Pitching is an art in itself: you have to convince editors—a ruthless breed—that they should publish your story. In theory, you do know how to write a pitch. In reality, you lack practice and your pitches are getting rejected. But no need to despair. Thanks to The Open Notebook, you can browse through a database of successful pitches and learn from the very best science writers.

The pitch database is only one of the endeavours of The Open Notebook. The non-profit organisation also publishes interviews with leading science writers to give an insight on their working process, as well as a wide range of features which look at various aspects of science writing: spotting a good science story, keeping your research organised, finding a good narrative.

The goal of The Open Notebook is to explore the science writers’ entire process when working on a story. It wants to showcase science journalism as a craft. To do so, it takes a very interesting approach: it shows that science writing, just like science, is first and foremost a human enterprise.

The Open Notebook is not only a fantastic resource for young and early-career science writers, it is also a great source of motivation.


Here is what you need to know about The Open Notebook:

Website URL: http://www.theopennotebook.com/

Twitter: @Open_Notebook

Facebook: The Open Notebook

The founders: Jeanne Erdmann and Siri Carpenter.

Board of advisers: http://www.theopennotebook.com/board-of-advisers/

Funding: In part by a grant from the National Science Writers Association.

What they do:

  • Pitch database: Currently contains 70 successful queries to a wide range of publications from various well-known science journalists.
  • Story-Behind-the-Story interviews: Insight into science journalists’ working process while reporting a particular story.
  • Topical features: Articles about different elements of science writing to enlighten or help you fine tune your writing process.
  • Ask TON: Allows you to ask questions about the craft of science journalism. Answers typically from myriad of experienced science writers and editors.
  • Natural Habitat: Visit science writers in their typical working spaces mostly because it’s fun. Also, unbelievably inspiring.