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How to Get on a Podcast Guest List

What writers need to know about pitching themselves as a podcast guest.

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I have hosted The Drunken Odyssey: A Podcast About the Writing Life for over 10 years. This tenure does not make me a dinosaur of the medium, but I am a woolly mammoth, I suppose. I began the show two years after completing my MFA in fiction writing from New York University. That was the length of time I needed to miss the conversations about writing that helped define my MFA experience. In those two years, I finished my novel and yearned again for literary community – so I made my own with the podcast.

In the first year, I invited my local writer friends to join me on the mics. I also persuaded writers I didn’t know to speak to me at the annual Association of Writers & Writing Programs Conference (where I interviewed Tony Hoagland in his hotel room). I arranged to interview Martin Amis, Irvine Welsh, and Bunny Yeager at Miami Book Fair, the largest book fair in the country. By asking nicely, I spoke with Ricky Moody, Cheryl Strayed, and David Sedaris remotely. In those early years, booking the show was constantly strenuous, but I was also the beneficiary of a lot of kindness. Not bad for a lowly podcast’s inaugural year.

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