writing class radio

writing class radio

Writing Class Radio is for people who love true, personal stories and want to learn how to write their own stories. There's no better way to understand ourselves and each other than by writing and telling our stories. Everyone has a story. What's yours?


March 22, 2023 26 min

This episode showcases the effectiveness of using the story spine structure. The story spine is a story structure as old as time. It’s the model every fairytale follows. It works really well for all stories because it’s intuitive. It’s in our collective unconscious. 

You will hear three prompt responses from Writing Class Radio’s First Annual Key Largo Writing Retreat. We told our students to think about a time everyth...

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Today on our show, we’re talking about how to write about a situation that is ongoing. Typically, at the end of an essay, the narrator writes about what they learned or how they changed. But what if transition IS the change? What happens if there is no happy (or sad) ending…yet?

On this episode, Ariane Malfait writes about her transition–-one that is still in progress and may always be. Ariane tells the story of shedding th...

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On this episode, we bring you a story written by Dr. Jane Marks, a conservation ecologist and professor of Aquatic Ecology at Northern Arizona University (NAU). 

Jane came to Writing Class Radio with the goal of making her academic writing more personal. What she didn’t realize is that writing class, specifically writing personal essays, forces the narrator to go deep and ask the question WHY? Why am I writing this? Wh...

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February 8, 2023 28 min

Today on our show, we bring you a story by Pamela Druckerman that has voice, laugh out loud humor, and self knowing, which makes for a reliable narrator. The best part is the narrator doesn’t wait until the end to give a status report. We feel like we are on the adventure with her.

There are so many things the narrator does well in this essay including normalizing a threesome. She does this by using language and humor to br...

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Today on our show, we bring you a story by Sally Quon called Finding Home.

Sally’s story is an exercise in restraint. Andrea tried a little experiment with Sally’s submission in order to make the story more powerful. She asked Sally to cut all seven mentions of the word, abuse. Andrea learned of this technique while taking a course with Dan Wakefield who assigned the book Name All the Animals by Alison Smith. The book is ab...

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January 11, 2023 22 min

Today, we bring you a story by Terry Barr with a secret he’s kept most of his life. This story highlights the importance of telling the truth and letting go of shame, in this case, about sexual assault. You’ll also hear Terry’s pitch when he submitted his essay to the podcast. AND, we discuss structure. Terry’s structure is exactly what Allison loves. If you want to hear your own stories on Writing Class Radio, this is a g...

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December 28, 2022 39 min

On today’s episode, we’re bringing you an old episode that’s still relevant and awesome, in case you missed it back in season one.

You’ll meet a bunch of students from season 1: Frenchie, Tobi Ash, Cynthia Castillo, Bo, and Nicki Post. You’ll also hear a brief interview with each and the epic talent of Patricia Carlin, aka Frenchie, singing, playing piano, and whistling the tune of Auld Lang Syne. 

For the in-class prom...

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December 14, 2022 20 min

Today on our show, we bring you a story by Emily Henderson titled After Our Son Died, My Husband Gave Me The Most Meaningful Christmas Gift Of My Life. Emily workshopped this essay in our Final Draft class and then the Huffington Post published it on December 25, 2021. This story is an excellent example of using an object to convey emotion, details, and telling in addition to showing. Emily tells us how she’s feeling the e...

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November 30, 2022 25 min

Today on our show, we’re sharing another story by Corey Devon Arthur. Corey’s stories have been aired on Episode 120: My Pen Uncovers the Real Me and Episode 128: My New Manifesto.

Corey Devon Arthur has served 25 years on a life sentence for robbery and murder and is currently housed at Otisville Correctional Institution in New York. Corey is an artist and writer who has been published on Writing Class Radio and The Marsha...

