Inspiration. Ambition.
Passion. Process. Technique.

By: Molly Beer, Kaitlin Fontana, & the Writers Guild of America, East

When you’re a screenwriter moving to TV or a novelist moving to screenwriting or even a comedy writer moving to drama, you’ll have questions about how this new territory differs from what you’re used to.

The OnWriting Guide to Crafting Scripted Podcasts logo.Questions like… how does breaking a script work? Or… how do I write character development over the course of a two hour film rather than over a full TV season?

Questions are normal. But typically, there are at least some factors that are givens – things that have been established over the course of decades. Problem is, since podcasts are new territory for pretty much everyone, those sorts of rules and standards about the most basic issues don’t exist yet. There’s no consensus about how to format a podcast script, let alone any popular beliefs about things like whether you need a writer’s room.

To find answers for some of these questions, we spoke to writers and producers who have made a name for themselves in the scripted podcast industry – some who are just starting out, and some whose podcasts have gone on to become TV shows.

In Part One, we heard from LIMETOWN co-creator Zack Akers, HOMECOMING producer Alicia Van Couvering, and WGA East executive director Lowell Peterson about the industry’s business side: what the market looks like, how to break in, and how to protect yourself once you’re there.

Now, in Part Two, we’ll take a deep dive – with the help of Zack and Alicia, as well as Danielle Trussoni (CRYPTO-Z), and River Donaghey (AMERICAN AFTERLIFE) – into the creative side of the industry – from recruiting talent, to necessary skillsets, to creative satisfactions and beyond.

Learn more about the Guild’s work in the scripted podcast industry:

The OnWriting Guide to Scripted Podcasting, Part One was written & produced by Molly Beer; hosted by Kaitlin Fontana; sound design, mixing, and tech production by Stock Boy Creative; with special thanks to River Donaghey, Danielle Trussoni, Zack Akers, Skip Bronkie, Alicia Van Couvering, Lowell Peterson, Jason Gordon, and Marsha Seeman.

Listen here:

OnWriting is an official podcast of the Writers Guild of America, East. Season Four of the podcast is hosted by Kaitlin Fontana. Mix, tech production, and original music by Stock Boy Creative.

If you like OnWriting, please subscribe to our show wherever you listen to podcasts, and be sure to rate us on iTunes.

Read shownotes, transcripts, and other member interviews at

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Thanks for listening. Write on.


Kaitlin Fontana: This is the On Writing Guide To Crafting Scripted Podcasts, a two part special series from the Writers Guild of America, East, about the world of scripted or fictional podcasts.

Kaitlin Fontana: We’re speaking to writers and producers in various stages of the scripted podcast industry to learn more. Some who are new to the world of podcasting and some who have created massively successful podcasts which have gone on to become TV shows. In episode one, we learned about the industry’s business side. What the market looks like, how to break in, and how to protect yourself once you’re there. Now in part two, we’ll take a deep dive into the creative side of the industry. From identifying and honing necessary skill sets, to recruiting talent, to creative satisfactions, and beyond.

Kaitlin Fontana: In this episode, we’ll hear from the executive producer of Homecoming, Alicia Van Couvering and co-creator of Limetown, Zack Akers, both of whom we spoke to in part one. You’ll also hear from Danielle Trussoni and River Donaghey two emerging writers on the scripted podcast scene. I’m Kaitlyn Fontana. Thanks for listening.

Kaitlin Fontana: In this episode, we’ll hear from the executive producer of Homecoming, Alicia Van Couvering and co-creator of Limetown, Zack Akers, both of whom we spoke to in part one. You’ll also hear from Danielle Trussoni and River Donaghey two emerging writers on the scripted podcast scene. I’m Kaitlyn Fontana. Thanks for listening.

Kaitlin Fontana: So if you listened to part one, you heard established members of the podcast industry talk about how little we know about the brave new world of podcasting and about how many of the variables are still, well variable. In other words, the business model isn’t set in stone, so there are a lot of areas where it’s up to creators to make decisions for themselves. And since you’re still listening after hearing that, then I assume it’s because you’re ready for the hard part. Writing your script and getting it made.

