10 Minute Writer's Workshop

New Hampshire Public Radio / Panoply

Podcast Overview

A peek into how great writers conjure and craft their work. From creative rituals to guilty distractions, writers reveal what it really takes to get pen to paper.

Podcast Episodes

Episode 48: Roxane Gay

This episode, we speak to Roxane Gay, author, essayist, teacher, and all around-superwoman. The author of New York Times bestsellers Bad Feminist and Difficult Women, her latest, Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body, is a candid and personal account of life inside her body, of weight, trauma, and self-care. We spoke to Roxane by phone from her home. Episode music by Blue Dot SessionsAd music by Uncanny Valleys 

Workshop 47: Jonathan Safran Foer

Author, outspoken vegetarian, social media abstainer and writing teacher Jonathan Safran Foer is author of three novels: Everything Is Illuminated, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close and, most recently, Here I Am, which follows four generations of a Jewish family grappling with identity, connection and disaster. His nonfiction book about factory farming, Eating Animals, was also a New York Times best-seller. Episode music by Broke For Free Ad music by Uncanny Valleys

Workshop 46: Ian Rankin

Ian Rankin is best known for two characters: Inspector John Rebus, the protagonist of now 21 mystery novels, and the city of Edinburgh, whose dark corners come alive in Rankin’s hands. Rebus made his debut in the 1987 crime novel Knots & Crosses. In Rankin’s newest novel - Rather Be the Devil - a retired Rebus returns to a case that has haunted him for decades. Episode music by Podington Bear Ad music by Uncanny Valleys

Workshop 45: Krista Tippett

Krista Tippett is probably best known as the host & creator of the public radio program On Being. But she's also the author of three books that pull from her decades of interviews with a broad variety of thinkers and seekers, exploring the intersections between spirituality, science, and living. The most recent is called Becoming Wise: An Inquiry into the Mystery & Art of Living. We spoke to her backstage at The Music Hall in Portsmouth, NH before a Writers on a New England Stage event. Music: Podington Bear - "Daydreamer"

Workshop 44: Anita Shreve

Anita Shreve had a small, but devoted following as a literary author when her second novel, The Pilot's Wife was named an Oprah Book Club pick. The recognition propelled her into a New York Times bestselling novelist. Two days after her 18th novel, The Stars Are Fire, was released, she canceled her extensive book tour, later writing on her Facebook page that she would be undergoing chemotherapy. This most recent novel uses wildfires that raged through coastal Maine in 1947 as the backdrop for the story of one woman’s extraordinary resilience. Music by Tyler Gibbons Ad Music by Uncanny Valleys Find Anita Shreve on Facebook at

Workshop 43: John Scalzi

John Scalzi, the Hugo Award-winning author of science fiction both serious and less-so and an internet star from way, way back. He is former president of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, perhaps best known for his Old Man's War series, his blog “Whatever,” and his novel Redshirts, which is currently being developed for television. He joined us in the NHPR studios while on tour for The Collapsing Empire, the first novel of a new space-opera sequence set in an all-new universe.

Workshop 42: Tana French

Tana French is the Edgar Award-winning author of the Dublin Murder Squad series. The newest, called The Trespasser, is the sixth in the best-selling, habit-forming series. "It’s taken for granted that anybody who’s read one [Tana French novel] will very shortly have read them all,” wrote Laura Miller in the New Yorker. French wrote her debut novel, In The Woods, in the long stretches between parts as a stage actress in Dublin. That theatrical training - understanding people from the inside out - may well be the edge that sets her books apart from other mysteries and police procedurals. The search for the killer becomes entangled with a search for the self, or as Miller put it, "in most crime fiction, the central mystery is who is the murderer? In French’s novels, it’s who is the detective?” Music by Podington Bear Ad music by Uncanny Valleys

Workshop 41: Ben H. Winters

Ben Winters is a little incomprehensible. Not his output, which is consistently great, but his wild imagination and range. He's a teacher, a playwright, an Edgar and Phillip K. Dick Award-winning novelist, he's written children's books, an existential detective series and landed a New York Times bestseller with the Jane Austen meets the kraken mash-up, Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters. His most recent novel, Underground Airlines, imagines an alternative American history - and present. The civil war never happened, and slavery is legal in four southern states under protection of the Constitution. Underground Airlines is an ingenious work of speculative fiction that at times seems chillingly plausible. It landed on several top ten lists in 2016...from Fresh Air contributor Maureen Corrigan to the BBC. We caught up with him at the Capital Center for the Arts in Concord, NH before interviewing him and The Underground Railroad author, Colson Whitehead. Episode music by Podington Bear Ad music by Uncanny Valleys

Workshop 40: Mario Batali

Mario Batali is a superstar chef, restaurateur, television star and passionate advocate for simple, regional food. Also passionate about making that food more accessible, he is author or co-author of 7 cookbooks, including his most recent Big American Cookbook. We caught up with him before his appearance at The Music Hall for Writers on a New England Stage and asked him if his cookbook ideas pop up like a timer or simmer below the surface for a while. Episode music by Jahzzar Ad music by Uncanny Valleys This episode sponsored by Blue Apron - use code 10minute for three free chef-inspired meals Bonus! Vladimir Nabokov's egg-boiling instructions, as sent to Maxime de la Falaise for her cooking book in 1972: “Boil water in a saucepan (bubbles mean it is boiling!). Take two eggs (for one person) out of the refrigerator. Hold them under the hot tap water to make them ready for what awaits them. Place each in a pan, one after the other, and let them slip soundlessly into the (boiling) water. Consult your wristwatch. Stand over them with a spoon preventing them (they are apt to roll) from knocking against the damned side of the pan. If, however, an egg cracks in the water (now bubbling like mad) and starts to disgorge a cloud of white stuff like a medium in an old fashioned seance, fish it out and throw it away. Take another and be more careful. After 200 seconds have passed, or, say, 240 (taking interruptions into account), start scooping the eggs out. Place them, round end up, in two egg cups. With a small spoon tap-tap in a circle and hen pry open the lid of the shell. Have some salt and buttered bread (white) ready. Eat. V.N. November 18, 1972”

Workshop 39: Lindy West

Lindy West, columnist for The Guardian, and author of How to be a Person and Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman. Lindy writes about feminism, social justice, body image, pop culture and, lately, politics. She's a funny and original thinker, and brave. She's been a contributor on several memorable episodes of This American Life - one on "coming out" as fat, another about confronting an internet troll, one of hundreds who'd harassed her online. She's got a bunch of balls in the air - TV and movie projects, an idea for a podcast - but we honed in on the demands of being a columnist. Episode music by Ari de Niro Ad music by Uncanny Valleys

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