I'm Kate Risheill. Welcome to my blog on writing.

Writer's Toolkit: The Great Courses on Audible

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It is no secret that I am constantly seeking out new opportunities and ways to learn. I love podcasts and have a whole series on podcast recommendations. I'm also big proponent of audiobooks, especially for nonfiction. It is through my Audible subscription that I first came to discover The Great Courses. 

The Great Courses is a company that produces lecture series taught by leading experts and professors. Many of their lecture series are currently available through Audible. I've used quite a few of my monthly credits on Great Courses lectures and can recommend them wholeheartedly. They are always informative and given by an authoritative expert on the subject. As with any sort of podcast or audiobook, the individual character and quality of the voice, pacing, and intonation for each series depends entirely on who is teaching it. That said, I have some recommendations for courses to check out.

My number one recommendation is the course "Victorian Britain" taught by Professor Patrick N. Allitt. The lecture series is comprehensive, covering a variety of subjects from the Industrial Revolution, organization of trade unions, and developments in politcs, to art, architecture, and Victorian life. In addition, Professor Allitt is an excellent speaker and I never found my attention wavering during this series. I have a soft spot for Victorian Britain, but if American history is more to your taste, check out another one of Professor Allitt's lecture series: "The American Identity." "The American Identity" focuses on different figures in American history and how they contribute to our idea of identity. There are lectures on everyone from Thomas Jefferson to Andrew Carnegie to Duke Ellington.

While I love history, The Great Courses offers far more than just lectures on history. They also have lectures on science, business, art, and many other subjects. Of particular interest for writers is the series "How to Publish Your Book" presented by Professor Jane Friedman. This lecture series covers the entire publishing process from how to find an agent and write a query, to pitching your novel and working with your publisher. For any first-time writers, this series is a great crash course in the publishing industry, which can seem a mysterious and confusing thing. 

If you haven't given The Great Courses I try, I definitely recommend you check them out. You can buy individual courses through their website or sign up for an unlimited monthly membership through The Great Courses Plus. Both of these websites have more lecture series than are available on Audible, but if you already have an Audible membership, I encourage you to check them out there first, where you can use your monthly credits instead of paying the sticker price for the lecture series. 

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