Kaitlin Fontana: When you’re a screenwriter moving to TV or a novelist moving to screenwriting or even a comedy writer moving to drama, you’ll have questions about how this new territory differs from what you’re used to. Questions like, how does breaking a script work? Or how do I write character development over the course of a two hour film rather than over a full TV season?

Kaitlin Fontana: Questions are normal of course, but typically when it comes to the script itself, you won’t have a lot of outstanding questions about basic issues like formatting, page length, number of acts. Those things have been established over the course of decades. There’s a standard screenplay and teleplay format that you can find with a simple Google search. The problem is since podcasts are new territory for pretty much everyone, those sorts of rules and standards about the most basic issues don’t exist yet. There’s no consensus about how to format a podcast script, let alone any popular beliefs about things like whether you need a writer’s room.

Kaitlin Fontana: Which means basically, that when it comes to writing podcast scripts, anything goes. This may seem liberating, but for a lot of writers it’s a big enough hurdle right at the outset of an already big project, that it ultimately winds up being easier to stick with the format they know. Which usually winds up being something in the vein of a standard TV script.

River Donaghey: Just in terms of writing it, I had to figure out how I was going to structure it. Right. I’m so used to writing screenplays and scripts that there doesn’t seem to be a standardized scripted podcast format, yet. There’s some radio drama formats, but they feel a little outdated. So I landed on writing it pretty much like a screenplay.

Kaitlin Fontana: That’s River Donaghey, a film and TV writer and also a film and TV critic for Vice. He’s currently developing a scripted podcast adaptation of a young adult, post-apocalyptic novel. River isn’t the only emerging podcast writer choosing to stick to the familiar when it comes to format. Danielle Trussoni is a novelist and screenwriter who is using the TV script format she’s recently been working with to adapt one of her novels into a podcast series.

Danielle Trussoni: I use teleplay format. I use final draft to write them and really structured them like a television show, because I’ve written a number of pilots scripts. I have a novel called Angelology that I’m currently trying to get adapted as a television show, and I’ve written a lot of samples for that. So I was familiar with that form and because there is no set podcast format at the moment, I thought that that was the best way to go about it.

Kaitlin Fontana: Episode length also falls under the whatever works heading. They can range from a couple of minutes long to just under an hour, even within the same show. Episodes of Homecoming for instance, run between 20 and 40 minutes. The longest episode of Limetown is 50 minutes start to finish, while the shortest is about 22, if you don’t count the shows many episode teasers, some of which have a run time of less than 90 seconds. Other writers like Danielle have found that the sweet spot for a scripted podcast episode is around the same length as your standard TV show episode.

Danielle Trussoni: So I wrote 10 episodes each one between 25 and 30 minutes, so a little bit like a half an hour drama series, I suppose. I think that it’s a lot to ask someone to listen to an hour of just audio. I don’t know. I mean maybe that’s me. I initially thought 15 minutes per episode and then I wrote the pilot and it really felt better to have it be 25 minutes. Felt like I needed that to have all of the sort of elements that make up a good pilot there.

Danielle Trussoni: So I wrote it and then I’m like, “Well, you know, it can be a little bit fluid, there’s no set time. I could have, the first one would be 30 minutes or 25 minutes and the next one be 18 minutes, and then the next one be 12. It just turned out that structurally, I don’t know if this is because I have written half an hour comedies for myself before and pilots that are 30 pages long, that’s just the form that I felt most comfortable. And so I did all 10 episodes, basically the same length.

Kaitlin Fontana: While mileage will vary from show to show and from writer to writer, many writers are using these familiar formats for their scripts and for determining their links. For them, it’s better to do something tried and tested rather than trying to pave the road by walking it with something completely new. But just because the length of the story works similarly, that doesn’t mean that the stories themselves are so easily translated across mediums. While following the same standards as a TV script in the most literal sense, meaning 12 point courier center justified dialogue, maybe the best way to format your podcast script, does that rule hold for the narrative itself? Should your story be formatted the same way for the ear as it would be for the eye?

