A Women's Podcast Festival
October 3-4, 2019, Los Angeles
A Women's Podcast Festival
October 3-4, 2019, Los Angeles
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Note: Schedule and presenters are subject to change, the Werk It producers routinely add more sparkle and also life happens. Check back regularly and subscribe to our newsletter for updates!
A one-day introduction to podcasting for women+ in the LA metro area who’ve got big audio dreams but who don’t yet have the experience or industry connections to start making them real.
Location: Second Home, Hollywood
Werk It attendees and presenters will receive a link to RSVP via email. Can’t wait to see you there!
Location: DTLA (See invite for details)
Opening night mixer supported by Angel City Brewery
Welcome from Depelsha McGruder (Chief Operating Officer, New York Public Radio) + Kathy Merritt (Senior Vice President, Journalism and Radio, Corporation for Public Broadcasting)
We are kicking off Werk It 2019 with a summit featuring some of the most accomplished and innovative leaders in podcasting share what they see as the biggest challenges, opportunities, and trends happening right now.
Moderator: Depelsha McGruder (Chief Operating Officer, New York Public Radio) Participants: Liz Gateley (Head of Creative Development, Spotify Studios) + Julia Turner (Deputy Managing Editor, The LA Times) + Kristen Muller (Chief Content Officer, Southern California Public Radio) + Jennifer Ferro (President, KCRW) + Jenna Weiss-Berman (Co-Founder, Pineapple Street Media) + Kerri Hoffman (CEO, PRI/PRX) + Christa Scharfenberg (CEO of The Center for Investigative Reporting) + Amanda Lund (Co-Founder, Earios) + Paula Szuchman (VP of New Show Development, WNYC Studios) + Tanya Somanader (Chief Content Officer, Crooked Media)
Your podcast’s content is strong, your download numbers look good, but as a business you're not yet sustainable. Or maybe you have a growing podcast studio, but you have much bigger plans -- you want to build a media empire. With a little more funding, maybe your business would take off, letting you quit your part-time job, build out your team, add another show, or test out new marketing strategies. Hear our panelists talk candidly about when they decided it was time to raise money to build their businesses, how they did it, and the cost of that capital. We'll cover important topics like take rates, revenue-based financing, and venture capital in an approachable way, so you know which questions to ask yourself and prospective investors.
Moderator: Nicola Korzenko (General Manager, Podfund) Panelists: Doree Shafrir (Co-Host, Forever 35) + Paola Mardo (Host, Creator, Producer, Long Distance) + Stacey Book (CEO, Fugitive Media)
Join Reema Khrais for a special Werk It live taping of Marketplace's This Is Uncomfortable, a show about life and how money messes with it. The live show will tackle the topic of salary negotiation - how to ask your employer for more money and knowing your worth. Reema will ask her very own boss, Sitara Nieves, about how to approach negotiations. And special guests TK Dutes and Julia Furlan will dish out advice on your tricky money and work questions.
This lightning session invites any Werker who is currently hiring for roles with their company to join us on stage and share their job posting with our audience. Share your 30-second job description and find a fellow Werker to fill your gig!
Connecting your podcast to all the digital spaces where audiences already are is key to audience growth. As the world’s first Podcast Librarian and Content Strategist, Ma’ayan has a front row seat as podcasters market their shows on the web to curators like her, editors, and journalists and most importantly, to potential new audiences. Her talk will cut through the glut of guidance out there to help podcasters reach new listeners to highlight proven web-first strategies that all shows can use. Presenter: Ma’ayan Plaut (Content Strategist & Podcast Librarian, RadioPublic)
This is for everyone looking to grow their own careers or to share their knowledge to help others grow. The co-founders of NPR’s Women of Color mentorship program break down what makes a good mentor, how to be a good mentee, and how to build and maintain these career-changing relationships. You’ll get the tools to become or to find a mentor (or board of mentors), outline the difference between a mentor and a sponsor, and set agendas for mentor meetings.
Presenter: Anjuli Sastry (Associate Producer, NPR's It's Been a Minute with Sam Sanders and Co-Founder, NPR Women of Color Mentorship Program.)
When you’re in the freelance game, taking yourself seriously when it comes to managing your business is crucial. In this session, Juleyka Lantigua-Williams, CEO of Lantigua Williams & Co., gives you no-bullshit, hard won guidance on how to be truly professional about your money and avoid common yet disadvantaging errors, from incorporating as an LLC, to digital invoicing and negotiating rates. You’ll walk away able to identify these mistakes, recognize how we’re set up as women and non-binary folks in the (patriarchal) system to make them, and fix it when a mistake happens. You’ll also receive a nifty pocket guide with common scripts and phrasing to rely on for when you enter nerve-wracking negotiations. Get paid what you’re worth!
