The Downtown Writers Jam
Brad King hosts The Downtown Writers Jam Podcast, a discussion with writers about the terrible things in life that led them to join the ranks of the weird and the writerly.
info_outline Episode 46: Mindy Mejia 04/05/2020
Episode 46: Mindy Mejia Crime novelist Mindy Mejia stopped by the Jam to talk about her fourth novel, . Along the way we talked about growing up around science and engineers, life in Minnesota, her two bachelor's degrees (including her C.P.A. certification!), and how she's built her own cottage industry and fan base.
info_outline Episode 45: Hayley Doyle 04/01/2020
Episode 45: Hayley Doyle Buckle up, introverts, because two extroverts who've been locked down are coming at you in this episode. Hayley Doyle is an actress, singer, teacher, and writer with a fully-developed sense of adventure. She stopped by the Jam to talk about her debut novel and the long, creative journey that took her from Liverpool to Dubai and then to London.
info_outline Episode 44: Elisa Batista 03/30/2020
Episode 44: Elisa Batista My old Wired.com colleague stopped by the Jam to talk about her mom blog, her life as a political activist with MomsRising, and her new book, . Oh, and we spent a good deal of time talking about hillbillies and neighborhoods, both Appalachian and Cuban!
info_outline Episode 43: Jen Sullivan Brych 03/23/2020
Episode 43: Jen Sullivan Brych JenSul was the Wired.com colleague who wasn't actually my colleague and the person everyone assumed I knew even though we didn't. We've corrected that error on this show. visited the Jam to talk about the dotcom era, her winding road to a writing career, and her first novel, which she's currently shopping. Definitely the best, nerdiest deep dive into the world of writing in forty-three episodes of the Jam.
info_outline Episode 42: Kristen "KP" Philipkoski 03/19/2020
Episode 42: Kristen "KP" Philipkoski My old Wired.com colleague Kristen "KP" Philipkoski dropped by The Downtown Writers Jam to talk about her new venture, , a feminist magazine for GenX women. Along the way, we also reminisced about the insanity of the dotcom era and the craziness of the media way back when.
info_outline Episode 41: Erik Deckers 03/09/2020
Episode 41: Erik Deckers I sat down with , a humor column writer, and the co-. He's a grinder, the kind of working writer whose schedule just exhausts me. (I did that for two years and couldn't take the stress.) We talked about that lifestyle, his writer-in-residency at the Jack Kerouac House, and his first book, . Oh, and there's cussing.
info_outline Episode 40: Lauren Gaskill 02/25/2020
Episode 40: Lauren Gaskill Last year I had the chance to talk with , one of my former writing students. Since graduating, she's had an amazing start to her career, which isn't surprising because she's one of the most ambitious young writers I've ever worked with. She's not only the author of , but also a national speaker and the founder of .
info_outline Episode 38: Julia Scheeres 12/30/2019
Episode 38: Julia Scheeres My friend and former Wired.com colleague Julia Scheeres has written two best sellers: a memoir of her relationship with her adopted brother David as they grew up in a fundamental Christian household in Indiana, and , a heart-wrenching story about the people who were murdered in Jonestown. But her story will blow you away. It’s the story of bravery and perseverance.
info_outline Episode 37: Woody Lewis 02/07/2019
Episode 37: Woody Lewis My friend for nearly twenty years, author Woody Lewis and I sat down for the first time to talk about his book and life. What came out of that: his membership in the Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), meeting and playing drums with Jimmy Hendricks, his family’s relationship to Sally Hemings, and the struggle with writing about being black in America.
info_outline Episode 36: Evan Ratliff 01/30/2019
Episode 36: Evan Ratliff We were Wired lackeys during the dotcom boom, but those days are long gone. In the years since we left the magazine, is a two-time National Magazine Award finalist, the co-founder of the Atavist publishing platform, the editor-in-chief of The Atavist Magazine, the co-founder of Pop-Up Magazine, and now the author of what is sure to be the next big bestseller, .
info_outline Episode 35: Danielle Sepulveres 12/19/2018
Episode 35: Danielle Sepulveres Episode 35: Danielle Sepulveres: Author, actress, and , ‘ memoir chronicles how how she lost her virginity in what she believed was a loving relationship. Instead, her journey delves into the medical, emotional, and physical toll that comes from falling in love with the wrong person—and not trusting you own instincts.
info_outline Episode 34: Keri Leigh Merritt 12/13/2018
Episode 34: Keri Leigh Merritt We live in a time when race and class have smashed together in ways that threaten to tear about the social fabric. Historian and author Keri Leigh Merritt has written one of the best books on how we got here. Her book Masterless Men explains the how the social and economic fabric of the “white working class” came to be. And in our interview, she talks about what we need to do to get out of the mess we’re in today.
info_outline Episode 33: George Carlin (Bonus–Circa 2001) 12/07/2018
Episode 33: George Carlin (Bonus–Circa 2001) In 2001, I hosted a thirty-minute interview show as part of Wired.com's strategy to expand into multimedia. Along with my producer Jeremey Barna, we were given free reign to experiment. Most of what we did was not great, but this interview show proved to be popular. In mid-February, I had the chance to sit down with comedian George Carlin. That show—and that interview—was the genesis of The Downtown Writers Jam Podcast.
