One of my Instagram buds recommended Reading Women podcast to me; and then another, and another. “Hmmm… I need to check this out!” I said to myself.
The women who run this show have produced several episodes and have earned accolades from top media organizations such as The Washington Post. They have also interviewed impressive and bestselling authors that you’ll find listed on their website.
Reclaim Half the Bookshelf is Reading Women’s motto, as they contribute to women authors’ attainment of increased readership, respect, and opportunities in an unbalanced literary society. Podcast listeners of all genders and backgrounds should pay them a visit!
Kendra and Autumn, thank you for these thoughtfully chosen postcards and written notes that support women writers! Best wishes to you and your team.
About Reading Women Podcast
Who are the founders of Reading Women and who is everyone on your team today?
Reading Women was founded by Kendra Winchester and Autumn Privett. Earlier this year, we added Sachi Argabright, Jaclyn Masters, and Sumaiyya Naseem to the team.
How’d you choose Reading Women as your podcast name?
We knew that we wanted the title to reflect that the podcast reviewed books by or about women. We’re huge word nerds who can’t resist a pun, so we chose Reading Women.
Date of first episode?
June 1, 2016
Schedule of episodes?
Reading Women releases new episodes every Wednesday. Each month features two episodes on the same theme – one episode highlights a range of titles, and one discusses two of those titles more in depth. We also have two author interviews per month featuring talented women writers whose work we’ve loved.
Book selection process?
We choose our themes a year in advance, so we have several months to figure out what books we’d like to feature. It’s a rigorous process that ensures we always include a diverse selection of voices in every episode.
Though we focus on literary fiction, we love a wide range of genres. With our new contributors, we feature even more young adult, poetry, and thriller titles.
Favorite book title discussion?
So hard to choose! We definitely love any chance we get to talk about Jesmyn Ward.
Most challenging (or worse) book title discussion?
In the podcast’s first year, Kendra loved Shrill by Lindy West, but Autumn wasn’t as big of a fan. That was the first time we’d ever disagreed so much about a book. But we respect each other’s opinions and were able to give our listeners two different perspectives on the book.
Are all of your guests authors?
For the guests for our themed episodes, we choose readers to share books they love.
For our interviews, we’ve had a wide range of authors on the show, including Min Jin Lee, Sarah Perry, and Margaret Wilkerson Sexton. But we’ve also talked to the women behind She Designs Books and the co-founders of Books on The Subway.
How do you categorize non-book author guests?
On the first podcast episode of the month, we invite a guest to recommend two books on that month’s theme. We choose book lovers from the bookternet—BookTube, Bookstgram, or Book Twitter—who just love reviewing books. Some have a background in literature and some don’t, but all of them love sharing books by or about women.
How do you choose your guests?
Since we plan out all of the themes so far in advance, we start looking for guests pretty early on. This year, our new contributors have been recommending guests, which has been so lovely. We’ve met so many new reading women.
Interview or discussion format?
Both. We alternate every other week between an interview and a discussion.
Favorite type(s) of discussion(s) with your guests?
We love it when our discussions challenge our perspective, make us think about something in a new way, or just help us learn more about the world.
A good interview/discussion is when?
Our goals aren’t to push our favorite books on people. We strive to give listeners the tools to help them find the books right for them. So, a good discussion is one where we are able to talk about a lot of different aspects of a book to help listeners decide if it’s something they would enjoy reading.
Recording location, and typically, where is your guest?
We all record in our own homes, ranging everywhere from Texas to India. A lot of closets are involved. 🙂
What equipment do you use and does your guest have to have special equipment?
Since we don’t record in a studio, it’s been tricky to find the right sound, and that’s actually still very much in progress. Kendra, who edits the podcast, is always looking for new ways to improve how we produce the podcast.
What generation are you in?
All of us on the Reading Women team fall into the Millennial generation, though we range from early to late in the time span.
What’s your “day job?”
Autumn works in consulting as a senior writer/strategist, and Kendra is a freelance writer and editor. Our contributors have backgrounds in finance, law, and magazine editing.
Do any of you write, do public speaking, or have other bookish jobs/hobbies online?
Between the five of us, we do a little bit of everything.
(This team page link contains their individual social media links; plus photos!)
Autumn is in a woman-focused book club, Kendra has a BookTube channel, Jaclyn has a BookTube and book blog, Sumaiyya has a book blog and bookstagram, and Sachi has a bookstagram as well.
Does Reading Women have a product line?
Yes! Autumn designed all of our merch, which you can find in our Etsy store. We sell enamel pins, stickers, book marks, and tote bags.