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The words "Audio Dramatic" on top of the logo, of a pair of headphones with a pen across them, against a sparkly daytime sky with peeks of skyscrapers at the bottom edge
Hello, fellow listeners!

Yet another busy two weeks in podcasting! Let's all take a collective nap. I know this seems like my solution for everything... but it's a good solution. Fight me.

Don't fight me, actually, I'm too busy napping.

Two announcements before we dive in:

No Casting Light today! Life happens at you fast sometimes and I prefer to not try to write something in a compressed, stressed timeline for Audio Dramatic -- I've done it before, and I always end up unhappy with the result. So, thank you for your patience and understanding.

No issue on March 25th! I'm going traveling and hosting various friends and family, so I won't have time. We'll pick up on April 1st as usual (I promise).

I made these decisions to help myself avoid burnout. I encourage everyone to take steps that fit into their lives that help them avoid it too. Your voice matters, and so be sure to take care of it.
CASTING IT BACK - MINI-REVIEWS
The Nuclear Solution, Rewind (episode 7): This is a radio show for the post-nuclear apocalypse household; just because the world has ended doesn't mean you shouldn't keep things neat and tidy and civil! One of my favorite structures for short episodes is to set up a window into a universe and restrict the view, until the creator breaks down the walls around it. The Nuclear Solution did not end up where I was expecting, and it's wonderful. [10:23]

The Six Disappearances of Ella McCray, Chapter 7:  Six Disappearances has been taken some wild twists since Ella disappeared on the eve of her wedding and her wedding guests all saw something weird, supernatural, and different from each other. The switch in perspectives with overlap in storyline is crucial, as creator Jamie Killen adds a piece to a jigsaw every time listeners get a look inside each person's head and story. The story Six Disappearances is telling--supernatural, horrifying, and strange--requires a tightly linked and unusual narrative structure, and Killen nails it in this episode in particular. [17:04]

Scenic Byways, Eternal Green (episode 4): Scenic Byways follows a trucker who travels across a fractured, larger-than-life, unusually mythic America; he meets struggling communities, legends forgotten and reawakened, old and haunted places. This episode has him venturing into Olympic National Park searching for one, mythical tree and it's one of my favorites: it's a triumph of beautiful, poetic writing, hair-raising sound design, and surprising plot turns. (And if you like Miya Kodama from Super Ordinary, she's a standout guest in this episode). [35:21]

The Weeksville Project: This is a beautiful 3-part slice-of-life historical fiction, set in the Weeksville neighborhood during the 19th century. Weeksville was one of the first free Black neighborhoods in the United States, and The Weeksville Project does incredible work focusing in on one single family and how the turn of the decades impacts their lives, and their freedom. This is uplifting heart-breaking, and insightful writing that encourages listeners to think about what it's saying beyond the day-to-day of the Harrison family.  [~10:00]
                
Liberty: Tales from the Tower, The Narrow (episode 3.1): Liberty takes place in the city of Atrius, cut off from the rest of humanity; Tales from the Tower is the science-fiction horror anthology that cycles through different stories. The newest, Kaitlin Statz' "The Narrow", opens their third season of Tales from the Tower with a mysterious, horrifying darkness in the depths of a recently discovered underground cave system. Inevitability and uncertainty are how the sound design burrows into your brain. [44:11]

The Call of the Flame, A Dragon's Gift  - Part 1 of 2 (episode 13): I've been seriously remiss in telling everyone about this epic fantasy podcast. Bri sets out on a mission to redeem her father for the murder of the Chieftain of the Gods and the loss of fire magic, with companions like a fatherly Orc, a wily Elvan, and a companionable Dwarf. It has been a beautiful audio experience--well-crafted sound design that fills a world with magic, incredible performances that immerse me in another world (especially from Borchers, the voice of Taruk the Orc)--and the narrative structure is clever to make it easy to follow in this enormous world. I love the silly cleverness of this episode's opening, and I am joyous at watching Bri blossom as a character. [34:04]

Masala Jones, Foreplay (episode 1): Masala Jones' entire first six-episode season dropped yesterday, and it is pretty unapologetic about the porn industry's treatment of people of color, women, and erotic entertainment, and about the treatment of sex industry workers by the public. This first episode sets up the story with a sharp wittiness and clear trajectory; it's about desirability and racism, about making people of color palatable to white audiences, and still, it's about sex and all its hilarity. [18:04]

