If You Love Short Stories, Listen To These 10 Podcasts

by Sadie Trombetta
JK Stock/Shutterstock

As much as bibliophiles wish it were so, it simply isn't possible to be constantly reading. Responsibilities like jobs, housework, families, and friends often take away from the time readers would rather spend curled up with a great book, but that doesn't mean there isn't a way to squeeze some storytelling into even the busiest of schedules. In fact, there are tons of storytelling podcasts that short story readers should subscribe to. That is, if they want to inject even more narrative entertainment into their daily lives.

Since its appearance on the scene over a decade ago, the podcast has taken over popular culture. There are weekly shows about everything from pop culture and politics to true crime and trivia and beyond. Although each program is different, many of the most popular podcasts have one thing in common: their ability to tell a good story, week after week.

Whether you're hitting the road, heading to the gym, or just trying to brighten up your daily commute, here are 10 storytelling podcasts you'll love listening to if you love short stories. Featuring fiction and non-fiction narratives alike, these shows will scratch that narrative itch when reading a book just isn't an option.

'The Moth'

Like the not-for-profit organization that it gets its name from, The Moth podcast is dedicated to the art and craft of storytelling. Each weekly episode of this Peabody Award-winning show featured audio of curated, unscripted, first-person stories from live Moth events, including their flagship Mainstage program and their variety of story slams.

'The Truth'

Don't let the name fool you: Radiotopia's The Truth features everything but. Each immersive 10-20 minute episode takes listeners on a strange fictional journey through a different short story. A fully immersive listening experience, The Truth just may be the perfect podcast for fans of the short story who are looking to enjoy narrative fiction in a whole new way.

'WNYC Studios' Snap Judgment'

If you like to listen to music while you read, then you will love Snap Judgment: "Amazing storytelling with a beat." Hosted by Glynn Washington, each episode of this weekly storytelling radio series and podcast is made up of short pieces around a common theme. Past program topics include "Love Lessons," "Talk of the Town," "Fight Club," and "Spooked."


Radiolab may be a nonfiction podcast, but that won't stop short story readers from falling in love with this Peabody Award-winning WNYC show. Since 2002, its hosts Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich have been sharing fascinating, engaging, and unbelievable true stories about this strange world we live in. While many of its pieces have a science or technology focus, Radiolab's captivating storytelling style will hook readers who appreciate great narratives.

'Writer's Voice'

Like its name implies, The Writer's Voice presents New Yorker fiction writers reading their own stories. A weekly podcast, it has featured the writing and performing talents of Karen Russell, Lauren Groff, Zadie Smith, Tommy Orange, and many more.

'Ear Hustle'

On Ear Hustle, listeners will hear about life inside prison from those people living it. Sometimes funny, often difficult, and always true, the stories on Ear Hustle will grab the attention of readers who want gripping narratives about important topics, including the American prison system.

'Selected Shorts'

On this award-winning program, which is broadcast on over 150 radio stations and available in podcast form, acclaimed actors read classic and contemporary fiction. Each episode is structured around a single theme and always features fiction performed by the greatest stars from screen, stage and television. Recent readers include Edie Falco, BD Wong, Michael C. Hall, Sigourney Weaver, and more.

'This American Life'

One of NPR's most beloved weekly radio shows and podcasts, This American Life has been sharing fascinating stories for over two decades. Each episode is structured around a theme and features several narratives that explore that theme. Although it is primarily a journalistic nonfiction program, one that occasionally features short fiction, the narrative stylings of each episode of This American Life is sure to satisfy fans of the short story form.

"LeVar Burton Reads"

If you've been trying for years to fill that Reading Rainbow-shaped hole in your heart, I have a podcast that might finally do the trick: LeVar Burton Reads. On this Stitcher Original program, the man who taught you to love stories as a child presents pieces of fiction by beloved authors including Neil Gaiman, Octavia Butler, Haruki Murakami, and more.

'The Other Stories'

Fans of horror, science fiction, and thrillers will want to add The Other Stories to their queue, and fast. A "modern take on The Twilight Zone, Tales from the Crypt, or The Outer Limits," this unique weekly fiction podcast from the United Kingdom features new stories about the strange, the scary, and the supernatural.