I agree with this whole-heartedly! But I also find it really helpful to listen to authors and illustrators talk about their work. Something about the interview format allows remarkable insights and wonderful bits of inspiration to pop up among information and advice. And it's just cool to put voices to names!
Lucky for kidlit creators, there are many terrific podcasts about writing for children.
Perhaps my favorite is ALL THE WONDERS, co-founded by Matthew Winner and Blake Hamilton. The 400th episode will air on November 3. What an accomplishment! Matthew has a way of bringing out memorable moments in his interviews. These recently included Dan Santat explaining his dedication of AFTER THE FALL, Debbie Ridpath Ohi talking about lightning striking, and Marcie Colleen giving a mini-lesson on writing chapter books. Matthew recently selected his Top Ten Picture Book Episodes, which will be accompanying me on my drive to work for the next week or so.
THE YARN is a School Library Journal audio blog by Travis Jonker, an elementary school librarian and Colby Sharp, an elementary school teacher. The episodes run the gamut of children's book creators. Next up in my queue is a recording of a panel of picture book creators from the ALA conference in Chicago this past summer.
This past summer, when I knew I would be spending quite a bit of time on the road, I asked the members of KidLit411 for their suggestions of great podcasts. Of course, fellow authors and illustrators came to the rescue with some brilliant suggestions!
Marcie Flinchum Atkins suggested BOOK CLUB FOR KIDS, and it has totally won my heart. Kids take the lead with author interviews, and celebrity guests chime in with readings. They have an impressive list of episodes. Delightful! Dan Gemeinhart (really tall man and wonderful writer) is featured on Episode 33.
Mike Sundy suggested STORIES UNBOUND, a podcast series by Shawna JC Tenney at the Oakley Academy of Visual Storytelling. Many of the episodes feature industry professionals like editors, art directors, agents, book promoters and more. Mike himself is featured in Episode 16, where he talks about indie vs. traditional publishing.
Michelle Cusolito pulled me in by my Anglophile heartstrings with her suggestion of DOWN THE RABBIT HOLE RADIO, with over 40 episodes that discuss a wide variety of children's books. I love keeping in touch with what is going on in kids' books in the UK, and the website lists the books being discussed so I can hunt them down through my local library (hello, interlibrary loan!). I loved Episode 38, "Books to help in troubling times," with its encouragement of empathy.
Fellow kidlit friends had so many suggestions! Here is a list of other podcasts they suggested:
WHY I WRITE
INDIE KIDLIT PODCAST
LULU AND BEAN
CANDLEWICK PRESS PRESENTS, a month of podcasts from the publisher. For YA, CAST OF WONDERS.
For illustrators, THE ART OF SHOW.
For inspiration, 88 CUPS OF TEA.
Addictive! HARRY POTTER AND THE SACRED TEXT
For adult ears only, KIDLIT DRINK NIGHT and RACHEL AND SAM READ A STORY. (Hysterical!)
Thank you to everyone who made suggestions. In addition to those listed above, the following folks helped with this list: Katey Howes, Penny Parker Klostermann, Hagit Oron, Sara Gentry, Gaia Cornwall, Rachel Menard, Jennifer Stoner, and Emma Bland Smith. (Please forgive me if I missed your name. Give yourself a shout out in the comments below!)