By Michaela O’Callaghan, Rosie Burgoyne, Joanne Boustead and Aimee Haldron
It is well and truly the age of podcasts. As of 2020, there were over 15 million podcast listeners in the UK, with predictions that there will be close to 20 million listeners by 2024. So, how can podcasts help you secure a role in children’s publishing? We have taken a look at a range of podcasts that will spotlight the highlights of children’s literature, expanding your knowledge of the children’s literature industry from picture books to young adult (YA) fiction.
Down the Rabbit Hole
Down the Rabbit Hole is a monthly radio show hosted by Caroline Carpenter (Deputy Features Editor at The Bookseller), Hannah Love (Senior Publicity Manager at Scholastic), Charlie Morris (Marketing Manager at Macmillan Kids) and Sam Sedgman (bestselling author and playwright). Together, they produce this magnificent radio show packed full of content about children’s literature. The episodes are roughly half an hour in length, ideal to listen to during your lunchtime stroll. They tackle key topics such as whether cats or dogs are superior in the children’s literature world. Down the Rabbit Hole also features some special guests such as Sharna Jackson and Frank Cottrell Boyce, exploring the hosts’ top picks of new releases. This show is the ideal way to gain industry insights and we particularly recommend you check out their pride special, which is a gem of an episode. You can visit their website here and follow them on Twitter @dtrhradio.
The Guardian Children’s Podcast
The last episode of this podcast was in 2016, but if you want a day listening back through some great episodes, we recommend this podcast from The Guardian. In this podcast, young readers ask questions to their favourite authors. Listen to children’s literature stars such as Jacqueline Wilson and Jeff Kinney, author of Diary of a Wimpy Kid, whilst learning more about broader topics such as YA fantasy and middle grade adventure fiction. Episodes range from twelve to thirty minutes long and with over eighty episodes, there is something for everyone. You can find out more here.
Kidlit These Days
In 2019, Book Riot started Kidlit These Days, a podcast pairing the very best of children’s literature with current, global events. Hosted by New York Times bestselling author Karina Yan Glaser and Matthew Winner, who also hosts The Children’s Book Podcast. As well as exploring how children’s authors are responding to current events, the podcast also gives an insight into authors’ and illustrators’ creative processes, whilst providing brilliant book recommendations that are sure to help children understand the world in which they live. Their more recent episodes include discussions about books by ‘Asian American Femme Authors’ and ‘Children’s Books in Verse.’ You can find all episodes of the podcast here.
Scholastic Reads Podcast
This podcast from renowned children’s and educational publishing company, Scholastic, is a celebration of reading in all its most joyous forms. Hosted by Scholastic Editor, Suzanne McCabe, the podcast spotlights Scholastic’s books for children and young adults. Along the way, it invites special guest authors and publishing professionals to join in the conversation. Now on its 117th episode, there are a plethora of topics to choose from and our top picks include ‘100 years of Reading: Celebrating Scholastic’s Legacy’ and the ‘Through My Eyes: Ruby Bridges on the Struggle for Racial Justice’ episodes.
The Children’s Book Podcast with Matthew Winner
As mentioned earlier, this weekly podcast is hosted by Matthew Winner. The Children’s Book Podcast features insightful interviews with authors, illustrators and everyone involved in bringing a book to life. Each week, an episode will look at the impact of events on our world and try to make them less confusing. From social justice to scientific breakthroughs, this podcast features a wide range of engaging topics. After several strong years (having first started in July 2013), the podcast is now on a hiatus indefinitely. However, you can still listen to all episodes of the podcast here and follow them on Twitter @ChildrensBkPod for updates.
With the popularity of podcasts continuing to grow, we can only assume that the ones mentioned above and hopefully many more new podcasts will continue to captivate listeners. By doing so, they will maintain to create exciting and engaging discussions regarding children’s literature.