PODCAST

writing class radio

andrea askowitz and allison langer

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?


Start Here
132: Here’s My Abortion Story. Men, Tell Us Yours.
5d ago
132: Here’s My Abortion Story. Men, Tell Us Yours.
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 women’s issue. Men benefit from abortions just as much as women. Men need to tell their stories because stories change minds and laws. Writing Class Radio wants #mensabortionstories. If you agree, please share this episode with #mensabortionstories.Also on this episode co-hosts Allison Langer, Zorina Frey, and Andrea Askowitz talk about how writing about an experience and a unique take on a subject at the top of the news, is a way to get published.  Ida Dupont is an Associate Professor at Pace University in the Sociology Department. She researches and teaches about sexuality, social movements, criminology, and reproductive justice. The original story appeared in NBCNews under Andrea’s byline with Ida Dupont contributing. Writing Class Radio is produced by Allison Langer, Andrea Askowitz and by Matt Cundill and Evan Surminski at the Sound Off Media Company. Theme music by Courtney Fox.There’s more writing class on our website including essays to study, editing resources, video classes, writing retreats, and live online classes. Join our writing community by following us on Patreon. For $10/month Andrea will answer all your publishing questions. For $25/month you can join our First Draft weekly writers group. (Tuesdays 12-1 ET or Wednesdays 6-7pm ET) Write to a prompt and share what you wrote. For $125/mth, you’ll get 1st draft and 2nd Draft. Each week three people bring a second draft for feedback and brainstorming. Join the community that comes together for instruction, an excuse to write, and most importantly, the support from other writers. To learn more, go to www.Patreon.com/writingclassradio.A new episode will drop every other Wednesday.There’s no better way to understand ourselves and each other, than by writing and sharing our stories. Everyone has a story. Men, what’s yours?#mensabortionstories, #abortion, #writingpodcast, #roevwadeSee Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
132: Here’s My Abortion Story. Men, Tell Us Yours.
5d ago
132: Here’s My Abortion Story. Men, Tell Us Yours.
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 women’s issue. Men benefit from abortions just as much as women. Men need to tell their stories because stories change minds and laws. Writing Class Radio wants #mensabortionstories. If you agree, please share this episode with #mensabortionstories.Also on this episode co-hosts Allison Langer, Zorina Frey, and Andrea Askowitz talk about how writing about an experience and a unique take on a subject at the top of the news, is a way to get published.  Ida Dupont is an Associate Professor at Pace University in the Sociology Department. She researches and teaches about sexuality, social movements, criminology, and reproductive justice. The original story appeared in NBCNews under Andrea’s byline with Ida Dupont contributing. Writing Class Radio is produced by Allison Langer, Andrea Askowitz and by Matt Cundill and Evan Surminski at the Sound Off Media Company. Theme music by Courtney Fox.There’s more writing class on our website including essays to study, editing resources, video classes, writing retreats, and live online classes. Join our writing community by following us on Patreon. For $10/month Andrea will answer all your publishing questions. For $25/month you can join our First Draft weekly writers group. (Tuesdays 12-1 ET or Wednesdays 6-7pm ET) Write to a prompt and share what you wrote. For $125/mth, you’ll get 1st draft and 2nd Draft. Each week three people bring a second draft for feedback and brainstorming. Join the community that comes together for instruction, an excuse to write, and most importantly, the support from other writers. To learn more, go to www.Patreon.com/writingclassradio.A new episode will drop every other Wednesday.There’s no better way to understand ourselves and each other, than by writing and sharing our stories. Everyone has a story. Men, what’s yours?#mensabortionstories, #abortion, #writingpodcast, #roevwadeSee Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
131: How to Write About Something You Can’t Remember
Jun 15 2022
131: How to Write About Something You Can’t Remember
Today on our show we share a story by Andrea Askowitz. Andrea’s story was written as speculative memoir during our writing retreat in Guatemala. And if you are like most people, you have never heard of speculative memoir. After you hear this episode, you will be dying to give it a try. But why did she use speculative memoir?According to author Laraine Herring, who wrote in the Rumpus, speculative memoir explores the truth through the figurative over the literal. She questions why we say “just” before imagination, because isn’t imagination the foundation of everything? Go to the Rumpus to learn more.On this episode, we have a special guest host: Zorina Frey. Zorina has been taking our classes for years and now she teaches one of our first draft classes on Wednesday night from 6-7pm ET. Click to sign up.Andrea got the idea for this writing prompt from Beth Kephart, professor at the University of Pennsylvania and author of 30 books. If you’d like to write your own speculative memoir (essay), follow the steps Andrea did below:Think of a scene you’ve tried to write, but couldn’t because of lack of information. You can go back to the day of your birth or even conception. Write for 3 minutes to each of the following prompts (in order):1. Where was this place?2. Who was there?3. When did this occur?4. Who said what?5. What happened in the end?6. Why did this happen?Zorina mentions Andrea’s use of anaphora, which is a rhetorical device in which a word or expression is repeated. An example of anaphora is Lincoln's "We cannot dedicate—we cannot consecrate—we cannot hallow—this ground." You can find Andrea on Twitter @andreaaskowitz, FB @andreaaskowitz, and Instagram @andreaaskowitzandreaaskowitz. Writing Class Radio is produced by Allison Langer, Andrea Askowitz and by Matt Cundill and Evan Surminski at the Sound Off Media Company. Theme music by Courtney Fox.There’s more writing class on our website including essays to study, editing resources, video classes, writing retreats, and live online classes. Join our writing community by following us on Patreon. For $10/month Andrea will answer all your publishing questions. For $25/month you can join our First Draft weekly writers group. (Tuesdays 12-1 ET or Wednesdays 6-7pm ET) Write to a prompt and share what you wrote. For $125/mth, you’ll get 1st draft and 2nd Draft. Each week three people bring a second draft for feedback and brainstorming. Join the community that comes together for instruction, an excuse to write, and most importantly, the support from other writers. To learn more, go to www.Patreon.com/writingclassradio.A new episode will drop every other Wednesday.There’s no better way to understand ourselves and each other, than by writing and sharing our stories. Everyone has a story. What’s yours?See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
130: I’m Not Scared of Death, But I Can’t Stop Asking This One Question
Jun 1 2022
130: I’m Not Scared of Death, But I Can’t Stop Asking This One Question
Today on our show we share a story by Kelly Eden who lives in New Zealand. Kelly brought this essay to 2nd Draft, a class we offer on Zoom. (To sign up click here.) Kelly took the feedback she received from the class then posted on Medium and got lots of traction. Her story shows her struggle with Crohn’s disease while asking herself a question very familiar to our hosts, “Am I doing enough?”Kelly's essays and short fiction have won several awards. She has been writing for magazines and online for over 13 years and now coaches other writers to do the same. When she's not writing, she loves to watch musicals with her kids and spend time with her sexy-musician husband. You can find Kelly on twitter @eden_writer.Writing Class Radio is produced by Allison Langer, Andrea Askowitz and by Matt Cundill and Evan Surminski at the Sound Off Media Company. Theme music by Courtney Fox.There’s more writing class on our website including essays to study, editing resources, video classes, writing retreats, and live online classes. Join our writing community by following us on Patreon. For $10/month Andrea will answer all your publishing questions. For $25/month you can join our First Draft weekly writers group. (Tuesdays 12-1 ET or Wednesdays 6-7pm ET) Write to a prompt and share what you wrote. For $125/mth, you’ll get 1st draft and 2nd Draft. Each week three people bring a second draft for feedback and brainstorming. Join the community that comes together for instruction, an excuse to write, and most importantly, the support from other writers. To learn more, go to www.Patreon.com/writingclassradio.A new episode will drop every other Wednesday.There’s no better way to understand ourselves and each other, than by writing and sharing our stories. Everyone has a story. What’s yours?See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
129: Maybe We’re All Just Homing Pigeons. Are You Home Yet?
