English CSST. The Sound and the Story: A Workshop in Nonfiction Narrative for Audio Production

Instructor: Jill Lepore
Monday, 3:00-5:45pm | Location: Robinson 106
Enrollment: Limited to 12 students
Course site​​​​​​​

This hands-on workshop in nonfiction narrative for audio will take students through all the steps of storytelling from story development and pitching through research and reporting, writing and editing for the ear, factchecking and production. Special attention will be paid to the way the limitations and strengths of audio production guide story choice, story structure, and interviewing for radio, podcasting, and enhanced audiobooks. Reading assignments will include guides on writing for radio, including Out on the Wire: The Storytelling Successes of the New Masters of Radio, but course discussions will also rely on listening assignments that will include both recent projects, like Slow Burn and The Other Latif, and historical audio storytelling, like Edward R. Murrow’s Hear It Now and the formal innovations of Orson Welles. Guests will include acclaimed reporters and audio producers from NPR, Pushkin, Frontline, Radiolab, BBC Radio 4, and the New Yorker Radio Hour. Students should expect to allot time for training in audio production using software licensed by Harvard and supported by the Harvard Sound Lab.

Supplemental Application Information: To apply, please write and record a two-minute, non-fiction audio essay or story. Your essay or story needs to be true and cannot be about your own life. Please give your recording a title and include, at the end of the recording, your name, year, and concentration, and any prior relevant coursework and experience along with a sentence or two about why you’d like to take this course. No prior experience with audio production is necessary to take this course!

Apply via Submittable (deadline: 11:59pm EDT on Sunday, August 21)