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'Serial' podcast co-creator shares lessons in storytelling

Julie Snyder joins author Alex Kotlowitz to talk journalism, play some radio

  • Writer Alex Kotlowitz interviews “Serial” co-creator Julie Snyder Tuesday, May 3
  • Snyder guiding force behind two of the most successful ventures in audio broadcasting
  • Kotlowitz: ‘‘Serial’ has upended how we think about nonfiction storytelling’

EVANSTON, Ill.  --- In a conversation with writer Alex Kotlowitz, producer Julie Snyder will offer a behind-the-scenes look at “Serial” and “This American Life,” two of the nation's most popular and influential non-fiction storytelling programs.

The Northwestern University event begins at 7 p.m. Tuesday, May 3 at the McCormick Foundation Center Auditorium, 1870 Campus Drive in Evanston. Presented by the Center for the Writing Arts, the program is free and open to the public. No reservations are required; doors open at 6:30 p.m.

Prior to “Serial,” Snyder was the senior producer of the public radio show “This American Life” heard by more than 4 million listeners each week. Kotlowitz, who has often collaborated with Snyder, called her a “creative genius.”

“‘Serial’ has upended how we think about nonfiction storytelling,” said Kotlowitz, the award-winning author of three books and a writer-in-residence and senior lecturer at Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications. “It's the northern lights of journalism, so beautiful and so original, a phenomenon that holds us in awe.” 

Julie Snyder has been the guiding force behind two of the most successful ventures in audio broadcasting. She is the co-creator of the podcast “Serial,” which debuted in October 2014 and has been downloaded more than 100 million times, the most listened-to podcast in the history of the form. 

Alex Kotlowitz is the award-winning author of three books, including the national bestseller “There Are No Children Here.” A former staff writer at The Wall Street Journal, his work has appeared in numerous publications, including The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine and on public radio's “This American Life.” His documentary film, “The Interrupters,” premiered at Sundance in 2011 and aired as a two-hour special on PBS's “FRONTLINE.” He teaches nonfiction writing at Northwestern. 

For more information contact Stacy Oliver, assistant director of the Center for the Writing Arts. 

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