Review: Litopia


Litopia is a weekly (sometimes twice weekly) podcast aimed at writers, or those interested in the industry and culture of book publishing. Hosted by literary agent Peter Cox, the podcast rolls 3 shows into one: The Litopia Podcast, Litopia Storytime, and Litopia After Dark. Most people are likely to want all three of these in one, but it would be nice to have these available as 3 separate feeds.

The Litopia Podcast is a magazine-format show featuring interviews, news and discussion about the industry. Litopia After Dark is a panel discussion show covering the latest in writing and publishing news and culture. Both of these shows are fascinating, even if you’re not a writer, and the panelists are always knowledgeable and enjoyable to listen to.

The third subset of Litopia, Litopia Storytime, is described at showcasing fiction submitted by listeners to be read out on air. This sounds great, however there aren’t any available in the feed so I have yet to listen to an episode. The Storytime rules state that only stories that have been submitted in the competitions held by Litopia will be accepted. This, I feel, is restricting the potential of this podcast, and is perhaps the reason why they are so few and far between. I would like to see Storytime be opened up to any writer with a good story that is willing to have it read on the air.

You could be forgiven for thinking a podcast hosted by literati would be stuffy and outdated, but that does not begin to describe those involved in Liopia. Rather, the show is accessible to any reader or writer with an interest in the area, and the discussions are interesting, entertaining and contemporary. When I speak passionately to someone about how great podcasts are, Litopia is precisely the sort of thing I would use as an example. The subject matter is too narrow for most TV or radio, but for their target audience this podcast will be a godsend.

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Ratings for Litopia
9.5/10 Entertainment value
Occasionally an episode can drag on a little, but most of the time the discussions are so deep and engrossing you won’t notice.
9/10 Quality of content
The shows are very well researched and cover all aspects of modern publishing, though so far they don’t appear to be delivering on the promise of Litopia Storytime.
10/10 Production quality
Fantastic quality with a great structure, similar to This Week In Tech and the like.
9.5/10 Overall
If you are a writer, or simply someone interested in literary culture, Liopia should be a permanent subscription in your podcatcher. Cox is likable and does a great job at covering all the news you will need to stay in the know.


  1. Posted March 31, 2008 at 11:14 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for such an encouraging review – really appreciated.

    You’re right about LITOPIA STORYTIME – we’ve backtracked on that a bit, until we’ve felt comfortable running a regular weekly production schedule for LITIOPIA AFTER DARK, which we’ve achieved now (big learning curve, though). We’re also experimenting with other L.A.D. ideas, e.g. live streaming the pre-show planning session on Friday afternoon via UStream – this may or may not be interesting, we’ll see.

    When STORYTIME does properly kick off, it will be monthly initially, and will almost certainly be open to all writers.

    Thanks again for the kind words, everyone involved will be thrilled.

  2. Posted April 4, 2008 at 12:40 am | Permalink

    I’ve been listening to the Litopia podcast for a few months now, never missing a week, and I find it informative and very entertaining. I completely agree with this review, and I’d like to thank the podcast team for producing such a great show!

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