Call for pitches: Spring 2013

We’re really excited about the fall issue and fired up to get started on the next installment for spring 2013.  So, seasoned and aspiring science-writers and bloggers alike, please contact us and let us know what you’d like to see in Issue 24!

The guidelines for story pitches, as well as our article styles and formats, can be found below. There are several ways to get involved as a writer for the BSR:

  1. Choose your own story and send us a pitch – many of our best stories are thought-up by our authors. Two recommended resources are and
  2. Pitch a story from our idea listfeel free to take them whichever direction you want.
  3. Write for our blog – no pitch needed, just email
  4. Suggest a story for somebody else to write – no pressure, we’re happy to just hear your ideas.

All proposed topics must have a Berkeley connection — please also check our archive of previous issues 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 7th. Please email them to

We look forward to hearing your ideas and working with you to produce another great BSR!

Click here to get the details!



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.

Photograph is the editor’s own.

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