Traveling Workshop 2018: Catalina, California

Catalina Island: September 5th – September 11th, 2018

For the sixth year in a row, community radio KISL (Avalon CA) is hosting a week-long Transom Traveling Workshop on audio storytelling. Nine 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 $1,950 or $2,500 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.
    • Eight nights of housing.
    • Three group meals during the seven days.
    • Eligible for $45 one-year, student membership with AIR.

Workshop participants should plan to arrive on Tuesday, September 4th. The Workshop will start with a group meal on Wednesday at noon. 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 creative person living on Catalina. We finish with a Tuesday night listening party. All pieces will air on KISL-FM.

Dates and Deadlines

  • Applications open February 13, 2018
  • Applications due March 23, 2018 (11:59 p.m. EST)
  • Applicants notified of selection decisions April 2, 2018
  • Enrollment confirmation April 9, 2018
  • Tuition/housing costs due in full April 20, 2018
  • Workshop takes place September 5 – September 11, 2018

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 people will be selected to participate.

Housing on the Island

Our KISL friends have reserved housing in two island homes: 219 Claressa Avenue (which houses four students) and 302 Claressa Avenue (which houses five students).

Five participants will have single rooms (first come, first serve) and four will share rooms with two single beds. All have sheets and towels.

Tuition, three meals, and single room: $2,500*
Tuition, three meals, and shared room: $1,950*

*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

“Rob is one of the best teachers I have ever, ever had. If he is training the next generation of radio producers, we’re all gonna be okay.” – Catalina participant, 2017

“It’s important to say that this was life-changing . . .” – Catalina participant, 2017

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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