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300 Episodes, and Thank You.

Jess Lahey
Jess Lahey
In 2015, I attended a session at Mom 2.0 Summit called something aspirational like “Launch Your Own Podcast” with the full intention of doing just that. I sat next to my friend Asha Dornfest and we took copious notes while whispering back and forth about our big podcast dreams.
Asha Dornfest and Christine Koh launched the wonderful Edit Your Life Show that year, and won an Iris Award for Podcast of the Year in 2017.
I was jealous of their success, but come on. I could hardly be miffed about not winning an Iris Award for Podcast of the Year when I never, in fact, launched a podcast.
Details.
I talked about it from time to time, and finally my friend, former New York Times editor, and bestselling novelist KJ Dell'Antonia, said, “We’re starting a podcast for writers.”
We agreed we’d do this podcasting thing as long as we both enjoyed doing it and could be helpful to other writers. I wanted to flatten the learning curve about the process of writing and publishing, and as KJ says at the beginning of every episode, #AmWriting is the podcast about writing all the things - short things, long things, queries, proposals, essays, novels, nonfiction - but most of all, it’s the show about getting the work done.
We knew approximately nothing about podcasting save for those notes I’d saved from Mom 2.0 Summit and we made ALL the mistakes that first year. We recorded interviews with faulty microphones, I forgot to hit the record button on a really lovely double episode, and audio files went missing. Our producer Andrew Parrella stuck with us through all of those mishaps and taught us nearly everything we’ve learned along the way.
We’ve interviewed literary superstars like Richard Russo, Anna Quindlen, David Sedaris, and Jennifer Weiner. We moved out of my cramped attic space into our own home office studio spaces, and we convinced (cajoled?) Sarina Bowen to join the podcast as our co-host. We host the #AmWriting Facebook group made up of over two thousand supportive, kind and nurturing writers who support and push each other to keep writing. This year, we started a new series of episodes where we coach other writers who have hit personal or professional snags, and these have become some of our favorite discussions.
When we ran the numbers a few years back and realized we’d sunk over $10,000 of our own money into the podcast, we asked listeners to support us, and they did just that. For the past two years, we have been able to pay Andrew and our assistant Natasha out of listener contributions.
Then, in 2021, we won our own Iris Award for Podcast of the Year.
I’m so grateful for the women who shared their expertise on podcasting at the Mom 2.0 Summit in 2015, for KJ who is a woman of action, for Andrew who has held our hands and taught us so much, for our intrepid assistant Natasha who keeps things running, and for Sarina who joined us when we insisted the show was incomplete without her.
Today we hit publish on episode 300 and I’m feeling particularly grateful for our listeners. We will keep going if you will keep listening.
You can access the podcast here, and become a supporter here.
Until next week, keep your butt in the chair, and your head in the game.
Left to right: KJ, Sarina, and Jess.
Left to right: KJ, Sarina, and Jess.
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Jess Lahey
Jess Lahey @jesslahey

I write about all kinds of stuff but if you are into the writing life, the woods of Vermont, life with dogs, or my work in child welfare and substance use prevention, then you are in the right place.

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