Presentation #323.08 in the session “Education and Public Outreach II: Students, Teachers, and Education Resources”.
In-person outreach is by far the most common method of connecting with young people about astronomy; astronomers can also engage children through science writing. Science magazines and books reach diverse audiences and educate the next generation of scientists. They provide kids with up-to-date information on specialized topics that enhance their traditional learning. As topics of high interest, astronomy and space science serve as entry points to STEM. Just as with in-person outreach, writers must find topics that are interesting and relevant and present it in an accessible and developmentally appropriate manner. Writing for a young audience can increase astronomers’ writing and communication skills. Nonfiction is the fastest growing genre in children’s literature, and editors and publishers are always interested in finding content experts. In this presentation, I will give an overview of the children’s nonfiction magazine market, with a brief diversion into books. I’ll provide advice about how to start writing for kids through my own experiences as the author of 30 articles and one book, including finding outlets, pitching story ideas, adhering to age-appropriate education standards, and working with an editor and illustrator.