info_outline Episode 32: Vikki Tobak 12/05/2018
Episode 32: Vikki Tobak Writer, photographer, curator, and storyteller, left Detroit for New York City and found herself at the center of the nascent hip-hop scene in 1991. Her new book will change the way you think and talk about the music that shook up America.
info_outline Episode 26: Matt Mullins 04/12/2017
Episode 26: Matt Mullins Back from a winter hiatus, the Podcast picks up with more post-election musings between Brad and his guest Matt Mullins, a writer and professor at Ball State. In this episode, the two middle-aged white guys discuss how the election of Donald Trump changed the way they approached writing and storytelling, a theme you'll see resonating through the next several months. As for Matt, he writes screenplays, fiction, and poetry. He also makes videopoems and digital/interactive literature. He is the mixed media editor for the Atticus Review and teaches creative writing at Ball State University. You can check out his , his , and .
info_outline Episode 25: Celestine Bloomfield 11/28/2016
Episode 25: Celestine Bloomfield The 2016 Presidential election changed everything about this country. And so it goes with The Downtown Writers Jam Podcast. Host Brad King has gotten political. In this first post-election episode, Storyteller Celestine Bloomfield stopped by to talk about her career as a storyteller, and how she's used those skills in the business world. But she's not about to get hemmed in by the shifting political winds.
info_outline Episode 24: Ben Asaykwee 10/23/2016
Episode 24: Ben Asaykwee Ben Asaykwee left Indiana to pursue his music and returned home to form one of Indianapolis' most interesting and innovative theater companies, . Along the way, he wrote Christian music in Nashville and performed original theater in Chicago. And his show has been running for eight years. But his story is really about the need to create.
info_outline Episode 23: Frankie Bolda 10/16/2016
Episode 23: Frankie Bolda Frankie Bolda stopped by the Jam to talk about her improv comedy work at Comedy Sportz, her life as the associate artistic director of the EclecticPond Theater Company, and writing. Yeah, she's one of those theater dynamos who lives in Indianapolis. The twenty-five year old is the associate artistic director of , the director of fan services at , and has built her entire life around creating and writing (even if I had to convince her that she was a writer).
info_outline Episode 22: Adam Petty 10/03/2016
Episode 22: Adam Petty Brad King of The Geeky Press hosts The Downtown Writers Jam Podcast, where writers and authors discuss what drives them to tell stories. You can , , , or . You can also to get updates on what we’re doing. Adam Petty is an Indianapolis-based writer. Brad caught up with Adam as he was teaching at Etchings Fest, a free one-day workshop hosted by the University of Indianapolis and Metonymy Media. They discussed the role science fiction played in both of their early writing lives, and why it's so important to create spaces where you can explore deep, thoughtful questions in writing.
info_outline Episode 21: Shannon McLeod 09/26/2016
Episode 21: Shannon McLeod is a soft-spoken writer from Michigan who writers stories where characters almost, but not quite. Much like like. Currently, she’s a teacher and writer (although never the two shall meet, as you’ll soon find out). Her work has has appeared in Hobart, NEAT, Word Riot, Cheap Pop, TXTOBJX, Moonsick Magazine, The Billfold, and (R.I.P.)Gawker Her chapbook is available from Etchings Press, the student-run publisher of the University of Indianapolis Department of English, and Metonymy Media.
info_outline Episode 20: Kelli Allen 09/19/2016
Episode 20: Kelli Allen Kelli Allen is probably the most traveled, and least likely to be pinned down, writer we’ve had on the Podcast. She's a four-time Pushcart Prize nominee and she’s won awards for both poetry & prose. She’s currently a professor at Lindenwood University, where’s she’s also the poetry editor for The Lindenwood Review. Brad caught up with her at Etchings Fest, a free afternoon of workshops sponsored by Etchings Press. Her chapbook is available from Etchings Press, the student-run publisher of the University of Indianapolis Department of English, and Metonymy Media.
info_outline Episode 19: Loren Niemi 09/12/2016
Episode 19: Loren Niemi Brad is still trying to wrap his head around the fact that Storyteller is a career. To help him understand what that means, Loren Niemi stops by the Jam to discuss his life as a Storyteller, his work with businesses, and his background in Philosophy and Visual Arts that prepared him for it all.
info_outline Episode 18: Casey Ross 09/05/2016
Episode 18: Casey Ross Writing is a terrible, terrible trade. But it's also one that can help find the voice we always wanted, but could never muster. Indianapolis playwright Casey Ross stopped by the Jam to talk about how writing plays helped her find herself, and find some measure of closure with her childhood.
info_outline Episode 17: Les Kurkendaal 08/28/2016
Episode 17: Les Kurkendaal Welcome to the first iteration of the second generation of The Downtown Writers Jam Podcast with Brad King. In this episode, we sat down with Los Angeles-based storyteller , who was in town performing "Terror on the High Seas" as the Indy Fringe Festival. But this conversation was really about how Les found his voice as a writer despite the pushback he's gotten from the more traditional theater and acting world. And how his writing has evolved from comedy to theater to storytelling.