EWF’s podcast recommendations

We’ve asked the staff and creative producers at EWF to share their best podcast recommendations ahead of the EWF19 podcast.

Artistic Director Izzy Roberts-Orr

I’m a sucker for fictional podcasts, one of my faves is ‘queer slice of life romance story’ Love and Luck, co-created by EWF19 artist Erin Kyan. Madison Griffiths is another brilliant EWF19 artist who won a 2019 Frankie Good Stuff Award for Tender, which judge Benjamin Law said, “offers the kind of deep, robust investigation at the heart of the best memoirs.” Lindsey Green is producing our special mini-series as part of this year’s festival, and I highly encourage you to check out her brilliant podcast People Movers, which highlights the impact of escalators on everyday life.

Marketing and Publicity Coordinator Nicole McKenzie

I’m going to split my recommendations into three categories – art, heavy feelings and money. My favourite art podcasts are Books on the Go, an Adelaide-run podcast in which hosts Anna Baillie-Karas, Annie Waters and Amanda Haye discuss their book of the week and book news; Sisteria, a podcast featuring interviews with women & non-binary creatives, it’s full of great energy and advice for creatives, and Run the Show, interviews with producers, arts managers and anyone else who works behind the scenes of live entertainment. For some heavy listening (that really pulls at your heartstrings) I would recommend Terrible, Thanks for Asking, featuring interviews with people who have gone through really shit times; and No Feeling is Final, an honest, personal account of mental illness by Honour Eastly, it gives an incredible insight into the mental health system in Australia. Moving into my money section, Honour Eastly also produced one of my favourite money podcasts – Starving Artist, a show about art and money (and how to make money from art). My other money recommendation is Bad with Money with Gaby Dunn, a truly fantastic entry-level money podcast for people who aren’t wealthy – Gaby and guests explain money concepts simply and explore the systematic reasons people can’t get ahead.

Operations Manager Mia McAuslan

I love the On Being Project and their beautiful, thoughtful podcasts on life, literature and philosophy. My two favourite episodes are Maria Popova ‘Cartographer of Meaning in the Digital Age’, and Claudia Rankine ‘How Can I Say this So We Can Stay In This Car Together?’ Another go to is the Wheeler Center‘s podcast for all thing books, writing and ideas. From this series I recommend ‘Collective Spirit: First Nations Poetry’. I’m also looking forward to checking out The Saturday Paper‘s daily news podcast, 7am hosted by Elizabeth Kulas.


Program Producer Linh Nguyen

I’ve recently gotten into Las Culturistas, a hilarious and irreverent pop-culture podcast hosted by comedians Matt Rogers and Bowen Yang. As a Drag Race afficanado, I’m also a huge fan of What the Tuck and Race Chaser. On the literary side of things, The First Time Podcast is not to be missed for those curious about what to expect when first publishing a book. Hosts Katherine Collette and Kate Mildenhall have keen insights to share, and each episode they interview a debut author/industry insider, pulling back the veil on the publishing process. EWF is hosting our very own live recording of the First Time podcast on Wednesday 26 June, with special guests Astrid Scholte and Gerii Pletz.

Digital Producer Ruby-Rose Pivet-Marsh

I’ve only recently become a podcast person and these are the ones that were recommended to me as good starting points from people whose tastes I trust! I’ve since found others I also love, but I’ll be going through this EWF blog post to get more recommendations… Popcast (The New York Times): Great critical discussions on pop music and culture. Favourite episodes include those on boy bands, Bad Bunny, Robyn, and the Ryan Adams investigation. I love this podcast because the guests are always really knowledgeable and fitting to the topic and the hosts are always ready to admit when they don’t know what they don’t know! Most episodes feature music from the genre or artists in discussion to give the listener context and reminders. For the episodes interrogating more intense topics like sexual assault and harassment, the space is provided for serious and considered investigation. Still Processing: a great culture podcast, again from NYT. They talk movies, tv, art, music, internet and more! Queerstories: a staple! I went to a recent live recording in Melbourne and it was so good, listening back to what was recorded that night is so lovely. Funny, honest and touching stories from across a diverse lineup. I love to laugh as much as I love to cry and this ticks both those boxes.

Creative Producer Kirby Fenwick

Multi-level marketing may not seem like the most thrilling topic, but The Dream, a podcast hosted and produced by This American Life alum Jane Marie, is all kinds of excellent. Hilarious, shocking, heart-breaking – it’s all of those things and more. From pyramid schemes to sport, I have to give a shout out to The Outer Sanctum. Women have long struggled to have their voices heard in the traditionally very masculine domain of Australian sport. But The Outer Sanctum, a podcast hosted by six women who are passionate fans of Aussie Rules football, bucks that trend in the very best way and discusses sport from a progressive and inclusive point of view. Highly recommend, even if you’re not a footy fan. I also love Claire Wright’s Shooting the Past, which takes as its starting point a single photograph and delves into the story behind it and Eliza Hull’s We’ve Got This, a series that explores the challenges of parenting with a disability that also works to break down stereotypes and misconceptions. There’s also Call Your Girlfriend and Lore and the BBC’s A Good Read and Slate’s Hit Parade and I’ll stop now.

Creative Producer Lauren Sanders

Live event recordings from The Wheeler Centre, ABC’s Conversations (particularly hosted by Richard Fidler – his joyful curiosity makes any topic interesting), ABC’s Ladies, We need to Talk about anything and everything related to women we’re ‘not supposed to talk about’, Mamamia Outloud to unpack what’s happening each week (from the popular to the political), Mamamia No Filter for ‘candid conversations that count’, Chat 10 Looks 3 by Leigh Sales and Annabel Crabb – it is the daggiest, most delightful thing ever and has a cult following with live events all over Australia and The Garret for interviews with writers – it discusses their work and creative practice.

Creative Producer Diem Nguyen

Thirst Aid Kit, hosted by journalist Bim Adewunmi and writer Nichole Perkins, is about pop-culture, female desire, and hot famous people. I love the in-depth discussions on what exactly makes someone attractive (‘Are they hot? Or are they just white?’), and the sometimes spicy but most often soft fanfic drabbles on the thirst object of the week. Thirst Aid Kit is currently without a home, but there are 50 or so episodes that are just waiting to be listened to in the meantime. Start with the person who you fancy the most, or the Chris Evans episode where Bim and Nichole are joined by Chris Evans himself! BookThingo is a romance focused podcast hosted by Kat Mayo. There are some great author interviews, thoughtful discussions on the current romance genre industry, and a whole lot of raucous laughter. Most romance podcasts and blogs are US-focused so it’s refreshing to hear from an Australian perspective.


Need more podcast goodness? Subscribe to the Emerging Writers’ Festival podcast ahead of the EWF19 podcast and come along to our podcast events at EWF19 – a live recording of The First Time Podcast: Debutante at St Kilda Library on Wednesday 26 June, So You Want to Start a Podcast? at The Wheeler Centre Monday 24 June, Yesterday: A Live Listening Party at Loop Project Space and Bar on Thursday 20 June, and immersive audio experience 2222 at State Library Victoria from Thursday 20 June – Sunday 23 June.