River Donaghey: But yeah, you can’t just take a feature script and chop it up into 30 minute blocks and then read it as a podcast, like it doesn’t work that way. It’s really a separate form that you have to craft a story to and there are stories that fit for that for audio and there are stories that don’t really, that aren’t very well told through audio.

Kaitlin Fontana: So if you can’t easily take a story created for the screen and just make it a podcast instead, what sorts of stories do work for podcasts?

Alicia Van Couvering: The exciting part of this is to focus on like how do I reinvent this? How do I really think about this audio format? Think about something that hasn’t been done in it. Think about how I could reinvent it. Think about what I would actually want to listen to as a podcast only.

Kaitlin Fontana: That’s Alicia Van Couvering, Executive Producer for the Gimlet podcast and now Amazon TV show, Homecoming. You heard her discussing the business side of the podcast industry in part one. She says the most enticing podcast projects are often the ones that really play with the unique elements of the medium and approach the audio drama format in an original way.

Alicia Van Couvering: So just trying to make stuff that sounds kind of like a TV show, to me is like a wasted opportunity of a moment where nobody really even knows what this format can do.

Alicia Van Couvering: I’m more interested in adapting, you know if you have a play idea you wrote in college. If you have a short story with tons of dialogue in it, I just think there’s room to really push the envelope in terms of format.

Kaitlin Fontana: What does she mean by pushing the envelope? To put it very, very simply think of approaches to telling the story that absolutely would not work if used in a visual medium, but could work if used in a podcast.

Alicia Van Couvering: To do a 60 second closeup of somebody in a film or television show is like pretty aggressive filmmaking. To do even a three minute monologue in a play is like a style choice. You’re going to have to really earn it. To listen to somebody just talk for five, six, eight minutes in a podcast is possible. So I think that that’s something to really take into account when people are designing and writing for the format. You have a lot less to distract people with, but you can also lean into the benefit of that.

Kaitlin Fontana: So broadly speaking, podcast storytelling works best when it plays to the unique elements of podcasting. But how does this work in practice? What are some concrete examples? Limetown and Homecoming are both testament that this approach works. In Homecoming, the story unfolds primarily in the form of tapes from things like recordings of therapy sessions or phone calls. Season one of Limetown follows the protagonist, a radio reporter, as she tracks down and interviews leads for a story. Both are angles that if told on screen could be visually, well, boring.

Kaitlin Fontana: Danielle is taking a similar approach with her show Crypto-Z.

Danielle Trussoni: We don’t have visuals so you definitely need ways to bring in descriptions, like spoken description of the features. I’ll just say the first season of Crypto-Z is a female crypto zoologist who’s hunting down a pack, basically a community of Yeti in the Alps, right. And she gets stuck in a cave. And so the device that I use is that she has a tape recorder and she has to record what happened to her. It’s sort of narrated from a different point in time. But she has a partner and through their dialogue we do get a roundabout description of the creatures and then they do get to this village of the Yeti. They’re called ice men in the show. And we hear them, but I wrote just like growl or ice man sound, and that’s completely the creative work of the sound designer.

Kaitlin Fontana: Writing audio dramas is a whole different animal than writing a TV show or film. But if you’re looking at podcasts as an easier writing project than a TV show, then Zack Akers the co-creator of Limetown who we met in part one, says you’re probably in for an unpleasant surprise.

Zack Akers: I personally get offended by people who think that podcasting is slumming it or sort of the easy way to tell a story. It’s not. It’s really hard and it is as hard as any other medium that you get into.

Kaitlin Fontana: So the general advice seems to be that you shouldn’t jump into a podcast project without knowing full well what you’re getting involved in. To that end, what elements could writers encounter that in a film or TV show they might not even think about? What components are you likely to encounter in an audio format that you wouldn’t in a visual? Here’s Danielle again.

Danielle Trussoni: (silence) Or what happened to her?

Kaitlin Fontana: River is on a similar page.

River Donaghey: Just in terms of like who does what, where. It’s just hard to get spatial blocking through audio. The book that I’m adapting is all written in like a close first person narration. And so an early draft that I wrote of the script was basically chunks of the book, long monologues, from the character to the listener. And she did a good job explaining what she’s doing and what she’s seeing, but there was no suspense there, there was no thrill. This is a survivalist story where the world is falling apart around you and you want to be in scene. I want to like have that experience with the character instead of just hearing her describe it. I really had to figure out how to take out her narration or find like a diagetic way to have her narration in the story, but also be able to put her in scene. And have the listener be able to listen to her going through these moments without her just like prattling on about what she’s doing and what she’s seeing.

Kaitlin Fontana: There are some fundamental existential ways that the components of audio based narratives differ from visual ones. But as River points out, there are also some pretty basic things you need to consider when writing a podcast that you probably wouldn’t even think of when writing for the screen. Things like the number of people, for instance.

River Donaghey: Two is a good number, three gets a little dicey, but anything more than that is tough. Especially if somebody doesn’t speak. If we have a moment where somebody is not speaking, they disappear. And so it’s very difficult if there’s just three people in a room and two of them start talking for awhile. That third person, if they pipe back in, it’s disorienting for a listener. You really have to be careful in how you’re crafting scenes. You just have to be aware of all those pieces in a way that I wouldn’t be aware of them in writing for screen.

Kaitlin Fontana: So once you have your script, what comes next? No matter how you formatted the script, what you do afterward really is pretty similar to making any other project in the entertainment industry. You start staffing up and you book your talent, but how do you find a crew? How do you decide who to cast? How long will you need your talent? At this point in the show, you’ll probably be unsurprised to hear that the answer is a little more complicated than what many writers might be used to. That said, a lot of it is pretty similar to the way you’d go about staffing and casting a film or TV show. Here’s Alicia again.

Alicia Van Couvering: I became friendly with Eli Horowitz, who was a writer and he started calling me with all these questions about how do you find actors and do you know any writers? Eventually I said, “You know, I do this as a job professionally, is find actors and writers and stuff.” So I came onto Homecoming as a producer. A part of that process was that Eli had a few ideas and we did pilot episodes, like kind of test pilot episodes for both of them.

Alicia Van Couvering: I set about hiring actors through Backstage. So we had an amazing casting director on Homecoming on the podcast called Henry Bergstein and he helped us find actors that were willing to come in for almost no money to record pilot episodes for two different ideas. In doing that, we work shopped both of them and went with the one that became Homecoming. I was friendly from film school actually with a sound recordist named Micah Bloomberg and I’d read Micah’s writing and he was really brilliant. So because of his background as a sound recordist, I thought it would be perfect for Homecoming. I put him together with Eli and Eli thought so, too. So they wrote a number of episodes and we sent the first one to Catherine Keener’s agent with whom I was friendly and she said yes. Sort of from then on, I think once Keener signed on, we were really off to the races.

Kaitlin Fontana: Alicia says that having a well known name like Catherine Keener onboard really helped to cement a lot of the other talent into place.

Alicia Van Couvering: She was really the lynch pin and I think helped us attract a lot of other people to the project. She was if I remember correctly, we had made an offer to Oscar Isaac, but I think it was Keener’s relationship to Oscar that really got him on board. Schwimmer was just an offer. I don’t know that anybody knew him. Amy Sedaris, similarly. We were like UTA, like all the agencies were quite helpful. I mean we went through a couple offers for some of those smaller roles just trying to figure out who was available and then landed on people that we were overjoyed to have and lucky to get.

Kaitlin Fontana: But A list celebrities tend to be hard to come by. Top billing actors like Keener and Oscar Isaac tend to be busy with projects like Get out and I don’t know, Star Wars. So it’s hard to imagine that they’d be able to clear their schedules and make time to star in more experimental formats like audio dramas. There’s also the issue of casting for audio more broadly. As Danielle can testify, one of the tricky parts of writing for podcasts is that the things and people you think about when you think about acting talent, can often revolve around visual qualities. Which isn’t helpful when you’re writing and casting for the ear.

Danielle Trussoni: One thing I think that is not necessarily traditional is that we focus really on voice talents so we went to video games. We went and found actors who have an online presence in the video game world and have a following, that if they were to star in this podcast, they could bring listeners with them.

Danielle Trussoni: We very rarely looked at people’s traditional work, right? We didn’t care if they had a movie out. It didn’t matter. What mattered was the voice because I’ve listened to a lot of scripted audio series and sometimes a famous actor is great on screen but when you start to listen to the voice without the face, it just doesn’t quite work in the same way. That actor is not as good as he or she would have been if you had the visuals. Some actors I think really are successful because they have a presence, a visual presence. They have expressions and expressiveness to their face, that they don’t have to their voice. So it was really about cutting all the extraneous sort of stuff away and just listening and discovering if that actor could carry the script vocally.

Kaitlin Fontana: Regardless of who you cast, the non visual nature of podcasting means you don’t need to have all of your actors to record in the same room, or even at the same time. This opens up a whole world of possibilities for talent, but on the other hand, having talent that’s located across the globe can cause challenges when it comes to production.

Danielle Trussoni: So it was a pretty complicated situation because we had cast actors in London, LA and New York. So we couldn’t get people together in one room, so we had to find a studio that can patch people in. Studio in whatever respective city they were in.

Kaitlin Fontana: But in Alicia’s experience, logistical challenges aside, the lower cost, looser format, fewer rules aspect of the podcast industry can actually be an asset when you’re trying to court higher tier talent.

Alicia Van Couvering: One thing I learned is that really good actors are often famous. And famous actors are often famous because they’re really good at acting and they have a huge amount of experience doing this kind of thing. Part of the ease of casting something like this, and I have faced the same thing casting Indie films is, once it’s actually happening, once you actually have dates and you know where you’re going to be, and it’s a very, very small amount of time, except for Oscar, Isaac and Catherine Keener, nobody recorded more than a day. I think maybe David Schwimmer came for two days. At that point when it’s a real thing that’s not going to be a lot of time, you have a lot better luck casting than when it’s a theoretical thing that isn’t quite set up yet. That is the catch-22 always of casting, is you feel like you can’t get money until you have an actor.

Alicia Van Couvering: But I will say once the thing is real, it can become really, really simple to cast, because you know exactly what the ask is and it’s happening with or without them, and I think comes across as like less work and more fun, than please attach yourself to my theoretical thing and help me get it made. So that’s just the enormous challenge at every single level of project and obviously Henry Bergstein was super helpful in all of that.

Alicia Van Couvering: The development played out very much like any kind of a series or a movie would, where it was like we had scripts, we sent them out, we got actors. We from there built a schedule. I think what was complex is because none of us had done this before exactly, was figuring out how much time to allot for everybody. We were pretty terrified of the schedule at first, thinking that David Schwimmer was going to be able to get all his scenes done in one day. And I remember finishing early and feeling like they could just bang it out much faster than we thought. Because nobody really had a frame of reference for this stuff and none of us had ever approached anything like this before, it was really terrifying until we were done. It was not clear to any of us that we would actually get it in the can until we actually did and it went so much faster than we thought.

Kaitlin Fontana: So how long then did recording Homecoming take?

Alicia Van Couvering: I think it was six days of recording and they weren’t super long days. I think it was like eight hour days. It might’ve been five, five or six days and we went out to the park for the last day.

Kaitlin Fontana: Five or six days of recording for a full season of Homecoming? That’s a fraction of the time it takes to complete principal photography for a feature film or TV drama. But just because the shoot time is lower in podcasting, that doesn’t mean that the production value should be.

Zack Akers: Because this was something that neither one of us had done, the way we treated it was like a film. We knew how to do that. We knew how to hire people. We wanted to get people who are good at their jobs to specialize in the job that we were hiring them for as opposed to getting a person to do eight jobs. We wanted to fill it out like a real team and make it a bigger production. So we invested in that.

