How to Cultivate Narrative in Stories of All Lengths

We often reserve storytelling’s basic elements—characters, plot, scene, theme, and dialogue—for long-form work, where they can take root and bloom through intensive research, reporting, and editing. News writing’s speed and rhythm can simply feel incompatible with narrative’s transportive qualities. But we can, and should, propagate storytelling shoots in short-form journalism too. This might involve—in a few precious words or sentences—painting expressive characters, quickly casting immersive scenes, or injecting key action sequences.

Where to Get Started at The Open Notebook

We’ve published more than 500 articles on the craft of science journalism, and we also offer courses and other training opportunities, Spanish translations, DEI resources, a huge database of successful pitch letters, tip sheets, and more. Here are some starting points for digging in.


Learning Opportunities


Master Classes

Sharpen your skills with our free online courses, delivered to your inbox starting as soon as you sign up.



Learn about The Open Notebook‘s mentoring programs, including our early-career fellowship, international students Slack community, and more.

Workshops &


Sign up for one of our upcoming workshops, host a private webinar or workshop for your team or event, or schedule a private consultation.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Resources

We’ve published dozens of articles and resource guides that center diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in science journalism. Browse this page to find articles on topics such as covering Indigenous communities, reporting and writing with trans-inclusion in mind, navigating bias in newsrooms, finding diverse sources, tracking source diversity, using alt-text to make stories more accessible, freelancing on a student visa, and much, much more.

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More Resources

Pitch Database


Find more than 250 successful story pitches to a wide range of publications—or share your pitches with us!

Getting Started in Science Journalism

Are you a newcomer to the field? This collection of articles focuses on what you need to know to get started.

On the Origin of Science Writers

 There’s no one “right” path into science journalism. Hear from dozens of science writers about how they got started.

Resources (Elsewhere) That We Like 

Find university degree programs, workshops and trainings, science writing news, membership organizations, awards, and more.

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The Craft of Science Writing

TON en Español