go next. Allison Langer, student in the class and host for this episode, asks the questions most of us struggle with. Did you land that dream job that turned out to be not so dreamy? Do you wish you lived somewhere else but can’t afford to move? Do you wonder what life would be like if you could just finish school already? Have you ever reached that point when you’re not sure you want to go on at all? Writing Class Radio teacher, Andrea Askowitz forces Diego, our audio producer to write stories in class, then finish the stories at home. Finally, at the end of the 2nd semester, Diego did his homework. He reads his story What Next? Allison asks Diego why he didn’t ask his former editor for a recommendation. Diego confesses that he messed up a few times and did not feel confident his editor would give him a good recommendation. Even though it was his first job, he felt like he couldn’t mess up. Diego wonders if he should just give up freelance audio to become a bartender, a much less stressful job. He was not the only person with this question. Three other students in the class were also uncertain they were on the right path. Nicki Post, student in the class and a regular on the podcast, tells the story of leaving city after city and starting over, which worked until she found a group of friends in Miami she didn’t want to leave. Nicki’s stories got Allison thinking about why people leave: college, new job, marriage, divorce, failure. In Diego’s case, fear prevents him from leaving. In Nicki’s case, fear causes her to leave. Student Missy Hernandez tells us about a time she felt she had nowhere left to go. Her mom took her to the psych emergency room when she had thoughts about killing herself. Karen Collazo, a student in the class is in her 30’s, had the great job in NYC and was miserable. She reminds us of Noelle Hancock, who left a $95,000 writing job in NYC to scoop ice cream in St. John. Noelle wrote an essay for cosmo.com. There’s more Karen on our blog at www.writingclassradio.com. Diego and Allison talked about the imposter syndrome? That feeling where you think you don’t deserve your job because you’re not good at it. Cheryl Strayed, author of Wild and the host of the podcast Dear Sugar Radio, said she feels like an imposter, so did Gretchen Rubin, the author of The Happiness Project. 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 Diego Saldana-Rojas, Andrea Askowitz and Allison Langer with editorial help from Sonesh Chainani. Visit our musicians page to learn about the talented and generous people who allowed us to use their songs. 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. $20 for one part or $50 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, please go to writingclassradio.com and hit the DONATE button. There’s no better way to understand ourselves and each other, than by writing and sharing our stories. Everyone has a story. What’s yours?