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Tips for the beginning freelancer

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Elite Truong offers advice for making the transition from full-time employment to freelancing: "Since freelancers don’t have a salary that includes annual pay and benefits, they need to charge what their time and experience is worth. Getting to your own baseline amount depends on many things. What is the estimated amount of effort, reporting and time that will go into this piece? How does that translate to your previous freelance experience, and how much is that worth?"

What's a creative writing MFA worth?

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Gabriela Pereira writes that many writers who seek an MFA degree do so for the wrong reasons: "Most writers want an MFA for one of three reasons: They want to teach writing, they want to get published, or they want to make room in their life for writing. It turns out these reasons for doing an MFA are actually based on myths." He goes on to discuss what an MFA can really do for a writer, and how you can build a do-it-yourself MFA via reading, writing, and networking.

How not to apply for a news job

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Graduation season is here and that means torrents of journalism resumes are going out. Kristen Hare offers ten tips for keeping your application on track, such as: "We love some good journalism quotes, trust us. But what does that lovely quote have to do with you? We don't want to see that you have a firm grasp of cliches with that 'In the words of the great ...' lead. We want to see who you are and what you think." Plus tips from hiring editors.

NASW Internship Fair at AAAS 2016

NASW student members looking for great internships, or news and science organizations looking for top interns should plan to attend the 2016 NASW Internship Fair. The fair will be held 1-5 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 13, at the 2016 American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) meeting in Washington, D.C. Read on for important preparation details.

NASW student programs at AAAS 2016

The National Association of Science Writers will again sponsor several exciting programs for student journalists during the American Association for the Advancement of Science meeting. All activities require students to be members of NASW by Feb. 1. Online registration for the AAAS Newsroom will open tomorrow at and continue until Jan. 22.

Writers who came from the lab bench

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Julia Rosen draws from her own experience and from interviews with other scientists-turned-science-writers for a guide to making the move from academia to journalism. She also discusses her own motives for making the big switch: "Although I had excelled in science classes as an undergraduate, I was unprepared for the drudgery of lab work, and the funnel of ever-narrower research questions that felt ever more removed from the questions that motivated me at the outset."

How a PhD benefits science writers

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The traditional path to a newsroom job starts with journalism school and, at most, a master's degree. But there's another way that starts with the lab and a science doctorate, writes Robert Irion, who directs the science communication program at the University of California-Santa Cruz: "My graduates agreed that it's not necessary to complete a PhD to be a successful science communicator. It's a competitive realm, however, and the degree can help open some job doors."

Two takes on advice to young writers

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Felix Salmon imparts a bleak view of journalism's future to hopeful neophytes: "Life is not good for journalists. And while a couple of years ago I harbored hopes that things might improve, those hopes have now pretty much evaporated. Things are not only bad; they’re going to get worse." Ezra Klein rebuts: "The Death of Journalism is really a kind of disruptive change in journalism, and that's bad for incumbents, but you're not an incumbent."

Mentoring at AAAS 2015 in San Jose

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The NASW Education Committee is again sponsoring its annual mentoring program during the American Association for the Advancement of Science meeting in San Jose, Feb. 12-16. We will pair mentors with students in graduate science writing programs or with undergraduates who have demonstrated a serious interest in science journalism. Use the "read more" link to learn more and apply as either a mentor or a student.

How to move from scientist to blogger

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Bethany Brookshire doesn't have much patience with scientists who say they want to be science writers but don't have time to write: "I didn’t have the time either. I MADE the time. I spent a lot of nights short on sleep. I spent a lot of nights NOT out with my friends … I worked some rough hours in the lab, and then I came home and wrote blog posts. I went to full huge days of conferences, out to the parties, and then came back to the hotel room and wrote blog posts."