Traveling Workshop 2019: Detroit, Michigan

postcard of Detroit Michigan

Detroit, Michigan: December 8 – 14, 2019

Public radio station WDET is hosting a week-long Transom Traveling Workshop in audio storytelling. Ten beginning-level students will get seven days of intensive training.

Apply for Workshop

Class and Cost

The fee for the week is $1,835 and includes:

  • Training by Rob Rosenthal, lead instructor for the Transom Story Workshop, with support from teaching assistant _________.
  • Your own copy of Hindenburg Journalist audio editor to keep.
  • Use of quality field-recording equipment. (Or bring your own if you like.)
  • Three group meals total during the seven days.
  • Eligible for $45 one-year, student membership with AIR.

*Note: The fee does not include housing, meals beyond the three group meals, or ground transportation.

Workshop participants will gather Sunday at 2:00 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 in or around Detroit. The Workshop ends with a listening event the evening of Saturday, December 14th.

Dates and Deadlines

  • Workshop and Scholarship applications open July 23, 2019
  • Workshop and Scholarship applications due August 30, 2019 (11:59 p.m. EDT)
  • Applicants notified of selection decisions September 13, 2019
  • Enrollment confirmation September 20, 2019
  • Tuition costs due in full October 4, 2019

The Selection Process

There will be ten participants in all. 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.

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 August 30th by midnight EDT. 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 for Scholarship


Participants are responsible for finding their own housing. Students in the past have had luck with Air BnB’s and sharing housing with other students in the Workshop.


Out-of-town participants will need to fly into the Detroit Metro Airport and take public transportation or car service to Detroit.

From Traveling Workshop Previous Participants

“Rob is a fantastic teacher with so much knowledge and skills to share and he does it in a way that resonates, is clear, understanding and empowers me as a student.” – Allston, MA participant, 2019

“This was one of the best—if not THE best—educational class I’ve ever been a part of.” – Marfa, TX 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.

Laura Herberg, Assistant Instructor

Laura is a feature reporter at WDET (the NPR member station in Detroit), telling sound-rich stories about people inhabiting the region and the issues that affect them. Laura was named the Michigan Associated Press Best Reporter for Radio Broadcasting in 2018 and 2017. She was awarded a SoundCloud Fellowship for a mobile audio tour called Listen to Detroit in 2012. In her free time, Laura is a “counselor” for the local listening group, Radio Campfire. She also is the creator of Complete Me, a podcast with only three episodes about how she has trouble completing tasks. Laura began her career in radio as a student at the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies in 2009.

Apply for Workshop


Contact us with your workshop questions: info [at] transom [dot] org. For information about other Traveling Workshops happening this winter, go here.

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