Home from Podcast Movement

A confession: when I started this project, I had no idea that there was a podcasting conference. Now I realize that - of course - there is a conference about podcasting! Indeed there are several (including one just for women!) and, of course, a ton of great resources.

After spending a week in Philadelphia at Podcast Movement 2018, I am somehow feeling both overwhelmed and energized. Like at the top of the diving board. You look down and feel your stomach drop a little. But you also know - somewhere deep down inside you - that this is going to be a blast. And ... ready or not, it's time to jump. 

my favorite page from  Jabari Jumps by Gaia Cornwall

my favorite page from Jabari Jumps by Gaia Cornwall

One of the most energizing threads that I picked up from the conference was a frequent emphasis on the power of storytelling. I was silently exclaiming, “I know, right!?” over and over again as I add this perspective to my deepening understanding of what storytelling is and can do. The podcasts I love all have a keen ability to tell a tale - to weave a story - to spin a yarn. (Why so many fiber-related idioms?)

Good stories make good kids books, too.

I also really enjoyed a session in PM18 presented by a senior VP from Edison Research, which featured interviews with people who are familiar with podcasts but who had never listened to one and whose first experience with a podcast was captured on video. It was fascinating.

At the same time as all this I’m reading Leonard S. Marcus’ Minders of Make-Believe which chronicles this history of kid lit as we know it. I love getting the behind-the-scenes glimpse of how critical decisions were made (publishing children’s books, establishing the Newberry and the Caldecott, offering kids books in libraries, etc.).

Makes me wonder if this is truly the beginning of … well, a “podcast movement.” And what will this movement look like in time? And what kind of creativity and imagination is being spurred on by this movement? What kind of make-believe? (Another question: how am I going to catch up on all the amazing podcasts out there!) PS: Check out this COMPREHENSIVE list of kid lit podcasts. Thanks to Matthew C Winner!

Oh, I almost forgot. (How could I forget!?) In the final key note of the conference, Terri Gross shared a wealth of insightful stories. But I was DELIGHTED to hear her discuss an impromptu interview with Maurice Sendak, which was, subsequently, illustrated by Christopher Neimann. She played us this video. I cried. 

Live your life. Live your life. Live your life.
— Maurice Sendak