Werk It

A Women's Podcast Festival

October 3-5 | Los Angeles, CA












Werk It

A Women's Podcast Festival

October 3-5 | Los Angeles, CA











Thank you for an incredible Werk It! 2017!

You came from all over the country and across the globe to listen, learn and celebrate the power of women's voices in podcasting. 70,000 more of you streamed it from afar. Some of you got to hug Lena Waithe. Some of you recorded your own episodes in our pop-up studio. Lots of you crushed on Kara Swisher.

Werk It! The Podcast 

If you missed us this year, or if you want to experience the magic again, subscribe to the Werk It podcast feed. Most of the sessions will be there soon--and last year's are already there.


2017 Photos

2017 Photos


Thanks for the memories LA! 

You can still share your favorite moments from the festival by using #womenpodcasters and tagging @WNYCStudios. 


Thank you to Gina Clyne for our photos! 


Get Updates

Get Updates


The Theatre at Ace Hotel, Downtown Los Angeles

929 South Broadway
Los Angeles, CA 90015




October 3: Podcast Bootcamp

8:00 AM: Doors Open for check-in

+ 9:30 AM: Keynote: My Podcast Gives Me Joy (and Health Insurance!)

Anna Sale, host of Death, Sex & Money, kicks off our Bootcamp with the 11 things she’s learned on her journey to podcast glory.

+ 10:00 AM: Set It Up

You can make a podcast alone in your closet, but it’s way more fun to do it with a team. Consider the many roles that exist on a pro podcast production, from a bootstrap indie operation to a national radio show extravaganza. We’ll reveal the salaries and budgets you should be prepared to pay (or demand) to produce your show.

Presenters: N’Jeri Eaton (Senior Manager for Program Acquisition, NPR) + Gina Delvac (Producer, Call Your Girlfriend) / Moderator: Taz Ahmed (Co-host, #GoodMuslimBadMuslim)

+ 10:45 AM: Myth: All the Great Podcast Ideas Are Taken

There are podcasts about politics, food, love, death, celebrity, hiking, crime, health, science, and even…the California DMV handbook. So has every podcast idea been taken? There are plenty of niches waiting to be exploited by new podcasters—you just have to know where to look. Special bonus: Lauren gives away 50 free podcast ideas. (Producer not included.)

Presenter: Lauren Ober (Host, The Big Listen)

+ 11:05 AM: Talk with Your Voice

In this interactive session, we’ll talk about talking on the microphone with your authentic voice. And we’ll work on ways to get the most out of your host’s voice. Vocal fry welcome. Phoniness not accepted.

Presenters: Nancy Farghalli (Senior Editor, The Uncertain Hour, Marketplace’s Wealth & Poverty Desk) + Krissy Clark (Host, The Uncertain Hour; Senior Correspondent, Marketplace)

11:45 AM: Lunch Break

+ 1:00 PM: Put Yourself In My Ears

Emily: Marianne knows something about music. I don't what know it means when someone says -- wait for the high C chord. Marianne: Emily is crazy. No one ever says -- wait for the high C chord. The most important thing is to know what you're trying to convey. In this session, we'll talk about how to use music and sounds that help, not hinder, your story.

Presenters: Emily Botein (VP of On-Demand Content, WNYC Studios) + Marianne McCune (Editor, Rough Translation)

+ 1:45 PM: Hot Tape

A quality microphone is a great start. After that, things can get tricky. How do you know what you need your sources to say? Where does your voice fit in, and how? Master these ten simple tips about the art and craft of interviewing and you’ll be ready to get good tape out of civilians and CEOs alike.

Presenter: Lisa Chow (Co-host, StartUp)

+ 2:45 PM: I Have 100 Hours of Tape. Some of It's Hot. Now What?

Congratulations! Now let’s figure out where the story is hiding in that mountain of material, and how to shape it so your listeners listen like their lives depend on it.

Presenter: Molly Webster (Features Producer & Guest Host, Radiolab)

+ 3:30 PM: They Won't Come to You: How to Find, Hook and Bedazzle Your Audience

All your hard work will just be an mp3 on a server unless people download it. Get tips on how to reach your people, make your show essential listening, and create points of interaction that can turn an audience into a community.

