BSR Issue 22: Call for pitches

Issue 21 of the BSR is popping up around campus, and that means it’s time to start preparing for issue 22! We’re looking for writers, both old and new, so if there’s a Berkeley-related scientific story you’d like to write about please send us a pitch. (Guidelines are outlined below.) If you have a great story idea that you’d like to see someone else write about, please email us a short description of the story. And if you would like to write for us but don’t have a specific topic in mind, take a look at the idea list and pitch us one of those (they are of course only general guidelines: feel free to take them in any direction you like!).  If you would like to write a feature-length article but do not have a fully formed idea let us know: we will match you with an editor to help you develop your story before you start writing.

All proposed topics must have a Berkeley connection — please also check our archive of previous issues (available at our website) to make sure we haven’t published a similar story already in the past several years.

The deadline for pitches and idea submissions is Friday, December 16th. Email them to

For more information, check out our detailed guidelines here.

Looking forward to seeing your great ideas.

If you would like to write for the Berkeley Science Review, the first step is to send us a short query letter (a pitch). The pitch should be about one page long and should sell your article. Tell us why your story is interesting and timely, the Berkeley angle, and whom you plan on interviewing. Be specific about what you plan to do and let your personality come through in your writing style. We like to see queries that are well thought-out and compelling, but if you have a more vague idea you can send that in as well. Please be sure to submit pitches by the deadline for the current issue.

We will let you know within a few weeks of submission whether your story has been selected for the next issue. If your story is selected, you’ll be assigned an editor who will discuss possible directions for the piece, recommend resources, and generally act as a helpful guide and vigilant proofreader. You, along with your editor, will work on re-writes and drafts of the article. If you have a piece already written that you’d like to submit, send it in and an editor will contact you.

Article Styles and Formats

Submissions should be accessible to the intelligent and motivated non-expert. When writing your article, consider whether your readers will find it comprehensible, informative, and fun to read.

Features cover progress in a field or other broader aspect of science at Berkeley beyond the scope of a single finding or organization. Features should be 4-6 double-spaced pages in 12 point font, not including images  (2000-4000 words).

•Current briefs
Briefs should be no more than two double-spaced pages in 12 point font with 1-2 images (550-750 words), and cover a recent exciting scientific advance at Berkeley or some other aspect of science policy or education associated with the university.

Labscopes consist of a short (150-200 words) paragraph of text accompanying and explaining a particularly striking image, which is the main focus of the piece.  Writing a labscope is a great way for an author with limited time to commit to get involved.

•Faculty profiles
Interview your favorite Berkeley professor and write up the transcript. Interviews should be prefaced by a one or two paragraph profile of the faculty member and his or her research.

•Book reviews
These may be about a book written by a Cal faculty or student in the last two years. We prefer that you do not review textbooks or collections of edited papers. Length should be about two double spaced, 12-point font pages with no images (800 words).

If you have a great idea that doesn’t fall into one of these categories, feel free to get in touch with us as well.  We’re always looking for new, innovative writers and content.

•What we don’t want submitted
Essays about the trials, tribulations, and joys of graduate student life. Gossip about your advisor or labmates. Poetry.

Leave a Reply


  1. When is the next time you will be receiving submissions?

  2. BSR

    Hi Mike,

    We’ll be sending out a call for pitches and stories at the end of April, contemporaneous with the release of Issue 22; if you’d like to be added to our mailing list, please email