May 18 2022
129: Maybe We’re All Just Homing Pigeons. Are You Home Yet?
Today on our show we share a story by Heidi Walker called Coming Home. The essay is under 800 words and finely detailed to emphasize only what the narrator would like us to focus on. We love this essay not only for its sentiment but also because the tightness of the essay proves that keeping it simple can often make the story stronger.We wanted this story on our show for the heart it expresses. The essay is also artfully crafted. But, the heart hit us hard. The story is about coming home. Which both Allison and Andrea did.  Heidi Walker was born in Seattle, raised in the farmlands close to the city, and still lives in Seattle today. She is a photographer and writer and says her world was filled with reading and writing. Books were gifts for birthdays and holidays. One year, she received three books titled Heidi. She still has a copy on her bookshelf.   Writing Class Radio is produced by Allison Langer, Andrea Askowitz and by Matt Cundill and Evan Surminski at the Sound Off Media Company. Theme music by Courtney Fox. Additional music by Jamie Lee Wilson and sourced through Megatrax. There’s more writing class on our website including essays to study, editing resources, video classes, writing retreats, and live online classes. Join our writing community by following us on Patreon. For $10/month Andrea will answer all your publishing questions. For $25/month you can join our First Draft weekly writers group. (Tuesdays 12-1 ET or Wednesdays 6-7pm ET) Write to a prompt and share what you wrote. For $125/mth, you’ll get 1st draft and 2nd Draft. Each week three people bring a second draft for feedback and brainstorming. Join the community that comes together for instruction, an excuse to write, and most importantly, the support from other writers. To learn more, go to www.Patreon.com/writingclassradio.A new episode will drop every other Wednesday.There’s no better way to understand ourselves and each other, than by writing and sharing our stories. Everyone has a story.  What’s yours?See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
128: My New Manifesto: A Man Serving a Life Sentence for Murder Changes His Ways.
May 4 2022
128: My New Manifesto: A Man Serving a Life Sentence for Murder Changes His Ways.
Today on our show we bring you another story by Corey Devon Arthur, an inmate at Otisville Correctional Facility in New York. This story is about the demon he battles in his head, which is literally a voice that tries to talk him into continuing the violence he learned on the street, and his attempt to become a better man.We also have a special guest host. Sarah Holtz is a reporter and audio producer based in Oakland. Her work has aired on Houston Public Media, New Orleans Public Radio, and Northern California Public Media. She received training in audio and writing at the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University.Sarah Holtz volunteers with Empowerment Ave, an organization created by Emily Nonko and Rahsaan “New York” Thomas. Their mission is to normalize the inclusion of incarcerated artists and writers in mainstream venues. They assist incarcerated writers in getting their work published and compensated for, and contribute creatively to the abolition movement and liberation of incarcerated people.Sarah is the person who sent us the story written by Corey Devon Arthur which we aired on Episode 120 and was titled, My Pen Uncovers the Real Me. Corey has served 25 years on a life sentence for robbery and murder. Corey is an artist and writer who has been published on Writing Class Radio and The Marshall Project.Writing Class Radio shares stories by men and women on the inside because it is important to give everyone a voice. We all make mistakes, some worse than others, but we feel that everyone can change. And there’s no better way to initiate change than through writing and sharing stories. If you’d like to hear more stories from the inside, please listen to the prison series. During the 10-part series, we aired stories written and read (almost all) by the men and women incarcerated or formerly incarcerated. Andrea, Allison, and guest host, Xaire Vii, spoke about why the incarcerated need to be heard and how hearing their stories and getting to know the people society condemns can bring our broken society back together.On this episode we mentioned Ear Hustle, a podcast featuring Rahsaan Thomas and the men in San Quentin Prison. Writing Class Radio is produced by Allison Langer, Andrea Askowitz and by Matt Cundill, Evan Surminski and Clare Mansell at the Sound Off Media Company. Theme music by Courtney Fox.  There’s more writing class on our website, writing class radio dot com: including essays to study, editing resources, video classes, writing retreats, and live online classes. Join our writing community by following us on Patreon. For $10/month Andrea will answer all your publishing questions. For $25/month you can join our First Draft weekly writers group. You have the option to join Tuesdays 12-1 ET or Wednesdays 6-7pm ET. Write to a prompt and share what you wrote. If you’re looking to take your writing to the next level, for $125/mth you’ll get 1st draft and 2nd Draft. Each week three people bring a second draft for feedback and brainstorming. Join the community that comes together for instruction, an excuse to write, and most importantly, the support from other writers. To learn more, go to www.Patreon.com/writingclassradio. A new episode will drop every other WEDNESDAY. There’s no better way to understand ourselves and each other, than by writing and sharing our stories. Everyone has a story. What’s yours?See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
127: Parenting Alone: How Will My Autistic Son Manage Without Me?
Apr 20 2022
127: Parenting Alone: How Will My Autistic Son Manage Without Me?
