June 27, 2014

Writing Advice from Authors and Experts on Audio & Video

If you are an aspiring writer, LearnOutLoud.com has collected a helpful list of free audio & video titles featuring writing advice from various authors and experts. Starting with educational resources, we include instructions on how to speak and write correctly, and tips from grammar girl on how to improve your writing from the ground up. You’ll also hear from authors such as William Faulkner, Stephen King, Allen Ginsberg, and Margaret Atwood on what it takes to write professionally and how they developed their own writing careers. Click on any of the links below to begin your writing journey:

1. Everything I Know About Writing

In this fun talk about writing, Anne Lamott provides as much writing wisdom as she can jam into an hour. Encouraging everyone to write almost everyday, she provides suggestions for how you can carve out time to write and also what you can write about. She says you should always have paper on you because you can never get down on paper what you don’t remember. There are many other helpful hints to writers in this entertaining talk from Anne Lamott.

2. How to Speak and Write Correctly

Listen to this classic text on how to speak and write correctly in English. The author Joseph Devlin purports that the book “is merely an effort to help ordinary, everyday people to express themselves in ordinary, everyday language, in a proper manner.” Published in 1910 this book is still useful for learning how to create sentences, use figures of speech, write letters, and more. This download is available from Librivox.org on MP3 download and it is read by a number of their volunteer narrators including David Barnes, Kara Shallenberg, and Hugh McGuire. Start improving your writing and speaking today!

3. Faulkner at Virginia: An Audio Archive

Take writing classes from the great American author William Faulkner! In 1957 and 1958 Nobel Prize-winning American novelist William Faulkner served two terms as the University of Virginia’s first Writer-in-Residence. During this time Faulkner spoke and answered questions at many of the writing and literature classes and these lectures were recorded on audio. In these classes Faulkner speaks about his craft and what he feels the role of the writer is. He also answers questions about his novels and comments on many writers of the 20th century. Throughout the talks he reads a dozen times from eight of his works. Also featured in the archive are addresses he gave at numerous university events. This audio archive is available from the University of Virginia on streaming audio through Quicktime. The audio quality varies, but for the most part it is very listenable. An invaluable resource for anyone interested in literature!

4. Discussion on Writing with Stephen King

Best-selling horror author Stephen King is joined by his wife Tabitha and youngest son Owen to talk with students in Washington, DC about the importance of reading and writing in this streaming lecture hosted by BookTV. After taking time for each of the Kings to read from their most recent work (including the recently adapted Under the Dome) the three answer questions from eager high-school students about what inspires them, what scares them and what keeps them writing. All three Kings share an abiding love for reading, which Stephen argues is a key component for anyone that is seeking success in life. This discussion is a must for any King fan, and serves as a wonderful introduction to the work of his talented wife and son.

5. Grammar Girl’s Quick & Dirty Tips for Better Writing Podcast

Grammar Girl’s Quick & Dirty Tips for Better Writing is a podcast devoted to helping listeners improve their writing skills. Taking a nuts and bolts approach, these short podcasts clarify common errors in English grammar in precise detail. If you’ve ever wondered whether or not you should use lie or lay in a sentence, or if that comma splice was used correctly, this podcast will give you the answers. Listen to over 100 podcasts from Grammar Girl Mignon Fogarty.

6. Allen Ginsberg and William Burroughs Class

In this archive lecture from Naropa University recorded in 1984, beat poets Allen Ginsberg and William Burroughs discuss their views on writing. Burroughs fields questions from Ginsberg & the students on a wide variety of topics, and he delivers many amusing responses and anecdotes. This lecture is available on streaming audio and MP3 download from Archive.org.

7. Negotiating with the Dead: A Writer on Writing

Handmaid’s Tale author Margaret Atwood talks about her Canadian roots and the development of her career in this streaming interview hosted by BookTV. In this discussion, Atwood tries to give listeners an idea of the regional differences that make Canada distinctive from America. She also goes into the elements of feminism that have cropped up in her work, and how she’s been able in some ways to make a career out of mashing genres that are typically stigmatized by serious critics. Dry-witted and friendly, Atwood offers an unpretentious look at how she developed her talent in an interesting era for female authors.

8. Book Writing for Fun and Profit

This free audio book was published through TeachOutLoud service recently and we’d pass it on as our free resource of the day. In this 2-hour audio book, author Brian Scott provides helpful advice for writing your book, getting it published, and then making a profit from it. Topics covered include what publishers look for in a book, how to self-publish, how to packag physical books and e-books, and much more. The narration is a bit robotic and it might be computer-generated, but if so it is some of the best computer-generated narration we’ve heard. Thanks to Payday Publishing for offering this audio book for free. Download this free audio book on MP3 directly through LearnOutLoud.com.