Woods Hole Radio Workshop Extends Deadline

You have until midnight Friday to apply for the Transom Story Workshop, which runs from March 31 to May 22 in Woods Hole with special guests including Nancy Updike and Robert Krulwich.

Above the Woods Hole firehouse, participants in the fall, 2013 Transom Story Workshop listened to and critique each other's audio stories with instructor Rob Rosenthal. (Louisa Hufstader video)
Above the Woods Hole firehouse, participants in the fall, 2013 Transom Story Workshop listened to and critique each other's audio stories with instructor Rob Rosenthal. (Louisa Hufstader video)

Transom.org posted on Facebook last week: "We've decided to extend our application deadline for the spring 2014 Transom Story Workshop. Apply by Friday, January 10." According to the organization's website, special guests for the spring session will include Nancy Updike and Robert Krulwich.

Patch sat down with Transom.org founder Jay Allison last November, when the previous Transom Story Workshop class graduated with a public listening party in Woods Hole, to find out more about the workshop:

Patch: You started Transom.org a few years ago. Why?
Jay Allison: Our goal with Transom is to keep the mission of public broadcasting active and interesting to a new generation, and to pass on both the tools of production and the best practices, and the purpose. I created this website to have people tell stories and get advice, and it was the first website ever to win a Peabody award and has been a great success in its very specific mandates: I mean it's not trying to attract millions of people, it's trying to attract zealots so that they'll come and change the world.   

Patch: What does that involve
Jay Allison: We have guests come, everyone from Studs Terkel to Ira Glass, and they write about why they do what they do — and more particularly, also, how they do what they do. And then we have nuts and bolts concrete stuff like what equipment to buy and how to use it; and then we feature new work that's at the edge of what is on public broadcasting, to try and force the boundaries wider. Then lately we started this workshop that we have here in Woods Hole, a two-month-long workshop we hold twice a year, and that's kind of our on-the-ground training.

Patch: Who takes the workshop
Jay Allison: People of all ages, from their 20s to their 60s, who are at a moment of transition in their lives. Almost universally, they're coming because they want they want to learn a new tool and enter a different mode. Some of them may be newspaper people wanting to work with voice; some may be people who work in nonprofits who want to learn more about the value of stories; some may be postgrads who are searching for their own identity still. We get people who are eager to tell the stories of others, to work with the raw material of life and to translate for an audience.

Patch: Where do the students stay during the two-month workshop
Jay Allison: We get them houses in town, and we have one house that has a lovely large dining room and we gather there for meals and for classes. This time we had Ira Glass come up and talk, and the brilliant web artist Jonathan Harris; the former White House congressional reporter and now podcaster Andrea Seabrook. All these people teach classes. 

Patch: Who are the staff instructors?
Jay Allison: The main instructor is Rob Rosenthal who is a wonderful radio teacher and really just a brilliant instructor. And Sarah Reynolds works with him, and the two of them conduct a transformative experience: The students look different when they leave than when they got here. Their faces have opened up.

To apply, complete the application at transom.orgApplications and materials are due before midnight Jan. 10, including a $40 application fee payable through Paypal. Accepted students will be expected to pay a $750 deposit on the $6,500 tuition, which does not include rent and meals.

Read our full interview with Jay Allison: Woods Hole 'Is a Serious Town,' Radio Producer Says


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