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Selling Stories: Finding an Audience for Your Writing

May 11, 2019 @ 9:30 am - 4:00 pm

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Tickets are $40 for non-members. Members receive an automatic additional 25% off discount (when logged in).


As the third in a series of three workshops that explore the techniques needed to go from idea to published science writing piece, this workshop will explore the last leg of your communication journey: how to find your audience, then polish and sell your writing piece to a publisher. Selling doesn’t just mean receiving money for your creative piece, it means selling the idea to someone, particularly your audience with effective and learned techniques (helpful even for those that aren’t freelance). During this professional development workshop, we’ll explore topics such as:

  • Selecting which story to tell and how publications go about selecting which story they commission
  • How stories evolve from pre-pitch exploratory interviews, through rounds of edits, to a final polished piece by pulling from real-world examples of successful freelancers’ pitch, edit, and publish process, including take-home examples that help creators optimize the journey. Authors will be available for direct questions and feedback on an idea you may have.
  • Forbes columnist and negotiation coach Tanya Tarr will lead a fun, interactive, but low-stakes practice pitch slam with tips on how to best position yourself and writing in a competitive market. Tanya’s worked with dozens of freelance and staff writers.



Special guest: Anna Kuchment

Hear about pitching from the perspective of an editor: what you should do and what you definitely SHOULDN’T DO when you reach out to editors. Don’t leave your beloved story idea out to dry. Drawing from personal experience with horror stories (and fairy tale stories) in tow, Anna will dish on what you can do to be the best advocate for your own story and how to navigate the sometimes confusing process (and social etiquette) of meeting an editor, pre-pitching, pitching, signing contracts, re-working, and re-working our pieces with editors. Anna is the Dallas Morning News science writer, Scientific American editor, and author of The Forgotten Cure (Copernicus Books; 2012), about phages. See some of her latest stories on Muck Rack.


Lee Klancher is an award-winning writer, photographer, and publisher who has contributed words and images to more than 30 books as well as dozens of national magazines including Men’s JournalDraft, and Motorcyclist. He also spent more than a decade as an editor and editorial director at the world’s largest publisher of transportation books. Lee founded the niche book publishing company, Octane Press, in 2010 which has roughly 50 titles in print but he may be best-known for his award-winning books and calendars covering farm machine technology development, including Red Tractors and Red 4WD Tractors.


Teresa Carr is an award-winning journalist with more than two decade’s experience reporting on science, health and consumer issues. She recently launched a monthly column for the digital science magazine Undark and writes for a variety of publications, including The New York Times, Consumer ReportsNovaNextSapiens, and The Guardian. Teresa was a 2017-18 Knight Science Journalism Fellow at MIT and, prior to that, a senior editor at Consumer Reports. Her cover story for Consumer ReportsToo Many Meds?, was a National Magazine Awards finalist and won a Folio Award for investigative journalism.


Tanya Tarr is a  regular Forbes contributor and book author writing about the power of negotiation and equal pay. During the workshop, she’ll run us through positioning you and your writing best when interacting with editors. Fun and interactive pitch activity included.


Liz Kruesi is an award-winning science writer and editor, specializing in telling stories about everything astronomical. Her work has appeared in Discover, Quanta Magazine, Smithsonian.com, Popular Science, Astronomy, and others. She has been a freelance writer for four years, following more than seven years as an editor on staff at Astronomy. Liz has authored five books for children about astronomy, and a project with National Geographic Publishing’s Books department will release this summer. In 2013, Liz won the David N. Schramm Award for High-Energy Astrophysics Science Journalism, presented by the American Astronomical Society, for an Astronomy feature story about black holes.


Lunch and happy hour provided!


The location will be in northeast Austin (if you’ve been to one of our other two workshops, you know it) at Trash Mountain Ranch (formerly GasPedal Ranch) at: 10300 Springdale Rd, Austin, TX 78754.

If you want to get notifications about this workshop, please sign up for our emails, if you haven’t already.


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May 11, 2019
9:30 am - 4:00 pm
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Trash Mountain Ranch
10300 Springdale Rd.
Austin, TX 78754 United States
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