How to pitch

The goal of your pitch is to give the editor a clear idea about three things: 

  • the central point you propose to make (What’s your broader scientific argument?)
  • the research you are using to support this point (What’s your evidence; where are you going to get it – in published papers? In interviews? And how are you going to use it all to tell a story about how your argument is correct?)
  • why I should be as excited about saying “yes” to the pitch as you are to write the piece (Why are you the best person to write this?)

There should be at least one sentence devoted to each bullet point, and the complete paragraph should let me (and thus, you) know what you plan to say, and what work you need to do to be able to say it compellingly.

We are open to a variety of genres and media formats, so let us know what form you think would allow you to best achieve your goals. 


I'd like to write about this new article in Nature Plants about how humans have been modifying tropical forests for much much longer than we thought (~45k years), the evidence for that, and how this knowledge can help inform or guide conservation and restoration efforts today.

Final piece 

I'd like to write an oped about PAINS - pan assay interference compounds.  These are a series of characteristics of small-molecule drug candidates that end up giving false positives in a lot of early drug development assays, resulting in attrition down the line.  That sounds pretty straightforward, but I'd really like to argue that it's also symptomatic of a growing trend in chemical biology: pushing bad results under the rug to survive in the 'publish or perish' landscape of modern funding systems.  I'm a good person to tell this story because I've had personal experience of being in a lab where that culture exists (obviously if I did write about this then that would be delicately handled).  Also, my background is chemistry/med chem but I now work in chemical biology so I feel I can bring that to the table and help readers understand the weird tensions that exist between chemists, med chemists, and biologists.  In my mind this would be a third person piece with maybe a little first person opinion at the end, but of course I'd need some guidance on that. 

Final piece

Last updated March 8, 2018