The Science Writers' Handbook: Everything You Need to Know to Pitch, Publish, and Prosper in the Digital Age (Anglais) Broché – 16 mai 2013
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Not to date myself too much, but I remember the pivotal year for science writing in America -- 1980. That year saw the debut of two commercial, broad magazines for science (more broad than the stodgy Scientific American at the time) -- one that made it (Discover) and one that bit the dust (Science 80, which was eventually absorbed by Discover). At the same time several major science writing programs were launched including the one at M.I.T. that I had a close friend in the inaugural class. Science writing has come a long way since.
It's a new world with the internet and a world where prospective science writers desperately need the advice not of some dinosaurs (kinda like some of the professors I had in film school who hadn't made a film since before the age of computers), but of multiple working science writers of today.
This is exactly that book, and assembled by Thomas Hayden, who is the sort of veteran of both the working world (was a science writer with US News and World Report) and the teaching world (now at Stanford). It takes both sets of skills to make a book that will be useful and coherent, as he has done with this book.
The various chapters pretty much take you from start to full speed in a science writing career -- all written in very personable, conversational writing styles. Actually, now that I think of it, that's kind of the crucial test for something like this -- really wouldn't work well to have a book on how to establish a career in writing that was poorly written (and yet, I just read a popular book on screenwriting that's exactly that -- poorly written).
Have to say of all the chapters, my favorites are the ones on rejection and envy by Rosner and Nijhuis. Love that Hilary even got rejected by her house cleaner. I've had days like that.
Really a great book assembled by the right group. When I was in science graduate school we came to realize the important resource was not our hyper-busy professors but rather our peer group of grad students. There's a similar feel to this valuable and practical book.
They do a great job of conveying their own intimate intelligent voice(s)/experience(s) without ever losing objectivity and authority.
Want to know the difference between "percent" and "percentage points"? The best thing a book contract gives you (hint: not money)? How to query editors and when to follow-up? The most important notes to take when reporting on scene? How to deal with rejection -- and jealousy of another writer's success? It's all in here.
As a reference text, how-to, inspiration, or master class, the handbook is great for just about anyone writing about just about anything. I've published plenty and I still found something to learn (and re-learn!) on every page.