Story Workshop Spring 2018: Pieces

Intro from Jay Allison: Listen up! We have nine new pieces from our latest Story Workshop graduates. Rob Rosenthal and Erika Lantz led the nine-week class and guided the students in making compelling stories. We're especially impressed with the RANGE of stories they found--from the last two kids growing up on Cuttyhunk Island to the loss of a beloved clam shack on Nauset Beach. We hope you'll take the time to listen to all nine pieces. It's strong work and particularly exciting because these producers are just starting out. (p.s. Listen to their Sonic IDs too!)

"When The Waves Hit" by Ethan Brooks

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Ethan Brooks

I learned writing for radio is much different than, say, writing an article for Transom. You can hear in my piece a sort of simplistic style. Big blocks of text, followed by big blocks of tape. Everything very much on the nose, and doing a specific job within the structure.

Read more and listen.

"Runaway" by Morgan Givens

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Morgan Givens

"Runaway" is a fictionalized recreation of a slave narrative. It’s meant to stand in place for those who fled and were unable to write or tell their stories. In some ways, it’s also my attempt to give voice to those who were unable to flee themselves, but made it possible for others to do so.

Read more and listen.

"The Hours After" by Otis Gray

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Otis Gray

If you are in radio, it’s because you give a shit. It’s because you see something that needs to be shared or changed. Your weapon is storytelling.

Read more and listen.

"The Last Kids Of Cuttyhunk Island" by Bayla Metzger

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Bayla Metzger

Pre-interviews are about striking a balance between gathering enough information and leaving enough on the table. If I’d pushed for more beforehand, I think I would have had a clearer vision of what the story really was before getting out in the field.

Read more and listen.

"A Spirochete Travelogue" by Robin Miniter

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Robin Miniter

Here’s my big Transom takeaway: you have to know the rules so you know how to break them. And sometimes, breaking rules is fun, right?

Read more and listen.

"The Last Word" by Catherine Saint Louis

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Catherine Saint Louis

It can be hard to find a story in a place you don’t live. I’d start early and keep multiple potential candidates going for weeks...

Read more and listen.

"Just Like Dogs" by Emmi Skytén

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Emmi Skytén

Sometimes it’s best not to be explicit about everything but to leave some space for the listeners to make connections themselves.

Read more and listen.

"Should I Stay Or Should I Go?" by Avery Thompson

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Avery Thompson

Welcome surprises. Too often stories sound just like they were plotted. They ain’t got no “woah.”

Read more and listen.

"Oh, Connor" by Jessica Yung

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Jessica Yung

One of the most liberating things I learned at Transom was that no stories are the be-all, end-all. You have to just keep making things.

Read more and listen.

About Rob Rosenthal, Lead Instructor

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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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