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Podcast spotlight: Write Through the Roof

Hosted by speculative fiction author Madeleine D’Este, Write Through the Roof is a podcast for writers who want to improve their craft. Guests have included crime writer Emma Viskic and Writers Victoria director Angela Savage. D’Este fully embraces the DIY approach to podcasting: ‘I have a team of one. Me. My podcast is recorded at my house in Melbourne on my iBook with an H1 Zoom microphone,’ she says. She spoke to Books+Publishing for our ‘podcast spotlight’ series.

For new or uninitiated listeners, describe your podcast in under 50 words.

Write Through The Roof is the podcast for writers who want to improve their craft. Each week I interview a different writer and ask, ‘What’s the one thing that helped take your writing to the next level?’

What makes your podcast unique?

Write Through The Roof focuses only on writing as craft and learning from all different types of writers regardless of genre or topic or medium (with a few chuckles along the way).

When and how did you get started in podcasting?

I started podcasting with a weekly speculative fiction book review show on Art District Radio in 2016. The team had approached me to start a show after a strange turn of events on Twitter (it’s a long story but involves my surname and 15th-century Italian nobles). Then I had the idea for my own writing podcast as an excuse to pick the brains of writers I admire. I also felt compelled to put more Australian female voices out there in the podcasting world. I came up with the concept, took a course on Udemy on podcast production and had a crack.

Where and how is your podcast recorded (and how big is your team)?

I have a team of one. Me. My podcast is recorded at my house in Melbourne on my iBook with an H1 Zoom microphone.

What kind of listeners does your podcast reach?

My listeners are writers, readers and people who want to write. I interview writers from all over the world and I try to get a mix of all types of writers, across fiction and nonfiction. I’ve interviewed writers of romance, horror, sci-fi, historical fiction, mystery, film criticism, essays, longform features and more.

What have been your most popular guests or most memorable episodes?

I can honestly say every single guest has been interesting and shared valuable tips or insights. One of my favourite episodes was with Dave Hutchinson (UK sci-fi writer) basically because he cracked me up and he was brutally honest about his struggle to complete his most recent book. Another memorable episode was with Andrew David Barker (UK filmmaker and novelist) who talked about teaching himself to read and write after leaving school basically illiterate.

What recent trends have you noticed in podcasting?

I’ve been a podcast fan since around 2006 and there are so many more podcasts available now.

The key shift in the past five years has been into narrative shows rather than informational ones, and established media companies are also getting into the format. There is a divide between professional podcasts, which are highly scripted and polished, and DIY podcasters like myself—those who are not media professionals but people exploring their passions and sharing them with others. I personally find some of the professional podcasts too slick and verging on commercial radio (avoiding this type of radio was one of the main reasons why I went to podcasts in the first place). People talk about how we’re reaching ‘peak podcast’ but podcasting is just the most recent child of radio and will continue to evolve.

Why do you think people are drawn to this format?

I like podcasts because I’m often out and about, walking, running or on public transport, and podcasts are a great way to be entertained and informed. While my own podcast is short (compared to some) in the current media landscape of 10-second soundbites, the longer-form podcast format provides the opportunity for real in-depth conversations. Podcast creators and their guests have the luxury of time to explore ideas and concepts rather than sticking to a script or a constrained time frame.

How do you fund your podcast? Do you have plans to explore other funding options?

My podcast is entirely self-funded at the moment but, of course, I’m happy to talk to any potential advertisers. While I already had a website and a microphone, the main costs to set up my podcast were logo design, hosting and a course in professional podcasting production from Udemy.

What plans do you have for your podcast going forward?

No plans for world domination. Just to continue to interview interesting writers and learn more about the craft.

What other bookish podcasts should we be listening to, Australian or otherwise?

My favourite bookish podcasts include So You Want to be a Writer and The Creative Penn.



Category: Features