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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!

Podcast Movement is just one week away and I can't wait to see your face, hear you talk, and connect with you in that space. In the lead up to conventions, I'm always overwhelmed with work, so here are some episodes of podcasts with shorter-length episodes for you to enjoy when you're taking a quick break.
CASTING IT BACK - MINI-REVIEWS

Love and Luck, Break Free (episode 94): Love and Luck has long been know to grapple with difficult subjects with care and consideration, and "Break Free" is no different. This one of the most touching and empowering stories about inter-generational trauma and abusive families that I've heard. In particular, Rummery and Dunlop, the voices of Julie and Maggie, shine in this episode with their fierce love for their family and their own promises to themselves to break free from the cycle. [14:05]

Timestorm, The Storm (episode 1): Timestorm is back and it's better than ever! After joining the first PRX/Google Podcasts Creators Program, the folks at Cocotazo are relaunching their kids time-travel story from the beginning. With crisp audio and a reworked script, Timestorm has a clear plot and invigorated characters given even more life and character through their conversations. They've even incorporated a new post-episode addition of stories recorded by kids and it is extremely cute. [19:13]

The Hidden Almanac, for 2019-08-05: Honestly, I can't believe I don't talk about The Hidden Almanac more often considering how long it's been in my life. Started in 2013 by Ursula Vernon and Kevin Sonney, this is a three-times-a-week, bite-sized, "news" segment from Reverend Mord. Full of weird, interesting Lovecraft-meets-Writer's-Almanac-style facts, that strange occult vibe podcasting loves, and Vernon's own curious spin on botany and living in the country, this is a great addition for people who love microfiction in oddball towns like Echo Harbor. [4:00]

The Easiest of All Things, Shelled Turtle (episode 1): Champion of microepisodes and hard-hitting poetic imagery, A.R. Olivieri is back with a new podcast starring Lucille Valentine. Valentine's smoky, longing voice is perfect for this desert island story we've been teased in this prologue, right down to the sarcastic and exhausted tone talking to Turtle. [3:00]

Tapes from the Road, Day 235 (episode 7): Tapes from the Road is marked by a fierce thrills and gentle ache in every episode, a collection of tapes and notes taken during the apocalypse and found afterwards, changing everything people thought they knew. This is for people who love slow reveals, a haunting sci-fi take on the end of the world, and sitting deep in the cracked emotions of separation, desperation, and trying to find light in the dark. Highly recommend also checking out their soundtrack and original compositions! [19:02]

CASTING LIGHT: CONVENTION TIME
a stream of water filling a clear glass

Convention season is upon us once again, with Podcast Movement right around the corner next week starting August 13th. As one of the curators for the fiction track, you can only imagine what my plate looks like at this point. I love helping people prep for conventions, even if it’s just giving them a pep talk about being around so many people. So for the people who are convention-goers, and even for the people who aren’t, here are some ideas for making the most out of convention season.

I’m not attending, and I’ve got FOMO.

Everyone has their own way of dealing with the emotions that arise from not being able to attend an event where people you admire and love are going to. But there are always steps you can take to help improve the experience for the future from your own house.

  1. Keep an eye on the hashtag for the convention to see if anyone is live-tweeting panels or live shows you’re interested in. There’s always value in checking out what it looks like on the ground via the hashtag.
  2. Signal-boost participants and convention-goers who are seeing and experiencing what’s going on and what the convention is structured like, whether it’s an example of things going Very Right or even if it’s a critique about things like panel make-up or accessibility.
  3. Check to see if the convention is recording panels and releasing them as remote attendance. Audiocraft in Australia, for instance, releases panels and talks in their own podcast for free!
  4. Connect with vendors who may be going and see if they’re selling their merch online and signal-boost those posts as well. Helping them break their audience bubbles on social media will help out your favorite creators.
  5. Keep an eye out for conventions that have scholarships for attending, or opportunities for volunteers to get their attendance covered (like Podcast Movement or Third Coast). If you didn’t make it this year, plan on it for next year, or find a convention that hasn’t happened yet that may still have applications open.

I’m attending, and I’m overwhelmed.

There are about five hundred articles talking to you about how to maximize your convention-going experience for different major conventions, or business conferences, or even simply professional events. Instead of yelling at you about how to plan and schedule, I’m going to share with you the three gentle reminders I have to remind myself of when I attend a convention.

  1. Take breaks, and don’t plan them. You never know when the exhaustion might hit, or any other side-effect of attending a large event with a schedule and often surrounded by strangers. If planning a break is necessary, do so, but also remember to go with the flow.  You’re the most important person to yourself, so please take care and go find somewhere to decompress if you’re feeling too anxious or overwhelmed to function at the level you need. Ideally, check the map ahead of time to see if there are quiet spaces or low-traffic areas in the area.
  2. Drink water! I cannot emphasize this enough! Bring a water bottle! Use it!
  3. Pay attention to what you’re interacting with. Do you see yourself on the panels you’re attending? Do you only see yourself on the panels you’re attending? (A crucial distinction). Is the center and space accessible for your needs? Don’t be afraid to ask staff members for help or advice; that’s what they’re there for. Talk about what you experience, because we can’t change the landscape nor support positive changes already made by staying silent.

I’ve talked about conventions before, last year and earlier this year. I am of the firm opinion that we need to make conventions and conferences more accessible--scholarships are one way to do that, but so are special tickets that have one-day access or track-specific access, for instance, as well as free and low-cost remote attendance. I love the sense of community that conventions and conferences foster and deepen; so let’s enjoy the space and make it a better one for everyone.

ARTICLE HIGHLIGHTS
A short write-up on podcasts covering the recent protests in Puerto Rico
Making a First ImPRESSion: Contacting the Press about Your Podcast
If you want to see more reviews, interviews, and other articles from me, you can support me at my Patreon, or at my ko-fi account for a one-time donation!
 
Patreon Ko-Fi
NEWS CLIPPINGS

International Podcast Month is crowdfunding on IndieGoGo for their second year, which now includes non-fiction episodes as well as actual play and fiction episodes. Their goal is $3,500 by August 15--that's in ten days!
Audio fiction The Van is crowdfunding on IndieGoGo to cover their first and second seasons. This podcast is a hauntingly poetic look at superpowered teenagers trying to find their way. Their goal is $2,500 by August 15!
Limited series The Ghost in 3B is crowdfunding until August 16 on IndieGoGo. This Halloween special, created by Gavin Gaddis of Standard Docking Procedure, is a horror-comedy about a ghost who haunts electronics and the tech-illiterate renter they have to deal with. Their goal is $666--we see what you did there.
Apple Podcasts has rolled out their new categories, including a new category just for fiction! You can find the full update over here.
Discover Pods has launched their 2019 Podcast Trends Survey. Podcast fans and creators alike should fill this out!
RECOMMENDED READING
This article on centering marginalized people in podcasting by Juleyka Lantigua-Williams is a must-read for everyone. She's the creator of the 70 Million Podcast, and her insights and advice in this article are crucial to centering them appropriately, and incredibly helpful for those who may need a bit more guidance.

I love this varied and uplifting list of podcasts by queer and trans creators by Molly Woodstock, creator of podcast Gender Reveal. They're a fantastic writer with a vibrant voice that comes through in writing as it does in their audio.
BY THE WAY,

Will I see you at Podcast Movement? Be sure to come say hi! I'll probably be carrying or wearing my bright yellow raincoat.

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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