The GrottoPod Podcast: Writers on Writing

What it is: A lively weekly conversation with established and up-and-coming writers on the craft of writing.

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Episode 79: What’s New In Your Writing Life?

Larry Rosen and Bridget Quinn

Larry Rosen and Bridget Quinn

Beat the dog days of summer by stepping into the GrottoPod, where BQ and Larry await. This week, your hosts sit down for a wide-ranging discussion about the writing life that touches on everything from process to payment, 1,000 words a day, BQ’s looming book deadline and Larry’s now-defunct magazine column. Guest- and filter-free, this GrottoPod episode takes a deep dive into the minds of two working writers who happen to double as podcast hosts. 

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Episode 78: Matthew Zapruder’s Favorite Book (Might Surprise You)

Matthew Zapruder

Matthew Zapruder

What’s poet Matthew Zapruder’s favorite book? Find out this week, as the author of Why Poetry and former New York Times poetry editor joins BQ and Larry for a live podcast at the San Francisco Public Library, where he lays out the case for the impact W.S. Merwin’s The Lice has had on his development as a poet and a person. He also talks about the function of poetry, word choice, Merwin’s unconventional use of punctuation, and much more in this lively conversation.

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Episode 77: Victoria Piontek On Writing for Young Adults

Victoria Piontek

Victoria Piontek

Victoria Piontek’s literary journey has taken her all over the U.S., but when it came time for this author and literary associate to publish her first book, she chose to return to the verdant lushness of her Florida birthplace. This week, Piontek joins the GrottoPod to talk about the Southern Gothic overtones of her haunting middle-grade story The Spirit of Cattail County. She also discusses the challenges of juggling writing, working a day job and raising a family, and helps Larry and BQ define “Y.A.” and “library chic.”

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Episode 76: Nick Mamatas On Writing A Book A Year

Nick Mamatas

Nick Mamatas

This week, BQ and Larry enter the extended Nick Mamatas universe to learn about horror novels, manga, writing term papers for profit and much more. Join them as the author of the upcoming short story collection The People’s Republic Of Everything shares his unique and compelling tales and talks about how he manages to produce a new book every year. Mamatas also authored the San Francisco zombie novel The Last Weekend, the Lovecraftian murder mystery I Am Providence, and the forthcoming Hexen Sabbath.

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Episode 75: Virgie Tovar on Activist Writing

Virgie Tovar

Virgie Tovar

Don’t miss this one! For the first time, BQ goes solo as host — and she’s talking with influential author and body-image activist Virgie Tovar, who is dropping the truth bombs. Tovar talks writing honestly and writing to empower, fat discrimination and celebration, and how to leverage social media for good. Tovar started the viral hashtag campaign #LoseHateNotWeight, pens the weekly column Take the Cake, and edited the ground-breaking anthology Hot & Heavy: Fierce Fat Girls on Life, Love and Fashion. Whew. Listen in, then check out her forthcoming book, You Have the Right to Remain Fat, now available for pre-order.

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The GrottoPod Team

Larry Rosen

Larry Rosen is the co-host of the GrottoPod and a longtime freelance journalist, writer and former columnist for the San Francisco Examiner. He is also the host of another podcast, (Is it) Good for the Jews?, and is presently working on a novel and a memoir.

Bridget Quinn

Bridget Quinn is the co-host of the GrottoPod and the author of Broad Strokes: 15 Women Who Made Art and Made History (in That Order), which NPR’s Susan Stamberg calls “a terrific essay collection” with “spunky attitudinal, SMART writing,” marking the second time “attitudinal” has been used about her work (first: Kirkus, 1996).

Lee KravetzLee Daniel Kravetz, the GrottoPod’s executive producer, is the international best-selling author of Strange Contagion and Supersurvivors. His work has appeared in The New York Times, New York Magazine, Atlantic, and Psychology Today. He is is a founding board member of the Lit Camp Writers Conference.

Laurie Ann DoyleLaurie Ann Doyle is the GrottoPod’s producer and the award-winning author of the short-story collection World Gone Missing. She teaches writing at the San Francisco Writers Grotto and at the University of California at Berkeley. Her work has been published in The Los Angeles Review, University of Colorado’s Timber Journal, and Under the Sun.

Beth Winegarner

Beth Winegarner, the GrottoPod’s online producer, is a veteran journalist and editor whose work has appeared in the New Yorker, The Guardian, Mother Jones and Wired. She is also the author of several books, including The Columbine Effect: How Five Teen Pastimes Got Caught in the Crossfire and Why Teens Are Taking Them Back.


Sugartown, Zoe Fitzgerald Carter


Sugartown is a Berkeley-based acoustic folk trio, heavy on the harmonies, light on the saccharine (and with a hefty dose of southern moonshine thrown in for good measure). Grotto writer Zoe FitzGerald Carter writes the band’s original tunes, sings and plays guitar. Brian Bloom is on lead guitar and vocals, and local jazz great Dan Seamans plays bass. Info about Sugartown’s upcoming gigs can be found on their Facebook page: SugartownCalifornia.


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