As a member of the ABSW you will connect to close to 500 like-minded science communications professionals. We will help you find out what is going on, keep you plugged into the gossip and relevant opportunities, and advertise yourself to commissioning editors. We also publish a regular Freelance Pay Survey, which will keep you up-to-date on industry pay.
Our discussion group mailing list is the ABSW's hidden gem. This list is open only to members, and allows journalists to have frank discussions about work and life. We get the inside scoop on gossip, networking, jobs, prizes and foreign trips. It is the science journalist’s water cooler, the place where we moan about life, gossip about work, gloat about our little triumphs, and share a joke. It is a good place to find out first what is happening.
Guides to the business of science journalism
Our member-only webpages have a growing collection of guides to the business of doing science journalism, which have been compiled by our members. Current guides include: Industry contacts; Freelance pay rates; Courses; Embargoes; European and foreign science journalism contacts; Liability insurance; Recording conversations; Recording equipment; Style; Resources for Journalists (including software); Introduction to Investigations; Books about Journalism; Libel and Privacy; Places to Write in London; and Job Hunting and Training.
Members can also access (and contribute to) a version of the 2002 guide So You Want to be a Science Writer that is currently being revised online.
Freelance pay survey
Ever wanted to know what rates other journalists are getting? Ever felt at a disadvantage when it comes to negotiations with editors? Find out what rates different publications pay, and anonymously submit your own pay rates, with the ABSW's Freelance Pay Survey -- circulated every month or so on the ABSW-L discussion list. Pitching for large projects can sometimes feel like a shot in the dark, but if we share the information we have, we can all benefit.
Our events range from parties, such as our famous post-Christmas party in London, to training seminars. Seminars have covered Speed Dating with Editors, Writing a Science Book, Pitching, Copyright and Intellectual Property, Podcasting, Interviewing, Feature Writing, Writing a Popular Science book and Science Comedy. We also run an annual lecture and debate and regular press trips with opportunities to visit key scientific institutions. We also have active regional groups in Brighton and Bristol.
Members also get low rates for entry to our biyearly conference, the UK Conference of Science Journalism.
Our new website offers a member's only area with the ability to contact other members of the society, the ability to edit your membership detail and control exactly what you share with other members. It will also allow you to chose exactly what (if anything) you share with the rest of the world on the public area of the site. Many of our members have been offered work through this website, and a better-promoted directory is likely to be of great help to members.
The member's only area also contains member-written pages where a number of our members are developing tools for you to use in the form of answers to common questions in our trade, whether it is about freelance accounts, recording equipment, payment or pitching.
The ABSW Executive Committee continually seeks out new benefits for its members, including free access to scientific journals. Join us to have your say on what benefits you would like to see.