Traveling Workshop 2015: Catalina, CA

Catalina Island: June 14 – 20, 2015

Community radio KISL (Avalon CA) is hosting a weeklong Transom Traveling Workshop on audio storytelling. Ten beginning-level students will get six-days of intensive training on Catalina Island, off the Southern California coast.


Class and Cost

The fee for the week is either $2,410 or $2,330 depending on housing, and includes:

  • Training by Rob Rosenthal, lead instructor for the Transom Story Workshop, with support from teaching assistant David Weinberg.
  • Your own copy of Hindenburg Journalist audio editor to keep.
  • Use of quality field-recording equipment. (Or bring your own if you like.)
  • Ferry service to and from the island.
  • Seven nights housing.
  • Three group meals during the five days.

Workshop participants will gather Sunday evening and for the rest of the week be immersed in field recording, interviewing, digital editing, script writing, and narration. By the end of the week, each participant will have produced a short profile of a creative person living on Catalina. We finish with a Friday night listening party. Some pieces may air on KISL-FM.

Dates and Deadlines

  • Applications open February 3, 2015
  • Applications due March 13, 2015 (11:59 p.m. EST)
  • Applicants notified of selection decisions March 20, 2015
  • Enrollment confirmation March 27, 2015
  • Tuition/housing costs due in full April 10, 2015
  • Workshop takes place June 14 – 20, 2015

The Selection Process

Selection is competitive. We want creative, dedicated newcomers seeking a strong set of entry-level skills. Previous experience isn’t needed, but helps: preference goes to those who’ve tried audio storytelling before.

Eight participants will be selected from around the country (or world!). Two Catalina residents will also be selected. They will receive tuition scholarships* made available by the Catalina Island Performing Arts Foundation as part of a KISL-FM effort to stimulate the production of more local content.

* Two Catalina residents will be provided scholarships for the workshop. They will attend at a reduced cost of $139 each. This fee will cover the purchase of Hindenburg software ($79), and three community meals, estimated at $20 each. They will not be provided housing. Their recording kits will be provided by CIPAF.

Housing on the Island

Our KISL friends have reserved housing in two island homes (219 Claressa Ave. and 225 Claressa Ave.). Each houses four students.

Two participants have a single room (first come, first serve). The remaining six will be paired in rooms with two single beds. All have sheets and towels.

Tuition, three meals, and single room: $2,410*
Tuition, three meals, and shared room: $2,330*

*Note: Accommodations are included in the cost of the tuition regardless of whether or not you choose to stay in the housing we’re providing.

From Previous Participants

“I’m telling anyone interested in radio to apply. I can’t believe I know how to produce a radio story. I feel like the victor, ready to break into a new field well-armed and encouraged by pros. This was a life-changing week.” – Catalina participant, 2014

“Rob’s experience, his love for radio, his goal-oriented nature, his ability to reign in so many personalities, his drive to teach us in a way that gets us producing immediately… I can’t say enough good things about Rob. And I can’t imagine how we would’ve gotten our stories produced without his ability to push EVERYONE forward.” – Catalina participant, 2014

Rob Rosenthal, Lead Instructor

Rob Rosenthal is an independent producer and a teacher. He’s the host for the HowSound podcast – a joint project of PRX and Transom – on radio storytelling. He started and then ran the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies’ radio track for 11 years. He is now the lead teacher for the Transom Story Workshop, which launched in the fall of 2011.

David Weinberg, Assistant Instructor

Prior to working as a staff reporter at Marketplace, David freelanced for Marketplace from New Orleans and St. Louis. Prior to that he worked odd jobs in Seattle, Alaska, Mexico and New York. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife and dog.



Contact us with your workshop questions: info [at] transom [dot] org. You can get info on the island from David Markowitz: marko [at] kislavalon [dot] com.

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