Story Workshop Spring 2012: In Session

April 3rd, 2012
TSW Spring 2012

Transom Story Workshop Spring 2012 photo by Whitney Jones

Spring 2012

Update: It’s official. We now have nine new Transom Story Workshop alumni. Look out radio, here they come. If you’re interested in applying for our next Transom Story Workshop – for beginning radio producers – you can find more infomation here. Application deadline is June 15th.

Update: Week Eight – The final week! Students are polishing their final pieces. On Tuesday night, guest speaker, John Barth from PRX will talk with students about the state of radio & work opportunities as a reporter and an independent producer. Don’t miss the final public listening event and graduation on Thursday night.

Update: Event – Join us for a public listening event on Thursday, May 24th at 7:00 at the Old Fire Station in Woods Hole to celebrate the work of Transom Story Workshop students. It’s free. The listening event will precede a brief graduation ceremony and the public is urged to join us in applauding Transom Story Workshop’s second graduating class. More infomation here. Seats are limited.

Update: Week Seven – Students are working like mad on their second stories; preparing for a live read with Studio 360′s David Krasnow on Thursday. On Tuesday night the students will meet (via Google + Hangout) the with Transom Story Workshop alums from the pilot class to hear all about their post-Transom Story Workshop lives. On Friday, students will voice their second pieces with the guidance of Atlantic Public Media’s, Viki Merrick. We hope you can join us on the evening of May 24th for a public listening event/graduation! More on that soon.

Update: Week Six – Over the weekend, students met one-on-one with Transom’s Tool guy, Jeff Towne, who helped with the mixes of their first pieces. On Sunday night, Kitchen Sister, Nikki Silva joined the students for dinner. She spoke about the challenges of making non-narrated radio pieces. This week students are focusing on their second stories. Sketching out scenes, coming up with focus sentences, interviewing, writing scripts. On Tuesday night, independent producer Ari Daniel Shapiro will school students on the art of pitching. Onward!

Update: Students in the Spring 2012 Transom Story Workshop share the most important things they’ve learned so far in a Transom Sidebar.

Update: Week Five – We’ve just passed the half way mark of the Workshop. Last Friday students were directed by Atlantic Public Media’s Viki Merrick in voicing their first pieces. Students worked all weekend to complete a draft of the piece which they will share with each other in a listening session Monday afternoon. Also this week students will begin collecting tape for their second stories. On Thursday night Transom’s Samantha Broun and photographer Amanda Kowalski will talk about multimedia, collaboration and their work through SoundLight Media. This coming weekend, Transom’s Jeff Towne will meet with students one-on-one to help sweeten the mix of their first pieces and to answer technical questions. And Nikki Silva of The Kitchen Sisters will join the students as their dinner guest on Sunday night. Whew.

Update: Week Four – This week students are polishing the scripts for their first pieces in preparation for a live read with Jay Allison on Friday. On Tuesday night, Jay Allison and Viki Merrick will talk about producing Sonic IDs – the short, sound-rich, 30-60 interstitial anecdotes pioneered here at WCAI. Students are now on the hunt for their second pieces.

Update: Applications for the Fall 2012 Transom Story Workshop are now available. The Workshop will take place from October 1st – November 30th here in Woods Hole. Master radio instructor Rob Rosenthal will run the 8-week program for nine beginning producers. Applications due June 15th by midnight EST. You can find the guidelines and application here.

Update: Week Three – Week three kicks off with two guests – This American Life’s Jonathan Menjivar and Hillary Frank who produces the podcast The Longest Shortest Time. Jonathan and Hillary are sitting in on class and joining the students for dinner. On Tuesday, the class will Skype with producer Scott Carrier. Later this week students will turn in their first script for their Creative Life piece.

Update: Week Two – This week students pitch their first story ideas to Transom’s Jay Allison. And before heading out to collect tape later this week, they are talking all about potential scenes, interview questions and creating focus sentences for what their stories are about. Try it. It’s not as easy as it sounds.

Update: Week One – It’s week one at Transom Story Workshop. Boot camp week. Students are orienting themselves to Woods Hole and the Cape, they have their gear in hand, they’re learning Hindenburg and by the end of the week they will have produced two short promos as well as a vox pop. WCAI’s Sean Corcoran will be a Guest this week. Talking with the students about reporting on the Cape and Islands as well as about the ethics of journalism.

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Welcome to the In Session notes for the Transom Story Workshop: an eight-week-long training for beginning radio producers. The Workshop started on April 2nd and will run until May 24th when there will be a public listening event – to which you are all invited. Rob Rosenthal is the lead teacher for the Workshop along with teaching assistant, Sarah P. Reynolds.

The nine students in this class come from as nearby as Providence and as far away as Vancouver. They are living together in housing we found for them right in the village of Woods Hole (with water views!). They share meals together twice a week.

At the end of the eight weeks, they will leave with a portfolio of pieces, audio editing software, and a well-practiced set of skills in interviewing, story-building, writing, editing, and mixing on digital audio workstations, along with connections in the radio world.

Spring 2012 students are totally tweeting (#radiostory) TSW:

Guest speakers will join the students throughout the eight weeks including: WCAI’s duPont-Columbia Award-winning reporter Sean Corcoran; the radio producing couple, Jonathan Menjivar of
This American Life, and Hillary Frank of the podcast
The Longest Shortest Time; radio producer, Scott Carrier; Atlantic Public Media’s Jay Allison and Viki Merrick; Samantha Broun and Amanda Kowalski of SoundLight Media; Transom’s Tool Guy, Jeff Towne; Nikki Silva of the Peabody Award winning the Kitchen Sisters; independent radio producer, Ari Daniel Shapiro; David Krasnow from Studio 360; as well as AIR’s Sue Schardt and John Barth from The Public Radio Exchange.

We will update this page from time to time with news from the Workshop. You can follow the student’s Twitter posts (hashtag #radiostory), check out images we upload to Flickr, and post your own comments and questions below.

We will be offering the Workshop again in the fall – October and November. You can find the guidelines and application here. If you’d like to receive an email about upcoming Workshop and deadlines, please write to us at info@transom.org.


Flickr photostream for transomradio:



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