How long is the The Other Stories podcast?
The Other Stories episodes range from twenty to thirty-five minutes, so perfect for your commute or your jog at the gym.
What’s the format?
We start off with a short interview about your process as a writer, your influences, inspirations, aspirations, and why you write. Then, you’ll read a short story for us of no more than 4,000 words. Afterwords, there will be another brief Q&A focusing particularly on the story, and where the ideas came from, etc.
What kind of questions do you ask participants? Should I prepare?
Aside from thinking about your history of a writer, your inspiration and goals, you do not need to prepare for this interview. It’s casual, and the idea is to get a genuine portrait of an emerging writer (in other words, you).
Why are you asking what kind of song my piece would be?
As of now, we’re trying to score all pieces read on the show. If you have particular ideas about what kind of music would fit your piece, we’d love to hear them! If you want to score your own piece, that’d be really cool too – just let us know and we’ll work on this together. Our producer, Mike Cahill of Kaylo Productions uses the song you give us as a jumping something to go from in creating music that matches your writing.
What defines emerging/up-and-coming writers? If I’ve had published work before, does that disqualify me?
No, of course not! If you currently have an advance of $500k and several book deals with HarperCollins, we might consider that as “having made it.” But this is really a venue for anyone who’s been rejected, who’s written quietly without publishing, who has struggled, been passed over for fellowships, not been accepted into MFA programs, or has a hard time finding readership. And frankly, even if none of these apply, this is still the venue for you, and for any author who wants to speak directly to their readers.
Can I read a piece that’s been published elsewhere before?
The short answer is yes, you may. Depending on the terms of the contract you’ve signed elsewhere, we may not be able to publish the piece on our website as well, but we’re happy to link to other journals/lit mags/zines, if applicable (and it would be great if you let them know so they can help promote your participation in our program!). If, for any reason, you’ve signed over audio rights for a piece, there may be some conflict, but we’re more than happy to work through the legalities with you in these instances on a case-by-case basis.
Okay, great, thanks, but I have another question.
As long as you’re not asking about how to obtain peace in the Middle East or other unanswerable questions, please do contact us about anything you’re unclear, confused, or even just curious about. You can fill out our contact form here or email us directly at [email protected].
In general how long is the wait time on submissions?
Hi Bryan – our usual response time aims to be within three months, but we’re a little backed up at the moment so we might take a little longer. However, we promise that you WILL hear from us, one way or the other! And remember, we do take previously published work, so if your story gets placed elsewhere and we end up wanting it, most publications will let you keep audio rights. We could then republish the story (or an excerpt) or link to the original (or both!).
Is there a word count “ideal” to aim for and if so, are excerpts from larger works admissible?
Nevermind, I just saw in the FAQ’s that it must be a short story no more than 4000 words. But if an excerpt/chapter from a larger work is written in such a way that it could very well be a short story in it’s own right, is that admissible?
Absolutely admissible, Amanda! We take excerpts from longer works – I’ll need to add that to the FAQ if that’s not clear. Thank you for asking!
I just stumbled across you while looking for a home for one of my stories. I love the idea of adding music to the mix. Well done.
Thank you so much!