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November 16, 2022 20 min

Today on our show, we’re talking about beginnings and endings. What is an effective way to begin a story and a satisfying way to end? The story we bring you on this episode is an amazing example of how to start with appropriate grounding and how to land/end the essay like a gymnast. The narrator isn’t just a beginning and ending genius, she also uses lingo associated with her theme. This style is effective, because the rea...

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Today on our show, we bring you a story by one of Allison’s 7th grade students. She spent two months teaching English to 7th and 8th graders at a private school in Miami, and because she’s her, she assigned personal essay after personal essay. She learned about their parents, what they eat for dinner, their nannies, grandparents, and favorite sport. They resisted getting personal, the same way Allison did when she started ...

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October 19, 2022 24 min

Today on our show, we bring you the story we’ve been searching for since June 24, 2022 when the Supreme Court overturned Roe v Wade. We put a call out for men’s abortion stories and waited months. In Episode 138: There’s Always More to the Story, we talked about why only three men submitted stories, none of which fit our guidelines. We called men cowards. Matt Cundill, our audio producer, was in the greenroom listening. If...

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October 5, 2022 25 min

Today’s episode showcases a story by student Danielle Huggins. Danielle’s story shows what happened when she got off her medication for bipolar disorder. This story is the best example of show and tell EVER! We ask you, why do you read and listen to stories: to be taken into another world or to find yourself in the story?

Danielle told a story on Episode 105: Teach Us Something We Don’t Know. That episode was about her expe...

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September 21, 2022 37 min

Today’s episode revisits the subject of abortion but is about much more. We put a call-out for men’s abortion stories and received several abortion stories by women and very few (only three) by men. We are grateful to the men who submitted, but none was quite right for Writing Class Radio. We will continue to bring you abortion stories as they come in. So men, please weigh in. We want to hear from you. Submission guideline...

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Today on our show we share a story by our own Allison Langer. Her essay is called Writing Class Helped Me Break Down My Facade. You will hear about the fight hosts Allison and Andrea had that prompted this episode. We’ll talk about trying to make money as a writer, revisiting the same theme, and how to win a writing contest. 

If you think you are the only one writing about the same thing over and over, this episode is ...

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August 24, 2022 38 min

Today on our show, author and overall cool woman, Allison Landa reads an excerpt from her new memoir coming out October 4, 2022 called Bearded Lady (Woodhall Press). Pre-order today from our favorite Indie, Books & Books, or wherever you get books. Andrea read an advance copy and this story–this book–is one of Andrea’s all time favorites.

This essay, the whole memoir, is a lesson in guts out vulnerability. Andrea believ...

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August 10, 2022 18 min

Today on our show we share a story by Cheryl E. Klein, author of the soon to be released memoir Crybaby. Cheryl takes an unusual subject, complaining, and makes a case for it. She even goes so far as to say complaining is noble. Her wit and humor make this episode another must listen!!

We discuss her voice and commitment to what some people, most people, probably think is an obnoxious quality. Cheryl also uses dialogue...

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Today on our show we share a story by Pamela McBride, a student in our First Draft and Second Draft writing group about her near fatal experience being dismissed by her doctor. This story is far too common for Black women and Pamela wants to re-write that story. She is tired of worrying about being the “angry Black woman” and gives women a prescription for how to take care of themselves.

We talk about writing as activism an...

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Today on our show we share a story by Sally Schwartz called Divorce Shiva. Sally’s story reveals the importance of ritual in helping us go through love and loss. On the day of her divorce, instead of crying at home alone, her friends gathered around and built a giant bonfire. Sally was reluctant to “celebrate” at first, but as she threw her monogrammed stationery into the flames, she realized she needed the ritual.

This sto...

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On June 24, the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. Today we bring you a personal essay that includes an abortion story, in hopes that it will prompt men to tell their abortion stories. The story was co-written by Andrea Askowitz and Ida Dupont. 

Ida and Andrea have been in the abortion fight for thirty years. They realize reproductive justice advocates (them included) made a mistake in couching abortion as solely a ...

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