This episode is about landing an ending. It’s also about raising the bar on what we write about. In this case, storyteller Jennifer Landau writes something new and important about being a mom. She is afraid for what will happen to her son after she dies. This is especially important because like Allison and Andrea, Jennifer chose to have children on her own using anonymous sperm donation. So, Jennifer does not have a co-parent. The story is beautiful and so honest. This essay was previously published in Literary Mama.Jennifer Landau lives in Westchester County, NY with her son, who does spot-on impressions of both Johnny Cash and Kermit the frog. She’s a children’s book editor, special education teacher and grant writer, and has published more than a dozen books. Her writing has appeared in Autism Parenting Magazine and Literary Mama. She owns three coffee makers, which is as close to a hobby as she gets.Writing Class Radio is produced by Allison Langer, Andrea Askowitz and by Matt Cundill, Evan Surminski and Clare Mansell at the Sound Off Media Company. Theme music by Courtney Fox. Additional music by TJ North and Marnino Toussaint. Sound effects by Jacob Thiessan.There’s more writing class on our website, writingclassradio.com: including essays to study, editing resources, video classes, writing retreats, and live online classes. Join our writing community by following us on Patreon. For $10/month Andrea will answer all your publishing questions. For $25/month you can join our First Draft weekly writers group. You have the option to join Tuesdays 12-1 ET or Wednesdays 6-7pm ET. Write to a prompt and share what you wrote. If you’re looking to take your writing to the next level, for $125/mth you’ll get 1st draft and 2nd Draft. Each week three people bring a second draft for feedback and brainstorming. Join the community that comes together for instruction, an excuse to write, and most importantly, the support from other writers. To learn more, go to www.Patreon.com/writingclassradio.A new episode will drop every other WEDNESDAY. There’s no better way to understand ourselves and each other, than by writing and sharing our stories. Everyone has a story. What’s yours?See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
126: Will We Ever Understand Each Other if We Don’t Speak the Same Language?
Apr 6 2022
126: Will We Ever Understand Each Other if We Don’t Speak the Same Language?
Today on our show we’re talking about language. Listener Jamshid Samareh came to the United States from Tehran in 1978. He shares his story, which is about how learning the English language has helped him connect with Americans. Jamshid quotes Nelson Mandela who said, "If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart."Jamshid lives in Norfolk, VA holds a PhD in Mechanical Engineering and Mechanics and is a senior research engineer at NASA Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia.  Hosts Andrea and Allison discuss details in Jamshid’s story that could have been slightly embellished to improve the story. We’d love to hear what you think (listener). If you have a strong opinion about rounding up on the truth in personal essays, please send us an email at info@writingclassradio.com.Writing Class Radio is produced by Allison Langer, Andrea Askowitz and by Matt Cundill, Evan Surminski and Courtney Fox at the Sound Off Media Company. Theme music by Courtney Fox of Amadians.There’s more writing class on our website, writing class radio dot com: including essays to study, editing resources, video classes, writing retreats, and live online classes. Join our writing community by following us on Patreon. For $10/month Andrea will answer all your publishing questions. For $25/month you can join our First Draft weekly writers group. You have the option to join Tuesdays 12-1 ET or Wednesdays 6-7pm ET. Write to a prompt and share what you wrote. If you’re looking to take your writing to the next level, for $125/mth you’ll get 1st draft and 2nd Draft. Each week three people bring a second draft for feedback and brainstorming. Join the community that comes together for instruction, an excuse to write, and most importantly, the support from other writers. To learn more, go to www.Patreon.com/writingclassradio.A new episode will drop every other WEDNESDAY. So look for us. There’s no better way to understand ourselves and each other, than by writing and sharing our stories. Everyone has a story. What’s yours?See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
125: Tossing the Shells but Not the Memories.
Mar 23 2022
125: Tossing the Shells but Not the Memories.
Welcome to Season 13. On today’s episode, you’ll hear a story which is less than 600 words and perfectly told. So much so, that we have chosen to use this story to show how to structure an essay. We’ll go over the 5Cs of a well-structured essay and why details are important.Anthony Askowitz is not a writer. He is a realtor, and he is also Andrea’s older brother. Anthony read this essay during a family dinner after his daughters left for college. Do not miss the bloopers at the end, where Andrea helps Tony record his essay. Writing Class Radio is produced by Allison Langer, Andrea Askowitz and by Matt Cundill, Evan Surminski and Courtney Fox at the Sound Off Media Company. Theme music by Amadians.There’s more writing class on our website, writing class radio dot com: including essays to study, editing resources, video classes, writing retreats, and live online classes. Join our writing community by following us on Patreon. For $10/month Andrea will answer all your publishing questions. For $25/month you can join our First Draft weekly writers group. You have the option to join Tuesdays 12-1 ET or Wednesdays 6-7pm ET. Write to a prompt and share what you wrote. If you’re looking to take your writing to the next level, for $125/mth you’ll get 1st draft and 2nd Draft. Each week three people bring a second draft for feedback and brainstorming. Join the community that comes together for instruction, an excuse to write, and most importantly, the support from other writers. To learn more, go to www.Patreon.com/writingclassradio.A new episode will drop every other WEDNESDAY. So look for us. There’s no better way to understand ourselves and each other, than by writing and sharing our stories. Everyone has a story. What’s yours?See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
124: The Hate Hate Creates
Mar 9 2022
124: The Hate Hate Creates
