Book Fight!

Tough love for literature

Writers Ask: Spies Like Us


On this week’s episode we discuss a recent essay in the Chronicle of Higher Education—How Iowa Flattened Literature, by Workshop grad Eric Bennet—and whether we agree with the various charges it levels against Iowa specifically and the project of teaching creative writing more generally. We also answer a listener question about how to select the journals to which you submit your work, and whether there are special considerations for as-yet-unpublished writers.

Alternate titles for this episode include: How the CIA Killed My Novel of Ideas, and Dr. Conroy: Or, How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Love Sensory Details.

Your podcast correspondents, enjoying a winter in Iowa City.

Your podcast correspondents, enjoying a winter in Iowa City.

As always, you can stream the episode right here on our site, or download the mp3 file. Or check us out in the iTunes store (or through whatever podcast app you prefer, like Podcatcher, Stitcher, or Instacast) where you can subscribe for free and never miss another episode. If you want to help support the show, and also a great independent bookstore, please use any of the Powell’s links on our page–if you get to their site from ours, anything you buy will throw a little money our way.

Thanks for listening! We welcome feedback on what we talked about. Feel free to leave a note in the comments, or shoot us an email.

Download Writers Ask: Spies Like Us (right-click, save-as)


Author: mikeingram25

writer, editor

2 thoughts on “Writers Ask: Spies Like Us

  1. You should consider getting an intern (and/or app) to create transcripts for your podcasts and such. (a) Great for improving accessibility of your podcast, since those who are hearing impaired cannot hear podcasts too good. (b) Great for increasing exposure via Google, whose spiders cannot scan or index your podcast too good. (c) Great for lazy pieces of shit like me who are also time constrained and don’t have time to listen but can digest and read in chunks.

    Just an annoying unsolicited thought from your local dipshit. nice hat in the above pic!

  2. That’s a good suggestion, Anittah, though also one that exposes my lack of technological know-how. I’ll have to pick your brain on apps that do that sort of thing. Also, though, I feel like a transcript might strip out some of the fun of listening to us get mad/disgusted/perplexed/etc. Maybe the transcript could employ emojis.

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