Traveling Workshop 2016: Catalina, California

Catalina Island: June 19 – 25, 2016

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


Class and Cost

The fee for the week is either $2,248 or $2,648 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 seven 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 Saturday night listening party. All pieces will air on KISL-FM.

Dates and Deadlines

  • Applications open February 16, 2016
  • Applications due March 25, 2016 (11:59 p.m. EST)
  • Applicants notified of selection decisions April 1, 2016
  • Enrollment confirmation April 8, 2016
  • Tuition/housing costs due in full April 22, 2016
  • Workshop takes place June 19 – 25, 2016

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: $$2,648*
Tuition, three meals, and shared room: $2,248*

*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

“This was one of the best experiences of my life. The week truly felt magical, inspiring, and life-changing. I love the people I met and the content I learned. I wish I could participate in a Transom Traveling Workshop every year.” – Catalina participant, 2015

“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

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. For information about other Traveling Workshops happening this summer, go here.

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