Traveling Workshop 2015: St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands

St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands: December 6 – 11, 2015

Transom and Outer Voices Radio are hosting a weeklong Transom Traveling Workshop on audio storytelling. Nine beginning-level students will get six-days of intensive training on St. John, in the U.S. Virgin Islands. The Workshop will take place from December 6th – 11th. Participants will need to arrive on the island Saturday, December 5th and depart on Saturday, December 12th.


Class and Cost

The fee for the week is $2,400 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.)
    • Seven nights housing.
    • Three group meals during the five days.

NOTE: The fee for island residents who choose to commute from home is $1,828 and includes everything listed above except seven nights of housing.

Workshop participants will arrive by Saturday night (December 5th). The Workshop will start with lunch on Sunday, followed by an afternoon class. Then, for the rest of the week students will 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 person living on St. John. We finish with a Friday night listening party.

Dates and Deadlines

  • Applications open August 3, 2015
  • Applications due September 18, 2015 (11:59 p.m. EST)
  • Applicants notified of selection decisions September 25, 2015
  • Enrollment confirmation October 2, 2015
  • Tuition/housing costs due in full October 16, 2015
  • Workshop takes place December 6 – 11, 2015 (with travel days on December 5th and 12th)

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.

Nine participants will be selected from around the country (or world!). Island residents are encouraged to apply.

Housing on the Island

We have reserved housing at two local hotels for the nights 12/5-12/11. The Inn at Tamarind Court and Samuel Cottages both provide simple island style lodging.

Five participants will have single rooms at the Inn at Tamarind Court. Please note, it’s dorm style housing and includes a shared bathroom.

Four participants will be paired at two of the Samuel Cottages — each cottage has one bedroom with two beds, as well as a living room with a pull out sleeper bed. The upside is the ocean view from the hillside. The downside may be sharing a room. Also, there is no wifi in the two cottages.

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. Participants will be asked their preference in terms of housing. We’ll end up drawing straws but want to consider your wishes.

Additional Costs

Students will have to cover transportation costs:

  • Airfare to the Cyril E. King Airport on St. Thomas Island.
  • Cab fare from Cyril E. King Airport to the Virgin Islands Ferry – $30 round trip, plus $4.00 for each bag, each way. Approximate travel time is 1/2 hour.
  • Ferry fare – $14 round trip, plus $4.00 for each bag each way. (Shoulder bag or backback that can go on lap doesn’t count as a bag, so no charge.)
  • Possible cab fares on island if you have to travel any long distances for your story.

NOTE: Approximate travel time for the ferry and taxi together.

From Previous Traveling Workshop 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

“This workshop exceeded my expectations! So did Rob! He is an excellent teacher! I’m glad he was the one to lead our workshop. It seems like he really cares. His energy was endless! Thanks Rob.” – Interlochen participant, 2015

“Apart from the great instruction, I really liked the fact that the group combined different technical and journalistic skill levels… I learned a tremendous amount from the instructors but also from many of the folks in the class.” – Interlochen participant, 2015

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, Teaching Assistant

David Weinberg is a reporter at KCRW, currently working on a year-long, grant funded project telling long form stories set in South Central L.A. He is also the producer of the podcast Random Tape and a contributing producer to The Organist. Previously he was a staff reporter at the national program Marketplace. His work has also been featured on The World, 99% Invisible, Wiretap, Love+Radio and WWOZ. His print stories have been appeared in The St. Louis Beacon and The New York Times.



Contact us with your workshop questions: info [at] transom [dot] org.

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