Blog Submissions

Want to contribute to our blog? We accept pitches for blog posts up to 1,000 words in length. Ideas must be pitched to our editors at research@bsj.berkeley.edu before consideration for publication; we will not read full-length pieces due to time constraints.

Pitching Guidelines

In journalism, a pitch is a brief message to a newspaper or magazine describing a story you would like to write for their publication. Pitches are used so that editors can assess writers and their stories for relevance and quality, without spending hours combing through completed pieces. The pitching process also prevents writers from spending time writing up articles that may not be suitable for the venues they submit their work to.

When submitting your pitch, please consider the following guidelines:

  1. Pitch a story, not an idea. While there are plenty of interesting topics to write about in the scientific world, readers are interested in reading stories, not just descriptions of new research or ideas.
  2. Sell yourself! The second component of a successful story is the writer; good writing can elevate the quality of any scientific story. Make sure that you include 1 or 2 sentences explaining why you’re the perfect candidate to write the story you propose. If you have links to prior successful pieces you’ve written, include these as well.
  3. Disclose your conflicts of interest. Want to write about the research you’re doing in the lab? That’s great—just make sure to disclose any biases you may have toward the topic you’re writing about.
  4. Provide sources. Our blog posts include links to sources that help ground claims about science and news that are novel. Make sure to include a list of sources that you might consult when writing your piece!
  5. Be brief, but not too brief. Keep in mind that your pitch should be oriented for a story of around 500 to 1000 words. Your pitch shouldn’t rival the length of the piece that you’re submitting, but it also shouldn’t be incomplete.
  6. Don’t raise the dead. The Journal publishes pieces on a number of topics spanning all fields of science every year. While we may consider pitches that overlap in content with particularly old blog posts, make sure that your pitch isn’t too similar to anything we’ve published in the past couple of years.

You may also find the following guidelines for pitching helpful:

National Association of Science Writers

The Open Notebook’s Pitch Database

Pitching Errors: How Not To Pitch | The Open Notebook

 

If you have questions about the pitching process, please contact us at research@bsj.berkeley.edu.