werk it 2018

A Women's Podcast Festival

November 12-17, 2018 at venues across New York City


werk it 2018

A Women's Podcast Festival

November 12-17, 2018 at venues across New York City

Werk It! A Women's Podcast Festival

Join Werk It: A Women’s Podcast Festival, the inimitable annual gathering for women shaping the future of podcasting!

 November 13-14, 2018 at Knockdown Center in New York City

Two full days of conversations, workshops, live tapings, networking events, and one-on-one mentoring sessions, plus our Podcast Accelerator: your chance to pitch a show, incubate a pilot, and score a development deal with WNYC Studios.

Become a part of our growing community of female and non-binary producers, hosts, writers, reporters, editors, engineers, social media managers, marketers, sound designers, video producers, entrepreneurs, and executives. We come from across the United States and around the world, in all stages of our careers. 

November 12-17, 2018 at venues across New York City

Werk It welcomes everyone – men included! – to join us at a dozen events happening at venues in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens throughout the week of the festival. Event tickets are on sale now!


2018 Photos

2018 Photos


Thank you for joining us at Werk It 2018! We hosted 600+ women over two days at Knockdown Center with 80 panelists, 37 sessions, plus 11 shows over 6 nights across 3 boroughs for over 2,000 fans of women-led podcasts.

We are still reliving all the memories and you can, too. Keep in touch with us @WNYCStudios #WerkItFestival #WomenPodcasters.



Thank you to Briana Jones (J. Visuals) for our photos from Werk It 2018!


2018 Conference Schedule

2018 Conference Schedule

November 13:
Main Stage

8:00 AM: Doors Open for check-in

9:00 AM: Opening Remarks + Keynote

+ 9:30 AM: Looking For Gold? Dig.

The most unique stories and sources rarely jump into your arms and ask you to run off with them. You gotta dig! Finding narratives, characters and information does not have to mean huge staffs or supercomputers (though those things help if you have 'em). Learn how to look at what’s in front of you, think about the story you're trying to tell or the big question you know is worth answering, and begin – one scoop at a time – to dig.

Moderator: Sitara Nieves (Executive Director of On Demand, Marketplace)/ Panelists: Madeleine Baran (Investigative reporter for APM Reports, and host and lead reporter In the Dark) + Caitlin Esch (Reporter-Producer, The Uncertain Hour)

+ 10:00 AM: Who Tells the Story of Our Future?

How do we use podcasting as a tool to ensure that we all tell the story of our future? Hear from women & non-binary podcasters of color in tech -- from medicine, cybersecurity, genetics, robotics, and blockchain; the importance of an intersectional feminist approach to tech-focused podcasting; and actionable ways to make the field more inclusive to diverse creators and listeners.

Moderator: Sam Riddell (Host, Inner Hoe Uprising)/ Panelists: Bridget Todd (Host, Afropunk Sessions) + Janina Jeff (Host, In Those Genes) + Naima Muhammad (Co-Host and Co-Producer, Tea with Queen and J.)

+ 10:40 AM: The Data on Women as Listeners

According to Edison Research’s annual tracking study, The Infinite Dial, women make a bit less than half of the podcast listening audience. Come hear about their latest research comparing the total podcast listening audience to the female listening audience, with a look at awareness, consumption, device usage and more that’ll empower you to craft your audience strategy.

Presenters: Melissa Kiesche (Senior Vice President, Edison Research) + Megan Lazonick (Vice President, Edison Research)

+ 11:00 AM: Write Your Own Rules, Lead Like A Woman

Three founding females teach you how to empower your team, consistently entrust them with responsibility, and build confidence in their creativity, annihilating roadblocks and groupthink for good.

Panelists: Juleyka Lantigua-Williams (CEO, Lantigua Williams &Co. + Martina Castro (Founder and CEO, Adonde Media) + Nicaila Matthews Okome (Creator and Host, Side Hustle Pro)

+ 11:40 AM: Don't Kill The Vibe

Finding the right balance of energies on your show can be a toughie. From the chemistry between you and your co-host(s) to forging sincere connections with your guests. The hosts of Essence's Yes, Girl! podcast share candid anecdotes and lessons learned from how to strike the right balance and capture that magic on tape.

