NASW Update, May 19, 2011

How may we help you? Let us know by June 1

The deadline is approaching to tell us what programs/projects or big ideas NASW should fund. Submit yours by June 1. (Please note that this is different from the Individual or Group Project RFP, which has a rolling deadline.)

NASW already uses its funds to cover travel fellowships and career grants, and to underwrite a portion of the annual workshops to keep registration fees low. Now, we also are soliciting big ideas for the organization to develop new ways to serve science writers. What about new grant programs? What kind? For whom? A second annual meeting? A special research fund? Underwriting studies of the field of science writing? Hiring a lobbyist? Underwriting prizes?

If you have an idea for a new direction the organization might take, please write it up in 1,500 words or fewer. Include as many specifics as possible, discuss the audiences it would serve, how this fits the NASW mission, and the approximate cost.

Send proposals of no more than 1,500 words as a PDF with your name and contact details at the top to by June 1, 2011. The email subject line should be "Ideas for NASW-Your Last Name."

The NASW Program Committee will evaluate the proposals and forward a selection to the NASW Board for consideration and budgeting.

Connect with a Mass Media Fellow this summer

Every year, students dipping their toes into science writing as part of the AAAS Mass Media Science & Engineering Fellowships Program fan out across the country for their assignments. AAAS, which sponsors the students' NASW memberships at the end of the summer, is looking to connect these students with science writers in the local area. If you're interested in being an informal mentor, read on.

The AAAS Mass Media Science & Engineering Fellowships Program seeks volunteer mentors for its upcoming 2011 class. Generally, mentors will provide moral support and professional guidance to one of 11 fellows, based in his or her local area, between the dates of June 6 and August 12. Mentoring activities will include:

  • Availability to respond to e-mail inquiries about reporting questions, journalism best practices, ethics, etc.

  • Participating in an informal 10-15 min. phone call once a week during 10-week fellowship term

  • Where feasible, initiating one informal networking lunch with assigned fellow over course of summer term

If you are interested in serving as a volunteer mentor in one of the cities below, please contact Rahman A. Culver, Mass Media Fellowships program manager, at or 202-326-6645 for more information.

  • Chicago Tribune
  • Oregonian (Portland)
  • Scientific American (New York City)
  • Raleigh News & Observer
  • KUNC-Greeley (CO)
  • Los Angeles Times
  • Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel
  • NPR (D.C.)
  • Sacramento Bee
  • Philadelphia Inquirer
  • Voice of America (D.C.)

What's new on ScienceWriters (

  • In the Teaching Science Writing section, the Education Committee has posted a collection of college-level syllabi for science writing courses. They've available in both PDF and Word doc format.

  • In the All About Freelancing section, longtime member Charlotte Huff has graciously agreed to take over management of the Words' Worth Market Database, where members can share details of their experience with freelance writing clients. When you visit, sign up for email notifications of new entries.

  • On the front page, there's a new scrolling Twitter widget that aggregates tweets from members who have listed their screen names in the member directory and whose tweets are public. We're also posting new content daily, usually by noon eastern time, and cross-posting to the NASW pages on Facebook and Twitter and to an RSS feed.
May 19, 2011

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