Updated April 2016

WritingClubHeaderLearn – Get Published – Get Paid!

IEEE Earthzine is an online source for news, articles, information and educational materials about Earth science, Earth observations and users of Earth information for the international Earth-observing community. The publication is updated regularly with news from around the world about the Earth, Earth observations, environmental policy, and new and emerging technologies. With a Writing Club for college students and early-career professionals, Earthzine hopes to encourage and develop aspiring writers who are interested in Earth observation and scientific communication.

Earthzine’s Writing Club includes a series of online workshops led by professional writers and experts from the scientific community in order to help participants grow and develop the skills needed to find story ideas, conduct research, interview sources, write articles, and move through the editorial process toward publication. In addition to the workshops, which will be held remotely via a blog site, Earthzine volunteers and staff provide step-by-step assistance through the writing and peer review process to help club members reach the final goal: publication in Earthzine.org.

In addition to published articles, participants will be awarded a $200 honorarium for completion of the program, culminating in an accepted work published on Earthzine.org. The summer session will begin on June 20, 2016.



The Writing Club is offered to current students enrolled in an accredited college or university degree program and to graduates who have completed a degree within the past five years.

Submit via email:

  • A 300 to 500 word essay explaining why you are interested in science writing and our Writing Club. Please include relevant information about your professional/academic background and your current level of comfort with science writing and communication. Your essay should convey a sense of understanding of our publication’s mission and content.
  • Please provide a brief writing sample, no more than 500 words; the sample can be from an academic paper or whatever you choose.
  • A letter of recommendation from an instructor or mentor.

Application materials should be attached to an email with the subject heading “Earthzine Writing Club Application.” In the body of your email, please introduce yourself and provide:

  • Your full name
  • Contact information: email, mailing address, and telephone number
  • University affiliation, course of study, degree(s) sought or conferred, and graduation date
  • How you learned about the Writing Club.

Emails and inquiries should be sent to: writingclub@earthzine.org

Deadline for completed application is Friday, May 20, at 11:59 P.M. UTC

Program Details

Participants will complete a 10-week, guided course with presentations from professional writers and support from Earthzine staff. Each week, participants will have a combination of light reading, discussion and peer response with targeted goals such as generating a topic, conducting research, and interviewing sources. Expect to spend a minimum of two hours per week on the course, with increasing demands during the drafting and revision stages. You will be asked to meet deadlines and communicate regularly with your mentor about the progress of your work. At the end of eight weeks, you will hand in a polished draft; subsequent revisions, peer review, and editing may take longer depending on the publication-readiness of your work. In addition to publication, and upon successful completion of the course, participants will receive a $200 honorarium for their achievements and successes.

Guest Lecturers

Alun Anderson began his career as a research biologist and has been the editor, editor-in-chief, and publishing director of New Scientist from 1992 to 2005, during which time he successfully launched the magazine in the United States. Previously he was the Washington, D.C., bureau chief for the science journal Nature. Anderson lives in London but spends considerable time in the United States, where he is on the board of Xconomy in Boston.

  • He will speak about science writing from a journalistic point of view (e.g., structuring your story, accuracy), what makes a good science story and about some of the ethical aspects of science writing.


Paul Collins  is a writer specializing in history, memoir, and unusual antiquarian literature. He is a 2009 recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship in Nonfiction. Collins’s recent freelance work includes pieces for The New York Times, Slate, and New Scientist. In addition to appearing on National Public Radio’s Weekend Edition Saturday as its “literary detective” on odd and forgotten old books, he is also the founding editor of the Collins Library imprint of McSweeney’s Books, where he has revived such disparate works as a World War I internment camp memoir and an absurdist 1934 detective tale. Collins lives in Portland, Oregon, where he teaches creative nonfiction as an associate professor in the MFA program at Portland State University.

  • Collin’s presentation will address the historical in storytelling by exploring ways to situate science articles in context with what came before. This subject will naturally lead to a discussion of the importance of finding and using primary sources.



Qiuyun 18-05-2016, 03:36

Hi, I’m from China and I feel so interested if I could apply to this writing project. I wonder is this an international project?
Thank you.

Emily Wells 17-05-2016, 00:41


I was just wondering how you would like the materials to be attached to the email. Would you like for the writing sample and essay to be attached as word documents, pdfs, or does it matter? Also, how would you like the letter of recommendation to be attached? Can it simply be a word document, or would you like for it to be a scanned pdf with a signature on it?

Thank you,
Emily Wells

Ashley B 20-10-2015, 14:56


I’m interested in finding out the date that the candidates will be informed of selections. Will a list be posted here, or will we be otherwise notified?


Tristan Robb 22-10-2015, 22:31

Hello Ashley,

The chosen applicants will be notified individually early next week. Notification will be sent through email.

Best Regards,
Tristan Robb

Karla LeFevre 28-09-2015, 11:57

Is it possible to audit this class? I am a writer at a science institute and a student at the University of Colorado at Boulder. I would love to hone my writing skills with this group that is very tailored to science writing, and use what I learn to contribute to Earthzine in the future.

Many thanks,

Paul Racette 12-10-2015, 12:03

Hi Karla, It’s lovely to hear from you again. The writing club is not so much a class to audit but an opportunity to learn, write, and publish through a structured program. I encourage you to apply!



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