Pitching Mental Floss

29 10 2012

So I recently pitched 3 ideas to Mental Floss for their College Weekend extravaganza (ie where they feature stories on a particular weekend from college students).  I thought this was a great way to get my feet wet in the science writing world, so I pitched 3 science heavy ideas.  And, as they were asking for pitches from College Students in particular, I figured there would be a much better shot of getting an idea approved.  So out of animals that can regenerate body parts (which I thought was appropriate for upcoming Halloween), neurons and neuronal families with interesting names, and “18 gene names that cover the Gamut, From Movies to Pop Culture to Cartoons,” the later was the one that I was asked to write up.  I think that this is a great forum for new writers to have an opportunity to show off their talents and I hope they continue the College Weekend tradition.

Here’s a link to my published story:
http://www.mentalfloss.com/blogs/archives/148072

Writing the story was a blast, I got to combine pop culture and science, both of which I enjoy, though they don’t mix frequently.  I did, however, really have to concentrate on lightness of my tone, as most of Mental Floss’ articles are most always quirky and funny, I felt like I had to move further away from my more technical, serious, sciencey tendencies.  I thought I ended up with a good mix of humorous anecdotes and correct science, hopefully most everyone agrees.

I do also really appreciate the support from other science writers, and my teacher, from my science writing class.  The promotions and tweets to links to my piece are great ;).

I’m sure this is why knowing people in the industry absolutely makes a difference in how successful you are.  If you have people to back you, you most certainly will get far.

Evidence of this great support is David Kroll’s piece in Terra Sigalata, my science writing teacher’s blog at ACS:
http://cenblog.org/terra-sigillata/2012/10/29/naming-genes-unlike-named-reactions/

I really enjoyed the experience and look forward to pitching more stories!

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