I’ve taught radio storytelling for 15 years which means I’ve shepherded many pieces. Lots, like four or five hundred.
I’ve aired a bunch of student work on HowSound over the years but I’ve hardly made a dent in the pile. So, this episode marks the first of what I suspect will be many episodes to come where I present good student stories, well told, along with a few thoughts on what I think stands out about the pieces. I’m calling this one “Buried Treasures.” (For full disclosure, the title is a complete and utter rip-off of Sound Opinions, which does the same thing from time to time.)
The first story features a series of blistering rides with a pizza delivery guy in Portland, Maine. The piece is called It’s Pizza Time and was produced by Alex Malmude. Alex was a student at the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies in 2009. These days she makes clothes for a living, most recently swimsuits. She told me that on her way to Burning Man this year, she recorded prairie dog “chirrups.” Radio never leaves your blood.
The second piece is a complete turnaround in terms of tone — Under Water. It’s a story of personal transformation as told by a photographer who takes pictures of water lilies. It comes from Brigitta Greene, a Transom Story Workshop student in 2013. Brigitta now works as a producer for Minnesota Public Radio.
“The Movie-Goer” is my third selection. The humor in this story is so dry it’s practically a desert. The Movie-Goer was produced in a week this summer at a Transom Traveling Workshop. Andrew Leland is the producer. He’s also the host of The Organist podcast and a contributing editor for The Believer magazine.
Last is an ear-bruising story about an internationally known grindcore punk rock record label in Hyannis, Massachusetts — a surprising location, hence the title of the piece Punk in the Unlikeliest Places. Mary Decker produced this for WCAI’s Creative Life series when she was a student at the Transom Story Workshop in 2014. Mary now lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, where she manages a vegan restaurant and produces radio stories.