This is the final episode in a 10-part series inspired by the men Allison Langer taught memoir writing, in a men’s prison. This series shared stories written by Allison’s former memoir students as well as formerly incarcerated and currently incarcerated people from around the United States. Their experiences and voices, like those of many incarcerated people, are often marginalized and unheard.On today’s episode, you will hear a story by Richardson Francois aka Swa, who Allison confesses was one of her favorite students. Swa will read his story, The Hate Hate Creates. Hate, Swa argues, is a sickness. Xaire agrees with Swa who says the easiest and hardest way to eradicate hate is to eradicate hate from the self.Hosts will also discuss the impact of this series on them. We hope our listeners have taken away at least a part of what we’ve learned. Mainly, that sharing our stories is the best way to understand ourselves and each other and ultimately change the world for the better.Please join our GoFundMe campaign to raise money for 2-Tall (Clifton Jones), whose story and voice you heard on episode 116. He needs our help to hire an appellate lawyer to get the justice he was promised and deserves.Writing Class Radio is produced by Allison Langer, Andrea Askowitz, Xaire, and by Matt Cundill, Evan Surminski and Courtney Fox at the Sound Off Media Company. Music by Xaire, Marnino Toussaint and Amadians.There’s more writing class on our website, writingclassradio.com including video classes, essays to study, and editing resources. If you love the lessons you get on each episode, you can get them ALL in one place--our three-part video series--for $50. Click Video Classes on our website.If you want to be a part of the movement that helps people better understand each other through storytelling, follow us on Patreon. For $10/month Andrea will answer all your publishing questions. For $25/month you can join Allison’s First Draft weekly writer's group Tuesdays (12-1 ET) or Zorina Frey’s 1st Draft Wednesdays (6-7pm ET), where you can write and share your work. www.Patreon.com/writingclassradio.A new episode will drop every other WEDNESDAY. So look for us. There’s no better way to understand ourselves and each other, than by writing and sharing our stories. Everyone has a story. What’s yours?This series is dedicated to Luis Aracena. You are missed and loved. May you rest in peace.See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
123: The Words He Left Behind
Feb 23 2022
123: The Words He Left Behind
This is the ninth episode in a 10-part series inspired by the people Allison Langer taught memoir writing, in a men’s prison. You will hear new stories her former students wrote after taking her class and stories from other incarcerated or formerly incarcerated people around the world.On today’s episode, you will hear a story by someone who is still incarcerated. For security reasons, he calls himself NameLess. You will understand why he has chosen to remain NameLess once you hear his story called Observation.Please join our GoFundMe campaign to raise money for 2-Tall (Clifton Jones), whose story and voice you heard on episode 116. He needs our help to hire an appellate lawyer to get the justice he was promised and deserves.Writing Class Radio is produced by Allison Langer, Andrea Askowitz, Xaire, and by Matt Cundill, Evan Surminski and Courtney Fox at the Sound Off Media Company. Music by Xaire, Marnino Toussaint, and Amadians.There’s more writing class on our website, writingclassradio.com: including video classes, essays to study, and editing resources. If you love the lessons you get on each episode, you can get them ALL in one place--our three-part video series--for $50. Click Video Classes on our website.If you want to be a part of the movement that helps people better understand each other through storytelling, follow us on Patreon. For $10/month Andrea will answer all your publishing questions. For $25/month you can join Allison’s First Draft weekly writers group, where you can write and share your work every Tuesday 12-1 (ET). For $100/month, you can join 2nd Draft. Check out dates and times on our website or go to www.Patreon.com/writingclassradio.A new episode will drop every other WEDNESDAY. So look for us. There’s no better way to understand ourselves and each other, than by writing and sharing our stories. Everyone has a story. What’s yours?This series is dedicated to Luis Aracena. You are missed and loved. May you rest in peace.See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
122: What Does 44 Years in Prison Look Like?
Feb 9 2022
122: What Does 44 Years in Prison Look Like?
This is the eighth episode in a 10-part series inspired by the people Allison Langer taught memoir writing, in a men’s prison. You will hear new stories her former students wrote after taking her class and stories from other incarcerated or formerly incarcerated people around the world.In this episode, you will hear a story written by Robert Fell, who was sentenced to life in prison for the murder of his wife. Robert has been in prison for 44 years. Robert Fell earned a Bachelors of Agricultural Science from Cornell. He’s certified as a specialist vegetable grower in intensive growing methods and has over 5000 hours in facilitating other inmates and DOC staff in intensive farming methods. Xaire will read Robert’s story Damaged Goods.Please join our GoFundMe campaign to raise money for 2-Tall (Clifton Jones), whose story and voice you heard on episode 116. He needs our help to hire an appellate lawyer to get the justice he was promised and deserves.Writing Class Radio is produced by Allison Langer, Andrea Askowitz, Xaire, and by Matt Cundill, Evan Surminski and Courtney Fox at the Sound Off Media Company. Music by Xaire, Marnino Toussaint, and AmadiansThere’s more writing class on our website, writingclassradio.com: including video classes, essays to study, and editing resources. If you love the lessons you get on each episode, you can get them ALL in one place--our three-part video series--for $50. Click Video Classes on our website.If you want to be a part of the movement that helps people better understand each other through storytelling, follow us on Patreon. For $10/month Andrea will answer all your publishing questions. For $25/month you can join Allison’s First Draft weekly writers group, where you can write and share your work every Tuesday 12-1 (ET). www.Patreon.com/writingclassradio.A new episode will drop every other WEDNESDAY. So look for us. There’s no better way to understand ourselves and each other, than by writing and sharing our stories. Everyone has a story. What’s yours?This series is dedicated to Luis Aracena. You are missed and loved. May you rest in peace.See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
121: When a Big Mistake Becomes Catastrophic
Jan 26 2022
121: When a Big Mistake Becomes Catastrophic
