WNYC Studios Presents the Fifth Annual WERK IT Women’s Podcast Festival

October 3 – 4 at The Theatre at Ace Hotel in Los Angeles


Industry Conference, Podcast Bootcamp, and Live Events 
for Leaders Shaping the Future of Podcasting


With a special live public podcast taping of HEAR TO SLAY with 
Roxane Gay and Tressie McMillan Cottom  


Tickets on sale now at WerkItFestival.com


(September 17, 2019) – WERK IT -- the audio industry’s original women’s podcast festival -- is back in Los Angeles for its fifth annual conference on October 3 and 4. 

Founded by WNYC Studios -- home to beloved podcasts including Radiolab, On the Media, and Death, Sex & Money -- WERK IT is devoted to convening conversations, sharing skills, and fostering a professional network and community among women and non-binary people in the growing podcasting field. The professional conference features workshops led by hosts, executives, and producers from some of the most influential audio companies, including WNYC Studios, NPR, KPCC, KCRW, Spotify, PRX, Crooked Media, Vox, The Los Angeles Times, and Pineapple Street Media. Notable speakers outside the world of podcasting include singer, rapper, and writer Dessa and Lisa Hanawalt, author, creator of Tuca & Bertie, and production designer and producer of BoJack Horseman.

Over two days, attendees will attend panel discussions, workshops, live tapings, networking events, and one-on-one mentoring sessions on a range of topics from growing your audience, to structuring a story, to using podcasting to convene community. 

For the second year, WERK IT will be hosting a Podcast Accelerator, a forum for conference attendees to pitch their big podcast ideas and win an opportunity to produce a pilot with WNYC Studios. There will also be a one-day pre-conference Podcast Bootcamp on Wednesday, October 2 for aspiring podcasters who are interested in learning the fundamentals of the medium. The Bootcamp will be led by women from LA-based podcasting companies and presented in partnership with Second Home, a co-working company with a mission to support creativity and entrepreneurship in cities around the world.  

On Thursday, October 3, WERK IT will present a special evening event for the general public -- a live taping of HEAR TO SLAY with best-selling authors Roxane Gay and Tressie McMillan Cottom. HEAR TO SLAY was named one of “The Best New Podcasts of 2019” by Marie Claire and features compelling conversations about everything from politics to pop culture with celebrities like Gabrielle Union and changemakers like Stacey Abrams. This special event is the show’s first-ever taping in front of a live audience and will include guests: comedian Ashley Nicole Black (A Black Lady Sketch Show, Full Frontal with Samantha Bee), actress Tichina Arnold (Martin, Everybody Hates Chris, The Neighborhood), and comedian Danielle Perez.

“It’s exciting to bring WERK IT back to Los Angeles for its fifth year of creating community in our ever-expanding industry,” said Jennifer Keeney Sendrow, Executive Producer of WERK IT. “WERK IT now has something for podcasters at every stage of their careers: a free Podcast Bootcamp for beginners, expanded networking and mentoring programs for people looking for their next opportunity, and a conference where everyone can hear from and get inspired by the most innovative creators and executives in the business. It’s also particularly meaningful that Roxane Gay -- our inaugural keynote speaker at the first WERK IT festival in 2015 -- is returning along with her co-host Tressie McMillian Cottom for a live taping of their popular podcast, Hear to Slay.”

The full list of presenters and events can be found at WerkItFestival.com.

Leadership support for WERK IT is provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Sponsorship for WERK IT is provided by Luminary, Spotify, Spreaker, Acast, Himalaya, and The Women’s Foundation of California.

The WERK IT x Second Home Podcast Bootcamp is generously supported by The Annenberg Foundation. 

The Los Angeles Times is also a media sponsor for Podcast Bootcamp. 


WNYC Studios is the premier producer of on-demand and broadcast audio, home to some of the industry’s most critically-acclaimed and popular podcasts, including Radiolab, On The Media, Nancy, The New Yorker Radio Hour, Death, Sex & Money, Snap Judgment, Here’s the Thing with Alec Baldwin, and The Stakes. WNYC Studios is leading the new golden age in audio with podcasts and national radio programs that inform, inspire, and delight millions of intellectually curious and highly engaged listeners across digital, mobile, and broadcast platforms. Programs include personal narratives, deep journalism, interviews that reveal, and smart entertainment as varied and intimate as the human voice itself. For more information, visit wnycstudios.org.