Meet new member Avery Hurt

A photo of Avery Hurt

Avery Hurt and her cat Zoomer.

Avery Hurt, a freelance science writer based in Birmingham, Alabama, and a new addition to the NASW community, shares #WhySciWri in this short Q&A.

Q: Tell us a little about yourself.

A: I’ve been writing about science for more than 20 years and freelancing the whole time. (Yes, I have nerves of steel.) I write about anything science-related. I also love to write about the history of science.

A lot of my writing is for young people. I contribute to several children’s science magazines and write books for the middle-grade/young adult set. I also cover medical research for physicians and researchers. I love the challenge of jumping back and forth from writing at a seventh-grade level to writing for neuroscientists—and writing for everyone in-between.

Q: How did you get interested in science writing?

A: I’ve loved to write ever since I clutched my first fat pencil and have always been a big fan of popular science books and magazines. I majored in philosophy and was particularly interested in epistemology and philosophy of science. Then in grad school I worked for the student newspaper and edited the university’s non-fiction magazine. So science writing was an obvious career move. I never seriously considered anything else.

Q: What do you love most about your career?

A: I love this work for so many reasons, but top of the list is that I get to dig deep into subjects that interest me. Also, having a job in which reading is part of the job description feels kind of like I’m getting away with something. I still can’t quite believe I get paid for doing this.

Q: What's the website you visit most often for work? How about your favorite social media account that you follow?

A: I’m on so many email lists for so many science magazines, journals, and research organizations that I can’t even keep up with them. I bounce around … a lot. I’m still getting my feet wet with social media.

Q: If you could write about any scientific event/breakthrough/topic (past, present or future) what would it be and why?

A: I’m hoping that when aliens finally do arrive, I’ll get to cover it! Seriously, though, I’m very interested in exobiology/astrobiology and hope to write about something in that field one day.

Q: Why did you join NASW and what kinds of professional connections/opportunities are you seeking?

A: Writing is a mostly solitary job, and I’m comfortable with that—maybe too comfortable. I’m the kind of person who will stay in my Hobbit hole and never come out until forced to. So joining NASW was a way to make contact with other people in my field. It can be so affirming and reassuring to know that other people are doing the same thing you are, facing the same frustrations and challenges, experiencing the same joy. It’s also extremely cool to be a legit member of an organization that includes so many of my science-writing heroes.

Follow Avery on Twitter @AveryHurt

Image by PollyDot from Pixabay

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