Last Best Stories features people in what’s officially unofficially the Last Best Place. It looks a lot like Montana on a map. If you live in this place or have visited this place or sometimes just see it in your dreams, you might know there are tales to tell here. The stories you’ll find are only mostly unique to Montana. Because a good story, a good audio story, well, that’s not tied to a map, it turns out.

The podcast is hosted and sweated over by Jule Banville. Jule teaches audio storytelling and other things at the University of Montana School of Journalism in Missoula. After writing a cover letter where she pretended to ask radio legend Alice Furlaud for advice, she got a job as a producer at WNYC on the staff that launched The Next Big Thing. This was ages ago, but still pretty darn formative. She continued to dabble in radio while working as a cops reporter at a daily newspaper (Erie, Pa.) and as an editor at an altweekly (Washington City Paper in D.C.) before landing home in Montana and picking up a mic again.

The Missoula Independent probably explained it better in a feature that ran in July 2015.

Mostly, episodes feature two stories — a long one that lets you spend some time with it and a short one designed to leave you in a good place. They’re produced by people who love what happens when sounds and voices combine. A few stories are Jule’s. Some are from her crazy good students and former students. Others are produced by independents slugging it out. You can learn more about this cast of characters on our Contributors page.

Critters. Mothers. Fathers. Soldiers. Farmers. College kids. They’re all here in a Last Best Story somewhere.

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