Writing for the Voice with Saidu Tejan-Thomas Jr. of Resistance


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PodMov Daily: Friday, June 18

Episode 454: Week Download Complete

Writing for the Voice with Saidu Tejan-Thomas Jr. of Resistance

As co-creator and host of Gimlet Media’s Resistance, Saidu Tejan-Thomas Jr. specializes in powerfully crafted narratives. He recently spoke with documentary podcaster Doug Fraser (What We Do) about written versus audio storytelling, editing your work to the very end, and an audio drama he calls “phenomenal.”

Resistance was nominated for two Ambies this spring, including Best Scriptwriting. “If you want to sound like yourself, for the most part, it really starts and ends with the writing,” Tejan-Thomas says. “Focus on working to make [your script] as close to your speech as possible. Because if you get it close, your mouth will do the rest.”

Anxiety is a natural part of producing vulnerable work — before, during, and after the process. With a background in competitive slam poetry, Tejan-Thomas brings the tension of performance to his podcasts. He encourages creators to lean into their own curiosities, which is how he finds the perfect opening hook.

Podcast Editing: Expert Tricks for Stronger Skills

When Catherine Saint Louis began editing audio, she’d been at The New York Times for 18 years. Now the executive editor at Neon Hum Media, she credits the skills she’s built to quality resources and hard work. Here’s how she learned what she didn’t know going in, like writing for the ear and recognizing audio problems.

“When explaining the steps I took, I’ll say from the jump: the way to learn to edit podcasts is to put the work in,” Saint Louis says. “The bad news is it takes discipline and consistency. The good news is I think it’s possible to become a better editor — at least in part — on your own.”

While it’s invaluable to learn directly from experts, Saint Louis emphasizes the power of studying what they’ve made, and figuring out how. “If you have dissected dozens and dozens of podcasts to figure out what works, then you’re already well on your way to becoming a story editor. What are you waiting for?”

Marmoset Music: Simple Licensing for Better Podcasting

Podcasters, it’s time to make peace with music licensing. Marmoset Music is a full-service music agency offering podcast-specific licenses. You’re covered for both single and series use, with access to a highly curated roster of diverse and rare artists, bands, record labels and vintage recordings.  

Marmoset is ideal for indie podcasts, studio productions, and video-based projects. Its outstanding catalog includes original music, produced and customized in-house. Gimlet Media, Pineapple Street Studios, and more have trusted Marmoset to bring their signature sound to life.

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You have to act as if it were possible to radically transform the world. And you have to do it all the time.

Here's what else is going on:

  • Dream team: Want to work with Saidu Tejan-Thomas Jr. on Resistance? Applications are open for a Supervising Producer that, in his words, “will add to vibes, continue vibes, and evolve the vibes of our show.” The full-time role will ultimately operate from Gimlet Media’s office in Brooklyn. 
  • Better together: Next Thursday at 1:00 pm CT, Libsyn will host “DEI for Podcasters: Audience Value and Growth.” Guest expert Erica Courdae will join Libsyn Community Manager Elsie Escobar to discuss the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion in the audio space. Free RSVP.
  • Book fair: NPR's Podcast Start Up Guide will be released on June 29, with a public virtual launch party at 8:00 pm ET. Author Glen Weldon (Pop Culture Happy Hour) will take questions and chat with book contributors Gene Demby (Code Switch) and PCHH producer Jessica Reedy. 
  • Aim high: Dustlight Productions will be accepting applications for its podcasting apprenticeship until next Wednesday, June 30. The part-time position, beginning August 1, is a “paid pathway for POC, trans, and queer people with a passion for audio, but with little to no experience.”

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