7 Podcasts for Story-Loving Teens

2 Dec

If you haven’t made much use of podcasts yet, you need to get on it. As a multi-tasker and a sponge for information, I’m a huge fan. They allow me to catch up on news or hear good selections of music or funny stories while I’m busy cleaning my room, cooking dinner, or just procrastinating. There are thousands of these free, downloadable programs available on just about every subject imaginable, and there are hundreds of podcasts that are geared specifically for story-lovers and book geeks.

This is especially great considering what a solitary past-time reading typically is. Podcasts create community through stories and books, as well as creation and interpretation of stories new and old.

The following is a list of some recommended podcasts for teenagers. Keep in mind that this is only a starting point. There are TONS more. Go onto the iTunes store and let the exploring begin!

ep424-biographical-fragments-life-julian-princeFor the Sci-Fi Junkie: Escape Pod

Deemed the “Science Fiction Podcast Magazine,” Escape Pod regularly puts out readings of contemporary short science fiction stories, some mind-bending, some spooky, some thought-provoking. It’s a production of Escape Artists, Inc., who also put out Pseudopod, which showcases horror stories, and PodCastle, a fantasy fiction podcast.

Time Length: Anywhere from 20 min-80 min

Also Recommended: Relic Radio Sci-Fi

9781570613814For the Aspiring Author: Book Lust with Nancy Pearl

Some may be familiar with Nancy Pearl’s Book Lust, a book with hundreds of book recommendations for everyone. Nancy Pearl is one well-read lady, and in her podcast, she interviews authors from all over, including some notable writers of YA and children’s literature like M.T. Anderson, Sherman Alexie, Tamora Pierce, and Chris van Allsburg. Aspiring writers will find it fascinating to hear these notable authors talk about their process, inspirations, and viewpoints.

Time Length: Roughly 30 min

Also Recommended: Books on the Nightstand

imgresFor the Craver of True Tales: The Moth

The Moth is a showcase of true stories told in front of a live audience. It’s been going on since 1997, and many of the performances–some by writers and professional performers, but others by regular people who went through an experience and have a story to tell about it. The stories can be profound, funny, painful, or heartbreaking, but all of them showcase what good oral storytelling is all about.

Time Length: 15-20 min for regular episodes, roughly 55 min for “Moth Radio Hour” episodes

Also Recommended: This American Life

nightvalelogo-webFor the Lovecraft Enthusiast: Welcome to Night Vale

Welcome to Night Vale has gained a lot of popularity over the past few months, and it’s easy to see why. Set up like community radio broadcasts of the strange town Night Vale, this podcast was described to me as “Prairie Home Companion meets Lovecraft.” The town’s mysteries, including a dog park that must never be entered and a gigantic glow cloud, are absurdly funny, and the show announcer Cecil’s gravitas makes everything all the more delightful. Fans of the weird and strange will eat this up.

Time Length: Roughly 30 min

Also Recommended: Darker Projects: Night Terrors

Poetry Off the ShelfFor the Poetry Fan: Poetry Off the Shelf

This Poetry Foundation podcast leads listeners through readings by poets, interviews with critics, and short poetry documentaries. This podcast focuses on contemporary American poetry, but there’s a wide range to be found here. And, with the commentary and interviews, the episodes can be surprisingly fun–no intimidation required.

Time Length: Roughly 15 min

Also Recommended: Poem of the Day (Also from the Poetry Foundation)

imgres-1For the Literary Connoisseur: Selected Shorts

Selected Shorts is the creme de la creme of short story readings. Great performers read aloud stories by classic and contemporary authors in front of a live audience. This podcast demonstrates the magic that can happen when written words are transformed into a great performance. If the thought of Leonard Nimoy reading Ray Bradbury or Neil Gaiman hosting an episode around the concept of illusions makes you perk up, give this one a listen.

Time Length: Roughly 60 min

Also Recommended: The Classic Tales Podcast

imgres-2For the Comic Buff: 11 O’Clock Comics

Vince, Chris, David and Jason know comics. Like, really, really well. Prepare to be astounded by their in-depth discussions about everything new and happening in the comics world. They focus mainly on Marvel comics, but there is a treasure trove of material out there to discuss and to cover. Anyone curious about comics is bound to learn a lot from listening to these guys, and they’ll probably convince you to start making a list of comics that you want to check out on your own. The episodes are long, but you can always chunk them up into sections. Some episodes contain explicit language.

Time Length: 2-3 hours

Also Recommended: The Comicology Podcast

Phew! I hope one or two of these piqued your interest. Now go download a couple episodes and start listening!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: