Press Releases
September 28, 2021

C13Originals Drops “Once Upon a Time… at Bennington College,” Second Season of Hit Documentary Series

New installment of critically acclaimed series written and created by Vanity Fair’s Lili Anolik explores the Bennington College Class of ‘86 and the slam-bang cultural impact of three of its members, Bret Easton Ellis, Jonathan Lethem, and Donna Tartt, Gen X’s greatest chroniclers

New York, NY (September 28, 2021)—C13Originals, the Peabody Award-nominated documentary division of leading premium podcast studio Cadence13, an Audacy company, today announced Once Upon a Time… at Bennington College, the second season of the Once Upon a Time podcast franchise created by L.A. Times bestselling writer, Lili Anolik.

Season One of the series, Once Upon a Time…in the Valley, a real-life psychological thriller about underage adult star Traci Lords, reached #4 on the Apple Podcasts charts (snuggling between the New York Times and Joe Rogan), and was called “noir at its finest” by CNN, a “wildly entertaining ride,” by PopSugar.

And, now for Season Two.

From the Peabody-nominated C13Originals studios and Vanity Fair‘s Lili Anolik, comes the latest installment in the “Once Upon a Time…” franchise, Once Upon a Time… at Bennington College. This is a tale of money, murder, madness, and—of course—genius. This is, too, a multi-dimensional expose: the secret history of The Secret History revealed; the secret history of three of the greatest writers of Generation X revealed; and the secret history of Generation X itself revealed.

Once Upon a Time… at Bennington College will launch with the first four episodes on September 29, 2021, everywhere podcasts are available. New episodes will drop on Wednesdays throughout the season. Listen to the trailer and follow the show here: [link]

“I’ve been working on this story ever since I interviewed Bret in the office of his West Hollywood apartment about The Canyons [neo-noir scripted by Bret, starring Lindsay Lohan and James Deen] back in 2013. Sitting on his bookcase shelf was a hardcover copy of The Secret History, a novel I’ve read a dozen times at least. I asked him about the dedication [Donna co-dedicated the book to Bret] and he told me about the date he and Donna went on freshman year. I asked him who paid, and I’ve asked him a million Bennington-related questions since—a casual conversation turned hardcore obsession,” said Lili Anolik. 

Anolik continued: “I’m telling you, I now live this story. Last year Matt Jacobsen, the ‘real’ Bunny Corcoran from The Secret History, sent me his Liddell and Scott [Greek-English Lexicon] and his Bennington flask. Last month, I took a long stroll along the Hudson with Ian Gittler, the guy Bret showed his ‘suitcase full of drugs’ to first semester. Next week, I’m going for grilled cheese sandwiches with Madi Horstman, Jonathan Lethem’s Bennington girlfriend, the originator of Sinead O’Connor’s ‘bald look’—or so says Madi. This is, in my opinion, the biggest story I’ve ever attempted. It’s the story not just of three of the most important writers of a generation, but of the generation, period. And I’m thrilled to be doing it with C13Originals, which has in profusion the qualities you want most in a partner: vision, passion, and nerve.”

“Lili’s dazzling, piercing talents as a writer and storyteller shine through every facet of this fascinating new season of the ‘Once’ franchise,” said Chris Corcoran, Chief Content Officer Cadence13. “We’re thrilled to expand the dynamic, culturally resonant C13Orginals slate, and continue to tell the most compelling stories.”

Some of the voices joining Anolik’s on this podcast belong to: Bret Easton Ellis; Jonathan Lethem; Jay McInerney (writer, Literary Brat Packer); Jill Eisenstadt (writer, Literary Brat Packer); Graydon Carter (co-founder of Spy magazine, long-time editor of Vanity Fair magazine); Brix Smith (punk rocker, member of The Fall, and, for a single day, member of Hole); David Lipsky (writer and a main character in the 2015 film, The End of the Tour, played by Jesse Eisenberg); Nicholas Delbanco (writer, professor, lyric in a Carly Simon song); Michael Tolkin (writer); Brad Gooch (writer, fashion model); Michael Musto (gossip columnist); Pat Hackett (Andy Warhol’s co-writer); Nancy Doherty (widow of writer Joe McGinniss); JoAnn Morris (widow of writer Willie Morris); James Robison (writer); Morgan Entrekin (publisher of Grove Atlantic and maybe the real Tad Allagash in Bright Lights Big City); Gerry Howard (editor); Jon Sidel (nightclub impresario); Bret Witke (nightclub impresario); James Sanders (co-writer/co-producer with Ric Burns of the eight-part PBS series New York: a Documentary Film); Pigeon O’Brien (the woman who tipped off the National Enquirer about the John Edwards/Rielle Hunter scandal); and several others whose names you are not familiar with but who have 

Download the cover art for Once Upon a Time…at Bennington College (Courtesy/C13Originals) here

Once Upon a Time… at Bennington College was created and written by Lili Anolik in collaboration with, and produced by Peabody-Award nominated C13Originals, a Cadence13 studio. The series is Executive Produced by Anolik and Corcoran; directed by Zak Levitt; edited by Perry Crowell; script edited by Bruce Handy; production support and additional editing by Ian Mandt; mixed and mastered by Bill Shultz; production coordination by Terence Malangone; and original music by Joel Goodman.

Lili Anolik is a contributing editor at Vanity Fair. Her work has also appeared in Harper’s, Esquire and The Paris Review, among other publications. Her latest book, Hollywood’s Eve: Eve Babitz and the Secret History of L.A., was named one of Esquire’s Best Books of 2019. 

C13Originals is the Peabody-nominated production studio behind Gangster Capitalism; It Was Said; Relative Unknown; One Click; Root of Evil; Once Upon a Time…in the Valley; Hope, Through History; No Place Like Home; and Long May They Run.

Follow Lili Anolik on Twitter @LiliAnolik; follow C13Originals on Twitter @C13Originals and Instagram @C13Originals. For more information, visit

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