Presenters: Rebecca Lehrer (Co-host and Co-creator, The Mash Up Americans) + Ashley Alvarado (Manager, Public Engagement, KPCC) + Christina Rentz (Label Manager & Director of Publicity, Merge Records) / Moderator: Sarah Gonzalez (Reporter, WNYC)

+ 4:00 PM: Start Your Clocks: 7 Things You Have to Do Before Your Launch

Bringing your podcast into the world will be both beautiful and painful. Take this advice and you’ll make it more of the former and less of the latter.

Presenters: Gretta Cohn (Founder, Transmitter Media) + Mukta Mohan (Producer, MTV News)

+ 4:30 PM: Pitching Like A Boss

You've created a compelling series and have a growing audience - but how do you actually monetize your media? In this rousing closer to the day, Bossed Up CEO and podcast breakout star Emilie Aries will tell you how you can, and should, be pitching, selling, negotiating, and closing.

Presenter: Emilie Aries (Co-host, Stuff Mom Never Told You and Founder, Bossed Up)

7:30 PM: WNYC Studios and KCRW Present: BuzzFeed's Another Round with guests Amber Rose, Quinta Brunson and Victor Pope Jr. (Podcast Taping Tickets sold seperately)

October 4: Werk It Main Stage

8:00 AM: Doors Open for check-in

9:00 AM: Opening Remarks, Laura Walker, President and CEO, New York Public Radio

9:15 AM: Keynote: Patricia de Stacy Harrison, President and CEO, Corporation for Public Broadcasting

+ 9:30 AM: What They Didn't Tell Me About Podcasting

New to podcasting? You’re not alone. Hear from women who crossed over into the light, and what they learned along the way.

Presenters: Negin Farsad (Host, Fake the Nation) + Erica Williams Simon (Host, The Call) + Gaby Dunn (Host, Bad With Money with Gaby Dunn) / Moderator: Ann Friedman (Co-host, Call Your Girlfriend)

+ 10:15 AM: Scoring: How to Do It well, and Legally

No, you can’t stick a Prince song in your credits. Yes, you can find free music or hire a composer. We’ll teach you everything you need to know about how to incorporate music, talk to musicians and source affordable music that won’t get you thrown in jail.

Presenter: Jane Marie (Music Supervisor, This American Life)

+ 11:00 AM: Creativity Doesn't Just Happen

Whether you’re getting a handle on your own creative practice, collaborating with a creative team, or steering your show in the context of a larger organization, effectively managing creativity is one of the most important elements of making a good show. A candid conversation about getting creative while getting things done — alone or as part of a group — kicked off with a creativity-kindling game.

Presenters: Christy Gressman (Partner and Director of New Show Development and Production, Night Vale Presents) + Bettina Warshaw (Partner Management Coordinator at Panoply) + Nishat Kurwa (Executive Producer of Audio, Vox Media) / Moderator: Marea Chaveco (Senior Associate, Nonprofits Are Messy)

11:45 AM: Lunch Break

1:00 PM: Live taping of Recode/Decode with Kara Swisher + guest Ilene Chaiken

+ 2:00 PM: The $1 Million Podcast

Kidding. You’re probably not going to make a million dollars. Or maybe you will. Hear from the women who are making it their business to turn a profit doing the thing they love. Expect juicy nuggets about CPMs and ROIs, and juicier nuggets about taking risks and finding hidden talent.

Presenters: Danielle Dana (Executive Director, Science Friday) + Jenna Weiss-Berman (Co-founder, Pineapple Street Media) / Moderator: Mandana Mofidi (Executive Director of Audio, Fusion Media Group)

+ 3:00 PM: Make Your Ads as Good as Your Shows

The people who listen to your show also have to listen to your ads. Make ‘em fun.

Presenter: Nazanin Rafsanjani (Creative Director, Gimlet Media) / Moderator: Josie Huang (Reporter, KPCC)

+ 3:45 PM: Pitch Time!

Several leading ladies in podcasting field your show ideas and tell you what they really think.

Presenters: N’Jeri Eaton (Senior Manager for Program Acquisition, NPR) + Kerri Hoffman (CEO, PRX) + Paula Szuchman (VP of On-Demand Content, WNYC Studios) + Jenna Weiss-Berman (Co-founder, Pineapple Street Media) / Moderator: Anayansi Diaz-Cortes (Independent Producer, Creator of KCRW's Sonic Trace)

7:30 PM: WNYC Studios and KCRW Present: Death, Sex & Money with guests Niecy Nash and Alia Shawkat (Podcast taping tickets sold seperately)

October 4: Werk It Second Stage 

+ Werk It Presents: How I Make It

How I Make It brings together hosts and producers of your favorite podcasts in an intimate setting to reveal how they get their shows out the door. Expect candor and lots and lots of tape.

