Story Workshop

The Transom Story Workshop is a nine week, residential program of full-time training held in Woods Hole, Massachusetts on Cape Cod for beginning producers – fresh out of college or mid-career. We offer Workshops in spring (end of March – May) and fall (end of September – November). For email updates on our Workshops, contact us: info [at] transom [dot] org.

You’ll find basic information about the Story Workshop below. For more specific questions, visit our FAQ. If you don’t find an answer there, please write to us at info [at] transom [dot] org. Applications for Fall 2019 are now closed. Applications for Spring 2020 will be available in early October.  

Dates and Deadlines for the next Story Workshop

  • Applications open for the Fall 2019 Story Workshop & the Story Workshop Scholarship: April 2, 2019
  • Applications due for the Fall 2019 Story Workshop & the Story Workshop Scholarship: May 31, 2019 (11:59 p.m. EST)
  • Applicants notified of selection decisions: June 19, 2019
  • Enrollment confirmation for selected students: Tell us if you’ll be attending by June 26, 2019
  • $750 non-refundable deposit due: July 8, 2019
  • Tuition/housing costs due in full: July 28, 2019
  • Welcome dinner: September 24, 2019
  • First day of class: September 25, 2019
  • Graduation and public listening event: November 21, 2019

Cost of the Workshop

Cost for the Workshop ranges from approximately $9,105 – $9,780 (depending on housing/utility fluctuation) and includes:

  • Tuition for the nine-week course. ($7,500)

  • Housing for nine-weeks. (Rooms range in cost from approximately $1,605 – $2,280 for the duration of the Workshop. The houses are fully furnished and rent includes internet, laundry, utilities/heat, sheets/towels and a final cleaning service. Some of the rooms have water views.)

  • Two group meals each week, prepared by a local chef. ($300 covers the cost of group meals.)

  • Training by lead instructor Rob Rosenthal and a teaching assistant.
  • Pitching/editorial sessions with Jay Allison.
  • Voice coaching by producer Viki Merrick.
  • A technical gear-oriented one-on-one session with Transom’s Jeff Towne.
  • Guest lectures (and opportunities for professional connections) with well-known people in public media. Special guests for Fall 2019 include Miki Meek from This American Life and Robert Smith from NPR’s Planet Money.
  • Opportunities to observe and participate in the day-to-day operations at WCAI, the award-winning Cape and Islands public radio station (where your work may be broadcast).

NOTE: The Story Workshop is a residential program. Opting out of student housing is non-negotiable (except for any health or medical concerns that would make living in the group housing impossible). Visit our FAQ to find out more.

Participants Produce

  • A vox-pop audio piece.
  • A radio promo.
  • A six-minute documentary feature: you choose the subject.

The Workshop Application

We suggest preparing these elements first. Then go to the online application where you can complete the application form.

  • Resume: If you have media and writing experience, please emphasize it.
  • Personal Statement: We’re looking for hard working, curious, story-driven, wanna-be radio producers. This won’t be a nine-week radio vacation on the Cape. This will be challenging, demanding, and all-consuming in a good, steep-learning-curve kind of way. In 500 words or less, tell us why you want to be here, why you want to make narrative, story-driven radio and what you expect to do when you leave.
  • Two Letters of Recommendation: Should be from people who know you and have worked with you in some capacity as employers, fellow employees, teachers, professors, supervisors, etc. We’d like to hear about your character, work ethic and why they think this Workshop is right for you. Letters of recommendation should be sent to with your name_Recommendation in the subject line. They need to arrive by the application deadline.
  • Work Sample: We’d like to get a sense of your work. We’re interested in hearing something you produced or in reading something you wrote. Audio samples can be 4 minutes or less and sent as MP3s (please only send work you have produced). Written samples can be 700 words or less. And yes, we do accept short video work samples as well. While you may be tempted to send us several examples of your work, we ask that you please send only one. Choose a piece of work that best represents your skill level as a maker/writer. Work samples should be uploaded as part of your application.
  • Application Fee: There is a $60 USD application fee. You can submit it either via PayPal or by sending a check made out to Atlantic Public Media, and mailed to APM, 3 Water St., P.O. Box 445, Woods Hole, MA 02543.

The Scholarship Application

Our goal is to make the Story Workshop a realistic option for people who have been unable to attend due to cost. 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. For now, Scholarship funds are available only to people living in the U.S.

Scholarship applicants are required to complete both a Workshop application and a Scholarship application. We strongly encourage submitting the Workshop application first. Both the Workshop and Scholarship applications have the same deadline. The Story Workshop admissions committee reviews and awards scholarships only after applicants are accepted into the Workshop.

Transom is prepared to pay one or more partial scholarships, and one full scholarship, if a qualified applicant requires it. A full scholarship includes tuition, housing, group meals, travel to and from Woods Hole and possible stipend. Partial scholarships range in amount depending on the need of applicants and the amount of scholarship funds available to us.

Again, we strongly recommend submitting the Workshop Application before submitting the Scholarship Application. You can find the Scholarship application here. You can learn more about our Scholarship here.

[Note: The Workshop is now nine weeks long, not eight.]

Have Questions?

Visit our FAQ. If you don’t find an answer there, please write to us at info [at] transom [dot] org.

Workshop Related Links

Story Workshop Info
Story Workshop Application
Story Workshop Scholarship Info
Story Workshop Scholarship Application
Story Workshop Scholarship Donation
Story Workshop FAQs