Alicia Van Couvering: Making sure it’s well-produced is important. The biggest problem to me in most scripted podcasts is that the performances are bad, and I’m certainly not going to name names, but you can a little bit tell when they’ve hired nonprofessional actors and don’t have the wherewithal to record properly. They’re just hard to listen to. So I think the appeal, if scripted podcasts are ever going to really take off as a medium, I think they have to be transportative right? It’s hard to do that if you’re kind of bumping constantly on something that sort of never quite comes across as credible.

Kaitlin Fontana: If you’ve been getting increasingly overwhelmed hearing about how nearly every element in the fictional podcast industry is at the moment, a giant question mark, you’re not alone. But before you turn around and run back toward the perhaps slightly greener pastures in the TV industry, know that one of the few things we do know about this is how much it offers in terms of creative opportunities.

Alicia Van Couvering: What I want to listen to is stuff that’s unlike anything else and I know that is … I think the opportunity creatively is to do stuff that nobody’s ever done and to find ways to use the medium that people haven’t thought of. Nobody really even knows what this format can do. I think there’s a gigantic audience for serialized podcast fiction that kind of feels a lot like a TV show. But of course that’s what everybody says when something new is happening and then they’re always proven to have been wrong. I would just say get crazy, you know?

Kaitlin Fontana: This also serves as a reminder not to define success by your ability to sell your project or by how the derivative works panned out.

Alicia Van Couvering: There’s like a cynical way to approach this, which is “Well no one would ever make this in any other medium, so I guess I’ll just make it as a podcast to sell it.” And my experience in life doing something just because you’re going to sell it, basically never works. You’re doing it for the wrong reasons and that becomes clear. Homecoming was not made to sell as a television show. It wasn’t designed that way and I don’t think I’m speaking for other people to say it was pretty surprising to everyone when … it was in retrospect, completely head slappingly obvious that people would go nuts for it, but it wasn’t designed to work in any other medium.

Kaitlin Fontana: Limetown wasn’t designed for any other mediums either. And Zach says that when he and his partner Skip started out on the project, they just wanted people to listen to it. Zach’s experience with Limetown has led him to believe that especially in a newer medium, it’s often more important that you measure your success by some internal or intrinsic metric than by anything quantitative.

Zack Akers: For us, the first most important level of success is are we happy with what we’ve done? And with those three projects I stand by them and I’m very proud of them. In that way I feel they are successes in a pragmatic way. All three of them were number one iTunes shows that at one point or another during their run, which is pretty good, they’ve all made their money back and more, that was put into it and so there’s success there. They all have potential futures in other ways. So I think those are sort of the benchmarks for us. Did we successfully create something that we can either build on or grow from? All three of the projects have been successful in that way.

Kaitlin Fontana: And when it comes to writing podcasts, the lack of rules, of format, of standards, while maybe a little overwhelming can also be a great creative opportunity. You’re free to play with storytelling and creation in a way that you aren’t able to do with TV and film. Here’s Alicia.

Alicia Van Couvering: I guess something else I’ll say about podcasts is, I think what’s unique about the format is it’s intimacy. So that it’s always a one-on-one experience, right? If you’re listening to it in your car, you’re listening to it doing laundry, it’s super intimate and you can draw focus in a way that you kind of, in terms of aesthetic rules, you can’t quite really do in any other medium.

Zack Akers: That’s the exciting thing about podcasting is there’s still all these different ways to tell stories and all that. I think that that would be the biggest question is when you are considering writing a podcast, like why? Why are you wanting it to be a podcast? What about podcasting uniquely suits the story that you’re trying to tell? I think that that should be the bigger question of whether or not to follow that or the television route.

Zack Akers: You have to develop the story for the medium and you have to make it as good as you can for what it is. There are no gatekeepers, so you feel like you have autonomy, which I think some people take to mean that it’s easier. I would by no means say that it is, and I think that it’s a mistake to build something in design of something else, even though I just said that the IP is important because of that. And it’s true, but you can’t create something with the idea of this is the bad version of the show that I want to make later. It’s this is the best version of this story, and then we’ll figure out the other thing later.