Presenters: Charli Penn + Yolanda Sangweni (Co-Hosts, Yes, Girl!)

+ 12:00 PM: Local --> National

Two producers who’ve covered local news in podcasts with national resonance talk about how to shape the story, report on developing circumstances in real time, situate yourself appropriately within the narrative, and share a few key newsroom tactics that can work for any show.

Presenters: Tracy Mumford (Co-Host, 74 Seconds) + Adizah Eghan (Producer, Snap Judgment)

12:30 PM: Lunch Break

+ 2:00 PM: What Any Podcaster Can Learn from Making a Daily Show

Making a daily podcast can be pretty challenging, especially when time and the news cycle never stands still. Pick up some tips and tricks from women who have to think very fast (and cut tape even faster).

Moderator: Shumita Basu (Host, reporter and producer, WNYC) Panelists: Irene Noguchi (Executive Producer, Today, Explained) + Stacey Vanek Smith (Co-Host, The Indicator from Planet Money) + Theo Balcomb (Managing Producer, The Daily)

+ 2:30 PM: Recentering the Story

Let’s bring the periphery into the center. We are recentering the narrative on voices that are often pushed to the margins, to everyone’s detriment — because we aren’t just counter culture, we make culture.

Moderator: Rebecca Lehrer (Co-Host, The Mash-Up Americans & Co-Head of Podcasts, Hello Sunshine)/ Panelists: Amy Choi (Co-Host, The Mash-Up Americans & Co-Head of Podcasts, Hello Sunshine) + Blair Imani (Co-Host, Hysteria & Founder & Executive Director, Equality for HER) + Keisha “TK” Dutes (Independent producer and Co-host, TK in The AM)

+ 3:00 PM: It’s Time to Choose New Sources of Inspiration

A brief manifesto on reaching new audiences by letting go of the old icons of audio and drawing inspiration from other stuff, delivered by someone who’s successfully adapted reality TV, exercise apps, and self-help books to make podcasts (and thinks that you should, too).

Presenters: Kristen Meinzer (Co-host, By The Book)

+ 3:15 PM: Edit or Regret it

Dun dun dun...

Hear from the editors of some of your favorite podcasts about their career journeys to becoming an editor, how to talk to your editor, and why you definitely need to have one.

Moderator: Phia Bennin (Senior Producer, Reply All)/ Panelists: Jenny Lawton (Senior Editor, WNYC Studios) + Wendy Dorr (Editor, Caliphate) + Emanuele Berry (Associate Editor, The Nod)

+ 4:00 PM: Diversity. It’s Not That Hard, But It’s Still Not Happening

We’ve seen the blind spot critics. We’ve celebrated new voices, telling underreported stories. But when it comes to hiring POCs at every level, there is still a huge representation gap. Why are so many organizations stuck? New York Public Radio’s Karen Frillmann and Veralyn Williams breakdown some of the challenges and attempt to figure out what needs to happen next.

Presenters: Veralyn Williams (Producer, Radio Rookies) + Karen Frillman (Executive Producer, WNYC Narrative Unit)

+ 4:30 PM: When Indies and Networks Get Boo’d Up

Real talk about the rewards and the challenges of an artist and an exec’s collaboration from both sides of the mic.

Presenter: Kaitlin Prest (Artist, Performer and Creator of The Heart podcast) + Leslie Merklinger (Senior Director of Audio Innovation, CBC)

November 13:
Second Stage

Werk It Presents: I Know How to Do That

Get in here for hands-on workshops that teach you the skills you need to build your podcast empire, taught by producers, hosts, marketers, lawyers, engineers, and all the other folks who support the creation of your favorite shows.

