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Radio Ink Writers

Inspiration to Write!


Need ideas? Techniques? Inspiration? Entertainment? 

Go to your audio library. You know, that reference library of sounds, commercials, talent tapes, radio shows, humor, and audio theatre that you (or someone you know) has been collecting over the years? 

It may be a completely organized, categorized, and cross-indexed digital audio folder or just a big box of outdated media stacked on a shelf, but its (or could be) one of your main sources of writers block breakers.

Lets see, here are episodes from the BBCs Goon Show, some stuff by Flanders and Swan, of course Monty Python. Oh look, some cuts from the Adventures of Chickenman, The Tooth Fairy, and tons of recordings of the old radio dramas, mysteries, comedy, adventure shows, variety shows, serials, and soap operas.

Aha! Heres that old Lord Buckley record, right next to some of Doctor Who, Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, and comics like Shelly Berman, Bob Newhart, Bill Cosby, Mort Sahl, Lenny Bruce, Woody Allen, Steve Martin, Robin Williams, Jerry Seinfeld, Steven Wright, Jeff Foxworthyboy, arent you glad you kept these things?

Of course you are! Youre a radio writer. You go here to refresh your ears. Now you make notes as you listen. You find applications for each style of delivery. Its a good place to learn timing, techniques, and fresh approaches to audio storytelling.

Oh, sometimes you wish you had all the Firesign Theatre, the best of Stan Freberg, the National Lampoon Radio Hour, Bob & Ray, Jean Shepherds radio shows, Stiller & Meara, and Nichols & May. No problem. Most of this is now available digitally and much of it is even waiting for you at your local public library.

By now you probably read Audiofile regularly and get the catalogs from the ZBS Foundation, Lodestone, Audio Partners, and Radio Works from Sue Media. Youve collected gems from regional audio theatre companies like Great Northern Audio and the Atlanta Radio Theatre Company.

You keep all this next to your samples from advertising award shows like the Radio Mercury, CLIOs, IBA, and maybe even some regional award shows, as well as recordings youve gotten from the RAB.

And you know that if you ever want to replenish your stash of ear candy, you could just go to the Web, click on your favorite search engine, and check out general categories like storytellers, old-time radio, audio theatre, radio commercials, or any of the names you might find in an article (ahem) on building an audio reference library.

You know that even listening to a sample from any of these genres for a few minutes can be enough to put you in a different space where you can find interpolations that will spark the imaginations of the audience who hears the commercials youve created. You are pretty darn clever.

When Jeffrey Hedquist isnt creating, hes listening at Hedquist Productions, Inc. Phone 641-472-6708. Email Visit for even more inspiration from our free newsletter.