Authors Sherman Alexie and Jess Walter are friends. That friendship has led to phone calls where they’ll talk about the state of the world to the projects they’re working on to the real important stuff, like professional basketball. A Tiny Sense of Accomplishment takes these wide-ranging conversations, adds readings from each author, a fascinating guest or two, and gives them to you in podcast form. You’ll enjoy this one.


Episode #29: Live with Shelby Earl and Leija Farr

October 14, 2015 · Duration: 58:11 · Play

Singer-songwriter Shelby Earl and poet Leija Farr join Sherman and Jess at the Newcastle Country Club for a live performance. Sherman and Jess each read new works, Shelby plays some music, and Leija, the high school poet laureate of Seattle, stuns the crowd with beautiful poems.

Episode #28: Padgett Powell and the Spectrum of Credulity

September 30, 2015 · Duration: 44:02 · Play

Padgett Powell is on the show, where he talks about honesty, appropriate sequences of events and the spectrum of credulity. Jess and Sherman also read unpublished works. Jess shares part a new short story, while Sherman reads a series of six-word stories. Plus a listener question about taking classes as a professional.

Episode #27: Live from Bumbershoot with Neko Case and Rachel Flotard

September 16, 2015 · Duration: 58:03 · Play

Sherman and Jess are live at the Bumbershoot Festival in Seattle, Washington. Jess reads a new poem about the end of days, while Sherman reads a new poem about his mother’s recent death. Acclaimed singers Neko Case and Rachel Flotard also join the show, performing gorgeous music before sitting down to talk with Sherman and Jess about making records, troubles with mothers, and Sky Mall. Plus, questions from the audience.

Episode #26: Vendela Vida and the Speculative Memoir

September 2, 2015 · Duration: 43:55 · Play

Author Vendela Vida is interviewed, and has a lot to say about the influence of travel, writing in the second person, and book clubs. Sherman and Jess field a question from a writer in Los Angeles who is feeling the pressure while writing about thousands of years of ancestry, oppression and struggle. And there is discussion about the speculative memoirs of Dr. Alexie and other alternate timelines to their lives.

Episode #25: Richard Russo and Go Set a Watchman

August 19, 2015 · Duration: 30:53 · Play

Pulitzer Prize winning author Richard Russo is interviewed. Sherman and Jess weigh in on Go Set a Watchman and answer a listener question from a guy who binge listens to the show while vacuuming his house in the buff.

Episode #21: Back to Spokane

June 10, 2015 · Duration: 54:24 · Play

Sherman and Jess are live in their hometown of Spokane, Washington. They both read works in progress and welcome the band Bossame to the stage.

Episode #20: Live with Kerri Miller

May 27, 2015 · Duration: 1:00:17 · Play

Sherman and Jess are (recorded) live at the Fitzgerald Theater in St. Paul, MN. Host Kerri Miller, a big fan of the show, prods the guys about things they’ve said on past episodes.

Episode #15: A Live Sense Of Accomplishment

February 18, 2015 · Duration: 1:26:07 · Play

Sherman Alexie and Jess Walter present the first-ever live taping of the show. It features extended readings from both authors, advice for the audience, and a cab driver who really loves the Green Bay Packers.

Episode #13: ‘The Car Talk of Scribes’

January 21, 2015 · Duration: 36:42 · Play

Jess Walter and Sherman Alexie continue their quest to become “the Car Talk of scribes” by answering another question from an aspiring writer. Then Jess interviews author Manuel Gonzales about writing, genre fiction, and Gonzales’ forthcoming novel.

Episode #12: The Virgin of Menace and Flying Spiders

January 7, 2015 · Duration: 41:32 · Play

Every A Tiny Sense of Accomplishment is about works in-progress, but these works could not be more in-progress. Hear very fresh writing from Sherman Alexie and Jess Walter. Then, the guys interview Spokane’s hip-hop orchestra Flying Spiders.

Episode #8: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s Toilet and Aaron Guest of Polecat

November 12, 2014 · Duration: 56:23 · Play

Sherman and Jess read from some of their shortest stories in this episode, then discuss meeting and not meeting celebrities, culminating with Sherman on Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s toilet. They also welcome musician Aaron Guest of the band Polecat and discuss their 3 favorite songs.

Episode #7: Molly Ringwald On Writing, Singing, and Work Clothes

October 29, 2014 · Duration: 50:48 · Play

Actress/Novelist/Jazz singer Molly Ringwald joins Sherman Alexie and Jess Walter to talk about singing at the Carlyle, what writers wear to work, and her suspicion of people who say they love to write. Sherman and Jess also discuss the thrill and agony of submitting one’s work.

Episode #6: Ellen Forney and the Literary Mendoza Line

October 15, 2014 · Duration: 57:06 · Play

Sherman Alexie and Jess Walter talk rejection, depression, bipolar disorder, and art with graphic novelist Ellen Forney. Sherman also reads from Radioactive Love Song, the unreleased follow-up to his bestselling YA novel, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian.