Help me find standout “short-form” science writing

Today is a big day for me, and not just because my 1st byline for The Atlantic went live today.

Although seriously, go check it out.


It’s also special because I just went on record announcing my intention to compile a quarterly “Best Shortform Science Writing” roundup, so that us science writing whippersnappers can see examples of how front-of-book and daily news stories oughta be written. You can find my full spiel about why we need such an anthology here on Medium, but the takehome message is that I need you, my dear Internet readers,  to send me ideas for which stories I should include.

The “Best Shortform Science Writing” will be quarterly– as in every 3 months– and the 1st one will cover January-March 2016. The only problem is I just came up with this idea a few days ago, so I especially need suggestions for memorable short articles from January and February!

Since “shortform science writing” is a hugely diverse category,  here’s my tentative “chunkification” scheme for organizing the articles:

  • Short-Short & Front-of-Book (under 350 words)
  • Medium Short (850 words & under)
  • Single-study Deep Dives (700–1200 words but focused on one study)

If you’re not sure whether a piece is too long, err on the side of sending it. Also, feel free to nominate stuff you or your friends have written. Nominations can be from any sort of magazine, webzine, or newspaper. I’m hoping to include stories from a huge range out outlets, Nature News & Comment, Glamour, The Lansing State Journal, Hakai, The New Yorker, JET, Ensia, Wired, and The Sacremento Bee are all equally valid sources for nomination, as far as I’m concerned.   Try to stump me by emailing or tweeting me a link to a science, health, environment, or tech story that I haven’t heard about before.

(Although I will warn you. the two languages I know how to read are English and Spanish. If you want to send in something in another language, I’ll have to bring in a trusted guest editor who can tell me whether it’s solid or not.)

The 1st “Best Shortform Science Writing” post will most likely go live in the 1st or 2nd week of April, but please don’t wait until the last day of March to start sending me suggestions.  And if you’re super-excited about this, let me know if you’d be interested in being a Guest Editor and narrowing down the long list to the final shortlist. (No pun intended).

If you want to help out but can’t think of a good short piece off the top of your head, please share either this post or the Medium post to spread the word.

Seriously. I can’t read the entire science internet all by myself.  You, Internet hivemind, are my only hope.

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