Virago has re-launched its podcast, a monthly celebration of books, reading, writing and women’s voices, featuring selected writers from its stable.
The first episode in the new series features an interview with Sarah Waters to mark 20 years since the publication of her first novel, Tipping the Velvet. Other authors who have been featured in the first year of the relaunch include Sarah Dunant, Åsne Seierstad and Caroline O’Donoghue, with Susie Boyt and Rachel Seiffert.
There will also be a special episode in August about the 40th anniversary of the Virago Modern Classics, featuring interviews with Donna Coonan, editorial director of the VMC list, and Hannah Wood, art director, to coincide with the publication of a special series of titles marking the occasion.
Although Virago has previously "dabbled" with podcasting in the past, the last podcast was recorded and broadcast intermittently (most recently in late 2016 for early 2017). The new, relaunched podcast is monthly and has been put together in collaboration with publishing platform Acast.
The aim of the new podcast, according to Virago's senior marketing executive Jonny Keyworth, is to "explore the scope and diversity of everything Virago is".
Sarah Savitt, publisher of Virago, said 2018 was the perfect time to relaunch, both as the 25th anniversary of Virago an the 40th anniversary of the Virago Modern Classics.
Savitt said: "After books, podcasts are probably my favourite way to hear new stories and discover new ideas. I think they offer a similar kind of intimacy and creativity to the written word – it’s that feeling that someone is speaking directly to you ... We hope our readers will enjoy finding out about our writers’ work and passions through this different medium."
Keyworth added: "From forgotten classics to contemporary debut novels and agenda-setting non-fiction, our past, present and future has so much to contribute to current debates and movements, and we hope that the Virago podcast will be a loud and engaging voice in these discussions. The podcast market is expanding and becoming ever more competitive, but Virago has such a unique position and voice which we believe truly sets us apart from other podcasts."