Archive for the ‘Ask TON’ Category

Ask TON: When Is Outsourcing Unethical?

From following the latest research on your beat to pitching, researching, and writing features, any science writer knows what it’s like to be overwhelmed. But when is it OK—if ever—to outsource some of your work? For our latest Ask TON, we solicited advice from experienced writers and editors about the delicate task of hiring a […]

Ask TON: How to Build Narrative in Explanatory Stories

Welcome back for another installment of Ask TON. This month we’re talking about how to turn your story’s vegetables into a juicy, tasty stew. You have an assignment to cover new developments in a complicated field. You’ve been following it for a while, so you know the basics and the main players. You know you […]

Ask TON: Conducting and Condensing Q&A Interviews

Welcome back for another installment of Ask TON. This week: Writing, and editing, Q&As. (Click here to read previous installments.) Sometimes, the best way to share a good interview is just to let a source speak in his or her own words. But writing a good Q&A isn’t as easy as ask-and-answer. There’s plenty of organizing before […]

Ask TON: Using Outlines and Storyboards

Welcome back for another installment of Ask TON. This week: Should you use an outline or a storyboard when planning to write a longer story? (Click here to read previous installments.) 

Ask TON: Getting Sources to Open Up

Welcome back for another installment of Ask TON. This week, we ask experienced journalists how to get people to open up and talk like human beings. (Click here to see previous installments). Scientists and other interviewees are often eager to talk about their work, but sometimes, ask a basic question and you’re left with answers […]

Ask TON: Clearing Writer’s Block

Welcome back for another installment of Ask TON. (Click here to see previous installments.) Today’s question: How do you deal with creative block? It’s safe to say most writers have experienced some variation of the following: You sit at your desk and a blank page stares at you. You type your byline, then you hit the “enter” […]

Ask TON: Taking Notes Discreetly

Welcome back for another installment of Ask TON. (Click here to see previous installments.) Today’s question: When you are reporting for a narrative story, interviewing sources—say a researcher or a family—how do you take notes or record what’s going on without being obtrusive?

Ask TON: How Soon to Repitch the Same Editor?

Welcome back for another installment of Ask TON. (Click here to see previous installments.) Today’s question: I just received a nice rejection letter from an editor who encouraged me to try again. I’d really like to write for this publication. How soon is too soon to pitch another story?

Ask TON: How Much Editing to Expect?

Welcome back for another installment of Ask TON. (Click here to see previous installments.) Today’s question: I’ve been a journalist for nearly a decade, but just recently went freelance. The first two stories I’ve had accepted, both about 1,500 words long, went through several rounds of editing over the course of several days. While I benefited from this […]

Ask TON: Reconnecting After a Disruption

Welcome back for another installment of Ask TON. (Click here to see previous installments.) Today’s question: If you’ve been out of science writing for a bit, either because of a major project that took longer than expected or a life change like a baby, what’s the best way to get back in?

Ask TON: How Many Stories at Once?

Welcome back for another installment of Ask TON. (Click here to see previous installments.) Today’s question: How many stories do freelance science writers work on at a given time?

Ask TON: Breaking Into Science Writing

Welcome back for another installment of Ask TON. (Click here to see previous installments.) Today’s question: I’m a new science writer and I have very few published clips. What types of stories, and what types of venues (or specific ones) are best for someone like me to pitch to? And what are some good strategies for […]

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