+ 10:00 AM: Designing for Purpose and Produce-ability

You have an idea for a podcast. Welcome to the club. How do you set that idea apart while laying down guiding principles to help you stay on course? Roll up your sleeves, breathe in that whiteboard marker, and DESIGN. In this session, we'll go from pie in the sky to pitchable, plannable, produceable… pie. Yum.

Presenter: Rekha Murthy (Independent Podcast Strategist)

+ 11:00 AM: How To Make A Team Run With Less Bullshit

The artists formerly known as the BuzzFeed PodSquad will show you of the structures, systems and language they use to try and make their work better and their team as successful as it can be. As an all-woman team producing audio at a company that’s not focused on audio, they faced their share of challenges and misunderstandings about the work they do and how they do it. Thanks to the PodSquad of the past and the one of the present/future, though, they’ve figured out some important ways of adapting, managing up, and standing together.

Presenters: Julia Furlan + Megan Detrie + Alex Laughlin

+ 12:00 PM: Starting from the Bottom Now We're Here: Podcast Tech for Beginners

This session goes out to all you indie indie podcasters out there working hard to make your podcast sound great in your in your pillow fort home studio. Sometimes it can be intimidating knowing where to start when there are so many shiny buttons. This workshop will explain the essential tools of the trade and how to manage those ProTools sessions with none of the jargon or nonsense. No experience or equipment required.

Presenter: Keisha “TK” Dutes (Independent producer and Co-host, TK in The AM)

+ 2:00 PM: Land A Sponsor

For indie podcasters, sponsorship is often the primary way to monetize. Megan Tan had to teach herself how to pitch and land sponsors when producing Millennial and this session will roadmap the tips and tricks she picked up firsthand as an independent trying to bankroll her dream and not go broke.

Presenter: Megan Tan (Independent Producer)

+ 3:00 PM: Market Your Show

With more than half a million podcasts out there, it can be challenging for listeners to find new shows that really resonate with their interests. In this session, we’ll go through the 6 stages of building a show, identifying, finding and growing your audience, and how to best market it organically (on little to no budget!). From press kits, to branding, to community building, and advertising, these interactive exercises will allow you to brainstorm, idea-share, and leave the session able and ready to deploy tactics to get your show out to the listeners that will love it most.

Presenters: Ashley Lusk (Director of Audience Development, WNYC) + Kat Brewer (Coordinating Producer, WBUR) + Nicole Butsis (Senior Marketing Manager, Pinna) + Jennifer Hahn (Senior Manager of Marketing, Gimlet)

+ 4:00 PM: How to Make a Pitch (And a Budget!)

So you have a vision for your show, but now what? How do you craft an intriguing pitch to entice a network? Where do you find your funding? How much do things even cost!? Learn first hand how to make your pitch sparkle.

Presenter: Allison Behringer (Creator and host, Bodies)

November 14: 
Main Stage


8:00 AM: Doors Open

9:00 AM: Opening Remarks by Laura Walker & Patricia de Stacy Harrison

+ 9:30 AM: Beyond the Buzz

How do you say something new about a topic that’s been widely covered? Throw your sources (and yourself) some curveballs. And listen. Really listen. A team of Radiolab producer-reporters take you through their process.

Presenters: Becca Bressler + Bethel Habte (Reporters for Radiolab)

+ 10:00 AM: Forecast the Future

Are we peak podcast? Are we in a bubble? Did the bubble just pop? Are you my mommy? Oh wow, STOP. Let’s listen to some of the most bold and brilliant brains in the biz talk about their strategies to grow shows and networks and discuss the risks they’re taking with ears tuned in to the future.

Moderator: Laura Walker (President and CEO, New York Public Radio) / Panelists: Erika Dilday (Executive Director, Futuro Media) + Christy Gressman (Partner, Night Vale Presents) + Kerri Hoffman (CEO PRI/PRX)

+ 10:30 AM: Womansplain This to Me

Well, actually, this session is about womansplaining: Don’t interrupt these women when they tell you how they approach making shows in traditionally male-dominated genres.

