Literary Podcasts

[2010 UPDATE: Please note that the below list has become outdated. In May 2010, I prepared an updated list of literary podcasts that is more reflective of the present landscape. I’m leaving this post unmodified so that anybody who wishes to track the podcast scene in 2005 has a resource.]

Like Maud, I’m finding it difficult to keep track of all the literary podcasts. The latest publishing company to enter the fray is Penguin, with the Penguin Podcast. This makes Penguin the second big publisher after Simon & Schuster. (And of course, there’s also Moby Lives Radio.) Personally, I’m waiting to see if Richard Nash will throw his hat into the podcasting ring.

Here’s a rundown of all the literary podcasts I’m aware of — some of them culled from The Millions. If anyone has any to include, please feel free and let me know and I’ll add them to the list.




  • Cory Doctorow: Thanks to the Creative Commons license, his works are now available in podcast form.
  • Scott Sigler: Sigler reads his novel-in-progress, Earthcore.


If you have any more, please let me know and I’ll add it to the list.

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  1. Any idea if anyone’s actually listening to all these podcasts? Then seem like, well, blog posts made harder to get at.

  2. Thank you for mentioning The Writing Show, Edward!

    Just to be a little more specific, our format is almost exclusively interviews. Our mission is to entertain, help, and engage writers by providing helpful information and inspiration for them. “Writing” pretty much means just that: books, screenplays, poetry, games, advertising, manuals, etc..

    When we interview writers, we focus largely on the craft and business of writing rather than strictly on the content of their work.

    We are very keen to get listeners’ feedback and suggestions so we can produce the best possible shows and Web site features. People can post to our blog and/or email me at paula at compulsivecreative dot com.

    Thanks again!

    Best regards,
    Paula Berinstein
    Producer and host

  3. Yes, J. We’re getting about 4000 downloads a month right now. But we know that a lot of people don’t have time to listen, so we’re beefing up our Web site. We’ve got written transcripts of the interviews, and we’re adding a lot of text-based resources.

  4. I can vouch for Paula. I don’t have a precise figure, but I learned the other night that around 2,000 people are listening to each Segundo installment. This was a surprise to me, since I thought it was much less. I’ve had to upgrade my bandwidth limits so that I don’t pay too much for this.

  5. Well, Ed, you’ve put my measly little “Literary Podcasts” post to shame. For the betterment of my readers I’ve added a link to your list to my post.

  6. Please add Raincoast Books to the publisher section. Vancouver-based Raincoast Books is the first publisher in Canada to start podcasting. The first episode launched yesterday and is available from iTunes by searching podcasts for “Raincoast”. The RSS feed is available from Feedburner: or

    Valid questions about who’s listening and accessibility. Apple’s June upgrade to iTunes included built in podcast functionality, making podcasts even easier to download and play. Seems more mainstream now than it was even a couple of months ago.

  7. Hello,

    Please add The Public Domain Podcast to your list:

    I’ve been reading texts from their public domain in their entirety and releasing them in weekly segments. Authors I’ve read so far include Jules Verne, Mark Twain, O. Henry, Lafcadio Hearn, Wilkie Collins and Edgar Allen Poe. I have both short stories and novels in my collection.

    I’m also an occasional volunteer reader for Librivox.


  8. May I be so bold as to mention my literature podcast? “Postcards from Gravelly Beach” features me reading from literary stalwarts – from Russians to the beats – along with smatterings from original works, backed by an eclectic assortment of music. Recent episodes include snippets from G.G. Marquez, N. Soseki, R. Bratigan, G.Snyder, E. Abbey, R. Carver, and many others… One may also subscribe via iTunes or just visit my website, Uncleweed.Net. Enjoy!

  9. I am a graduate student working on my second master’s degree in literacy for birth through grade 6 and I have chosen to build a thesis rather than take the comprehensive exam. In one of my courses, I developed a webquest utilizing podcasting technology to create presentations for a class in the History of American Popular Music. Continuing with this theme, I recently co-presented at a conference for Universal Design for Learning with a faculty member and our topic was “Podcasting & Possibilities.” Librivox was one of the favorite resources I shared with attendees. For my thesis, I am investigating the potential uses of podcasting for educators of literacy (though it is applicable to all curricular areas). If you have any questions or suggestions I would love to hear from you!

  10. Thank you so much for this list! And hey, that Bat Guano show ain’t too bad…

    My suggestion would be the podcast of “Writer’s & Company” on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Host Eleanor Wachtel interviews major writers from all over the world, even a few Canadians now and again. I have the feeling that most writer’s are impressed with her (and probably her research staff’s) amazingly comprehensive knowledge of their works. Her interviews are an hour long and comprehensive.

    Wachtel is a national treasure for literature in Canada. Now by the magic of podcasting, more can enjoy.

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