Traveling Workshop 2017: Catalina, California

old postcard of Catalina Island

Catalina Island: June 18 – 24, 2017

For the fifth year in a row, community radio KISL (Avalon CA) is hosting a week-long 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 $2,505 or $2,905 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 14, 2017
  • Applications due March 24, 2017 (11:59 p.m. EST)
  • Applicants notified of selection decisions April 3, 2017
  • Enrollment confirmation April 10, 2017
  • Tuition/housing costs due in full April 21, 2017
  • Workshop takes place June 18 – 24, 2017

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!). One Catalina resident will also be selected. They will receive a tuition scholarship* made available by the Catalina Island Performing Arts Foundation as part of a KISL-FM effort to stimulate the production of more local content.

* The Catalina resident will be provided a scholarship for the workshop. They will attend at a reduced cost of $139. 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: $2,905*
Tuition, three meals, and shared room: $2,505*

*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 came into the week wanting to pursue audio production, and I feel that I have a lot of great energy, tools, ideas, and contacts coming out. Thank you so much to everyone involved in organizing it! I’m very grateful to have had the opportunity.” – Catalina participant, 2016

” [Rob is an] amazing teacher, talented editor. He’s the reason I signed up for the workshop in the first place.” – Catalina participant, 2016

Rob Rosenthal, Lead Instructor

Rob Rosenthal is an independent producer and a teacher. He’s the host for the HowSound podcast on radio storytelling — a joint project of PRX and Transom. 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. Previously he was a staff reporter at the national program Marketplace. His work has been featured on The World, 99% Invisible, Wiretap, Love + Radio and WWOZ. He is also the producer of the podcasts Random Tape and Below the Ten. His print stories have 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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  • Rebekah Jones



    I wish id known about this program earlier . Please let me know if you do another one!

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