WRITING ESSAYS FOR BROADER AUDIENCES: EXPERIENCES, ADJUSTMENTS, AND COMPROMISE.
In 2014, I received a call to wrangle a desert centipede that had been mailed from Texas to a Vermont grade school. I wrote a tongue-in-cheek essay about the experience for the Vermont Entomological Newsletter. An editor for “The Outside Story”, a syndicated weekly natural history essay series, contacted me and asked me to rewrite the essay for their series. I have since become a regular contributor to the essay series, their annual conference, and had essays reprinted in other outlets. Through the editorial process I have learned to simplify my writing, reduce jargon, and compromise between the precise nature of scientific writing, and a more readable and audience friendly style suitable for readers of local newspapers. I have had significant help from editors that includes writing help, topic selection, and distribution of the end products. The experience has resulted in the production of accessible essays that reach a far broader audience than is typical for my scientific writing. The essays advance the mission of my institution and have broader impact that is appreciated by my funding agencies.
Declan McCabe (Primary Presenter/Author), Saint Michael's College, firstname.lastname@example.org;