How to Craft Enthralling Science Stories
Thursday, March 9, 2023
3:20 pm to 4:35 pm
The best essays and magazine stories about science feature unforgettable characters, sensory-rich scenes, carefully plotted arcs, and other narrative elements crafted to bring the writing to life. This panel gathers four writers and editors to discuss the artful deployment of storytelling techniques to create enthralling writing about science and the natural world, with examples drawn from the participants’ writing or editing on the Pacific and Inland Northwest and beyond.
Emily Benson is an associate editor for the magazine High Country News, which covers the landscapes, communities, and people of the Western US. She edits and writes features, essays, and more from her home in North Idaho, and is a graduate of the UC Santa Cruz Science Communication Program.
Jane C. Hu is an award-winning journalist living in Seattle. Her work has appeared in publications like Slate, High Country News, National Geographic, and The Atlantic, and in The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2022. She teaches science writing at the University of Washington.
Michelle Nijhuis is the author of Beloved Beasts: Fighting for Life in an Age of Extinction, a history of the modern conservation movement. She is a project editor for The Atlantic and a longtime contributing editor of High Country News.
Roberta Kwok is an award-winning freelance science journalist who has written for publications such as NewYorker.com, NYTimes.com, The Southern Review, Nature, New Scientist, Audubon, and U.S. News & World Report. From 2020–21, she was a Project Fellow at MIT's Knight Science Journalism Program.
Ferris Jabr is a contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine. Some of his work is anthologized in The Best American Science and Nature Writing. He has received fellowships from UC Berkeley, MIT, and The Whiting Foundation. He is currently writing a book for Random House about Earth history.