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Saturday, 8 March 2008

ABSW Briefings 2008/09

Ted Nield (Chair, ABSW) has advance notice of a new series of monthly briefings that will offer careers relevant advice to students and established science writers alike.

Tomorrow is the beginning of the ABSW's 2008-09 briefing series, sponsored by The Geological Society of London. The briefing, entitled How to write a popular science book. This event is fully booked.

All events will take place at The Geological Society of London, Burlington House Piccadilly, where all future events will also take place. The Geological Society is making its premises available free of charge.

ABSW Briefings 2008-09

Meanwhile the future programme of ABSW briefings is in the advanced stages of planning, with a full series of monthly dates already arranged for 2008/09 (see below).

Briefings Timetable 2008-09

March 13: How to write a popular science book Free

April 23 Copyrights & Responsibilities £10 (ABSW), £25 (join on night for £15 discount)

May 15 Angling & Wrangling £10 (ABSW), £25 (join on night for £15 discount)

June 18 TBA

July 16 Learned Society Magazines (student special) Students £2; ABSW full/associate £5. £10 non members. (Join on night for £5 discount)

August 19 TBA

September 17 Podcasts – new medium or just cheap radio? Students £2; ABSW full/associate £5. £10 non members. (Join on night for £5 discount)

October 21 TBA

November 18 TBA

December 15 (Xmas special, attendance unlimited) – PAWS before the punchline. Communicating science using drama and comedy.Students £2; ABSW full/associate £5. £10 non members. (Join on night for £5 discount)

January 20 (2009) TBA

February 18 TBA

March 17 TBA

Please put these dates in your diary now and keep checking the website and the ABSW Blog for updates.


Although the March 13 is free, future briefings all attract a nominal charge. There will be special rates for ABSW members and a Student Rate. Non-members will pay a higher fee, or be invited to join on the spot to benefit immediately from the discounted rate. Rates will vary according to event - please check in each case.


The full programme has not yet been finalised but the April and May events will both be presented by ABSW star trainer, former Committee member, and Committee correspondent on Copyright Alliance issues, Mike Harrison.

Forthcoming talks

The first two sessions will be focused training sessions for professional writers.

April 23: Copy rights and responsibilities

Copyright issues for beginners - issues surrounding rights grab, intellectual property and essential copyright law for journalists. Especially valuable for freelances.

May 15: Angling and wrangling

How to couch a proposal; what editors look for, how to negotiate a deal, secure favourable terms and follow through to payment.

Reserving your place

Special Admission Price for each event:

£10.00 ABSW members;
£25.00 Non-members
Please note there will be no special student rate for these briefings and no series discount.

Non-members will be offered the opportunity to join ABSW on the night. Those who arrive with their forms fully filled out will receive their £15.00 refund in the form of a reduced membership fee.

Attendance at both events is limited to 25. Spaces will therefore be allocated on a first come, first served basis.

To reserve a place email now. You will be told if you have secured a space, and asked to send a cheque in advance to confirm it. Places unconfirmed within one week will be offered to others.

Cheques made payable to ABSW should be sent to: Dr Ted Nield c/o the Geological Society of London, Burlington House, Piccadilly, LONDON W1J 0BG

PayPal at last!

New! You can now pay ABSW via your PayPal account, to absw [at]

Forward programme

Other briefings, dates not yet decided, will include:

Don't look at the camera – from journalism to training

Making the transition from journalism to media training. Can a business in media training help finance a writing career?

Foreign Correspondent

What's it like to be a foreign correspondent for Science or Nature or New Scientist? What are the particular challenges of facing a different landscape? How long does it take to fit in? Are some countries worse than others?

See my blog

How blogging and the mainstream media intersect. What does blogging do for a newspaper writer? What about beginners? How does it help them?

A bit on the side

What's it like today writing for the media as a scientist academic? Who gets to make the transition from pundit paid peanuts to jealously guarded star writer? What about people who get academic jobs as a result of their star pulling power on TV as presenters?

One chicken a week

Top tips and big caveats on going freelance. How can you regain control on your life without losing control of your finances?

New media

What impact in general new outlets such as blogs/podcasts/vodcasts and contact sites like Face Book etc having on more traditional forms of journalism?

Ted Nield
ABSW Chair