This is the seventh episode in a 10-part series inspired by the people Allison Langer taught memoir writing, in a men’s prison. You will hear new stories her former students wrote after taking her class and stories from other incarcerated or formerly incarcerated people around the world.Today on the show, we have Dewain Williams. Dewain responded to our call for stories. His story reveals something really ugly at the top. We think he reveals this deliberately to show how much he's changed. We want to hear from you. Should he have have left out this detail? You'll know it when you hear it. Please weigh in on our FB page by clicking Writing Class Radio FB.Dewain was born in Flint, Michigan and raised in Marietta, Georgia. He started writing in 2015 and self published his first eBook in May 2020. Dewain wants to see the world in a better place and he believes through writing it can be done. In 1997, Dewain made a terrible mistake but he knows that mistake doesn't define him. The hosts refer to an October 23, 2021 article in the Opinion section of the New York Times about aging out of crime and about the ridiculously long sentences Americans are given when they break the law. Please join our GoFundMe campaign to raise money for 2-Tall (Clifton Jones), whose story and voice you heard on episode 116. He needs our help to hire an appellate lawyer to get the justice he was promised and deserves.Writing Class Radio is produced by Allison Langer, Andrea Askowitz, Xaire, and by Matt Cundill, Evan Surminski and Courtney Fox at the Sound Off Media Company. Music by Xaire and Marnino Toussaint.There’s more writing class on our website, writingclassradio.com: including video classes, essays to study, and editing resources. If you love the lessons you get on each episode, you can get them ALL in one place--our three-part video series--for $50. Click Video Classes on our website.If you want to be a part of the movement that helps people better understand each other through storytelling, follow us on Patreon. For $10/month Andrea will answer all your publishing questions. For $25/month you can join Allison’s First Draft weekly writers group, where you can write and share your work every Tuesday 12-1 (ET). www.Patreon.com/writingclassradio.A new episode will drop every other WEDNESDAY. So look for us. There’s no better way to understand ourselves and each other, than by writing and sharing our stories. Everyone has a story. What’s yours?This series is dedicated to Luis Aracena. You are missed and loved. May you rest in peace.See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
120: My Pen Uncovers the Real Me
Jan 12 2022
120: My Pen Uncovers the Real Me
This is the sixth episode in a 10-part series inspired by the memoir students Allison Langer taught in a men’s prison. You will hear new stories her former students wrote after taking her class and stories from other incarcerated or formerly incarcerated people around the world.On this episode, Corey Devon Arthur, a journalist inside Fishkill Correctional Facility in New York State, tells his story about wishing he could always be the person he is in writing. Corey submitted his essay through an angel named Sarah Holtz from Empowerment Avenue, a collective of writers on the inside. Corey Devon Arthur was born in Brooklyn in 1977 and has been incarcerated since 1997. He has earned a legal research certification and studied through Rising Hope and Nyack College. Arthur is a former chairman of the Inmate Liaison Committee at Fishkill Correctional Facility. He's a member of Empowerment Avenue, a collective of incarcerated writers. Arthur is also passionate about drawing and is currently working on a trilogy of short stories.To read more stories by Corey Devon Arthur, visit The Marshall Project. The Marshall Project is a nonpartisan, nonprofit news organization that seeks to create and sustain a sense of national urgency about the U.S. criminal justice system. Through journalism, The Marshall Project seeks to render the criminal justice system more fair, effective, transparent, and humane.Please join our GoFundMe campaign to raise money for 2-Tall (Clifton Jones), whose story and voice you heard on episode 116. He needs our help to hire an appellate lawyer to get the justice he was promised and deserves.Writing Class Radio is produced by Allison Langer, Andrea Askowitz, Xaire, and by Matt Cundill, Evan Surminski and Courtney Fox at the Sound Off Media Company. Music by Xaire and Marnino Toussaint.There’s more writing class on our website, writingclassradio.com: including video classes, essays to study, and editing resources. If you love the lessons you get on each episode, you can get them ALL in one place--our three-part video series--for $50. Click Video Classes on our website.If you want to be a part of the movement that helps people better understand each other through storytelling, follow us on Patreon. For $10/month Andrea will answer all your publishing questions. For $25/month you can join Allison’s First Draft weekly writers group, where you can write and share your work every Tuesday 12-1 (ET). www.Patreon.com/writingclassradio.A new episode will drop every other WEDNESDAY. So look for us. There’s no better way to understand ourselves and each other, than by writing and sharing our stories. Everyone has a story. What’s yours?This series is dedicated to honoring the memory of Luis Aracena and other good men who have died in prison. May we all rest in peace.See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
119: When Is it Safe to Ignore the Law?
Dec 29 2021
119: When Is it Safe to Ignore the Law?
This is the fifth episode in a 10-part series inspired by the people Allison Langer taught memoir writing, in a men’s prison. You will hear new stories by her former students wrote and stories from other incarcerated or formerly incarcerated people around the world.On this episode, we feature an essay by Rashmi Airan, who reads her story and answers questions on the show. Rashmi is an internationally recognized corporate and motivational speaker and entrepreneur. As a leader in her community and beyond, Rashmi empowers others to overcome adversity and challenges. She is currently working on a memoir. Rashmi’s essay was originally published in The Washington Post on Feb 20, 2020.Her essay reveals her inaction and culpability in her job as a lawyer when she sensed that her clients were not following the law. Rashmi was operating under some psychological phenomenon she came to discover and explains, called moral humility and overconfidence bias, which enabled her to stay silent. Like so many incarcerated people, she didn't think she'd get caught. Rashmi candidly answers questions about prison life, working garbage detail, her mindset going in, what she learned, and what life has been like since she was released. Writing Class Radio is produced by Allison Langer, Andrea Askowitz, Xaire, and by Matt Cundill, Evan Surminski and Courtney Fox at the Sound Off Media Company. Music by Xaire, Koi, Marnino Toussaint, Amadians.There’s more writing class on our website, writingclassradio.com: including video classes, essays to study, and editing resources. If you love the lessons you get on each episode, you can get them ALL in one place--our three-part video series--for $50. Click Video Classes on our website.If you want to be a part of the movement that helps people better understand each other through storytelling, follow us on Patreon. For $10/month Andrea will answer all your publishing questions. For $25/month you can join Allison’s First Draft weekly writers group, where you can write and share your work every Tuesday 12-1 (ET). www.Patreon.com/writingclassradio.A new episode will drop every other WEDNESDAY. So look for us. There’s no better way to understand ourselves and each other, than by writing and sharing our stories. Everyone has a story. What’s yours?This series is dedicated to Luis Aracena. You are missed and loved. May you rest in peace.See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
118: Standing at the Prison Gate, I Was Icarus Plummeting to Earth.
Dec 15 2021
118: Standing at the Prison Gate, I Was Icarus Plummeting to Earth.
