Pre-Workshop Requirements

ComSciCon's National Workshop is a highly interactive and cooperative event. For instance, several of the sessions include group workshopping of already-developed science communication pieces.

All accepted attendees to ComSciCon 2018 are expected to complete the following in advance of attending the workshop. 


Through the "Write-A-Thon", ComSciCon attendees develop written science communication pieces (articles, blogposts, etc) and workshop them extensively with fellow attendees and science communication experts. Many of these pieces are later published in major science communication outlets.

Details: Write-A-Thon is an opportunity for you to hone your science communication skills by writing a piece on any science topic of your choice. It can be about your research, or not! Your peers and an expert reviewer edits your piece and readies it for publication. At ComSciCon, you will then have the opportunity to expand your piece into another form either podcast, comic, video/360 video, social media, or educational curriculum. So...get writing!

Some things to consider when writing your piece:

  1. What publication outlet are you hoping to submit to? (This determines word count)
  2. What genre is your piece? (Creative non-fiction, academic, opinion, personal essay, narrative, etc)
  3. Who is your audience?
  4. Is your audience familiar with the jargo you are using?

Please note your topic and intended audience at the top of your papers.


Be on the lookout in your inbox for a Google Drive Folder to be shared with you. This will be where you and your peers will upload your rough drafts. Here's the file naming convention (please make it a Google Doc file):

First Draft: LastName_FirstName_D1
Revied Draft: LastName_FirstName_D2
Example: Curie_Marie_D1


  • Monday, May 21st: First draft due: 2-3 pages (<1000 words) written
    • A Google Drive folder will be shared with you to submit your piece.
  • Thurdsay May 24th: Peer editing groups assigned
  • Thursday May 31st: Peer edits due
  • Thursday June 4th: Revised draft due
  • Thursday June 14th: Expert review at ComSciCon

Write-A-Thon Expansion

Attendees should come to ComSciCon with at least some idea of an alternate medium they'd like to rework their written piece into, choosing from:

  1. Video / VR
  2. Podcast
  3. Comics
  4. K12 Education
  5. Social Media

A completed draft of this alternative medium piece will not be required before the workshop, but attendees should spend time considering which media they are interested in.



On June 16th, ComSciCon will feature a poster session highlighting the science outreach, communication, and social media activities of our attendees and several local SciComm organizations. This poster session will utilize ePosterboards, so you won't need to print or transport a physical poster.

We are unfortunately not able to offer posters to all attendees, so we ask attendees to submit abstracts. You can see examples of successful abstracts from last year's program. Selected attendees will be invited to prepare an electronic poster before the workshop. We'll let you know the status of your submission within a few days, so you have plenty of time to work on the poster!


For attendees with accepted posters, the guidelines for creating and submitting the ePosters can be found here. There is also a Youtube Channel with a number of short videos on creating and uploading your ePoster.

Please note that you should not plan on presenting from your own device. Your poster needs to be submitted through the EPosterboards Website, and more details will be available closer to the workshop start date.


  • Friday May 11th: Short abstract due
  • Friday June 8th: Submit final electronic poster (selected attendees)
  • Saturday June 16th: E-Posterboard Session

Evaluation Surveys

ComSciCon is interested in learning more about how best to improve science communication training. We evaluate our performance through surveys before, immediately following, and 6-months after the workshop. 

Details: The pre-workshop survey will be available upon acceptance to ComSciCon 2018.


  • Friday June 1st: Complete pre-workshop survey
  • Late June: Complete post-workshop survey
  • Early 2018: Complete follow-up survey

Deposit and Paperwork

Attendees are required to submit a deposit ($50 check), which will be refunded (not deposited) following the workshop. We also require some basic paperwork (W9s, or equivalent for international attendees) to be submitted prior to the workshop to allow for reimbursement of travel expenses. 

Details: Checks should be made out to "The Story Collider", and mailed to:

ATTN: Ben Cook / ComSciCon
Center for Astrophysics
60 Garden St., MS 10
Cambridge, MA 02138

More information on the reimbursement paperwork can be found here.


  • April 20th: Deadline for receipt of deposit
  • May 1st: Deadline for receipt of W9 / International forms