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Cutting Chai Stories is a short-form podcast for entrepreneurs who are looking to up-level their email marketing, social media, and website copy. With practical tips, quick wins, and concrete examples, host Jayati Vora uses her decades of journalism editing experience to show business owners that there's a lot that they can do to transform their copy without hiring an expert. Episodes feature occasional interviews and air on Thursdays. Connect with me on Instagram: www.instagram.com/jayativora
 
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Hello hello, and welcome back to Cutting Chai Stories, the only podcast that gives overwhelmed business owners concrete copywriting tips that they can use in their marketing right away, in just 15 minutes. I’m your host Jayati Vora, and I’m here to be your editor in your pocket, your guide to the written word, and your shot of confidence that you c…
 
Hello hello, and welcome back to Cutting Chai Stories, the podcast that shows entrepreneurs how to uplevel their email marketing, social media, and website copy with practical tips and concrete examples from your host, Jayati Vora. This episode is dedicated to Laura and Oswald, who told me they missed the creative writing focus of the earlier seaso…
 
Hello hello, and welcome back to Cutting Chai Stories, where the episodes are short and sometimes sweet, just like the half-servings of milky tea we call cutting chai back home in India. I’m your host Jayati Vora, and before we get into our topic for today, I wanted to ask you a question. Why do you listen to Cutting Chai Stories? I’m really asking…
 
Obligatory warning, folks, today's episode has a little more, ahem, masala than usual. So if the kiddos are listening, you might want to save this one for later. Hello hello and welcome back to Cutting Chai Stories, where the episodes are short and full of spice, just like the half-servings of milky tea we call cutting chai back home in India. I'm …
 
Hello hello and welcome back to Cutting Chai Stories, where the episodes are short, and sometimes sweet, just like the half-servings of milky tea we call cutting chai back home in India. I'm your host Jayati Vora and today I want to talk to you about flipping the writing process backwards when you are writing an email (or social media post, or blog…
 
Hello hello, and welcome back to Cutting Chai Stories. I’m your host Jayati Vora and this is the second part of a two-part episode on how to write so your audience will read. In part 1, which came out two weeks ago, I covered four ways to *write* to ensure your readers get the important information you’re dishing up. If you haven’t listened to that…
 
Hello hello, and welcome back to Cutting Chai Stories. I'm your host, Jayati Vora, and today I want to show you how to write so that people who don’t like to read will be enticed to read what YOU write. This is part one of a two-part episode on this subject, so make sure you tune in next week for the second half. There’s no trickery involved in get…
 
Hello hello, and welcome back to Cutting Chai Stories. I'm your host Jayati Vora, and today I want to talk to you about writing better headlines. Here's what we cover in this episode: Brainstorm 30 headlines. Sometimes quality comes from quantity. 7 things NOT to do: 1. Don’t be boring. 2. Don’t be overly clever. 3. Don’t use too much jargon. 4. Do…
 
What is the rule of one and why is it so important for writing effective content that converts? What are all the ways in which it apply to your copy? (Hint: There's more than one.) These questions and more, answered on this episode of Cutting Chai Stories. Here's the revamped page where you can sign up for my email newsletter: www.cuttingchaistorie…
 
Welcome back to the very first episode of Season 3 of Cutting Chai Stories, where the writing is short and sometimes sweet, just like the half-servings of milky tea we call cutting chai back home in India. Today's episode, dedicated to my husband, is all about gratitude. We cover two techniques that are best used sparingly -- repetition and alliter…
 
Hello and welcome to the last episode of Season 2 of Cutting Chai Stories! I'm your host Jayati Vora and on today's show, I speak to playwright and director Shivani Tibrewala, of No License Yet productions, who explains the peculiar tension between dialogue and subtext in theater, and how to create it. She reads an excerpt of her monologue, Avoid t…
 
This week I was stuck when it came to what to talk about on this episode, and I thought: Might YOU be stuck too? So I made a list of the things I do to get inspired when I'm feeling anything but, how to actually DO the writing -- in other words, stop daydreaming and start day-doing -- and my top tips for rewriting or editing your work. The writing …
 
Hello hello and welcome back to this slightly silly and mostly fun episode of Cutting Chai Stories. I'm your host Jayati Vora, and today on the show I speak to Creative Commute podcast host and creator Jennifer Liss, who talks about how letting out your inner weirdo (my words, not hers) can inspire others to let their silly selves shine through. Be…
 
Why do I like mango but not watermelon? Why do you read sci-fi but not magic realism? Why this and not that? AND--why are we spending an entire episode talking about something as obvious as our likes and dislikes? Everyone has them. SO WHAT? I'll tell you so what. We can lean into our inner freaks, embrace the little weird quirks and mannerisms tha…
 
My interview with Kenn Nesbitt, who is an American children’s poet and humorist, and author of more than 20 books for kids. In 2013, he was named Children’s Poet Laureate by the Poetry Foundation. His website, poetry4kids.com is the most visited children’s poetry site on the internet. Kenn talks about how he loves to twist children's brains with im…
 
All of us have probably heard that adage of good writing from an English teacher in our childhood: Show, don't tell. But what does it mean? Is "telling" the enemy? (No, it isn't.) HOW does one show and not tell? Can you give me examples? All these questions answered in today's episode, and more, plus a writing prompt that will give you the opportun…
 
First, my apologies for the delay in releasing this episode. I had prepped it and then belatedly realized that I should probably ask permission of the two poets whose work I recited here first. It took a day to do that and hear back from them -- thankfully, it was a yes or else this episode would have had to be rerecorded and that would have taken …
 
This is a different kind of episode. In it, I talk with my business coach, Rayna Jhaveri, about how, as entrepreneurs, as course creators, as teachers, what we teach or what we sell is just the gift wrapping for who we are. She talks about the power of energy and how that affects the way your audience will perceive your creation. And she talks abou…
 
Hello hello and welcome back to Cutting Chai Stories! First off -- you are invited. I'm hosting a DRESS UP YOUR WRITING party. It's going to be loads of fun, nerding out on words, and not needing to mingle. We'll meet on Zoom -- all you need is a fancy dress from your closet to channel your inner badass, a drink in your hand, AND an email to your l…
 
In today's episode, the chai is made with a different recipe. I'm working with a coach and doing a lot of internal work, and I wanted to share an insight with you today. We all have our own internal narratives of ourselves as people, as entrepreneurs, for our businesses. These are words that others have called us, or that we at some point in our li…
 
Hello hello and welcome back to Cutting Chai Stories. This is the first episode of 2021, and I want to start it off with a great big hug of a thank you to all of you, my listeners, who tuned in to nearly 250 minutes of episodes, stuck with me through the hiatus between Season 1 and 2, from 37 different countries! Plus, Cutting Chai Stories was #19 …
 
It's the end of 2020 and it feels like a momentous occasion, given what a hellish year this has been. But all that pressure to produce something profound bottles up the words instead. Here's a short piece about another moment like that I had this past summer, when I had promised myself and all of you to write something original every single day for…
 
Hello from Jayati, and welcome back to Cutting Chai Stories! Today I talk about how to speak directly to customers in an authentic way, with plenty of examples of how other companies are doing it, and a path for you to figure out what your own natural voice sounds like. Think about unexpected places you can stand out with your copy Write from a pla…
 
Welcome back to Episode 9 of Season 2 of Cutting Chai Stories! It felt like it had been a while since I had stuck to my original structure of story, writing technique, and writing prompts, so I made this for all of you who were missing it. In this episode, I share a short story about jumping puddles in the rain in New York, and how that evoked memo…
 
Hello hello, and welcome back to Cutting Chai Stories. I'm your host Jayati Vora, and today's episode is short, sweet, and oh so necessary! I talk about five kinds of words or phrases that we need to CUT from our writing. There are unnecessary introductions, ungrammatical phrases, long-winded ways of writing that we need to rewrite, adverbs that sh…
 
Hello hello, and welcome back to Cutting Chai Stories with Jayati Vora. If you haven't already listened to last week's episode, my interview with Zahir Janmohamed chock-full of tips and strategies on how to do personal storytelling better, you're missing out. Stop right now and go listen to that one first. If you did already, wonderful. I thought Z…
 
On this extra-juicy, supersized episode of Cutting Chai Stories with Jayati Vora, I interview Zahir Janmohamed about the art of the personal essay. (If his name sounds familiar, it's because I mentioned him on last week's episode.) Zahir Janmohamed is a Zell Writing Fellow at the University of Michigan, where he has received awards in fiction, nonf…
 
Welcome back to Cutting Chai Stories with Jayati Vora! Today I make good on something I've been talking about the last few episodes, which is to also give writing tips to entrepreneurs who are struggling with how to write copy for their business. I also share not one but TWO stories, both produced during a class on writing the personal essay. The f…
 
Welcome back to Cutting Chai Stories with Jayati Vora. In this episode, I speak with multidisciplinary artist Racquel Keller, who participated in my monthlong writing #onestoryaday writing challenge in July in the Cutting Chai Stories Facebook group. Except, instead of responding to my writing prompts, she chose to write a poem a day that was inspi…
 
In this episode of Cutting Chai Stories, Jayati speaks with Stephanie Bourbon, a veteran of the National Novel Writing Month challenge in November, also known as NaNoWriMo, who has done the challenge 16 times. Now she helps female writers write their own novels. For the entire month, Stephanie is offering Letters for NaNoWriMo, absolutely free! Eve…
 
Welcome to Cutting Chai Stories with Jayati Vora. In today's episode, I talk about the opposite of a cutting chai story -- that is, how to stretch a story like a rubber band. While most of my episodes feature short stories under a 100 words long, sometimes that word count can be limiting. So how do you take one small moment and expand on it, make i…
 
Welcome back to Season 2 of Cutting Chai Stories with Jayati Vora, a short-form podcast dedicated to breaking down the mysteries of writing. Every Thursday, I'll be bringing you a short story, teaching you some of the techniques used, and giving you a writing prompt to write a story of your own. This season, for the first time, I'll also be explori…
 
Helloooooo! I made you a bonus episode because I missed you so much and I wanted to let you know I haven't forgotten about you. This one is all about sound words, or, if you want to sound fancy: onomatopoeias. Listen to the spooky story my 9-year-old student from Texas, Hansika Shankar, wrote, and learn how she used sound words to chilling effect. …
 
In this bonus episode of Cutting Chai Stories, I share with you two stories written by 11-year-old Yukta Thirumalai, a student in one of my creative writing classes for kids. The theme of the month was perspective, and for the last class of the month, I asked my students to write a story based on a prompt I gave them -- and then to flip the perspec…
 
In this, the last episode of Season 1 of Cutting Chai Stories with Jayati Vora, I speak again with Nadine Kenney Johnstone (if you missed it, check out her interview with me last week on episode 19). Nadine is the author of the memoir Of This Much I'm Sure, writing coach and writing professor, and on episode 20, she generously takes us through a th…
 
1. Everything in your life is fair game. 2. Writing about your trauma can help you process it. 3. What captivates you is a good barometer for what might captivate your readers. Join me on episode 19 of Cutting Chai Stories with Jayati Vora as I speak with Nadine Kenney Johnstone, author of the memoir Of This Much I'm Sure, writing coach and writing…
 
In episode 18 of Cutting Chai Stories with Jayati Vora, we talk about how to create a mood with your writing. How do you create a different state of mind in your readers that wasn't there before? It's the kind of thing that I think is easier to do with more abstract forms of art, such as music, or dance, or the fine arts. Words can sometimes be mor…
 
NOTE: Apologies to my listeners who listened to the initial episode I uploaded, the two tracks were overlaid with a slight mismatch, resulting in some crosstalk. I fixed it, and uploaded a cleaner version here. Sorry again! This episode of Cutting Chai Stories with Jayati Vora features part 2 of my interview with journalism mentor and prolific writ…
 
Surprise! I'm dropping this "bonus episode" today because it has been a week since I started my writing challenge, writing something original every day, posting it to social media, and sharing a writing prompt in my Facebook group, Cutting Chai Stories -- EVERY DAY for four weeks, you guys. And I'm not alone! There are a bunch of folks also sharing…
 
Welcome to this episode of Cutting Chai Stories with Jayati Vora, where I interview the journalism teacher, editor and prolific writer who set me on my path of becoming a journalist and an editor: Jerry Pinto. He is an editor, an author of fiction and nonfiction books, the writer of poetry and prose for children and adults, and a translator to boot…
 
In Episode 15 of Cutting Chai Stories with Jayati Vora, I interview my old friend and Amherst College associate professor Krupa Shandilya, whose co-translation of Mīrajī, a mid-twentieth century Urdu poet, was just published in The Paris Review. Mīrajī was the pen name of Sanā’ullah Dār, one of the founders of modern Urdu poetry. When he died in 19…
 
In this episode of Cutting Chai Stories with Jayati Vora, we dip a toe into writing poetry. I share three poems written in the workshop I led last week, all juxtaposing imagery and abstraction. We play with line breaks, different kinds of rhyme, and creating new relationships between the tangible and intangible. This is the Gwendolyn Brooks' poem I…
 
Welcome to Cutting Chai Stories with Jayati Vora, a podcast about the craft of writing in the format of short stories, like the half-servings of milky tea we call cutting chai back home in India. This week I was struggling with the subject of my podcast. What should I talk about? What do you want to know? So I asked you, and the answer that resonat…
 
In this episode of Cutting Chai Stories with Jayati Vora, listener Mareena Francis was inspired by last week's prompt to turn in a story she wrote. It came from a wellspring of deep emotion, and revealed with great honesty (and bravery) a moment of vulnerability in her life. She wrote it with skill -- and a metaphor that anchors the entire story. W…
 
In Episode 11 of Cutting Chai Stories, host Jayati Vora shares a short story she wrote more than 3 months ago, which feels very relevant today. Sometimes it's not about agonizing over every word, but about writing from a wellspring of emotion. The words flow more easily and you know just what to say. For the writing prompt, I ask you to dig deep an…
 
In Episode 10 of Cutting Chai Stories, Jayati Vora goes back to her roots: editing. It almost never happens that your first draft is perfect. Sure, sometimes the inspiration flows and you're in the zone, but after you sleep on it and look at your words with fresh eyes, inevitably, you'll see flab you can trim, words that stand out but not in a good…
 
In this episode of Cutting Chai Stories with Jayati Vora, I speak with my friend Amadou Diallo, a journalist and fiction writer whose work has appeared in media outlets such as the New York Times and the PBS Newshour. In another life, he has also had careers as both a musician and a fine art photographer. A few months ago, a short story he wrote, "…
 
On this episode of Cutting Chai Stories with Jayati Vora, it's a twofer. You get my analysis, and a story by my sis, Rachita Vora, based on a prompt from Day 1 of my five-day free creative writing challenge. That day, we talked about the imagination and how to let it loose. Cultivate our inner child. I discuss the techniques Rachita uses in writing…
 
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