This is the fourth episode in a 10-part series inspired by the people Allison Langer taught memoir writing, in a men’s prison. You will hear new stories her former students wrote after taking her class and stories from other incarcerated or formerly incarcerated people around the world.Today’s show shares two stories by Dutch Simmons, who served two years in a federal prison. Dutch reveals the horrors of saying goodbye to his family as he walks into prison. Dutch also takes us through 11 (of 30) days in solitary confinement. Dutch says he’s been both a hero and a villain: The same week his search and rescue gear went on display at the 9/11 Memorial Museum as a first responder, he was sentenced to a federal correctional institution for a white collar crime. While incarcerated, he established and taught a creative writing program for his fellow inmates. Dutch lives deep in the woods of Connecticut, where he remains a dedicated father, former felon, and a Phoenix rising. For more Dutch Simmons, follow him on twitter @thedutchsimmons or go to his website also speak with Joshua Moreno, a former Florida Department of Corrections officer who clears up questions we had last episode and tells us another side of the story from the inside. Josh Moreno is the executive director of a Miami real estate team at Re/Max Advanced Realty. Josh was born and raised in Miami. When not in a suit, Josh can be found in horse country, swimming, or practicing yoga. He loves the arts, architecture, and sports cars.You can find Josh on Instagram @JoshuaEMoreno.homes and on Facebook & LinkedIn at Joshuaemoreno.Writing Class Radio is produced by Allison Langer, Andrea Askowitz, Xaire, and by Matt Cundill, Evan Surminski and Courtney Fox at the Sound Off Media Company. Music by Xaire, Koi, Marnino Toussaint,There’s more writing class on our website, writingclassradio.com: including video classes, essays to study, and editing resources. If you love the lessons you get on each episode, you can get them ALL in one place--our three-part video series--for $50. Click Video Classes on our website.If you want to be a part of the movement that helps people better understand each other through storytelling, follow us on Patreon. For $10/month Andrea will answer all your publishing questions. For $25/month you can join Allison’s First Draft weekly writers group, where you can write and share your work every Tuesday 12-1 (ET). www.Patreon.com/writingclassradio.A new episode will drop every other WEDNESDAY. So look for us. There’s no better way to understand ourselves and each other, than by writing and sharing our stories. Everyone has a story. What’s yours?THIS MUST BE SAID: We don’t mean to sensationalize crime or someone who breaks the law. Airing these stories is in no way meant to take anything away from the victims of violent crime. Instead, we want to share stories, because we believe that stories lead to understanding. And if there’s something we need more of these days, it’s understanding. This series is dedicated to Luis Aracena. You are missed and loved. May you rest in peace.See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
117: A Day in the Life of a Prisoner
Dec 1 2021
117: A Day in the Life of a Prisoner
This is the third episode in a 10-part series inspired by the people Allison Langer taught memoir writing, in a men’s prison. You will hear new stories by her former students and stories from other incarcerated or formerly incarcerated people around the world.Today’s show shares a story by Roderick Richardson, an inmate in a Florida prison. Rod is a master storyteller who grew up in Liberty City, which is a very rough area in Miami. Rod took care of his six brothers and sisters when his mom was incarcerated. At 12 years old, Rod sold drugs to keep food on the table. His story is not unique, unfortunately. Rod is serving a life sentence for robbery.We also share an interview with former prison doctor, Karen Gedney. Dr. Gedney is an internal medicine specialist who spent almost 30 years as a prison physician. She was designated as one of the best in the business by the American Correctional Association and won a Heroes for Humanity Award for her work in HIV in the correctional system. Dr. Gedney ran the only regional prison medical facility in the state of Nevada. She was a naive young physician who survived a world she was ill-prepared for and turned it into a calling. You can read Dr. Gedney’s story in her book, 30 Years Behind Bars. Trials of a Prison Doctor. Writing Class Radio is produced by Allison Langer, Andrea Askowitz, Xaire, and by Matt Cundill, Evan Surminski and Courtney Fox at the Sound Off Media Company. Music by Xaire, Koi, Marnino Toussaint, Amadians.There’s more writing class on our website, writingclassradio.com, including video classes, essays to study, and editing resources. If you love the lessons you get on each episode, you can get them ALL in one place--our three-part video series--for $50. Click Video Classes on our website.If you want to be a part of the movement that helps people better understand each other through storytelling, follow us on Patreon. For $10/month Andrea will answer all your publishing questions. For $25/month you can join Allison’s First Draft weekly writers group, where you can write and share your work every Tuesday 12-1 (ET). www.Patreon.com/writingclassradio.A new episode will drop every other WEDNESDAY. So look for us. There’s no better way to understand ourselves and each other, than by writing and sharing our stories. Everyone has a story. What’s yours?THIS MUST BE SAID: We don’t mean to sensationalize crime or someone who breaks the law. Airing these stories is in no way meant to take anything away from the victims of violent crime. Instead, we want to share stories, because we believe that stories lead to understanding. This series is dedicated to Luis Aracena. You are missed and loved. May you rest in peace.See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
116: How Do You Fulfill a Promise When You’re Stuck in Prison?
Nov 17 2021
116: How Do You Fulfill a Promise When You’re Stuck in Prison?
This is the second episode in a 10-part series inspired by the people Allison Langer taught memoir writing, in a men’s prison. You will hear stories her former students wrote after taking her class and stories from other incarcerated or formerly incarcerated people around the world.To help us get this right, Xaire has agreed to co-host the series with us. Xaire is a poet, singer-songwriter, actor, and teacher who teaches writing and poetry to kids in the foster care system and kids caught up in a detention center. THIS MUST BE SAID: We don’t mean to sensationalize crime or someone who breaks the law. Airing these stories is in no way meant to take anything away from the victims of violent crime. Instead, we want to share stories, because we believe that stories lead to understanding. And if there’s something we need more of these days, it’s understanding. On this episode, you will hear one of our favorite stories by one of Allison’s favorite people: Clifton Jones AKA 2-Tall. 2-Tall’s story is about legacy and more specifically, about the promise he made to his mom and to himself. (If you’d like to follow along, see entire story at the bottom of the show notes.)You will also meet Chris Wilson who spent 16 years in prison. Chris is an entrepreneur, activist, and author of The Master Plan. Allison sent 2-Tall The Master Plan, so he could read his powerful words. For more Chris, listen to his Stoop Story. Chris talks about how his traumatic childhood and a life sentence led him to turn his life around and ultimately, help others.Writing Class Radio is produced by Allison Langer, Andrea Askowitz, Xaire, and by Matt Cundill and Evan Surminski of the Sound Off Media Company. Music by Xaire, Koi, Marnino Toussaint, Amadians.There’s more writing class on our website, writingclassradio.com: including video classes, essays to study, and editing resources. If you love the lessons you get on each episode, you can get them ALL in one place--our three-part video series--for $50. Click Video Classes on our website.If you want to be a part of the movement that helps people better understand each other through storytelling, follow us on Patreon. For $10/month Andrea will answer all your publishing questions. For $25/month you can join Allison’s First Draft weekly writers group, where you can write and share your work every Tuesday 12-1 (ET). www.Patreon.com/writingclassradio.A new episode will drop every other WEDNESDAY. So look for us. There’s no better way to understand ourselves and each other, than by writing and sharing our stories. Everyone has a story. What’s yours?This series is dedicated to Luis Aracena. You are missed and loved. May you rest in peace.The Making of My Unbreakable PromiseBy Clifton K. Jones (AKA 2-Tall) Down on one knee, everything around me that hadn’t disappeared was muffled and seemed to be moving in slow motion. I felt like a block of ice drifting on a frozen lake. I was stunned.   