Still Lives, The Quiet (episode 1): Described as a pastoral post-apocalypse fiction, the first episode of Still Lives highlights how not everything after an apocalypse has to be loud, or terrifying, or bloody. It takes place on a quiet farm populated by five people -- as far as they know, the last five people on Earth.One night, there's a knock on the door. This is a beautiful start to an intriguing podcast; it's genuinely a different tone to the post-fall of modern civilization, lingering in the relationships between people and the sounds of an isolated farm. [20:34]

The Prickwillow Papers, The Trove (episode 4): This is such a cute, fun podcast to spend time with, about a recently-graduated mage, Sylda, who can't get a job or apprenticeship because of market saturation and the fairy, Squirm, she saves in the dreary little town of Prickwillow. Squirm promises to teach Sylda how to handle her magic, and Sylda has to use it to help Squirm with her lack of magic problem. The magical creatures here are so relatable and feel like genuine citizens, and not distant figures, especially in this episode.  [12:14]

Imaginary Advice, Haunt Your Own House (episode 57): Ross Sutherland's Imaginary Advice lingers somewhere in that space between fiction and the fiction of reality and the hard truths of life. I thought long and hard about putting it in this issue, but I loved this episode so much for what it helped me imagine and think about. "Haunt Your House" features host Ross trying to establish his hometown as the most haunted village in England, a weaving of fiction from childhood memories and nostalgia, with the ghosts of TV shows like Lovejoy, and then leading a ghost tour through Petersborough, voted the worst place to live in England in 2019[40:48]
A SOUND BREAK
La Cosa Preziosa is an Italian sound artist who specializes abstract, short-form storytelling through field recordings and soundscape compilations (and a lot of other really amazing audio, music, sound work). If you aren't signed up for her soundscape dispatch, you're missing out.
ARTICLE HIGHLIGHTS
Februrary Fiction Podcast Debut Roundup
Listen Up: A Successful Podcast Live Show Festival!
If you want to see more reviews, interviews, and other articles from me, you can support me over at my ko-fi account! 
Ko-Fi Support
NEWS CLIPPINGS

TONIGHT, at 7 PM Eastern, the Podcaster Roundtable is going to be hosting a livestream panel, "Exploring Podcast Accessibility Issues and Solutions". Be sure to tune in!
NEW YORK CITY! (and surrounding area pals). Go to this fiction podcast live show from voices of queer femmes of color on April 5th, and the panel they're hosting on April 6th. If you love The Far Meridian, Janus Descending, Kalila Stormfire's Economical Magick Services, or Overkill, this is your moment, because they're live and on stage.
Honey Roast, a podcast where creators compliment and talk sweetly about other creators who have inspired them, is currently crowdfunding! I love everything about it, and the host Tess is a genuine delight; there are no better hands for this podcast to lie in.
Observer Pictures is crowdfunding for the final season of Boom, a tense thriller that grapples with trauma recovery and its impact on relationships, and has only 4 days left.
International Podcast Month (September 2019) has opened up submissions for fiction and nonfiction minisodes, actual play one-shots, and creator conversations. Go submit!
Zoo, a podcast about a moving, mysterious cryptid zoo and the FBI agent that gets tangled up with it, is crowdfunding for season 2!
RECOMMENDED READING
I get a lot of requests for resources regarding writing characters of color, especially Black women, specifically places to research before sending work to sensitivity and beta readers. I'd recommend reading L.D. Lewis' essay on carefree Blackness as another starting point for your research terms.

This essay from Kathryn Vandervalk is excellent reading for creators and audience alike. It deals with assuming that all the writing a marginalized author creates is about themselves, and how that can often end up with their creative work being dismissed.  [content warning for mentions of rape and suicide as elements in a story.]
BY THE WAY,

I'm also currently writing for Podmass at the A.V. Club! You can read today's review for Make-Believe, if you want more insight into their folktale and oral storytelling adaptations and reimaginings.

Remember to take care of yourselves!

If you'd like to ask me questions or comments, you can reply to this newsletter (it goes directly to my email!) or reach out to me on Twitter.

Happy listening,
Ely
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Copyright © 2019 Audio Dramatic, All rights reserved.


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