Short story podcasts

Okay, yes, I’m a dead keen podcast listener and I will evangelise just about anyone into becoming one too. So without further ado, here are some short story podcasts for writers, readers, listeners and lovers 🙂

1. The New Yorker Fiction podcast

I have to admit, this is not up there with my bestest short story podcasts, but if you love fiction of a New Yorker variety, it’s absolutely invaluable. Every month, a writer sits down with fiction editor Deborah Treisman and reads out a favourite story from the iconic magazine. This leads to some interesting combinations – like Mohsin Hamid reading Jorge Luis Borges, or Colm Tóibín reading Mary Lavin (a great episode, btw).

The reason I say this is not my most favourite short story podcast is that a New Yorker story is very… characteristic. If you don’t already know, it’s kind of hard to explain. They move slowly, meander even, and the pay off is not always satisfying. In short, they’re very literary. But if you want to listen to ‘the best’ short stories read out by ‘the best’ short story writers, this is the podcast for you.

2. Apex Magazine podcast

I’m a happy subscriber to Apex Magazine, and I was delighted to find that they have a podcast. Not that I listen to it very often, but I think it’s great when journals can offer audio versions of short stories. There’s a lot of time that goes into making good audio, and not many folks will take the effort to do it. So well done Apex for putting your stories into our ears.

Apex focuses almost exclusively on sci-fi and fantasy, but in these enlightened days that actually encompasses a pretty broad range of stories. In any case, hearing a fantasy story out loud, rather than in your head, makes for a really different experience. I recommend doing both – reading and listening – whenever you have the chance.

For more about one of my favourite stories from Apex Magazine, check out this article over at Byron Bibliotherapy.

3. Firewords podcast

Okay, now here’s one for the short story writers among you. The Firewords podcast is brought out by the beautiful people at Firewords magazine, a literary journal that is really quite pretty. They cover topics such as over-writing, self-promotion, taking fresh angles on tired ideas, and balancing the writing life with real life.

Firewords offers an interesting perspective because although husband and wife team Dan & Jen are the editors of the magazine, they’re also creatives. Jen is a writer and she frequently shares her own journey along the path of writing and publication. She’s not afraid to open up about her insecurities and offer some heartfelt tips and tools that she uses to keep going.

4. The Casket of Fictional Delights

One of the most underrated short story podcasts out there, in my humble opinion, The Casket of Fictional Delights is well-produced and brings out about a story a month (I think). The stories are consistently excellent, and the narrators are total professionals. In fact, all stories are by invitation only.

This is a bit of an odd one. I always love their stories, but the story behind the podcast itself is kinda odd. It’s run by Joanna Sterling whose two main passions are antique brooches and short stories. I feel like I need to interview Joanna one of these days…

5. So You Want to be a Writer

Okay, the So You Want to be a Writer podcast is not specifically for short story writers, but they always have great tips and advice from around the web, as well as insightful interviews with a really diverse range of writers. They talk to everyone such as picture book illustrators, mystery writers, real estate copywriters, new novelists, seasoned novelists, poets, short story writers, and everything in between.

If there’s one thing you will learn from the So You Want to be a Writer podcast it is this: just sit down and bloody write. It really is the most frequent thing you will hear.

You can’t edit a story you haven’t written.

You can’t submit a story you haven’t written.

You can’t miss out on opportunities with a story you haven’t written.

And you sure as bloody hell can’t complain about a story you haven’t even bloody written yet.


So that’s my round up of great short story podcasts you can have a listen to. Some are for writers, some are for readers, but all are definitely interesting.

But then again, I say that about almost all podcasts 🙂

What about you? Any fave short story podcasts I’ve missed out on? Or writing-related podcasts you reckon are awesome? Let me know!


3 Responses

  1. Thank you for the recommendation for The Casket of Fictional Delights. We try to find stories that will amuse, intrigue and sometimes provoke.

    Happy to natter about my brooches sometime.

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Nat Newman

Nat Newman is an award-winning writer of short stories, podcasts, feature articles, ghostwritten books, drunk text messages and a novella. She is also an actor, voice artist, tour host and creative writing tutor.


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