What does it take?
The ability to write clear, engaging stories is critical for success as a science writer. While you likely have experience with scientific writing from your geoscience degree, writing for public audiences requires unique skills and lots of practice. You must be able to translate complex scientific ideas into a written or visual story that can be easily understood by a public audience. You'll need to write compelling proposals to pitch ideas to editors. You must avoid jargon, using plain language and metaphors to describe scientific findings. Build your writing skills with these resources for beginning science writers:
Pitch Publish Prosper is a collection of online resources from The Science Writer's Handbook series. The series covers "everything you need to survive and thrive as a science writer."
A Getting-Started Guide for Newcomers to Science Writing by The Open Notebook is a great tip sheet with steps for practicing and honing your writing skills.
The National Association of Science Writers has a collection of resources for those new to science writing, including articles on finding the story in the science, journalism story structure, and contacting sources.
Signal to Noise Magazine is an educational tool for beginning science writers to submit pitches and, if selected, write articles for publication.
If you are still in school, take advantage of writing courses offered by your college or university. Writing clubs, student newspapers, and university press offices also provide opportunities to practice your skills.
When applying for science communication jobs, potential employers will want to see examples of your writing. The more you practice writing for a general audience, the more examples you will have to highlight your skills. And of course, science communication doesn't only include writing. If you are interested in illustration, film making, photography, or other forms of storytelling, you should work on developing your portfolio to showcase your skills.