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The Downtown Writers Network is a resource for independent writers in central Ohio.

Located in Columbus, we provide services to freelancers, businesses that use freelance talent, and all creative writers in the dynamic mid-Ohio market.

   

Turn Your Radio On!

It's time to talk about radio.

Why? Because Columbus is a great city for writers, we all agree. But it became a writer's city only because of people and organizations that set about to create an environment where the language arts are celebrated and where writers are appreciated.

This kind of dedication to the cultural life of the city is evident in the daily operations of public station WCBE 90.5 FM, through its programs and public services.

Week after week, WCBE -- which is licensed by the Columbus Public Schools, but largely supported by listener members -- broadcasts a program schedule that uniquely serves the needs and interests of Columbus writers, in ways not duplicated by other broadcasters or news media in the area.

And week after week, WCBE reminds us that radio is especially important to writers. The ties between writing and radio are close. Excellent radio requires excellent writing.

As WCBE operations coordinator Dan Mushalko points out,
"Print and radio are very similar. Both rely heavily on the listener's imagination to convey a story -- be it news or fiction. Both require words -- grammar, vocabulary . . . language itself -- to relay meaning. To me, it's the same thing, really. In one, words are fed through the eyes; in the other, words are digested through the ears."

Writers enjoy a special prestige in the station's program lineup and in its philosophy.

Tune in any weekday or weekend to programs like Fresh Air, Selected Shorts, A Prairie Home Companion or This American Life, and you'll find good writing being performed by writers and actors, and great literature being discussed by intelligent commentators.

True, the station also broadcasts the liveliest, most eclectic music programs to be found anywhere in central Ohio, and enough coverage of national, international and local events to satisfy the most insatiable news junkies.

But writers enjoy a special prestige in the station's program lineup and in its philosophy. That's why WCBE is involved in programs such as the Thurber House Writing Camp for children each summer and the recent ConText convention for science fiction writers. Dan Mushalko, who also teaches writing classes in radio drama and other genres, explains part of the reason for this commitment: "A literate audience is requisite for successful public radio." But it's also clear that many staff members are passionate about reading and writing anyway.

Next: The Best Radio On Radio