Moderator: Joni Deutsch (Host, Amplifier and Producer, She Says, WFAE) / Panelists: Adele Jackson-Gibson (Co-host, Rule Breakers)/ Angélique Roché (Host, SYFY WIRE's Geeksplain, Marvel Entertainment's Marvel's Voices and independent podcast The Radical Geeks) + Manoush Zomorodi (Founder of Stable Genius Productions and Host, ZigZag)

+ 11:00 AM: Creating the Unexpected

These producers know a thing or ten about how to keep you on the edge of your seat. We’ll share some lessons on how to approach crafting memorable stories—from standalones to serials—for podcasts such as Snap Judgment, This American Life, Radiolab, and The Habitat.

Moderator: Antonia Cereijido (Producer, Latino USA) / Panelists: Stephanie Foo (Freelance radio journalist and producer) + Lynn Levy (Host, The Habitat) + Molly Webster (Features Producer & Guest Host, Radiolab)

+ 11:45 AM: WNYC Studios’ Podcast Accelerator

Listen in as five aspiring podcasters pitch their show ideas, get feedback from top execs, and one of them wins support for a pilot and the chance to score a development deal with WNYC Studios!

Werk It attendees registered by October 15 will have the opportunity to send in a pitch for consideration. Instructions will be sent via email to attendees registered before that date. Finalists will be notified by email by November 1.

Emcee: Kathy Tu (Co-host, Nancy) / Panel of Judges: Paula Szuchman (Vice President of On Demand Content, WNYC Studios) + Emily Botein (Vice President of On Demand Content, WNYC Studios) + Christina Norman (WNYC)

12:30 PM: Lunch Break

2:00 PM: WNYC Studios’ Podcast Accelerator Winners Announced!

+ 2:05 PM: Jobs? Jobs! Jobs.

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!

+ 2:15 PM: Winners Are Quitters

Sometimes you gotta know when to hold ‘em and when to fold ‘em. These women speak candidly about their decisions to go freelance or start their own company (or otherwise bug waaaay out) and share some practical advice for anyone looking to set themselves up for success.

Moderator: Rebecca Carroll (Editor of Special Projects, WNYC) / Panelists: Rekha Murthy (Independent Podcast Strategist) + Chiquita Paschal (Independent producer and editor) + Jenna Weiss-Berman (Co-Founder, Pineapple Street Media)

+ 3:00 PM: Don’t Be a Burnout

How to thrive in a working world where figuring out how to balance your business obligations with your human being needs is only one part of the puzzle.

Presenters: Arwa Gunja (Executive Producer, The Takeaway) + Sarah Abdurrahman (Senior Producer, The Nod)

+ 3:20 PM: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love My Voice

As a host, Lauren Ober has experience training her voice to entertain, inform, sway, push, compel, etc. And she’s also noticed that women are conditioned not to use their voices and are policed at every turn about “up talking” or “vocal fry”. Nope. Lauren is here to talk about how there’s no one way to sound great, especially when you’re doin’ you.

Presenters: Lauren Ober (Podcast host and consultant)

+ 3:40 PM: Getting Un-Stuck In the Middle

There are a ton of different guides about how to go from an aspiring producer to an employed one. But once you’ve got a few years under your belt, how do you handle the ins and outs of finally being mid-career? You’ve got to assess your skills, negotiate salaries, build a professional network, fine-tune your brand, create long-term goals, and maybe, you hope, figure out how to balance your career ambitions with your personal life. Snap Judgment producers Adizah and Liz have banded together to navigate their mid-career plateaus, and together they’ll share tips on how you can make your way from good...to great

Presenters: Adizah Eghan (Producer, Snap Judgment) + Liz Mak (Producer, Snap Judgment)

+ 4:00 PM: Money as Muse

Producers and reporters often think of business negotiations and planning as the dirty part of work. Could a business operations audit be creative juice, fueling innovation? What if the P&L wasn’t the harsh reality but rather a key ingredient to authentic inspiration? Reframe what is now fraught and frustrating into fuel and you’ll be firing on all cylinders.

