Virtual Business Chat: The Art of Writing Op-Eds That Boost Publicity

Thursday, March 16, 2023 12:30 pm to 1:30 pm PDT

Virtual Business Chat:
The Art of Writing Op-Eds That Boost Publicity
Presented by the NASW Advance Copy column

Date: Thursday, March 16, 2023
Start Time: 3:30 PM ET / 12:30 PM PT
Event Access Link: (member login required)
Event Recording: (member login required)

You’ve written a book. Now comes the hard part — selling it.

One of the easiest ways to bring attention to your book is to repackage the already written material into op-eds or essays. These pieces, however, are different from the classic reported journalism stories. Should you pitch an op-ed idea first? Should you write and send off the whole thing? How do you choose which publications to approach? In this panel, three authors will share their experiences with op-ed pitching and publishing. While catering to book authors, this panel will also be helpful for all journalists interested in sharpening their opinion-writing prowess.

Your NASW member colleague and volunteer event host Lina Zeldovich has invited the following guests to speak on the topic.

Invited Speakers:

Chelsea Wald
Chelsea Wald, who lives in The Netherlands, has repeatedly plunged into the topic of toilets since 2013, when editors first approached her to write about the potential in our stagnating wastewater infrastructure. That led to a book, Pipe Dreams: The Urgent Global Quest to Transform the Toilet, which was a finalist for the 2022 NASW's Science in Society Journalism Awards and longlisted for the 2022 AAAS/Subaru SB&F Prize for Excellence in Science Books. Following publication, she abruptly found herself on the other side of the proverbial (and actual) microphone, appearing as a guest on 99% Invisible and NPR/WHYY's Fresh Air, among other outlets. She co-founded and continues to help coordinate the DC Science Writers Association Newsbrief Awards for short science writing.

Op-eds and essays:

Laurie Winkless
Laurie Winkless is an Irish physicist and writer based in Wellington, New Zealand. After seven years in the lab researching functional materials, she moved into science communication. Her work has since featured in outlets including Forbes, The Economist, and WIRED, and she regularly appears on radio and podcasts. Her second book, Sticky: The Secret Science of Surfaces was published by Bloomsbury in 2022, and is a finalist for the 2023 AAAS/Subaru Prize for Excellence in Science Books.


Erica Gies
Erica Gies is the author of Water Always Wins: Thriving in an Age of Drought and Deluge, and an independent journalist who covers science and the environment from Victoria, British Columbia, and San Francisco, California. Her work appears in the New York Times, Scientific American, Nature, Ensia, The Economist, bioGraphic, National Geographic, and other outlets.

If you enjoyed the February session on pitching without agents, then we think you'll enjoy this session on March 16! See you then.

#SciWriBizChat #SciWriBooks

Advance Copy is NASW's long-running books and publishing column curated by member volunteer Lynne Lamberg. These interviews ask NASW member authors how they came up with the idea for their book, developed a proposal, found an agent and publisher, funded and conducted research, and put the book together. Be sure to read these #SciWriBooks archived entries! And if you're interested in helping launch a future NASW Books Committee, be sure to reach out to NASW member volunteers Lina Zeldovich and Lynne Lamberg with your enthusiasm.

Questions? Stop by to say hello to event hosts Lina Zeldovich and Lynne Lamberg and to suggest topics for future books-related events.

Please note that this is an informational session and opportunity to ask questions; it is not an endorsement by NASW for any specific agent, company, or policy. NASW does not provide book publishing or publicity services, nor do we make recommendations for specific policies or products.