11 Podcasts To Keep You Motivated During NaNoWriMo

by Kerri Jarema
Originally Published: 
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With the second half of November rapidly approaching, NaNoWriMo participants everywhere are starting to watch the calendar very closely. Attempting to finish a novel in 30 days is no easy feat, and once the initial excitement of National Novel Writing Month wears off it can be all too easy to lose motivation. Luckily there are tons of NaNo tips and tricks that will help set you back on track, and one of the most entertaining is to listen to writing podcasts.

One of the best things about NaNo is that writers get to be part of a wider creative community during the month, checking in with fellow drafters, participating in Twitter sprints, and generally garnering support from other writers around the world. But when you need to take some time out from social media, and need a quick pick-me-up that you can listen to on your commute, during a workout, on a walk or even in the bath, a podcast is a surefire way to get the creative juices flowing again.

Whether you're looking for writing tips, interviews with authors, information about the publishing industry, or advice for living your best and healthiest creative life, you'll find podcasts dedicated to all of that and more below:

How To Win NaNo: A Writing Podcast

What better place to start for NaNo inspiration than a podcast that covers exactly that? On How to Win NaNo, hosts Kristina Horner and Liz Leo offer a no-nonsense guide to writing a novel in 30 days. Each week they share their personal tips, tricks and other things they've learned over a decade of consecutive NaNoWriMo wins.

Click here to listen.

Write or Die

Hosted by published authors Claribel Ortega and Kat Cho, Write or Die is a weekly podcast that aims to share the real stories of what it takes to become an author. Guests include Leigh Bardugo, Tiffany D. Jackson and Helen Hoang, all sharing their often gritty, sometimes infuriating, always inspiring roads to success.

Click here to listen.


On Write-Minded, hosts Brooke Warner of She Writes and Grant Faulkner, Executive Director of NaNoWriMo, team up to interview writers, authors, and publishing industry folks — including authors V.E Schwab and Tayari Jones — for a unique blend of inspiration and real-talk about the ups and downs of the writing life.

Click here to listen.

Grammar Girl: Quick & Dirty Tips for Better Writing

During NaNo, sometimes all you need are some quick tips on how to get through writing a conclusion, why you probably shouldn't use the word "literally" and whether it's "baited" breath or "bated" breath. Grammar Girl host Mignon Fogarty can help you with all of that, plus fascinating historical tidbits.

Click here to listen.

PW Kids Cast

If you're working on a young adult manuscript during NaNo, you're definitely going to want to five PW Kids Cast a listen. Hosted by Publishers Weekly children's editor Emma Kantor, the podcast shares interviews with some of the biggest and best YA authors — think Roshani Chokshi, Maurene Goo and A.S. King — as they talk about their books and their writing lives.

Click here to listen.


On DIY MFA, host Gabriela Pereira, who earned her own MFA from the New School in New York City, offers listeners a do-it-yourself alternative to signing up for an MFA program. The show emulates the traditional MFA speaker series where authors and industry experts speak to students about writing and publishing.

Click here to listen.

88 Cups of Tea

Hosted by Yin Chang, 88 Cups of Tea is for creative writers looking for guidance in their storytelling journey and connection to a community. The podcast explores important conversations like how to overcome rejections, tips for querying, and crafting advice (especially relevent for NaNo participants!) along with evergreen advice for fostering healthy creative habits.

Click here to listen.

The Worried Writer

One of the biggest obstacles any writer must overcome, especially during NaNo, is putting aside self-doubt and procrastination. On The Worried Writer, host Sarah Painter offers tools and techniques to transform your writing life from one of stress to creative flow, and gets advice from bestselling authors about getting the work done.

Click here to listen.

First Draft: A Dialogue on Writing

First Draft: A Dialogue on Writing is a weekly show featuring in-depth interviews with fiction, non-fiction, essay, and poetry writers — including recent guests Téa Obreht and Laila Lalami. Hosted by Mitzi Rapkin, the podcast seeks to celebrate creative writing while discussing authors' work, their craft, and the literary arts.

Click here to listen.

Helping Writers Become Authors

Host K.M. Weiland has been running the Helping Writers Become Authors podcast since 2009, so there is a treasure trove of advice just waiting to be absorbed. Weiland discusses everything from crafting a backstory to steering clear of info-dumps in writing. If you've hit any kind of technical roadblock during NaNo, there is an episode here that will help you get past it.

Click here to listen.

The Writership Podcast

OK, so you've gotten yourself through NaNo with a completed first draft. Now what? The Writership Podcast, hosted by Leslie Watts and Clark Chamberlain, focuses in specifically on figuring out how to edit a manuscript, polishing everything from world-building and setting to your characters' internal journey.

Click here to listen.

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