NeuWrite: A workshop for the craft of science writing


For those interested in science writing, a new opportunity is here on UCSF’s campus. NeuWrite is a national organization of science writers, with chapters in many universities (Columbia, Stanford, UCSD, NYU, Brown) and cities (Boston, London, Washington D.C.).

Since being founded in 2008, NeuWrite has expanded rapidly and is now at the gates of UCSF, thanks to the efforts of Racheli Wercberger. Wercberger is a Neuroscience graduate student interested in learning the craft of science writing and helping others achieve the same goal.

“The goal is to put out science writing for non-science audiences, but to strike the balance of it being both compelling, and just as importantly, scientifically accurate,” Wercberger explains.

Her words reflect the origin of NeuWrite as a collaboration at Columbia University between science graduate students and writers in the non-fiction MFA program. The group is interested in finding and telling the stories embedded in the scientific process.

If this sounds intriguing, come check out the very first NeuWrite UCSF workshop! It is happening today, October 27th, from 6 – 7:30 in Rock Hall Room 302 (Mission Bay). If that isn’t sufficient motivation, there will be free food, which should be sufficiently motivating to attract hungry, cash strapped students.

If you are at all stressed by the prospect of a writing workshop, there is nothing to fear. Wercberger emphasizes that NeuWrite workshops are intended to help writers with early drafts, as well as to help everyone else with the process of constructive editing. No one needs to worry about bringing a piece to the first workshop.

While NeuWrite is new to UCSF, the organization has been quite successful on a national scale. Pieces workshopped by NeuWrite’s other chapters have been published in high-level popular science publications such as Scientific American, The New York Times, and Harper’si. The group is “pushing to be recognized as a prominent science writing group,” according to Wercberger.

Let’s get this thing rolling at UCSF! NeuWrite’s goals are to make UCSF a prominent hub for science writing in the same way that it’s already a prominent research hub.

Again, the first workshop is today. Rock Hall 302. 6-730. See you there!