Learning the Craft
While science journalism isn’t so different from other journalism beats, there’s a particular art and skill involved in writing about science for a lay audience. The resources below offer tips, tricks, and suggestions to help you tell stories about science accurately and compellingly.
- KSJ Science Editing Handbook. This digital resource compiles advice for editors from today’s top science editors and journalists.
- Secrets of good science writing. This is a series of three articles designed to help you improve your science writing. It includes pieces on pitching, reporting from conferences, and avoiding common mistakes.
- Nieman Storyboard. One way to improve your writing is to read exemplary work. On Storyboard, find analyses of excellent narrative journalism and interviews with leading journalists.
- Science Writing: Guidelines and Guidance. On his personal website, best-selling author Carl Zimmer shares notes from his science writing course at Yale about structure, style, fact-checking, and reporting.
- CASW Showcase. This anthology, compiled by the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing, highlights award-winning science journalism and provides annotations for selected articles.
- The Science Writers’ Handbook. This guide includes advice from 35 science writers on starting or advancing a freelance career. It offers tips and stories about the business and the craft of science writing, as well as suggestions for dealing with things like procrastination and loneliness.
- The Craft of Science Writing: Selections from The Open Notebook. In this book, you’ll find inspiration and wisdom; through interviews and essays, leading science writers offer advice and a glimpse at what a career in the field entails.
- News and Numbers: A Writer’s Guide to Statistics. As a science writer, you’ll likely have to sift through lots of data and statistics. Through case studies and stories, this book offers tools for evaluating and communicating data and statistical claims.
- A Field Guide for Science Writers: The Official Guide of the National Association of Science Writers. Suitable for teachers and students of the craft, this guide offers both a high-level view of the field and more detailed advice from expert science writers.
- Best American Science and Nature Writing. This series is just what it sounds like: a compilation of the best science and nature writing from around the country, published annually.