(To foil email-address harvesting machines used by spammers, the @ signs in all addresses have been replaced by asterisks.)
"The workshop was really a boon for me. I went to Santa Fe hoping that I would learn more about the field of science writing and whether it was the right direction for my career. I came home inspired, sure of what I wanted to do, and with a lot of information about how to do it. Best of all, though, were the people I met at the workshop; it's been a great network of new friends and colleagues."
"I think this is the top science-writing event of the year. Great workshops, wonderful location, and the best science writers in the world. With the retreat-like facilities, casual atmosphere, and the opportunity to see old friends and make many new ones, it feels like summer camp for science writers."
Steven W. Tally
"Santa Fe charged my creative batteries with inspiration. And the workshop gave me tools I needed to work on the nuts and bolts of science-writing projects. I am still using what I learned there and look forward to going back again for more."
freelance writer and reporter
"Through the nationally renowned writers who put on the Santa Fe Science-Writing Workshop, I felt that I was given, in a remarkably short time, a lucid and useful picture of the opportunities and potential pitfalls in the science-writing world. The information communicated to attendees -- from how to deal with agents and potential publishers to the details of science writing itself -- was invaluable, and participating in the workshop was -- dare I say it -- wonderful fun!"
Los Alamos National Laboratory
"Attending the Santa Fe workshop really helped sharpen my ideas on where I wanted my career to go, and helped spur me to look for a job that would provide a change from the type of work that I'd been doing for the last 5-plus years."
Features Editor, BioScience
American Institute of Biological Sciences
Washington, DC 20005
"I'm surrounded by scientists and engineers who value big words, long sentences and passive voice. My boss prizes PR. Against this background, my experience at the Santa Fe science writers workshop was rejuvenating. I enjoyed the instructors, the atmosphere, and New Mexico. I particularly liked meeting and spending time with the other participants; I found them interesting, supportive, and fun. I wish I was returning this summer."
Karen M. Paulus
University of Wisconsin
"The Santa Fe Science Writers Workshop was a perfect combination of learning and enjoyment. Although I've been writing for many years, the writing assignments and one-on-one sessions with the excellent science writers gave me creative ideas and techniques I will use to improve future stories about our science faculty.
"The reasonable schedule, which interspersed trips to Anasazi ruins, readings by the instructors, and a leisurely dinner at one of their homes, allowed time for enjoying the beautiful Southwest, as well as for reflection, writing and learning. I thought it was great."
Sally L. Harris
Public Relations Coordinator
College of Arts and Sciences
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
"I think the conference was a big success, the best of its kind I have attended. I agree completely that the most productive use of time during these conferences is to leave about half of it unstructured. The size of the group was just about right too. I came away from it motivated and encouraged."
Karyn Hede George
Senior science writer
Medical Center News Office
"I want to thank you so much for organizing and pulling off a fantastic workshop. It was inspirational enough just to meet all of you, but the advice and information on top of that was invaluable. You helped me confirm that I've opened a new door I really can't wait to go through."
1150 18th Street, N.W., Suite 725
Washington, DC 20036 U.S.A.
"I want to take a moment to thank you personally for putting together such a stimulating, and I hope, ultimately productive writer's workshop. I returned to Philadelphia with a cranium stuffed full of new insights and plans."
Center for Frontier Sciences
Philadelphia, PA 19122
"I think the collaboration of the Santa Fe Institute, Recursos, Southwest Literacy Center, and Plaza Resolana was a wonderfully synergistic and fruitful one. When you get together a faculty as accomplished and as generous as we had, we can probably become better writers just by sharing the air in the room with them."
Los Alamos National Laboratory
Writing and Editing Group
CIC-1, MS D418
Los Alamos, NM 87545
"I wanted to get a feel for what being a science writer is like and what kinds of career paths people take, and to meet some science writers. The workshop did all of this for me. I met some really great people, and I got a better feel for what sorts of things I need to do to pursue science writing. I'm looking forward to seeing what you have in store for next year!"
Professional research associate
Dept. of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology
University of Colorado
"Most useful to me were the talks and discussions that gave inside views of science news and book writing, including insights into how successful practitioners think about, approach, and do their work. Nearly as valuable was the intellectual and personal lift I got from being with the other participants for a week. Very different people with a lot of common ground, including one of the most solitary, alienating activities humans have devised -- writing. I enjoyed being part of that bright, energetic, positive community."
Public relations manager
"Thanks for putting together such a fine and useful program. The workshop gave me practical info: I got two story ideas and perhaps one for a book. I made contacts. I now have enough background to grill the local el cheapo internet access company I was thinking of joining.
"But it's the intangibles that leave an impression. The workshop has already begun a quiet work on me and I see more clearly a few things I suspected were true. Also, some long-standing misconceptions have been erased. Most useful, for example, was simply seeing you and the other presenters -- all at the peak of science writing -- and hearing what your writing lives have been like.
"The real surprise came from those others at the conference. After the second day, the diverse backgrounds of everyone there began to make me feel part of a writing community in a way I hadn't before. It was good seeing scientists grappling with the ethical and technical problems of writing from their different point of view. Just seeing the variety of ways to do science writing was an eye-opener. One writer, for example, had published three or four books with a edge-of-mainstream publisher and got her real survival money lecturing. But she kept on writing.
"By the last day, we were helping each other, suggesting story ideas, recommending publications, writing down sources. I never had that happen to that extent at a science convention. And for a few crystal moments, most notably at the readings and when Tim Ferris talked to us on the mesa about science, I felt sharply aware of why we all do what we do. I felt good about it."
Marjorie Centofanti is a free-lance medical writer based near Washington, D.C. She has written for The Washington Post, The Baltimore Sun, and American Health and has been a senior science writer and public information officer for The Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. She has a graduate degree in science writing from Hopkins and is working on a book proposal.
"Overall, I had a terrific experience in Santa Fe. I came home with what I had set out looking for: a brief refresher, inspiration, and some guidance on how to get where I want to go with my free-lance career. The anecdotes from all the instructors were not only amusing but very helpful to me. I'm the classic example of the isolated free-lance writer. So I enjoyed the camaraderie and was pleasantly surprised at how much writing experience the participants had. I learned a lot from them too."
Susan Chollar is a freelance writer who specializes in biology, health and behavior. She has written for American Health, Woman's Day, Discover, McCall's, Science and Redbook.
Santa Fe Science Writing Workshop