11:00 AM: Start-Up, with Lisa Chow

12:00 PM: The Daily, with Theo Balcomb

1:00 PM: Stuff Mom Never Told You, with Emilie Aries and Bridget Todd

2:00 PM: Another Round, with Tracy Clayton, Heben Nigatu, and Eleanor Kagan

3:00 PM: Making Oprah, with Jenn White and Tricia Bobeda

4:00 PM: Accused, with Amber Hunt

October 5: Werk It Main Stage


8:00 AM: Doors Open

9:00 AM: Keynote: Nina Jacobson in conversation with Erica WilLiams Simon

+ 9:30 AM: Creating Universes

A conversation with women who make fiction podcasts and non-fiction podcasts, about how to create strong characters and story lines that move your narrative forward.

Presenters: Lauren Shippen (Creator and producer, The Bright Sessions) + Cristal Duhaime (Producer, Love Me and Co-creator, Pen Pals) + Amber Hunt (Host, Accused) + Gisele Regatao (Creator, Celestial Blood)

+ 10:15 AM: Extreme Engagement

Your audience listens, but they can also talk.

Presenters: Manoush Zomorodi (Host, Note to Self) + Gretchen Rubin (Host, Happier) / Moderator: Karen Grigsby Bates (NPR Correspondent, Code Switch)

+ 11:00 AM: Don’t Point

We want our listeners to learn and be moved and see the world differently -- but what’s the line between those experiences and merely gawking at people different from ourselves?

Presenters: Rebecca Carroll (Editor for Special Projects, WNYC) + Nigel Poor (Producer and Co-host, Ear Hustle) + Kathy Tu (Host, Nancy) / Moderator: Aminatou Sow (Co-host, Call Your Girlfriend)

11:45AM: Lunch Break

+ 1:00 PM: Embedded Live, with Kelly McEvers

Kelly McEvers does a live performance of Embedded -- a podcast that takes a story from the news and goes deep.

+ 2:00 PM: Ask the Ethicist

What’s fair use? Do you need to get approval from Richard Simmons to do a podcast about Richard Simmons? Should you call a trans activist if you’re a doing a story on trans activism? A journalist and a lawyer tackle all your pod ethics questions.

Presenters: Evelyn Larrubia (Managing Editor, KPCC) + Nabiha Syed (Assistant General Counsel, BuzzFeed) / Moderator: Jenn White (Host, Making Oprah)

+ 2:45 PM: Question Everything

There are no rules in podcasting. So why is everyone telling us what we should do?

Presenters: Starlee Kine (Creator, Mystery Show) + Helen Zaltzman (Host, The Allusionist) / Moderator: Mary Harris (Reporter and Host, WNYC)

+ 3:30 PM: The Future of Love, Lust and Listening

The quality of our relationships determines the quality of our lives. Yet expectations and social norms are quickly shifting beneath our feet. A penetrating observer of cultural patterns, psychotherapist and podcast host Esther Perel explores the complicated and contradictory needs shaping relationships today, both intimate and professional, and teaches us how to listen more deeply to make thriving connections.

Presenter: Esther Perel (Host and Executive Producer, Where Should We Begin?)

+ 4:15 PM: This Is Not a Joke

Two very funny podcast hosts in conversation about how the funny can illuminate the serious.

Presenters: Lena Waithe (Writer, Producer, and Actress) + Maeve Higgins (Host, Maeve in America) / Moderator: Nora McInerny (Host, Terrible, Thanks for Asking)

7:oo PM: WNYC Studios and KPCC In Person Present: 2 Dope Queens with Guest Host Naomi Ekperigin (Podcast taping tickets sold seperately)

October 5: Werk It Second Stage 

+ Werk It Presents: How I MaKe It

How I Make It brings together hosts and producers of your favorite podcasts in an intimate setting to reveal how they get their shows out the door. Expect candor and lots and lots of tape.

11:00 AM: Where should we begin?, with Esther Perel and Jesse Baker

12:00 PM: Plz Advise, with Molly McAleer and Kristina Lopez

1:00 PM: Terrible, Thanks for Asking, with Nora McInerny

2:00 PM: Big Time Dicks, with Joanna Rothkopf and Prachi Gupta

3:00 PM: There Goes The Neighborhood, with Rebecca Carroll and Anna Scott, and Celeste Wesson

4:00 PM: Sleepover, with Veronica Simmonds

This schedule is subject to change as more presenters are added. Check back regularly for updates. 