Presenter: Ellen Horne (Independent Producer + former Executive Producer, Radiolab)

+ 4:15 PM: Be a Boss, Start A Company, Have A Kid

Real talk about what it’s like to be an entrepreneur in a verrry male-dominated business, win all the bread (and a Grammy), work super hard, make time to be a partner and a parent, and be both sane and happy. Because you can do it, too.

Presenters: Ami Spishock (Founder/Co-Owner of Fort William Management) + Nora McInerny (Host, Terrible, Thanks for Asking)

4:45 PM: Resistance Revival Chorus

November 14: Second Stage 

Werk It Presents: I Know How to Do That

Get in here for hands-on workshops that teach you the skills you need to build your podcast empire, taught by producers, hosts, marketers, lawyers, engineers, and all the other folks who support the creation of your favorite shows.

+ 10:00 AM: Engage Your Audience

Once you find your people, you want to keep ‘em engaged. This session will cover strategies around newsletters and engagement projects that keep your show on brand and on mission while hopefully raking in some sweet, sweet crowdsourced dollars.

Presenter: Charlotte Cooper (Audience Conversion Manager, New York Public Radio)

+ 11:00 AM: Write (And Get!) That Grant

We all know how tough it can be to sustain your podcast financially. Most of us go the sponsorship route, but have you thought about applying for grants? Learn the lay of the land from which foundations consistently award journalism and media grants to how the request for proposals process actually works, this session will give you the tips to use and the pitfalls to avoid when writing grant applications.

Presenter: Juleyka Lantigua Williams (CEO, Lantigua Williams & Co.)

+ 12:00 PM: Preserve Your Podcast

There is a big problem in the podcast universe. Like all popular mass mediums, podcasts are at risk of disappearing in the face of rapid shifts in platform, delivery, and recording technology.In this session, we want to tackle this issue head-on by walking audio-makers through the basics of archival preservation, and some simple steps they can take to preserve their audio against the threats of digital decay.

Presenters: Mary Kidd (Project Lead, Preserve This Podcast) + Molly Schwartz (Studio Manager & Podcast Producer, Metropolitan New York Library Council)

+ 2:00 PM: How to Advocate for Yourself and When to Call a Lawyer

While we often think negotiation is just about contracts or job offers, there are many more ways to apply those negotiating tactics in your everyday life and workplace. This session will offer advice on how to navigate a negotiation and come out on top with a win-win.

Presenters: Celia Muller (Corporate Counsel, New York Public Radio) + Bianca Grimshaw (Counsel, Gray Krauss Stratford Sandler Des Rochers LLP)

+ 3:00 PM: Make a Career Move

Between them, Hillary Frank and Mary Harris have had a lot of jobs over the last decade. They’ve been hosts, producers, editors, executive producers, managing editors, a senior producer. In fact, after seven years of hosting The Longest Shortest Time, Hillary decided to become the show’s EP – and hire a new host – last year. They’ll explain why and how shifting your perspective can help you get closer to your actual goal.

Presenters: Mary Harris (Host, The Realness) + Hillary Frank (Host, The Longest Shortest Time)


Werkers registered by Oct 15 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.


POC Radio Hires is an ad hoc group of audio producers who came together in October 2018 to solve the problem of people of colour being “too hard to find” by creating a directory that would connect POC to one another—and to potential employers.

If you want to get your info in the directory, talk about what an ongoing, distributed support network for POC in audio could look like, or brainstorm tactics for a workplace clash, reps from POC Radio Hires will be at the fest in the Werk Space Lounge from 12:00-5:00pm daily.

+ Werk It x AIR: Ask An Engineer (By Appointment)

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 four 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: Oct 22 / Participants will be notified of their assignments by Nov 5).

Engineers include: Samantha Gattsek (Producer and Sound Designer)+ Kimberly Junod (Radio Producer, Editor, and Audio Engineer) + Anne Pope (Freelance Audio Engineer) + Stephanie Lebow (Senior Audio Engineer, Latino USA)

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.

November 13 + 14:
1:1 Sessions

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!