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New books by members and others

Reviews of seven new books have been posted in the ScienceWriters Bookstore, including a medical review of the House, M.D., television show and the story of an eagle who became an inspiration to Union soldiers in the Civil War. Use the search box on the Bookstore page to buy anything sold at Amazon.com. Your purchases earn a commission on each sale that helps fund NASW programs and services.

Now available: Winter 2010-11 ScienceWriters

The Winter 2010-11 issue of ScienceWriters is now available for downloading in PDF format in the members area. Included are coverage of NASW's 2011 Annual Meeting in New Haven, Conn., NASW's 75th anniversary and CASW's 50th; a brief history of science journalism; a one-time tax break on medical insurance for the self-employed; and a writer's experience in Virginia Tech's visiting scholar program. NASW member login and password required.

Training teenagers as science journalists

It was not Cathy Farrar's goal to transform her high school physics students into science journalists — at least not at first. She just wanted to encourage them to enter a writing contest.

Moving from staff to freelance

Leaving my last job was easy: I got laid off, along with 104 other Time Inc. employees. My boss called with the news on the morning of my 45th birthday. Like so many other journalists, I had finally acquired enough experience and seniority to make myself unaffordable.

A look at science milestones

In recognition of NASW's 75th anniversary and CASW's 50th, ScienceWriters is remembering the past. The spring issue revisited events from 1934 to 1959. This one focuses on NASW's next twenty-five years, 1960 to 1984, an era of huge strides in space and innovation. Don't miss the anniversary celebrations for both organizations at this fall's ScienceWriters2010 conference in New Haven, Conn.

Recession hits science writers

Last year, the NASW statistical section geographically analyzed our membership, noting certain preferential parameters. But that was before the Great Recession had sunk its teeth into the economy. 2010 seemed like a good time to repeat the investigation to see what effects the recession has had on NASW members.

Career development success

"Thank you NASW for believing in me and helping me to make this exciting step in my career." That statement by science writer Erica Gies echoes the sentiments of 16 science writers who received NASW career development grants in 2009.

Creating a graduate program

Beginning this fall, I'll be creating a new graduate program in science writing at Florida Atlantic University, in Jupiter. Fla., just north of West Palm Beach. And although I haven't yet told him this, I owe the job, at least in part, to Dave Perlman.

Applying to a grad program?

Dear Prospective Student: Thanks very much for your interest in our graduate program in science writing. You're off to a good start by sending a professional message with some well-composed details about your background and your desire to enter our field. We'll talk soon over the phone, and I welcome you to visit us here in the redwoods. In the meantime, you've asked what I look for in our applicants — the signs that you might be a good fit for us, and vice versa. I'm happy to oblige.

How to prevent grievances

The relationship between a freelance writer and a publisher thrives on mutual respect, clear expectations, and professional behavior on both sides. That's the ideal. But it doesn't always work out that way, and writers sometimes end up getting what they consider to be unfair treatment.