Pitch Publish Prosper: Online resources for The Science Writers' Handbook

The Science Writers' Handbook series emerged from a close-knit, online community of more than 30 science writers called SciLance. The group had spent years asking each other for advice and sharing the joys and frustrations of their science writing careers. By 2009, the group suspected that these insights and experiences could be the seeds of the book, which was fueled in part by one of NASW's first Peggy Girshman Idea Grants in 2011.

The Science Writers' Handbook was published in 2013, and for two years SciLancers also produced a blog — Pitch Publish Prosper — with nearly 300 posts. A collection of the 20 most popular posts is now archived here under four headings: Freelancing 101, Pitch, Publish, and Prosper. Members of the group have published two companion books: The Science Writers' Essay Handbook (2016) by Michelle Nijhuis and The Science Writers' Investigative Reporting Handbook (2018) by Liza Gross. 

Click on any category below to see all of the available resources.

About the Writers of SciLance

 About the Writers of SciLance

The Science Writers’ Handbook series

 The Science Writers’ Handbook series

Freelancing 101

 Are you ready?
 Plan your own internship
 Your first day
 Turn your assignments into a career 


 Asking for interviews — and getting them
 Reading the journals: From new science to science news
 Reader question: Why won't an editor reply to my pitch?
 The curiosity call
 To save dull interviews, ask WTF questions 


 Make your characters memorable
 Hold the exclamation points! And other tips on writing for kids
 Why red ink is good
 Smartphone basics: Record a call and transcribe it later
 Six essentials for recording phone interviews 


 How much should I charge? Pricing tips for freelance jobs
 Five cardinal money rules of freelancing
 Five things I learned as a PIO
 Besting bad contracts
 Creeping ennui and how to beat it
 Juggling kids, deadlines, and days "off"

Contact the Writers of SciLance at sciwrihandbook@gmail.com.

About SciLance

This portion of the ScienceWriters (www.NASW.org) website is home to Pitch Publish Prosper, the online resource for The Science Writers' Handbook and its companion books, The Science Writers' Essay Handbook and The Science Writers' Investigative Reporting Handbook.

Run by a professionally diverse group of 31 science writers, Pitch Publish Prosper offers timeless advice on a variety of topics relevant to new and practicing science writers — everything from career ennui to contract negotiations.

The Science Writers' Handbook and its spinoff titles were each supported by an NASW Peggy Girshman Idea Grant. We are happy for the opportunity to provide a place where the associated content of these books and the creativity that spawned them can continue to grow and reach new audiences.

Pitch Publish Prosper (sciwrihandbook@gmail.com) is editorially independent of the National Association of Science Writers. 

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