As you might remember from my podcasting blog post from a few months ago, I’m a huge fan of podcasts! Recently I’ve also become a huge fan of short stories. I don’t know why they are not more popular. Think about it: people have less time than ever, they are constantly on the move, and with so much to read and do, who has time to finish a tome like this one or this other one. What a better format than a 20 page short story that you can read at the bus stop? Better yet, a 20 minute short story you can listen to while working out? I think the combination of podcasts and short stories is up there in the list of genius combinations with rice and beans, Romeo and Juliet, and jeans and t-shirts. So without further ado, here are some of my favorite free short story podcasts:
Miette reads both classic and contemporary short stories in her soothing English accent. This is one of my favorite podcasts, and true to its name, I’ve fallen asleep many times while listening (though sometimes the stories gives me weird dreams). The best part about this podcast is that all the stories are handpicked by Miette herself, who has unpredictably quirky but excellent taste.
Every month in this podcast they ask one short story writer to pick and read any story from The New Yorker archives that has influenced them or that they just really enjoy. Afterwards, the writer talks about the story with fiction editor, Deborah Treisman. It’s interesting to see what stories different writers pick. For instance, I thought it was surprising that George Saunders chose Isaac Babel’s short story “You Must Know Everything,” (which was one of my favorite stories in this whole series, and introduced me to a great writer).
This podcast gets professional actors to read short stories in front of a studio audience. Each episode follows a theme for an hour, and usually contains 3 or 4 short stories. The performances are top-notch and really draw you in.