For the purposes of this podcast, a story kernel is an idea that will one day expand into a story. It can be a prompt, a setting, a character, a scenario, or anything that inspires a story. How you season and put kernels together is how one kernel can be the starting point for many stories.

Kind of? On the podcast, we take a prompt and talk it through from idea to story. We focus on identifying a main character, motivation, conflict, setting, character arc, climax, and resolution. Our stories might be entertaining things you’d love to read (or write) as a fleshed out story, but the podcast is basically the planning stage of writing. There’s still a lot of work to do before the story is finished.

Our goal is to entertain and to help writers figure out more about inspiration and how to use it, and then how to move from an idea to planning to actually writing.

You can listen to more about the podcast and what we’re doing in our podcast trailer.

A prompt system is a book, app, device, or physical source of prompts. Many prompt books, random generators, and tools exist to help writers find inspiration. Calling these various tools “systems” makes sense to our robotic, tree-rooted brains and is a neat way of classifying all the different sources of prompts.

Have a favorite prompt system we haven’t used on the podcast? Feel free to share it with us!

Absolutely! Creativity takes all forms. If you like one of the prompts—or even one of the stories—feel free to write a story or create a piece of art around it. The story you write and the personal experience you bring to it will be different from what anyone else will bring to it. 

You can share snippets and works in progress with us through the podcast contact page. It’s a big help if you provide the prompt or episode number with your submission. Make sure to include written permission to share it on the podcast, if desired, otherwise we’ll just privately coo at it. (Even with permission, not all submissions will be read on the podcast, but we’ll confirm receipt for all work shared with us.)

If you write a complete story, publish it, and want to credit us for your inspiration, please credit the podcast Story Kernels—and then let us know, so we can share your story with others!

While we intend to read all the snippets inspired by the prompts we discuss on the podcast, we may not be able to provide feedback other than a confirmation of receipt. If you give us permission to read it on the podcast, we might discuss some feedback in the episode, if your story is read. 

If you’re looking for editorial services, both Alli and KL! offer those services outside of the podcast. You can contact Alli through her website, or contact KL! via email.

First, thank you! That’s so kind of you to say.

Rating the show on your favorite podcatcher is one way to help other people find our show. It’s also a huge help to talk about your favorite episodes on social media or share episodes with your friends.

If you’re in a situation in which you can help support the show financially, please check out our Patreon and Store (coming soon). All proceeds collected go back into the podcast, paying for hosting and producing, equipment upgrades and maintenance, and ensuring we continue to have time to work on the podcast.

Our beautiful logo is designed by Rebecca Wilcox, a sci-fi writer and friend of the podcast. If you’re interested in Rebecca’s work, you too can hire her to create logos, illustrations, or book covers! We can affirm Rebecca is easy and pleasant to work with and always produces exactly what we’re looking for.

Check out her portfolio and contact form on her website.

Our wonderfully patient producer is Sarah Nicolas, an author and literary agent. Sarah is the host of Queries, Qualms, & Quirks, a podcast that shares authors’ journeys from querying to publication.

You can find out more about Sarah’s work at their website.

Our website is designed by James Lucia, an amazingly fantastic designer and friend of the podcast. With little direction, James was able to give us a look that feels creative and streamlined and just perfect for showcasing our podcast vibe. (Honestly, he is too good for us. We are not worthy.)

(James regrets giving us the power to speak so honestly about his skills.)

Our intro, outro, and musical transitions are from the song “Cherryblossom” by Raptorface which is licensed under a Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives.

You can listen to and purchase more music by Raptorface on their bandcamp.

Just imagine a cuttlefish, but giant.

Support Us on Patreon

We’re committed to keeping Story Kernels both free to download and free of outside advertising. Neither of those things is contingent on the relative success of the Patreon. (But the success of the Patreon sure helps make other things easier!)

Our Patreon helps cover the costs of hosting, production, equipment maintenance and upgrades, and additional materials, and gives us the resources to add features and content. Click the button to visit our page and subscribe!

Thanks for your support!

Support Our Patreon