Submit Your ‘Spoken Word’ Piece of Writing on ‘Written, Spoken’

You’re invited to share your words — in your own voice — on an upcoming episode of my podcast, Written, Spoken!

  • The Premise: Written, Spoken is a podcast in which “the written word comes to life as the spoken word through the voice of the writers who wrote them.”
  • A Brief History: Season 1 of Written, Spoken debuted in the summer of 2019 and featured 10 episodes of Dave reading his own writing, and garnered over 1,000 downloads.
  • Why You’re Here: Dave is now inviting other voices, perspectives, and stories — like yours! — to feature throughout the next two seasons of the podcast.

What is Dave Looking For? The common theme and genre of the show revolve around personal narrative storytelling: non-fiction, true stories, and first-person point-of-view narration.

Why Read a Written Piece? Even when you as a listener don’t know it, most podcasts are delivered readings from written content. When you write a piece before narrating in audio format, you have a stronger command of the wording, flow, and cadence, since you can edit and practice speaking from a written script.

What Stories Are Being Accepted? All stories! Moving stories, funny stories, meaningful stories. I want to hear the story about how you finally learned to love yourself when you discovered you couldn’t love even the most perfect partner in your romantic life; how your grandmother taught you how to cook, and why you think of her every time you crack garlic; the time you slept through a job interview and felt relieved for it; how a trip to Paris changed your understanding of art, and why.

How Does Recording Work? You’ll be provided with instructions and support in the recording process, but generally, using a modern smartphone is more than enough. Alternatively, you can record on a Zoom conference line provided by Dave if needed.

Note, the kind of stories we’re not looking for include:

  • No poems. For the season for which we’re collecting stories, we prefer direct first-person narrative.
  • No screenplays or anything intended for another medium, including stage and screen.
  • No advice columns, How-To instructional, or “list post” style content.
  • No pure exposition (“This bad thing happened to me, the end!”) without context or offering some form of lesson or consideration or takeaway for the listener; think a This American Life or The Moth Radio Hour story, instead.

The kind of stories we are looking for sound a little like…

  • How a wave of change sparked heartbreak, but what good it opened in the mind of the heartbroken
  • The time using a simple word like “plants” sparked a misunderstanding with an out-of-touch landlord who thought you were a drug dealer
  • Reflecting on Father’s Day about growing up with no relationship to one’s father, and how she’s found gratitude for him anyway
  • The true tale of what it is like to be a prison guard, deployed in the military, or a quahog fisherman
  • What it felt like to be stranded abroad during COVID-19, and how you found a sense of home where you were

We’re looking for a wide range of honest, authentic, personal narrative tales. Your submission can be funny, sad, dramatic, a blend of the three, or anything in between.

The ultimate aim of Written, Spoken is to demonstrate the power of the written word as a conducive tool for bringing people — and the writer, as an individual and a soul — together.

Isn’t that why you write, too?

If so, please share your writing ideas that you think could make a meaningful little episode for another’s listening pleasure!

Details for submitting are below — start with pitching your idea, or a draft of your piece, even before recording.

(If you want some examples of what stories play well, listen back to any of Season 1’s episodes.)

General Guidelines and Expectations

  • Pieces will be between 500 words written (3-5 minutes spoken) and 2500 words written (20-25 minutes spoken)
  • The work you share is true, honest, and in your own voice
  • You retain any and all rights to share your work.
  • You permit Dave’s parent company, Lead Without Followers, LLC., to share your words and work in perpetuity… or, as long as the podcast is around ;)

How to Pitch Your Piece

  1. Settle on a few key ideas (if unwritten) or cherrypick up to three pieces (if drafted) that you think make good candidates and of which you feel proud. You decide which!
  2. Submit your ideas (up to 3) or excerpts from written drafts (up to 3) by clicking here and emailing Dave directly — even before you record anything!
  3. Remember, non-fiction, first-person point-of-view stories that are personal and honest are preferred.
  4. Expect to hear back within 2-3 days from Dave.
  5. Upon acceptance, you’ll be sent any necessary guidance, recommendations for making your piece pod-perfect!
  6. Finally, you’ll record your piece and submit to Dave for edits and processing.

Thank you for being so brave as to share your words with me, and potentially, on my podcast!

Expect to hear from me in just a few days after you contribute.

If you have any questions or concerns, email me:

Happy writing!