YA in Podcasts

Over the past year or so, I’ve been listening to more and more podcasts. I listen while walking the dog, driving, cooking, folding laundry, or any other time my hands are busy, but my brain could use a little bit of a distraction. Being a bookish person in general, I’ve sought out podcasts related to the publishing industry, reading, and all things YA. Here are a few podcasts that often feature YA created by BIPOC authors.

88 Cups of Tea

  • Hosted by Yin Chang
  • Focused on creating and nurturing a community of storytellers
    Released approximately once every other week, but sometimes it’s random. 100 episodes at present
  • Some of the YA guests: Aisha Saeed, Angie Thomas, Arvin Ahmadi, Emily X.R. Pan, Tomi Adeyemi, Sabaa Tahir, Nnedi Okorafor, Kwame Alexander, Lilliam Rivera, Roshani Chokshi, Jacqueline Woodson, Abigail Hing Wen, and of course many more.
  • The episodes are not limited to YA. Guests include industry professionals and also extend to filmmakers, tv writers and more.

Books & Boba

  • Hosted by Reera Yoo & Marvin Yueh
  • Focused on books written by authors of Asian and Pacific Islander descent and is generally in a book club format, but also including some interviews with authors
  • Released monthly with 89 episodes at present
  • Some of the YA books discussed: Sarah Kuhn’s Heroine Complex, Marjorie Liu’s Monstress Vol. 1, Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho, None of the Above by I.W. Gregorio, Exit West by Mohsin Hamid, Not Your Sidekick by CB Lee and more.
  • Some of the Interviews with YA authors: Maurene Goo, Sarah Kuhn, CB Lee, Misa Sugiura, and Abigail Hing Wen.
  • The episodes are not limited to YA.

Kidlit Women*

  • Created by Grace Lin and hosted by her and many other people involved in the creation of children’s and YA literature.
  • Focused on women’s and gender issues, including non-binary and gender fluidity, in the children’s literature community
  • It concluded with 101 episodes, but will continue to be accessible
  • Some of the YA guests: Authors Kekla Magoon, Padma Venkatramen, Kacen Callender, Samira Ahmed, and Meg Medina. Additionally, scholars of YA literature like Edith Campbell & Dr. Laura M. Jiménez are featured.
  • The episodes are not limited to YA and include many people from the industry besides authors.

Minorities in Publishing

  • Created by Jenn Baker
  • Focused on diversity in publishing
  • Released bimonthly with 96 episodes at present
  • Some of the YA guests: Abigail Hing Wen, Kacen Callender, Elizabeth Acevedo, Meg Medina, Dawn Quigley, Lilliam Rivera, Arigon Starr, Nidhi Chanani, Nic Stone, Renée Watson, Jason Reynolds, and the list goes on and on.
  • The episodes are not limited to YA. There are authors of books for all ages. There are also other industry professionals involved and that’s also informative and pretty fascinating.

Write or Die

  • Hosted by authors Claribel Ortega & Kat Cho
  • Focused on what it takes to become an author
  • Released on Mondays with 50+ episodes at present
  • Some of the YA guests: Amanda Joy, Axie Oh, Ellen Oh, Tiffany D. Jackson, Joan He, Swati Teerdhala, Elizabeth Lim, Tehlor Kay Mejia, Lamar Giles, Natasha Ngan, Samira Ahmed, S. Jae-Jones, L.L. McKinney, and many more.
  • Not all episodes feature BIPOC authors, but most revolve around YA, Middle Grade, or the book industry in general.

There are also a few specific episodes from other podcasts that have been amazing and/or especially informative.

Hey YA – Hosted by agent and YA author Eric Smith and author Kelly Jensen and is about all things YA

The Stacks – Virtual book club hosted by Traci Thomas (rarely features YA at this point, but after chatting with Jason Reynolds and reading his books, that may change)

Teaching While White – Co-founded by Jenna Chandler-Ward and Elizabeth Denevi and created with a team

If any of these are new to you, I encourage you to give them a try. Also, please share any other podcasts we should check out.