Zack Akers: And in the adaptation process, you want to do something different anyway because it doesn’t make sense to do the exact same thing that you’re doing in podcasting, that you would do on television. It’s a completely different experience. It’s the old, show don’t tell, in screenplays but in podcasting it’s tell, tell, tell. There’s only tell you know, so your brain has to work differently. What’s a new way of doing this? What’s a different way of telling the story? And that’s again, an exciting thing about podcasting is there aren’t rules. There aren’t sort of limits to what you can do and people are still figuring out how this all works. So it’s exciting. It’s exciting to sort of play in the space and just do whatever you want.

River Donaghey: Oh, I mean I just want to make it because I think it’s an exciting format to play with. You know, it’s creative constraints. It’s fun to be able to build this world, especially this almost post apocalyptic world that I have in this podcast. Build it in somebody’s mind because we could put a lot of money into kind of making a nice CG landscape, but it’s interesting to do it just with a couple of nice sound cues and the sound of somebody breathing in your ear.

River Donaghey: I don’t have it all figured out, but I think there’s just so much room to do new stuff. That the podcast format is still so new and unexplored that it’s easy to try and want to copy something that’s already been done or look at something that’s been made, like Homecoming that we discussed. Like Homecoming is incredible, but Homecoming exists. And so it’s easy to make something like Homecoming and say, “Oh look at these storytelling devices they invented or that they came up with to tell this story, this collage of audio and the therapy session recordings and phone calls and the future of seeing that they’re cutting back and forth to.” It’s like, “That’s great, but they’ve done that and they figured that out and there’s way more forms of storytelling that can be figured out.” And so figure them out, experiment, try something out.

Alicia Van Couvering: You can take control of it and do it. I think anyone who’s written the script has probably had to go through multiple layers of acceptance and approval and financing for something to get made. And this was an opportunity for me to come up with an idea, write it in a fever. I think I wrote all 10 episodes in like six weeks or something. I mean, it just happened very fast. And then start the process of getting it produced. I mean, that’s really a pleasure to have an idea and then to do the hard work and then to see it finished, all in one swoop. So yeah, that would be probably the biggest benefit I would say.

Kaitlin Fontana: So what have we learned? In the end, sure. Setting out to create a project in this unknown industry is a bit of a gamble, but don’t let that scare you. Instead focus on the bounty of potential that the scripted podcast industry has to offer. A gamble also means that you’re opening yourself up to a world of creative opportunity. There may be no tried and true methods, but that means you can be the one to try them. And in doing so, you can help to chart the course of a new industry. While you’re charting that course, remember that you can help make the industry stronger for every future podcast writer out there. Here’s the Guild’s executive director, Lowell Peterson, again.

Lowell Peterson: The best place to go is the Writers Guild of America, East. Contact, Jeff Betts or Anne Burdick of our office. We will eagerly discuss your terms with you and get you the best protections and sign your project. Stay tuned in terms of events and panels and conversations that the Writers Guild will be putting on in the next six to 12 months and let us know what you’re experiencing. If you’re a Writers Guild member and you’ve done a project, or if you’ve been approached by a producer to do a project or a management company, let us know. We want to learn from you as well as help you protect yourself. We’re building a database and we’re in the very early stages of that. So if you are approached to do a project, let us know. If you have an idea for a project and you’ve sold it to somebody, let us know. That’s the kind of information we need to build standards in this area.

Kaitlin Fontana: We may still be finding our feet, but that just means that we need to hold one another up. We hope you’ll join us.

Kaitlin Fontana: To learn more about what the Guild is doing to support podcast creators, visit The On Writing Guide To Crafting Scripted Podcasts is a project of the Writers Guild of America, East.

Kaitlin Fontana: Episode two was written and produced by Molly Beer. Tech production by Stock Boy Creative. Special thanks to River Donaghey, Danielle Trussoni, Zack Akers, Skip Bronkie, Alicia Van Couvering, Lowell Peterson, Jason Gordon, and Marsha Seeman. I’m Kaitlin Fontana.

Kaitlin Fontana: You can follow the Guild on social media at WGA East and you can follow me on Twitter at Kaitlin Fontana. If you liked this podcast, please subscribe and rate us. Thanks for tuning in. Write on.

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