I didn’t know how long I had been kneeling in the middle of my cell, but it felt like hours. I forced myself to sand and realized that I had been holding my breath. I composed myself enough to stop my hands from shaking. Looking down, I could see the words glowing mockingly from my tablet on the floor. I roared into the darkness.        It was after 11pm, so the cell lights were off. Guys were either sleeping or bundled up in sweaters or jackets in the day room playing dominos, talking shit, or watching a late night movie on Bounce.My roommate was among the TV watchers, so I had the cell door pulled closed with a towel over the cell door window to block inquisitive eyes and signal to my roommate that I was busy.        The one thing I feared the most had materialized. I had lost my QUEEN (mother). She was gone. I thought about the last phone conversation I had with her, only days before. My mother had cried, and that was rare. I can count the times I’d seen Mrs. Francis cry. Standing at a towering six feet, Mrs. Francis was a true amazon and she wore it well. Both beauty and amazon, my mother was understanding and caring, but she didn’t play games.        On countless occasions, I can remember walking into our apartment in Bradenton’s page projects to find some unkempt stranger, an old friend who had fallen on bad times or was strung out on drugs. They would be at our smoke grey glass dinner table eating a healthy plate of yellow rice and turkey necks, buttered cornbread and sweet peas or leftover over baked macaroni and cheese, BBQ chicken and Hungry Jack biscuits. Everyone would be laughing and drinking and listening to Otis Redding or Barry White.        Like clockwork, one of my three uncles would pop in to rile my mother calling out her childhood nickname, “Hey Tocka Head,” and then head straight for the kitchen. As soon as my mother heard the lid on a pot being removed, she’d scream, “If you don’t get out of my damn pot without washing your dirty ass hands, boy I know something.”        Mrs. Frances always said whatever was on her mind, so there was never much back talk. It was well known that my mother could curse the clouds out of the sky when she was pissed off. She’d lay down the law on man, woman and child if something didn’t sit well with her. Especially if it was in regards to me or those she cared for.        When I was eight years old, my mother, uncles, and some family friends were having a small get together. Kool and the Gang was booming on the speakers on the porch. All of us kids were playing Pac-man on the Atari, eating apple Now and Laters, Funyuns rings and drinking blue cream Nehi sodas. I don’t remember exactly what jumped it off, only that it was in regard to my baby cousin, Jessica who my mom adored. Jessica’s mom was good and drunk and my mother was not having it. She threw her sister Sharon through the screen door like a scene out of a western bar fight.        How could she be gone? If my young mind could have registered the real consequences of stepping through that back door of the KFC with a snub nose 38 jammed into the small of my friend’s back as he pretended to take out the trash, I would’ve run back to high school, basketball practice, or the recording studio with a new attitude and a respect for what life was really about.        I would have made a different decision if I could have foreseen that one night I would be kneeling in a cold, dark cell trying to process a message that said my mother was dead. Gone before I could give her the keys to the house I promised to buy her when I was eleven years old.Instead, the prospect of what I thought would be a few thousand dollars to party with on my birthday lead me to squander the experience of sharing the gift of life with the woman who had given me so much of herself. She never got to see me be the person she knew I could be. So far, I had failed her and myself. There was no way I would allow the story of my life to end like this. Wherever great mothers go, I was going to make sure she would be able to say, ‘I told you he would do it.’ and rest proudly.        In our last conversation, my mother got on the topic of how she wouldn’t be here forever and what to do if something should happen to her. I brushed it off and tried to change the subject like always. “Woman, you’re not going anywhere.”        This time, she stayed serious and on topic. “If I leave here boy, don’t you start acting crazy.”        “Ma.”        “No, listen to me,” her voice thickened by emotions. “You do what you need to get your behind out of there. Promise me that if I leave here you’re gonna get out of that place and live your life. And don’t worry about me. I’ll be with your sister, your grandfather, your aunty Cat, Angelo and my mother.”        “I got you, Ma, I promise.” And I meant it.Looking around the dark cell, it felt strange thinking that my mom really wasn’t here anymore. It didn’t feel real. With mixed emotions, I left the cell to call my mother’s husband. Rod had been a part of our lives for over 20 years. We were cool, but it hadn’t always been good. As a family, we shared a history littered with frayed love and struggles. I witnessed him stand against anybody deemed a threat to my mother. Yet, I remember going into the kitchen one night and grabbing a butcher knife, because I heard him hit my mother. I was eleven and I never forgot this.        I could hear the tears in his voice when he picked up the phone. I understood his hurt, his loss, and everything else I can’t formulate into words. Calming himself, he recounted the details that lead up to him riding in the back of the ambulance with my mother before she passed, and her leaving a message telling me not to start acting up. Even in her final moments, she was more concerned about my wellbeing than her own.         In a zone, I walked laps around the dorm listening to Tupac—Hold Your Head—on my MP3 player. I had to stay focused and away from people. I knew I was one wrong word away from doing who knows what. But I also knew that if I made good decisions, my time would come.         In 1996, I was convicted of robbery with a firearm and three counts of kidnapping that I committed with three childhood friends when I was eighteen. I was given four life sentences on my first criminal offense, while my three co-defendants were allowed to go free without serving a day. That left a sour taste in my mouth, and in crucial moments such as this, I get frustrated because I feel alone and betrayed. I just want to say “Fuck it.” Then I remind myself that it’s on me not to give up on my life, my dreams. To one day cross the stage at the Grammys, amongst the greats, and pay homage to the woman who rooted for me, no matter what. Only now, circumstances had transformed my dream into an unbreakable promise.        I stopped at Bop’s cell and put my face to the glass. He waved his hand in the darkness to let me know that he was awake. Stepping outside, he immediately asked what was wrong. Maybe it was the look on my face. I explained without going into detail what I was going through and to stop me from doing anything I would regret.        With time standing still, I continued to pace and think. I knew without a doubt I would fulfill my promise to my mom, Mrs. Frances Andrew McNair.See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
115: What I Learned from Men in Prison
Nov 3 2021
115: What I Learned from Men in Prison
