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The Science Writers' Handbook: Everything You Need to Know to Pitch, Publish, and Prosper in the Digital Age (Paperback)

The Science Writers' Handbook: Everything You Need to Know to Pitch, Publish, and Prosper in the Digital Age By Writers of SciLance, Thomas Hayden (Editor), Michelle Nijhuis (Editor) Cover Image
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Popular science writing has exploded in the past decade, both in print and online. Who better to guide writers striving to succeed in the profession than a group of award-winning independent journalists with a combined total of 225 years of experience? From Thomas Hayden's chapter on the perfect pitch to Emma Maris's advice on book proposals to Mark Schrope's essential information on contracts, the members of SciLance give writers of all experience levels the practical information they need to succeed, as either a staffer or a freelancer. Going beyond craft, The Science Writer's Handbook also tackles issues such as creating productive office space, balancing work and family, and finding lasting career satisfaction. It is the ultimate guide for anyone looking to prosper as a science writer in the new era of publishing.

About the Author

Thomas Hayden writes about science, the environment, and culture. Formerly a staffer at Newsweek and a senior writer at US News & World Report, he has worked freelance since 2005. His cover stories have appeared in magazines ranging from National Geographic, Wired, and Smithsonian to Analytical Chemistry. He has co-authored two books, including the national bestseller On Call in Hell, and was lead writer for the ninth edition of the National Geographic Atlas of the World. Since 2009, he has been a lecturer in the School of Earth Sciences at Stanford University, where he teaches science and environmental writing, journalism and communication.

Michelle Nijhuis is a freelance journalist and a longtime contributing editor of High Country News. Her work has appeared in numerous other publications including Smithsonian, National Geographic, the Atlantic, the New York Times, Orion, Audubon, and the Christian Science Monitor. A lapsed biologist, she specializes in long-form stories about conservation and global change, but she has covered subjects ranging from border security to wrestling. Her reporting on science and the environment has won multiple national journalism honors, and her writing has been included in the anthologies Best American Science Writing and Best American Science and Nature Writing. In 2011, as an Alicia Patterson Foundation fellow, she researched and wrote about the science and ethics of rescuing critically endangered species. She lives off the grid in rural western Colorado.

Praise For…

New York Journal of Books, 5/1/13

“Whether you are breaking into the field or a seasoned professional, this book is dense with advice from the SciLance workgroup, which boasts 225 years of combined experience.”

Knight Science Journalism at MIT (website), 5/3/13

“I found the book entertaining and enlightening, and that's coming from someone who's been at this for a while. You'd be smart to take a look.”, 5/23/13

“A useful and even uplifting guide.”

Worlds of R.A. Hortz, 5/27/13

“The perfect tool for anyone seeking to break into the writing about science.”

ASJA Monthly, June 2013


San Francisco/Sacramento Book Review, 5/31/13

“Has everything a writer will need to take the big step into science writing.”

Choice, October 2013

“This exceptionally timely resource illuminates many of the modern frustrations of science writing…This highly readable book will benefit anyone interested in the field of science journalism. Highly recommended.”

Choice, October 2013

Product Details
ISBN: 9780738216560
ISBN-10: 0738216569
Publisher: Da Capo Lifelong Books
Publication Date: April 30th, 2013
Pages: 320
Language: English