The opportunities for anyone interested in podcasting are seemingly limitless, but the openings at the Audio Podcast Fellows program are not.
Ten fellows will be accepted at each of the program’s two Stony Brook University locations — Stony Brook Southampton and the Stony Brook Manhattan Center for Creative Writing and Film, at 535 8th Avenue in New York City. Deadline to apply is May 1, 2019.
The unique Audio Podcast Fellows program is the first of its kind, offering a year of advanced, hands-on training to introduce students to the most current information on every aspect of audio podcast production, from storytelling and writing, to audio editing and sound, to marketing, production and distribution.
During their year, fellows work on a variety of shows with the program’s production partners, while producing a portfolio that includes a podcast pilot that is ready to take to market.
According to program co-director Kathleen Russo, the Fellows program is geared for people with day jobs that want to train for another career option, as well as for recent graduates looking for a new challenge.
Russo is the executive producer with Tina Brown of the podcast TBD, and created and produced the podcast/radio show Here’s The Thing with Alec Baldwin. Fellows co-director Tony Dec is a content strategist, consultant and sound producer who created and launched Bloomberg News’s podcasting startup, and was the principal editor for the Peabody Award-winning documentary, “Leonard Bernstein: An American Life.”
The Fellows program features guest speakers from across the podcasting spectrum, including Catherine Burns, artistic director for The Moth, who said the podcast fellows she spoke to “asked deep, intelligent questions,” and clearly enjoyed their experience in the program.
“Podcasting and audio in general is having a huge renaissance,” Burns said. “One of the things that makes it special is that it’s so accessible. Anyone can get in the game if they have some basic skills and knowledge. If we want to help elevated previously unheard voice and perspectives it’s critical that those of us lucky enough to have some experience in this area be willing to take the time out to teach the next generation of producers.”
The program has received rave reviews from the fellows themselves.
“I love the spread of individuals in the room,” said Becca DeGregorio. “We all have different goals, different interests and certainly different identities. It’s a gift to step outside of myself and my show to hear what’s going on in the heads of others.”
Fellow Netanel Levitt called the program “an amazing opportunity to work on your podcasting skills no matter your background.”
“The program can help you refine skills you already have or it can be the platform upon which you launch your podcasting career,” he said. “The professors are amazing, and the guest speakers are leaders in the podcasting world.”
Ophira Eisenberg, guest speaker and host of the podcast Ask Me Another, was equally effusive about the program. “What this class provides is the space where smart and creative individuals with great project ideas can learn how to best engage with an audience through this audio format — in a way that is authentic, effective, entertaining and worthwhile,” she said. “Speaking to them completely energized me and I left excited to hear the audio masterpieces they are working on and look forward to what they are planning to create in the near future.”
To apply to the Audio Podcast Fellows program, visit the website at stonybrook.edu/podcastfellows.