Everyone has a story, and we’ve selected several storytelling podcasts that might transport you to faraway realms. On our list, check out non-fiction OG podcasts like “This American Life” and “The Moth.” Treat yourself to familiar voices reading fiction on “Selected Shorts” and “LeVar Burton Reads.”
For cinematic listening experiences and dynamic sound design, tune into “Snap Judgment” and “Storybound.” Many of these podcasts’ episodes are an hour on average and can be streamed in any order.
For over 25 years, “The Moth” has invited folks to tell their true stories live on stage without notes for crowds around the world. “The Moth” gathers favorite stories from their events told live and has shared them in a podcast since 2008. Check out themoth.org for live events if you’d like to attend an upcoming StorySLAM in your city. Tune in weekly for new episodes.
“Snap Judgment” is your one-stop-shop for storytelling mixed with beats. If supernatural stories are your cup of scary tea, check out “Spooked” that’s produced by the folks at “Snap Judgment.” This series is hosted by Glynn Washington and features guests like Peter Hammarstedt, Rasha Elass, and more.
Podglomerate’s “Storybound” is radio theater for the modern age. Tune in for writers reading their work mixed with immersive sound environments for a truly impactful experience each episode. Stephanie Foo, a former producer for “This American Life” and “Snap Judgment,” recently read an excerpt from What My Bones Know. She has also worked on podcasts like “The Cut,” “Nancy,” “Reply All,” and “99% Invisible.” Tune in for new, weekly episodes.
LeVar Burton Reads
LeVar Burton handpicks some his favorite short stories and shares them on his podcast. Let LeVar’s iconic voice and storytelling skills transport you to fictional worlds. The podcast recently did an “Immersive Remix” of Ken Liu’s The Paper Menagerie, boosting the sound design with a twist. All stories are less than an hour on average. This series is presented by LeVar Burton and Stitcher.
This American Life
Ira Glass hosts “This American Life,” a weekly public radio show reaching 2.2 million people on 500+ stations. This award-winning series chooses a topic each week, finds true stories that center on the weekly theme, and different people are interviewed. Recent episodes dove into romantic comedies, personal stories from the war in Ukraine, “Kid Logic,” and “The Reluctant Explorer.”
From Symphony Space in NYC comes “Selected Shorts,” sharing fiction read by actors and other voices you might recognize. Tune in for beautifully-diverse voices bringing short stories to life. New episodes drop on Thursdays and are brimming with often funny, moving, and engaging tales from authors like Kurt Vonnegut, Joan Didion, and Truman Capote – just to name a few. Some episodes are hosted by author Meg Wolitzer (The Interestings, The Female Persuasion, and more), and she shares some thoughts on each piece during episodes.
The New Yorker: Fiction
WNYC Studios and The New Yorker present monthly readings and conversations with fiction editor Deborah Treisman. In a recent episode, Sherman Alexie read Raymond Carver’s “Where I’m Calling From” then discussed the work with Deborah. Hearing writers give their insight on others’ works adds a bonus layer of narrative to each episode.