Episode 91: Ethan Watters On Longform Journalism

Journalist Ethan Watters spent the past two years working on a single magazine article. This week, in what he calls “a high point for feeling completion,” he joins BQ and Larry in the GrottoPod to discuss the challenges, triumphs and eye-opening discoveries he experienced while working on “The Love Story that Upended the Texas Prison System” for Texas Monthly.

“I have 3,500 pages of material, and it’s good, but it’s like pulling down a puzzle from your grandmother’s attic and trying to decide what fits.”

09:14: How a magazine article became a two-year journey
17:33: Finding a life/work balance in the midst of a consuming project
35:18: Facing challenges and working through a low point
45:09: How a project of this size impacts and changes its writer, and opens up new areas of career interest
53:12: How to determine when major project is “complete.”

Episode 47: Po Bronson & Ethan Watters On Starting a Writers Collective

For next “best of” GrottoPod episode we return to our roots — and the San Francisco Writers Grotto’s roots — with guests Po Bronson and Ethan Watters. The Grotto co-founders joined us for GrottoPod Episode 2 to discuss the Grotto’s humble beginnings and subsequent growth, tracing a path that traverses more than two decades from a rickety Victorian home to an abandoned pet hospital, and finally, to the present-day Grotto, 100-plus members strong and a fixture of the Bay Area literary community. If you missed this stellar conversation the first time around, now’s your chance to dig into it.

Episode 3: Po Bronson and Ethan Watters

Two of the three founders of the San Francisco Writers’ Grotto — Po Bronson and Ethan Watters — join us on the GrottoPod. They come not to discuss their stellar careers in journalism but to share how The Grotto came to be, what The Grotto means, and where The Grotto goes from here. From a humble Victorian flat 22 years ago, to a legendary stint at a decommissioned dog-and-cat hospital, to today’s labyrinthine South of Market digs, they’ve seen it all when it comes to this writers’ community. And they let us know that not all of The Grotto’s best stories are on the written page.→ READ MORE