Call of Stories: Literature Podcast, the new English electives by Kirsten Hoyte, explores the features of stories through the medium of podcasts. During class, students listen to parts of well-made podcast episodes and discuss the interesting techniques that were used to compile them. Instead of submitting written essays, students are asked to submit oral essays in the form of podcast episodes. The assignments require students to listen to a couple of podcast episodes and collect recordings for their own podcasts. 

“I think that there’s definitely a different way of presenting a narrative when you’re telling a story versus when you’re physically writing it down,” said Audrey Lin ’19, one of the students enrolled in the Literature of Podcasts course. Lin’s interest lies in telling stories in the most appealing way which requires adjusting the presentation of a story according to the audience.

Hoyte’s inspiration for the course comes from the Spring Session workshop she led two years ago. She asked students for feedback and,  seven out of eight students showed an interest in taking an English elective on a podcast. In response to the students’ interests, Hoyte decided to give it a try. 

The overall idea of this class is to learn how to be a great storyteller. “I’m most interested in students exploring the difference between texts that are written and stories that are told,” said Hoyte. “I’m also interested in exploring what kinds of stories are best heard or read. I don’t think it’s a clearcut that something can be told in only one way and something can only be told in other. I think some stories work in both rounds.” 

Call of Stories: Literature Podcast is a class recommended to the students who are interested in listening or producing podcasts or telling stories. Hoyte is looking for suggestions of topics for Love of Listening, the Concord Academy podcast created by the students enrolled in this course, as well as recommendations of podcasts for the students to listen to in class. If you have any recommendations or suggestions, please contact Kirsten Hoyte (kirsten_hoyte@concordacademy.org).