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Nonfiction Podcast

Nonfiction Podcast

By David Leach & Deborah Campbell
A conversation between University of Victoria writing professors David Leach and Deborah Campbell (plus guest authors and experts) about the art, craft and ethics of researching, writing and revising creative nonfiction, literary journalism and other forms of nonfiction prose. Fresh episodes (almost) every Monday morning.

Intro/Outro music, "Be With You Too" by Pipe Choir (Creative Commons 1.0)
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Ep. 19: J.B. MacKinnon, The Art of Longform Nonfiction
Award-winning author J.B. MacKinnon returns to discuss his career in longform narrative nonfiction, the need for structure and intuition, how to keep a reader interested, his super-power and his Achilles heel as an author, and why writers need to strike a fine balance between bricks and jellyfish when building a story.
February 07, 2022
Ep. 18: J.B. MacKinnon, The Day the World Stops Shopping
Co-hosts Deborah Campbell & David Leach talk to literary journalist J.B. MacKinnon about his new book, The Day the World Stops Shopping: How Ending Consumerism Saves the Environment and Ourselves, including the motivation and research process for this globe-hopping "nonfiction thought experiment," as well as how the pandemic forced him to revisit his ideas and revise his manuscript. Bonus: J.B. reads an excerpt!
January 31, 2022
Ep. 17 Writing About Family (& other sensitive subjects)
Susan Olding joins Deborah Campbell and David Leach to discuss the art, ethics, and pitfalls of writing nonfiction stories about family members as well as other vulnerable subjects. How does an author balance a responsibility for their subjects and for the quest for truth in their writing? Are we always selling someone out?
June 07, 2021
Ep. 16 Susan Olding, Big Reader
Susan Olding joins the podcast to discuss her new collection of essays, Big Reader (Freehand Books) and talk about the importance of reading to her life, the differences between the personal essay and the memoir, intuitive vs. engineered structure, research in nonfiction, finding metaphors in fine details, and when writing nonfiction is easy—and when it's hard. Big Reader; essays, by Susan Olding
May 31, 2021
Ep. 15: Our (Pandemic) Year in Reading
Deborah Campbell & David Leach discuss the surreal experience of reading in the pandemic, as well as highlights from their favourite books & essays, including memoir, investigative journalism, essay collections and even a few (very long) novels. BONUS: now with the funky Zoom recording glitches fixed!
April 26, 2021
Ep. 14: Jivesh Parasnam of Rumble Theatre
UVic writing prof David Leach talks to playwright and performer Jivesh Parasnam, co-founder of Rumble and Pandemic Theatres, about memory & the imagination, the problem with identity plays, Hindu philosophy, and the need for satire in our post-pandemic future.  Listen to his one-man show Take d Milk, Nah? on CBC's PlayMe series.
March 29, 2021
Ep. 13: Working with Editors
David Leach and Deborah Campbell discuss working with and working as editors, including how to cultivate a positive writer-editor relationship, editing in the book and magazine industries, why David hates MS Word's "track changes" and Deborah's worst experience being edited.
March 22, 2021
Ep. 12: Revision
Deborah Campbell and David Leach of UVic's Department of Writing debate the heaven and hell of revision, offer tips on getting perspective on your own first drafts and crafting good endings, and discuss how to kill your darlings while saving a few demons, too.
March 15, 2021
Ep. 11: Memory: Kathryn Mockler
UVic screenwriting prof & multi-genre author Kathryn Mockler discusses memory in film, poetry, and fiction; art & the climate crisis; dreams and memory; and literary legacies in the time of global warming. Check out the website for the Watch Your Head anthology of climate crisis literature and art.
March 08, 2021
Ep. 10: Memory: Danielle Geller
UVic assistant professor Danielle Geller talks about her debut memoir Dog Flowers and discusses writing about family, exploring memory, her work as an archivist, sadness vs. trauma porn, identity in virtual worlds, and her early life as a leader of a wolf pack—then reads from her new book.
March 01, 2021
Ep. 9: Memory: Dr. Stephen Lindsay
David Leach talks to Dr. Stephen Stephen Lindsay, professor of cognitive psychology at the University of Victoria, about his research into autobiographical memory, false memories, effective interviewing techniques and the scientific study of human memory.
February 22, 2021
Ep. 8: Memory: Deborah Campbell
Part 1 in a special series on memory, writing and the creative process. David Leach talks to Deborah Campbell about her use of memory as a nonfiction writer and literary journalist—as well as her ambivalence about memory, especially in our digital age.
February 15, 2021
Ep. 7: Factchecking
University of Victoria writing professors David Leach and Deborah Campbell discuss the different practices of factchecking nonfiction at newspapers, magazines and book publishers.
February 08, 2021
Ep. 6: Structure
UVic nonfiction professors David Leach and Deborah Campbell explore different approaches to structuring nonfiction projects and where form fits in the creative process.
February 01, 2021
Ep.5: Interviewing
UVic writing faculty Deborah Campbell and David Leach discuss tips and strategies for effective interviews when researching nonfiction projects.
January 25, 2021
Ep.4: Literary Journalism
UVic writing profs David Leach and Deborah Campbell discuss what makes some types of journalism "literary".
January 18, 2021
Ep. 3: What is "creative nonfiction"?
Deborah Campbell and David Leach discuss the meaning and origins of the much misunderstood literary genre known as "creative nonfiction".
January 11, 2021
Ep. 2: First Drafts
University of Victoria writing professors Deborah Campbell and David Leach talk about the challenge of writing first drafts of nonfiction projects.
January 04, 2021
Ep. 1: Prewriting
University of Victoria Writing faculty members David Leach and Deborah Campbell discuss the importance of "prewriting" to the writing process for nonfiction essays and manuscripts.
January 04, 2021