Presenter: Juleyka Lantigua Williams (CEO, Lantigua Williams & Co.)
You want those well-dressed development execs to take you out to lunch, but you don’t want to get taken. Come in to hear a lawyer, an agent, and a manager working with podcasters explain what each of them can do for your career, when it’s time to engage their services, and how to avoid signing a bad deal while you’re still out there on your own. They can’t tell you whether your podcast is primed to become an Amazon Original Series, but they will provide a peek at how deals get made, what it takes to protect your IP, and a primer on key questions you should be asking whenever you take a meeting.
Moderator: Priyanka Mattoo (Co-Founder, Earios Podcast Network) Panelists: Vanessa Silverton-Peel (Talent Agent, Creative Artists Agency) + Sam Saifer (Manager, Avalon Entertainment) + Lisa Davis (Lawyer, Frankfurt Kurnit Klein & Selz)
Join Avery Trufelman (99% Invisible + Articles of Interest) as she endeavors to answer the age old question: Where do you get your ideas from? What comes next after you have an idea and feel that buzzy spark? Avery breaks down how one of her favorite episodes of 99% Invisible, “The Pool and the Stream”, came to be plus all the twists and turns along the way.
Presenter: Avery Trufelman (Producer, 99% Invisible + Host of Articles of Interest (Radiotopia) & Nice Try! (Curbed/Vox Media)
Werk It Presents: Womxnifestos*
*We have never met a pun we didn't like.
Womxnifestos* are the hot takes you didn’t know you needed. They’re distilled wisdom of experience spiced with the power of conviction. These lightning talks are a MOOD. All sessions will be held in the Walker Eisen and Segovia rooms, located on the second floor of the Ace Hotel.
Because thinking inside the box can sharpen your focus and lead you to unexpected places.
Presenters: Bethel Habte + Rachael Cusick (Producers, Radiolab)
This strategy session is for those looking to use their podcasts to do greater good. As individual podcasters, we all have unique audiences who tune in each episode because they relate to us and our content. Often our shows and audiences get stuck in a vacuum, which can be great for building and engaging small communities, but how do we then create a framework that networks our individual efforts on a larger scale? Come with issues you’re working on that need a signal boost.
Presenter: Lynn Casper (Producer and Host of Homoground Podcast)
Should you care about the Apple charts or not? How important is social media to growing your listenership, really? Does SEO even matter for podcasts? NPR One what? Trying to grow your audience can be overwhelming if you try to do it all - and we're here to tell you that you shouldn't.
Presenter: Mathilde Piard (Senior Project Manager, NPR)
Disabled people make up almost 25% of the population, yet we are underserved and underrepresented by the podcasting industry due to structural and cultural barriers. During this session, Bri M. will cover what disability justice and culture is and how it relates to podcasting and other media; things to consider when telling a story about disability; and how to make your podcasts more accessible to a wider diverse audience.
Presenter: Bri M. (Host, Power Not Pity)
Working on a team can teach you a lot of things that you might feel like you should already know. The Nod co-host Brittany Luse and senior producer Sarah Abdurrahman learned this the hard way. In this session, they share what they’ve learned in the last 3.5 years of working together (which is 2 decades in podcast years).
Presenters: Brittany Luse (Co Host + Producer, The Nod) + Sarah Abdurrahman (Senior Producer, The Nod)
Failing is super hot these days (just look at the inventory of TED Talks for proof). Everyone is trying to glean meaning from their flops and fails and foibles. But what if there is no upside to failure? What if crashing and burning is just an unavoidable part of the creative process? Rather than glorify failure or run screaming from it, Spectacular Failures host Lauren Ober will help you just accept it.
Presenter: Lauren Ober (Host, Spectacular Failures)
If rolling solo has the gilded appeal of legend, in practice, it can leave a producer feeling like a horse in unicorn's clothing. We are producers who have been our own teams, working independently without extensive resources or infrastructure. We have found success building podcasts and audiences. We've also experienced the challenges that come with outsized expectations, insufficient budgets, and lack of support. We'll get into the bare essentials of podcasting, the many roles to fill, and the questions you didn't think to ask in this real talk session with producers who have been there and made it work. We may even dish about the projects that fell apart along the way.
Presenters: Gina Delvac (Producer and Co-Founder of Call Your Girlfriend) + Cher Vincent (Producer, Thirst Aid Kit, Slate)
In this session, attendees will learn about the power of podcasting and the ways that Locatora Radio has successfully cultivated community and an engaged listenership through survivor centered podcast parties and pop-ups, interactive installations, workshops, and film. This 20 minute lightning talk will walk attendees through our journey to create a multimedia brand, online & in real life communities, and imagine the possibilities for content creation in a new and evolving media landscape.