Frequently ASked Questions

Frequently ASked Questions


+ Who is Werk It for?

Werk It is for women in all stages of their careers currently working in or hoping to break into audio and digital media. Past attendees have come from 23 states and 3 countries. They have been producers, hosts, writers, reporters, editors, engineers, social media managers, marketers, sound designers, video producers, and more.

Last year, 34% of the women were employed by public media companies, 27% by for-profit media companies, 19% worked at nonprofits or academic institutions, and 20% were freelancers. Join the brightest women leaders in audio as we make each other better, unleash our powers for good and muscle through some uncomfortable conversations. (Lunching, drinking and general merriment will also be provided.)

Although Werk It is focused on empowering people who identify as women, we encourage podcasters and podcast fans who identify as genderqueer, gender non-binary, or other who feel inspired by what we’re doing to join us at the festival and be a part of our community.

+ I'm not a podcaster right now. Can I come?


+ Who produces Werk It?

Werk It is a production of WNYC Studios, the beautiful people behind Radiolab, Freakonomics Radio, Death, Sex & Money, 2 Dope Queens, Note to Self, Snap Judgment, Sooo Many White Guys, Here’s the Thing, The New Yorker Radio Hour, On the Media, Only Human and more.

+ Why does Werk It exist?

Werk It launched in 2015 with a grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting to expand women’s voices in podcasting. At the time, our research showed that only 20% of all podcasts in the iTunes top 100 chart were hosted by women. Our mission is to get to 50% or more. By giving women opportunities to learn new skills and make professional contacts, Werk It is one way we will get there.

+ What's the vibe, sister?

Smart, honest, inclusive, witty, wonderful.

+ Is the Podcast Bootcamp right for me?

The Podcast Bootcamp is the right fit for anyone eager to learn (click here for a detailed description). Regardless of your current skill level or expertise, you’ll learn from the most innovative leaders in the field. We designed the Podcast Bootcamp with a lot of people in mind: Whether you’re an experienced podcast listener looking to break in to the field, or someone with experience in media considering a career transition or side hustle, or even those of you already working in audio who want to hone your skills. You can expect tactical, concrete advice on all aspects of podcast production.

+ Do I have to stay at the Ace Hotel?

No, you can stay anywhere you like. The Ace Hotel will offer a 15% discount to Werk It attendees. Use this link to book your room and enter the promo code WERKIT.

+ Where can I park near the venue?

There are a variety of valet, public transit, and self-parking options around the Theatre at Ace Hotel. See their site for more info.

+ Can I work at Werk It? Or volunteer? Or intern?

We’re not hiring right now. If we do have opportunities, you’ll find out by signing up for our email updates.

+ Can men attend?

The daytime sessions of Werk It, including the Podcast Bootcamp, are created by and for people who identify as women. We also encourage attendees who identify as genderqueer, gender non-binary, or other to join us. People who identify as men are welcome to purchase tickets to the live podcast tapings in the evenings. Woke dudes might also like our podcast feed.

+ Do you offer scholarships?

The deadline for 2017 scholarship applications closed on March 1, 2017. At this time, all applicants have been notified of their application status.

We were able to offer a limited number of scholarships in order to ensure a robust mix of participants such as students, freelancers, and nonprofit employees who would otherwise be unable to attend.

Scholarships cover the cost of the sessions. Recipients will be responsible for travel expenses and tickets to the live tapings.

+ Is Werk It accessible to people with limited mobility?

Yes, all the spaces we will be using within The Theatre at Ace Hotel and The Ace Hotel itself are fully accessible. If you prefer, you can also contact the Ace management to reserve accessible seating in advance.

+ Can I sponsor this event?

Yes! Please do. Email werkit@wnyc.org to inquire about sponsorship opportunities.

+ Can I pitch a session idea?

The deadline for our open call for pitches closed on March 1, 2017 (...unless you are someone who can get us Oprah or Shonda Rhimes, in which case -- call us).

+ How can I find out when updates are made to the schedule and speakers?

Sign up below to get emails from us.

+ I have a question that wasn't answered here, how can I get in touch?

Email us at werkit@wnyc.org.