Audio Essay Featured at The Missouri Review

My first-ever attempt at a “This American Life”-style audio essay managed to win The Missouri Review audio competition this year, and it’s now up on the TMR website for your listening pleasure! “In Search of Magic Kingdoms” is about growing up on televangelism–specifically Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker’s PTL network–and a Vodicka family trip to Heritage USA, the Bakkers’ Christian theme park in South Carolina, just before the ministry fell into scandal.

If you’re not already familiar,  The Missouri Review is not exaggerating when it calls itself “one of the most highly-regarded literary magazines in the United States and for the past thirty-four years.” So while this piece is not perfect–I would have loved to give the writing a final revision–I am thrilled to place it with TMR, had a ton of fun throwing it together, and look forward to trying my hand at more audio in the future.

I’d like to give a shout out to my partner and co-engineer, Brian Quirk. I learned about the contest two weeks before the deadline, so this was a crash course in Logic recording, which he re-learned in order to teach me. He also patiently endured listening to seemingly endless loops of Susie Moppet singing “Jesus takes a frown/and turns it upside down/and oops! There comes a smile.” (Now he knows how my parents felt!) In gratitude, a portion of the proceeds will go toward his pepperoni pizza fund.

I can’t stream it from Palau, so you’ll have to tell me how it turned out! Hope you enjoy: “In Search of Magic Kingdoms”

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5 thoughts on “Audio Essay Featured at The Missouri Review

  1. Anna… your essay is amazing. And your reading of same is equally amazing. You deserve to win top prize. I listened and then I got your Dad out of bed, early, so that he could listen, too! We both loved it. And, for him, it was a walk down a “shady” memory lane (pun intended). Good job, Anna, as always. You are there. cjv p.s. two other things: 1) Do you still have your Suzie Moppet doll? and 2) Ya gotta love PTL as shorthand for “People That Love”… instead of the grammatically correct “People WHO Love”… just sayin’….

    On Thu, Nov 21, 2013 at 6:52 PM, The Coconut Wireless wrote:

    > Anna Vodicka posted: “My first-ever attempt at a “This American > Life”-style audio essay managed to win The Missouri Review audio > competition this year, and it’s now up on the TMR website for your > listening pleasure! “In Search of Magic Kingdoms” is about growing up on > televang”

    • You guys are the best. Re: Suzie Moppet, pretty sure she ended up at a garage sale or something–although you never know. She could be hiding in a corner of the attic or those insane toy room closets!

  2. From Rob:

    Amazing. Not only is she an incredibly talented writer, she also has a captivating way of telling a story. Her phrasings, the honesty in her voice – it was like she was verbally “singing” the story. She is incredible.

    Thanks for sharing this.

    – Dad

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