Presenters: Diosa Femme + Mala Muñoz (Co-Hosts, Locatora Radio)
How do you lead when you're natural inclination to make sure everyone is happy?
Presenter: Meghan Keane (Managing Producer, NPR's Life Kit)
Reporter/host/producer Julia Furlan will share how things shifted for her once she started talking up her work instead of shrugging off her accomplishments and listening to the evil troll known as imposter syndrome. You can do it, too!
Presenter: Julia Furlan (Host and Reporter, NPR)
Kick off the day’s program with this keynote conversation with Paula Szuchman (Vice President of New Show Development, WNYC Studios) and Lisa Hanawalt, the creator of Tuca & Bertie, the production designer + producer of BoJack Horseman, and the author of Coyote Doggirl and Hot Dog Taste Test.
Many of us became storytellers because we didn’t see ourselves in media, in television, or in podcasts. But how do you tell your story to an audience that doesn’t share your experience or understanding? Join Native journalist and host of This Land podcast Rebecca Nagle for a talk on how to translate across the divide.
Presenter: Rebecca Nagle (Writer and Host, This Land)
This duo understands firsthand how this recently informal industry often excludes underrepresented folks from fully participating in the expanding ecosystem of podcasting. This trickle-up conversation explores what it looks like to “pass the baton” within a supportive community, present new blueprints for leveling up, and bare it all about
Presenters: Gabrielle Horton (Producer, Hear To Slay and Founder/Chief Storyteller, The Woodshaw) + Keisha "TK" Dutes (Producer, Glitch and EP Consultant, Hear to Slay)
As host of the Switch, Pivot or Quit podcast, Ahyiana Angel equips her listeners with practical advice and mindset shifts to help them take control of their days. She’s here to address your career quandaries and quell your self-doubt, one audience-submitted question at a time.
Presenter: Ahyiana Angel (Author + Founder, Mayzie Media + Host, Switch, Pivot or Quit)
You pitched our panel your best podcast ideas, and now one Werker will win the chance to develop a pilot with WNYC Studios. Made possible with support from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
As the podcasting industry grows into a billion dollar ad business the field is open for women and non-binary professionals to lead innovation on the revenue side. This presentation will tackle the challenges ahead for producers of all kinds as podcast advertising continues to evolve in the context of the broader digital advertising landscape.
Presenters: Katie Sprenger (Lead Branded Audio Producer, Vox Media Podcast Network)+ Caila Litman (Senior Manager, Audio Revenue, Vox Media Podcast Network)
There’s great responsibility in taking the mic: To respect your guests and sources, to serve your listeners, and to present yourself well (as well as the hard work of the team behind you)—and that’s just for starters. Learn how to navigate all the challenges, from balancing air time with male co-hosts, to creating an accessible and welcoming experience for guests, and handling expectations specific to being a woman and/or a POC.
Moderator: Shereen Marisol Meraji (Co-Host, Code Switch) / Panelists: Misha Euceph (Host and Producer, KPCC), Rund Abdelfatah (Co-Host and Co-Producer, Throughline) + Alice Wong (Host and Co-Producer, Disability Visibility Podcast)
If we can agree that it’s imperative to identify a target audience before making a new podcast, why do things still get so fuzzy when we talk about reaching “diverse” audiences? Enter our panel with experiences that span decades, coasts, cultures and mediums, here to spill tea, share lessons learned from the audio trenches, and offer strategies to intentionally make podcasts for and by people of color.
Moderator: Cristina Kim (Podcast Producer, Truth Be Told) / Panelists: Tonya Mosley (Host, Truth Be Told & Co-Host of Here & Now), Kameel Stanley (Senior Producer, The City), + Berry Syk (Creator, Podcasts in Color)
Werk It Presents: How I Make It
How I Make It gets 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. All sessions will be held in the Walker Eisen and Segovia rooms, located on the second floor of the Ace Hotel.
This team knows how to get their listeners to open up about things that are rarely said out loud. Hear how they've built a community around candor, and how their listener-based episodes are created, start to finish.
Presenters: Anabel Bacon (Producer) + Katie Bishop (Executive Producer) + Anna Sale (Host and Managing Editor)
Man in the Window was an unwieldy investigation by a print reporter with no audio experience, encompassing more than 100 crimes over a decade. The central character was not only unreachable, but convicted of no crime. In theory, it shouldn’t have worked... here’s how it did, topping the charts within days of release.
Presenters: Karen Lowe (Senior Producer and Editor, Man in the Window) + Paige St. John (Investigative Reporter, Los Angeles Times)
Meet one of the independent reporters who created 70 Million, a sound-rich investigative trek into jails and other institutions interwoven into our criminal justice system.
Presenter: Maria Murriel (Freelance reporter, 70 Million + Co-founder, Pizza Shark Productions)
Werkers registered by September 6 will be eligible to request a mentor. Mentors will be assigned in advance of the festival so you can make your arrangements to meet 1:1 during the fest.
Mentorships are made possible with support from acast.
Having trouble with a session in Pro Tools? Not sure if you nailed the mix of your debut episode? Are you a one-woman podcast production team and you’re not sure where to turn for engineering advice? This special collaboration with Werk It and AIR offers the opportunity for 1:1 feedback from three women experts in all things engineering. Registered Werk It attendees can are eligible to sign up. Space is limited. (Deadline to request a 1:1 session: September 18 / Participants will be notified of their assignments by September 25).
Engineers: Misha Euceph (Host and Producer, KPCC) + Kara Hart (Independent Podcast Producer) + Jennifer Swiatek (Production Manager, KCRW) + Shana Daloria (Independent Public Radio and Podcast Producer)
This session is brought to you in partnership with AIR. AIR is a vibrant talent network of 1,200 makers powering public media and podcasting. Founded in 1988, AIR identifies, cultivates and deploys producers and independent storymakers who create innovative work, challenge and inspire other media makers, and find resources in digital, broadcasting, and podcasting.
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 13 countries. They have been producers, hosts, writers, reporters, editors, engineers, social media managers, marketers, sound designers, video producers, and more.
Last year, 34% of attendees 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 women, we encourage podcasters and podcast fans who identify as genderqueer, 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.
Werk It is a production of WNYC Studios.
Executive Producer: Jennifer Keeney Sendrow
Senior Producer: Denise Bennett
Technical Director: Ricardo Fernandez
Video Producer: David McLean
Production Coordinator: Yasaman Khorsandi
Designers: Sahar Baharloo and Billy Graves
Digital and Social Media Producers: Caroline English and Kim Nowacki
Marketing: Theodora Kuslan, Ashley Lusk, Millie Christie-Dervaux, Nadim Silverman
Publicity: Jennifer Houlihan Roussel and David Cotrone
Legal: Celia Muller, Janna Freed, Ivan Zimmerman, and Cindi Kim
Sponsorship: Hal Trencher and Kathy Callaghan
Development: Caledonia Kearns, Valeria Martinez, Anna Proffitt
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.
Smart, honest, inclusive, witty, wonderful.
The Werk It Advisory Board exists for two reasons. First, our ambitions for serving the community we’ve started build are so big that we need like-minded partners and expert advisors to help us get it right and make it pop. Second, we want to not only include but center perspectives that are marginalized in our industry, and our tiny team can’t possibly represent the multitudes who attend the festival. We work with a lot of brilliant colleagues at New York Public Radio to broaden our view, but we wanted to extend it further. This year’s Advisory Board is version 1.0 of us empowering even more voices to shape Werk It’s programming on stage and off.
The members of the 2019 Board are all former presenters and collaborators of the Werk It festival that we invited to join us for meetings at critical times in our production timelines to review the overall conference plan, programming topics, key presenters, and events.
Board members are not paid staff of Werk It, but they do receive a complimentary pass to attend the festival and any related events.
2019 Advisory Board Members:
Taz Ahmed, Writer, Activist, and Co-Host of #GoodMuslimBadMuslim
Tricia Bobeda, Podcast Manager at KUER
Martina Castro, CEO and Founder of Adonde Media
Amy S. Choi, Co-founder and Editorial Director of The Mash-Up Americans
Erika Clarke, Executive Producer, Spotify Studios
Gina Delvac, Producer of Call Your Girlfriend
N’Jeri Eaton, Deputy Director, Programming and New Audience, NPR
Julia Furlan, Host and Reporter, NPR
Kate Krosschell, Marketing Lead, 70 Million Podcast
Juleyka Lantigua Williams, CEO of Lantigua Williams & Co.
Rebecca Lehrer, Co-founder and CEO of The Mash-Up Americans
Kristen McCallum, Founder & Lead Consultant at SafeWordSociety
Mukta Mohan, Development Producer, Crooked Media
Lauren Ober, Host, Spectacular Failures
Chiquita Paschal, Independent Consultant
Bridget Todd, Afropunk and Unbossed Media
Jenna Weiss-Berman, Founder, Pineapple Street Media
Our festival is here to promote equity, empower women+, and recognize the amazing work that women+ do.
