Thursday, June 25, 2015

Podcast Picks for Children's Writers (and Readers) -- June 2015

There have been some really great podcasts this month, and I've tried to keep up. If you've come across any that I've missed, feel free to mention them in the comments.

Literary Agent Steven Malk -- Let's Get Busy Episode 157

DescriptionSteven Malk (@StevenMalk), literary agent at Writers House, stops by to talk about the way every single decision an author makes has a large or small impact on a career, how his clients all believe making a picture book is the best thing in the world, and the reverential feeling he experienced meeting authors at his parent's bookstore when he was young.

My thoughts: I enjoyed listening to Steven Malk’s perspective on what he loves about being an agent and how his career developed. This is a great podcast to learn about a literary agent’s role and how they might work with writers. As a writer, this also might help you think about your own writing goals and decisions. I will probably end up listening to this one again.

Steven Malk: “…I’m a big believer in, sort of, owning all your decisions. And I think in order to really do that, you have to understand where you want to go and what your goals are.”

A Conversation with Elise Parsley - PW Kids Cast Episode 80

DescriptionDebut author-illustrator Elise Parsley talks about her picture book, ‘If You Ever Want to Bring an Alligator to School, Don’t!’, in which a girl named Magnolia reveals the pitfalls of taking a daring approach to show-and-tell.

So interesting to hear how Elise's picture book developed! Also, since she is represented by Steven Malk, this gives a different perspective on the writer-client relationship. After hearing Elise's enthusiasm for her work, I'm really looking forward to reading her book one day.

Hooking Younger Readers – Writing Excuses Episode 10.24

Description: Kiley Snyder, Media Specialist at Discovery Middle School in Indiana, joins us to talk about hooking younger readers. Five days a week she hands books to the very people for whom you’re trying to write (sometimes she even gets those books back from them.) We ask her about reluctant readers, about the common elements she sees in the books that hook her students, and about the power of shelving.

My thoughts: One of the things they discussed was how teen readers connect with books and the importance of voice in YA books. I also was intrigued by their discussion about gender and reading books.

Kiley Snyder: “Write about what interests you and do it in a voice that interests them.”

Children’s Book Writing Panel – Summer Reading List 2015  – CBC Radio’s The Next Chapter

Description: How do you know summer is coming?  Here at The Next Chapter, we mark it by the arrival of the Children's Book Panel.  Michele Landsberg and Ken Setterington are our steadfast purveyors of excellent book recommendations for young people and they're back with their 2015 summer reading list.

My thoughts: What is great about this discussion is that the panelists describe the books and explain the reasons why they chose them for their list. You really get a good feel for whether you might want to read one of their picks. I’ve already read We Are All Made of Molecules by Susin Nielsen (loved it!) and just signed out The Dogs by Allan Stratton from my local library.

They have thoughtfully provided a .PDF of their Children’s Book Panel Summer Reading List 2015.


  1. Thanks for letting us know what you've been listening to. I may have to listen to some of these too.

    1. Let's Get Busy has so many great conversations - I have no idea how Matthew Winner gets time for them all!

    2. Let's Get Busy has so many great conversations - I have no idea how Matthew Winner gets time for them all!


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