ComSciCon-Triangle 2020 Write-A-Thon Instructions


The Prompt: 

Every attendee will be required to produce a piece of original science communication. Each piece will go through an expert-led review session to refine the work prior to pitching. We hope that you will then submit your polished pieces to our media partners for possible publication! Here are some guidelines:

  • Choose a potential target publication before you start writing (see below for list of publication partners). This will help you think about your audience as you craft your piece. If you have an unlisted publication outlet in mind, please let the Write-A-Thon coordinators know (triangle@comscicon.org)

  • Don’t just write about a topic—try to tell a story (use the narrative arc, include compelling characters, etc.)

  • Aim for about 500-800 words

  • Attendees may produce multimedia instead of a written piece. Though we are best equipped to assist with written pieces, we can work with our expert reviewers to help you with multimedia. If you choose to produce a multimedia piece, please let the Write-A-Thon coordinators know (triangle@comscicon.org) BEFORE the first day of the workshop

  • While publication is not required, all attendees are required to participate in the Write-A-Thon (attending both days of the workshop, submitting drafts on time, participating in peer review session) in order for their deposits to be refunded.

The Timeline: 

Prior to April 4th

April 4th (Workshop Day 1)

  • Meet with review groups at 12:30 PM to workshop your science communication pieces, details TBD.

April 11th

  • Upload second drafts to your group’s Google Folder by 11:59 PM

  • Be sure to include the publication partner you are targeting in your header.

  • Save your file as: LastName_FirstName_GroupLetter.doc 

April 18th (Workshop Day 2)

  • Bring a laptop with your groupmates’ drafts downloaded. Try to read your groupmates’ drafts ahead of time.

  • Expert-led peer review session over lunch.

After April 18th

  • Revise your drafts following peer and expert feedback.

  • Submit for publication! Email triangle@comscicon.org for editors’ contact information by June 1

The Publication Partners (as of 12/05/19):

  • American Scientist Blogs

  • Duke Scientist Review

  • Ensia

  • Evobites

  • HippoReads

  • Massive

  • Nautilus

  • Natural History Mag

  • RapidEcology

  • Scientific American Observations Blog

  • Slate

  • Note: Your local university also has research blogs or graduate student blogs you may be able to contribute to.