Traveling Workshop 2019: Catalina, California

photo of Catalina Island

Catalina Island: June 2nd – June 8th, 2019

For the seventh 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.

Apply to Workshop

Class and Cost

The fee for the week is either $2,700 or $2,150 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.

Ideally, Workshop participants should arrive on Saturday, June 1st (local/L.A. participants may be able to arrive Sunday). The Workshop will start with a group meal on Sunday 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 Saturday night listening party. All pieces will air on KISL-FM.

Dates and Deadlines

  • Workshop and Scholarship applications open February 12, 2019
  • Workshop and Scholarship applications due March 22, 2019 (11:59 p.m. EST)
  • Applicants notified of selection decisions April 5, 2019
  • Enrollment confirmation April 12, 2019
  • Tuition/housing costs due in full April 26, 2019

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: $2,700*
Tuition, three meals, and shared room: $2,150*

*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.

Traveling Workshop Scholarship

We are also pleased to offer the Traveling Workshop Scholarship. Our goal is to make Traveling Workshops a realistic option for people who have been unable to attend due to cost. Seed money for our Traveling Workshop Scholarship came from a graduate, appreciative of the opportunity, who generously wanted to help open the door for others with fewer financial resources. Additional funds come from This American Life, as well as other graduates and individuals who believe in the quality of the training we provide and in the importance of diversifying the public media work force.

Scholarships will be offered based on financial need, with a focus on diverse voices, people of color, and those who have been historically underrepresented as makers of public media. The Workshop admissions committee reviews applications and only after applicants are accepted into the Workshop are scholarship applications reviewed and awarded. For now, Scholarship funds are available only to people living in the U.S. and to Workshops happening in the U.S.

Scholarship applicants are required to complete both a Workshop application and a Scholarship application. Both are due March 22nd by midnight EST. We ask you to complete and submit your application to the Workshop first. You will find a link to the Scholarship application on the post for each individual Workshop site. Applicants will be asked to note on their Scholarship application which Workshop site or sites they have applied to.

Apply to Scholarship

From Previous Participants

“I fell even more in love with radio than I was before! I can never go back. I’m forever hooked!” – Catalina participant, 2018

“Rob is the most thoughtful, strategic and generous teacher I’ve ever had. I learned more from a week with him than an entire year of graduate school.” – Catalina participant, 2018

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 where he hosts the podcast Welcome to LA. 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.

Apply to Workshop


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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