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Posts Tagged ‘Ira Glass’

How To Pitch This American Life

Many writers dream of landing a spot on This American Life, the public radio show that features some of the best journalists and storytellers working today.

In a revealing “Ask Me Anything” interview on Reddit, This American Life host Ira Glass outlined how stories get selected on the show. In his long answer, he actually included a list of stories that were considered for a single episode–a daunting, but inspiring list. Check it out:

What we’re looking for: someone to relate to, a plot that’s surprising that leads to some idea about the world that’s also new or interesting or surprising. Those are the basic elements. Extra points for humor, charm or memorable details that you can’t get out of your head. A great story is like a great melody: it announces its inevitable greatness and you recognize it the first time you hear it. Most stories aren’t that. They do not announce their obvious greatness. 60% are in the limbo region where they might GET great or they might flop, and the only way to figure it out is to start making the story. So you launch in, hoping for that winning combination of great moments, charm, funny, and X factor. As a result, we go through tons of stories on our way to the few that end up on the air. It’s like harnessing luck as an industrial product. You want to get hit by lightning, so you have to wander around for a long time in the rain.

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Mediabistro Course

The Art of the Book Review

The Art of the Book ReviewStarting August 4, learn how to get paid to write reviews that will influence the publishing landscape! Taught by a Publishers Weekly book critic, you'll learn how to recommend a book to its audience, write reviews of varying lengths, tailor a review to a specific publication and more! You'll leave this course with two original reviews and a list of paying markets for book reviews. Register now! 

How to Make a Book Trailer with Your Phone

Sometimes all you need for a book trailer is a telephone. For his new set of book trailers, author Shalom Auslander recorded dark and absurd phone calls with his friends.

To support his new novel, Hope: A Tragedy, Auslander staged strange conversations with Ira Glass (embedded above), John Hodgman and Sarah Vowell. What do you think of the series?

Here’s more about the book: “Hope: A Tragedy is a hilarious and haunting examination of the burdens and abuse of history, propelled with unstoppable rhythm and filled with existential musings and mordant wit. It is a comic and compelling story of the hopeless longing to be free of those pasts which haunt our every present.”

Ira Glass Sex Tape Spoof Earns 92,000 Views

What if This American Life dedicated an episode to sex tapes? Julian Joslin and Michael Grinspan created a hilarious and fairly tame satire of the show (embedded above).

“This American Laugh” spoofs famous style of Ira Glass, imagining an episode where the writer and host tries to make a sex tape. Joslin spliced together a Glass impersonation with real audio from NPR personalities. It has already earned more than 92,000 views.

The Huffington Post has more about the video: “The result is a barbed love letter to public radio’s self-seriousness, with a familiar cast of characters that includes Alex Bloomberg, Jonathan Goldstein and Terry Gross, who’s kind of the co-star. To conjure the supporting characters, Joslin trolled NPR footage, splicing Gross from nine ‘Fresh Air’ episodes including interviews with Jay-Z, Gene Simmons, Woody Allen, a dominatrix of unknown provenance and Keith Richards. Goldstein’s and Bloomberg’s sound bytes come largely from the ‘Testosterone’ episode of ‘This American Life.’”

Didion, Gross to Receive Lifetime Achievement Awards

Though it didn’t quite happen at exactly 10 AM EST as the National Book Foundation‘s website promised (10:12 by my clock, admittedly on the fast side) the people who bring you the National Book Awards (the nominees of which will be announced in Philadelphia on October 10 and co-hosted by Camille Paglia) have announced their lifetime achievement winners. Joan Didion will receive the Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Michael Cunningham will present. Terry Gross is being honored with the Literarian Award For Outstanding Service to the Literary Community. Ira Glass, host and producer of National Public Radio’s THIS AMERICAN LIFE, will present.

In making the announcements, Harold Augenbraum, executive director of the Foundation, said, “These two women are icons in the literary world and their contributions are now legendary – Joan Didion as one of the keenest observers and finest prose stylists of our time and Terry Gross as one of the most intelligent voices on the airwaves and one of the few who devotes hundreds of hours a year to talking about books and literature. Both women are fearless in their questioning and their insights on the page and on the air have informed our understanding of America and of America’s writers for decades. Our Board of Directors is honored that they will accept these awards and grace our gala with their presence.”

Murray Joins DeFiore & Company

PW Daily reported on Friday that Randi Murray has joined New York literary agency DeFiore and Company. Murray, who is based in California and had been running her own agency out of San Francisco, will continue to operate from the West Coast in her new position. Her clients include This American Life producer Ira Glass, NPR food commentator Bonny Wolf, mystery writers Keith Raffel and Claire Langley-Hawthorne and Pulitzer Prize nominee Justin Catanoso.