Taught by Associate Professor and Director of Creative Writing Daniel Torday, offered again in Spring 2020.
What's Cool: For years I've wanted to offer a Writing for Radio class—WHYY is such a major resource, and I've done some work with Fresh Air with Terry Gross. Terry also had me on her show as a guest a couple years back. By the time we got it on the books, podcasting was exploding, and I'd just started a podcast with a novelist friend. So I figured: why not just bring a bunch of radio producers through, and be a student along with the students? Just spend a whole semester asking the true experts all the questions I wanted to know, too? There were tons of Tri-Co students who jumped at the idea, and we have an amazing group of Bryn Mawr, Haverford, and Swarthmore students. Being in the trenches with this group, I've learned so, so much—both from the experts, and from our amazing students.
Course Description: What are the literary, written, and oral skills that come together to make a lasting, successful radio show? How do those skills and processes translate to the boom in podcasting in the past almost-decade? This course will explore the craft of writing for audio sources by focusing on the skills, processes, and techniques necessary to the generation and production of radio and podcast pieces. Using the information-gathering tools of a journalist, the analytical tools of an essayist, and the narrative and technical tools of a prose writer, students will study contemporary and historical radio and podcasts in the interest of creating their own pieces. The central focus of the course will be weekly visits from current radio writers, producers and on-air personalities, including local and national NPR producers, commentators, and reporters.
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