Everyone presenting on any stage during the two-day Werk It conference receives free access to attend both days of programming and all the benefits that come with it (access to networking and mentoring events, etc.). We promote their participation in our festival marketing efforts, and after the festival we offer them access to any photos, audio, and video we make of their appearance for their personal use going forward.
For our Main Stage presenters based outside the LA metro area whose employers cannot support their travel expenses, Werk It covers the cost of travel (i.e. flight or train transportation, overnight accommodation, and/or parking).
Werk It also provides a very modest honorarium for independent freelancers ($150 for panelists and $250 for presenters), recognizing that the time they spend contributing to Werk It, while valuable to them, isn’t subsidized by an employer.
In special circumstances that don’t fit our usual approach or for events or programs that are ticketed separately from the main two-day conference, we work with the presenter to reach a fair solution that is similar to what the other presenters are offered. Keynote speakers who we have commissioned to write a wholly original talk to present at Werk It are offered an honorarium, for example.
For the ticketed evening events that are a part of Werk It, we make individual arrangements with the participating shows and venues.
First piece of advice: Lean in! You don't get anything in this world if you don't ask. Second, consider the following pitches to help make your case:
We hear ya! We offer single and two day pass options.
The Werk It Plus Pass will get you access to the pre-sale for any shows or networking events that get added to the festival, but please note that those tickets will be sold separately. Sign up for our newsletter to get updates on all festival events.
Yes! Contact email@example.com to upgrade your ticket.
All registrations are nonrefundable. If you would like to transfer your pass to another Werker, this can be done by request for a $50 processing fee. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to initiate the transfer process.
If you are having trouble purchasing a festival ticket, AXS may be flagging you as a bot or fraudulent buyer. This may be due to multiple attempted payments, multiple purchases on one card, or multiple attempts from the same company network. If this is happening, email email@example.com and we’ll work with the box office to resolve any issues with purchases.
All passes are subject to availability. You can walk up to purchase registrations at the Ace Box office, however day-of purchases will not be eligible to submit a pitch to the the Podcast Accelerator competition or submit a request for a mentor. You can, of course, still find a mentor as you informally mingle with other Werkers but we won’t be able to accommodate requests for curated mentor matching.
Sign up for our newsletter to be notified about new editions.
Yes! Werk It is hosting a bootcamp at Second Home Hollywood on October 2. Details here!
No, this program is open only to people who fit the criteria and have completed the application. However, Werk It attendees will receive an invitation to join an opening night reception at Second Home!
No, but Second Home has a full service cafe that is open to the public. Lunch, coffee, and snacks are available there for purchase. You’re also welcome to bring your own lunch!
All registered Werk It attendees registered will receive instructions via email about how to submit their pitch to be considered for the 2019 Werk It Podcast Accelerator competition. Finalists will be notified at least two weeks before the festival and will present their final pitches during the fest on Oct. 4 for a chance to land a pilot with WNYC Studios.
Not officially, but our friends at Ace Hotel are extending a 15% discount to all Werk It attendees who'd like to stay there between October 1-7, 2019. Apply the promo code WERKIT19 and reserve your stay.
Valet services are available at the hotel 24/7, and there are more than 1,200 self-parking spaces all within a few blocks of the theater. If you decide on public transportation, the nearest metro stop is 7th St./Metro Center. The Ace Hotel provides detailed directions on their website.
We’re not hiring right now. If we do have opportunities, you’ll find out by signing up for our email updates.
The daytime sessions of Werk It are created by and for women. We also encourage people who are 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. Also, our podcast feed contains wisdom for all ears!
We will offer a limited number of scholarships in order to ensure a robust mix of participants including students, freelancers and nonprofit employees who would otherwise be unable to attend. Scholarships cover conference registration but not travel expenses. Our scholarship application for Werk It 2019 is now closed. Applicants will be notified by August 1. Scholarships are made possible with support from Spotify.
Hang tight, attendees will be emailed with more information on how to request a mentor in late summer.
The Theatre at Ace Hotel is committed to making their venue welcoming and accessible to all our patrons. There is a wheelchair accessible restroom in the lobby of the Ace Hotel and in the lower level of the Theatre. Please note that the elevator goes to the balcony at the theater, however, seating can only be reached by climbing the stairs. Details on ADA-accesible seats are available on their website.
Yes! Please do. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to inquire about sponsorship opportunities.
The open call for pitches closed April 30, but you can still submit a suggestion anytime. If you pitched us, you will be updated May 31 on the status of your pitch!
Sign up below to get emails from us.
Email us at email@example.com.
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