Story Workshop Fall 2018: Pieces

photo of the FA 2018 Story Workshop class

Intro from Jay Allison: The most recent batch of nine new radio producers have just left Woods Hole. If you're lucky, they may be headed to a town near you to make radio. We're proud to share some of their work, developed with help from Rob Rosenthal, our extraordinary lead instructor, and his amazing associate Erika Lantz. The new producers made stories on everything from deep sea creatures, to a judicial court run entirely by young people, to a retired couple who walked around the entire perimeter of Cape Cod and more. And don't forget their Sonic IDs. Rob says, "I've often been asked 'Why, after 18 years of teaching radio storytelling, do you keep doing it?' The answer is: listen to the stories." So, get comfortable. Take a listen. You won’t be disappointed.

"Rearranging The Numbers" by Martine Chaussard

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Martine Chaussard

If you’re covering an issue you deeply care about, there will be no such thing as an easy narrative.

Read more and listen.

"Time Mattachine: Provincetown’s Last Lesbian Bar" by Monique LaBorde

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Monique LaBorde

I learned that it’s difficult to pitch stories where all the action is in the past.

Read more and listen.

"Sea Of Stars" by Tanner Robbins

photo of Tanner Robbins
Tanner Robbins

[The deep sea] is an otherworldly place. So, it needs otherworldly sounds. I wanted to take the audience there. I wanted them to dive into an unknown world. Learn a thing or two. Then resurface with their new knowledge.

Read more and listen.

"Living With Josie" by Giovana Romano Sanchez

photo of Giovana Romano Sanchez
Giovana Romano Sanchez

Of course you should always have a plan, but the truth is you will only know what the story is once you go and talk to people. And then, chances are you will have to be flexible.

Read more and listen.

"Mr. Christmas" by Sarah Schewe

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Sarah Schewe

Sometimes, it’s the normal stuff that makes a story compelling. While working on this piece, if I told someone about the crime Bryan had committed, they would say, “Wow, that’s a good story.” But I don’t think the crime is the story.

Read more and listen.

"Octopus Fever" by Ruby Schwartz

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Ruby Schwartz

I realized quite late in the game that my story didn’t seem to follow the structure we’d learnt in class. I couldn’t formulate a focus sentence for my story with a because and a but. And I freaked out. Did I even have a story?

Read more and listen.

"Without Veil: The Shield Behind Social Change On Martha’s Vineyard" by James Albert Sneed

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James Albert Sneed

What I learned from doing this story was: follow your instinct, and listen to your tape as soon as you can.

Read more and listen.

"One Foot In Front Of The Other" by Brandon Tenney

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Brandon Tenney

Much to my embarrassment, I was halfway through the editing process before I realized that I had found diamonds in the rough. They just needed some polishing. Part of the polishing included me getting my voice out of the piece entirely.

Read more and listen.

"Young Justice" by Jessica Yarmosky

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Jessica Yarmosky

The biggest challenge in making this piece was making sure my listeners fully understood the concept of Youth Court, with all of its inner workings and jargon, while also being fully integrated into my main character’s story and lived experience. And I only had nine-ish minutes to do it!

Read more and listen.

About Rob Rosenthal, Lead Instructor

photo of Rob Rosenthal
Rob Rosenthal

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. And, he is now the lead teacher for the Transom Story Workshop, which launched in the fall of 2011.

About Erika Lantz, Teaching Assistant

photo of Erika Lantz
Erika Lantz

Erika Lantz is a radio producer originally from Minnesota. Most recently, she worked at WBUR, Boston’s NPR station, where she made the radio series/podcast Kind World. Her work on the series won National Edward R. Murrow and Society of Professional Journalists awards for feature reporting. Before that, she held a variety of roles at WBUR and curated and produced PRX Remix. You can find her at or @ejlantz.

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