Behavioral Scientist Writing Workshop Spring/Summer 2022

This May and June, we’re hosting a series of writing workshops open to everyone. The workshops will focus on writing and communicating behavioral science. But as the saying goes, “writing is thinking,” so many of the lessons will generalize to any form of communication that you hope to make stronger, clearer, and more incisive. Below you’ll find more about the session content, format, and schedule. You can register for the workshops here.

Sessions will be led by members of the Behavioral Scientist’s editorial team, with special guest behavioral scientists and science writers sharing their expertise and wisdom. There will be three sessions in the first series and each session will be 60 minutes long. 

Our editorial team will host office hours to complement the sessions. You will be able to reserve a time slot or drop in. This is a chance to discuss your writing questions with a member of the Behavioral Scientist editorial team. 

We’re excited to report that over 500 people from 47 countries have registered. We’ve done two things to make sure as many people as possible can participate. First, if you can’t make a session live, all the sessions will be recorded and sent to everyone who signs up. Second, we’ve set up two office-hour slots. One is designed to reach those in Oceania and Asia in the second half of the day, Europe and Africa in the morning. The second is designed to reach those in the Americas (North, Central, and South) in the morning, as well as those in Europe and Africa in the evening.

We’ll follow up each session with a curated set of resources that relate to the session topics and writing more generally.

There is no cost to attend the workshop. The workshop series is supported by a small grant from the Association for Psychological Science and reader/participant donations. If you’d like to make a donation to support the workshops, please head here.

Schedule: Sessions & Office hours

Session schedule

Dates: Wednesdays — May 25, June 1, and June 8
Time: 9:00am San Francisco | 12:00pm New York | 5:00pm London | 6:00pm Berlin
Duration: 1 hour
Platform: Crowdcast

Office hours schedule

Dates: Fridays — May 27 and June 3
Duration: 2 hour window, by sign up and drop in
Platform: Zoom

Time 1 — Oceania, Asia, Europe, Africa
5:00pm Auckland | 3:00pm Sydney | 11:30am Delhi | 7:00am Berlin / Johannesburg

Time 2 — The Americas (North, Central, South), Europe, Africa
9:00am San Francisco | 12:00pm New York | 5:00pm London | 6:00pm Berlin / Johannesburg

Session 1

Clarity and Cohesion with Cameron French, Plus a Q&A with Leidy Klotz, author of Subtract

Date: Wednesday, May 25
Time: 9:00am San Francisco | 12:00pm New York | 5:00pm London | 6:00pm Berlin
Link: Crowdcast – Session 1

We want our writing to be clear and cohesive. But advice to “make your writing clearer” doesn’t help much. What does clearer mean? What makes a piece of writing feel cohesive? In the first half of the session, Behavioral Scientist Editor Cameron French will demystify these concepts and provide practical ways to identify and improve clarity and cohesion in your writing.  

In the second half of the session, editor-in-chief Evan Nesterak will lead a Q&A with behavioral scientist and author Leidy Klotz (Subtract, 2021). They’ll cover Leidy’s writing process, insights on book publishing, and how “subtraction” factors into his writing. 

Session 2

Aligning Ideas with Outlets led by Evan Nesterak, Plus the Art of Pitching with Dave Nussbaum

Date: Wednesday, June 1
Time: 9:00am San Francisco | 12:00pm New York | 5:00pm London | 6:00pm Berlin
Link: Crowdcast – Session 2

You’ve got an idea for an article, now what? This session is geared toward helping you identify and align what you hope to write with where you might publish it. In the first half, Behavioral Scientist Editor-in-Chief Evan Nesterak will share a set of questions you can ask yourself before you pitch or draft the piece. You’ll learn how getting specific about your idea and who you’re trying to reach can take a lot of the guesswork out of the pitching and writing process. 

In the second portion, Dave Nussbaum, founder of Psychgeist Media, and pitch crafter extraordinaire, will share his experience helping authors pitch to different outlets, from science-specific publications like Behavioral Scientist to general-audience publications like The New York Times and The Atlantic

Session 3

Hooks and Intros with Cameron French, Plus Elizabeth Weingarten on Improving Organizational Communication

Date: Wednesday, June 8
Time: 9:00am San Francisco | 12:00pm New York | 5:00pm London | 6:00pm Berlin
Link: Crowdcast – Session 3

You’ve got an idea that you really care about. How can you make a reader care too? How can you convey the interest or urgency that you feel about your idea early on, before a reader decides to stop? Editor Cameron French will share practical tips on how to begin a piece of writing. You’ll learn ways that you can improve your introductions, so readers don’t feel like you’re making them “take their medicine” but do think to themselves “tell me more.”

In the second half, Elizabeth Weingarten will share lessons from her experience communicating science in an organizational setting. What do you need to keep in mind as your organization writes for a popular audience? For clients? For funders and other stakeholders? Elizabeth, the head of behavioral insights at Torch, has held roles at ideas42, New America, and The Atlantic. She was managing editor at Behavioral Scientist for four years, before transitioning to a senior advisor position. In these diverse roles, Elizabeth has honed her capacity to understand different audiences and craft writing that reaches them effectively.