Welcome to Season 12. Today, we’re starting a 10-part series inspired by the people Allison Langer taught memoir writing, in a men’s prison. We put a call out for stories, so you will hear stories her students have written recently and stories from other incarcerated or formerly incarcerated people around the world.To help us get this right, we asked Xaire, who is a poet, singer-songwriter, actor, and teacher to co-host with us. Xaire teaches writing and poetry to kids in the foster care system. THIS MUST BE SAID: We don’t mean to sensationalize crime or someone who breaks the law. Airing these stories is in no way meant to take anything away from the victims of violent crime. Instead, we want to share stories, because we believe that stories lead to understanding. And if there’s something we need more of these days, it’s understanding. The first story in our series was written by our own Allison Langer. It’s a story about change. A change in the way Allison sees the justice system and the way she sees the people caught up in the justice system. Our hope (after hearing all the stories in the series) is that you will see in the men and women, what we have come to see: intelligent, motivated, kind human beings who made a mistake--sometimes, very big, huge, awful mistakes. Most of the people who are incarcerated are suffering from trauma, had to make very difficult choices at a young age, and got tangled up in a flawed system. Some have been misjudged and wrongfully convicted. But those men and women are NOT their crimes. They have paid their debts, matured, and are ready to move on with their lives.Maybe you will fear the incarcerated and formerly incarcerated less or not at all. Maybe you will support laws that provide equal justice and job opportunities to the formerly incarcerated. Maybe you’ll give your family members a break when they disappoint you. Maybe you will have more patience with young people who have messed up. Our hope extends to those who are victims of violent crimes. These stories are for you too. We hope hearing some of these stories will bring some relief.Writing Class Radio is produced by Allison Langer, Andrea Askowitz, Xaire, and by Matt Cundill, Evan Surminski and Courtney Fox at the Sound Off Media Company. Music by Xaire and Marnino Toussaint.There’s more writing class on our website, writingclassradio.com: including video classes, essays to study, and editing resources. If you love the lessons you get on each episode, you can get them ALL in one place--our three-part video series--for $50. Click Video Classes on our website.If you want to be a part of the movement that helps people better understand each other through storytelling, follow us on Patreon. For $10/month Andrea will answer all your publishing questions. For $25/month you can join Allison’s First Draft weekly writers group, where you can write and share your work every Tuesday 12-1 (ET). www.Patreon.com/writingclassradio.A new episode will drop every other WEDNESDAY. So look for us. There’s no better way to understand ourselves and each other, than by writing and sharing our stories. Everyone has a story. What’s yours?This series is dedicated to Luis Aracena. You are missed and loved. May you rest in peace.See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
114: Sometimes It's Better Said in a Song
Oct 20 2021
114: Sometimes It's Better Said in a Song
Today on our show, we’re talking about structure, voice, commitment, and especially happy endings. The story you’ll hear was written, read, and sung by Amber Petty. What makes this story so much fun? You know it when you hear it.Amber Petty used to be an actor but now she writes and helps other writers get into freelance writing. In her acting days, she performed at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater and did over 500 shows of the Off-Broadway 50 Shades! The Musical. She's written for The New York Times, Thrillist, Greatist, Bustle, MTV, IFC, and Snooki's blog. Now, she teaches Freelance Writing for Creatives and works on very important projects like her book of short stories inspired by the musical Cats.Writing Class Radio is a podcast where you’ll hear true personal stories and learn how to write your own stories. Writing Class Radio is equal parts heart and art. By heart we mean the truth in a story. By art we mean the craft of writing. No matter what’s going on in our lives, writing class is where we tell the truth. It’s where we work out our shit, and figure out who we are. There’s no place in the world like writing class and we want to bring you in.WCR is produced by Allison Langer, Andrea Askowitz, and by Matt Cundill, Evan Surminski and Courtney Fox at the Sound Off Media Company. Theme music by Justina Shandler.There’s more writing class on our website (www.writingclassradio.com), Facebook ( Instagram and Twitter (@wrtgclassradio).If you love the lessons you get on each episode, you can get them ALL in one place--our three-part video series--for $50. Click Video Classes on our website.Writing Class Radio is now open to submissions from our listeners. Go to the submissions page on our website for guidelines. We pay!If you want to be a part of the movement that helps people better understand each other through storytelling, we are now on Patreon. For $10/month you can join Andrea’s submissions conversation. We’ll support each other as we try to get our stories published. For $25/month you can join Allison’s first draft weekly writers class, where you can write and share your work. Go to www.Patreon.com/writingclassradio or click here to support us.If you love this podcast, please tell your friends. There’s no better way to understand ourselves and each other, than by writing and sharing our stories. Everyone has a story. What’s yours?See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
113: I Was the Real Life's Queen's Gambit
Oct 6 2021
113: I Was the Real Life's Queen's Gambit
Today on our show, we’re talking about how to frame a story. Not all publications are looking for the same thing. Actually, all pubs are different. On Writing Class Radio, we look for a change in the narrator or a discovery by the narrator. We want the narrator to reveal something big and vulnerable and important. We want something dramatic to happen. And then we want the narrator to make meaning of what happened. The story we bring you today doesn’t exactly fit into what we call a story, but it is so compelling and beautifully written. AND it was published despite it not fitting into our usual box. On today's show we talk about writing stories meant for different publications and why we think this one was published elsewhere. You’ll hear Sari Caine read her story, I Was the Real Life Queen’s Gambit Beth. Sari Caine is a native New Yorker who has been living a nomadic lifestyle since the start of the pandemic. Her story was originally published in The Independent and is an excerpt from her memoir in progress called Check Mates.Writing Class Radio is a podcast where you’ll hear true personal stories and learn a little about how to write your own stories. Writing Class Radio is equal parts heart and art. By heart we mean the truth in a story. By art we mean the craft of writing. No matter what’s going on in our lives, writing class is where we tell the truth. It’s where we work out our shit, and figure out who we are. There’s no place in the world like writing class and we want to bring you in.This episode of WCR is produced by Allison Langer, Andrea Askowitz, and by Matt Cundill, Evan Surminski and Courtney Fox at the Sound Off Media Company.  Theme music by Justina Shandler. Additional music by Amadians.There’s more writing class on our website (www.writingclassradio.com), Facebook ( Instagram and Twitter (@wrtgclassradio).If you love the lessons you get on each episode, you can get them ALL in one place--our three-part video series--for $50. Click Video Classes on our website.Writing Class Radio is now open to submissions from our listeners. Go to the submissions page on our website for guidelines. We pay!If you want to be a part of the movement that helps people better understand each other through storytelling, we are now on Patreon. For $10/month you can join Andrea’s submissions conversation. We’ll support each other as we try to get our stories published. For $25/month you can join Allison’s first draft weekly writers class, where you can write and share your work. Go to www.Patreon.com/writingclassradio or click here to support us.If you love this podcast, please tell your friends. See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at