Writing for the Public: How to Do It and Why It’s Important
Writing for the Public is a professional development seminar sponsored by the Center for the Humanities and the Public Sphere at the University of Florida. The event, organized by Dr. Sean Trainor, will be held on Friday, Dec. 11, 2015 from 2pm-5pm in Fine Arts C 201 (and online, for those who cannot attend in person). The seminar is designed to teach participants how to effectively engage the public through their writing.
Public engagement is no longer optional for scholars and educators in the humanities. It is now a basic professional requirement: a way in which we claim our scholarly territory, justify the humanistic enterprise before a sometimes skeptical public, demonstrate the public impacts of our work for funding bodies, and prepare for an uncertain job market.
In this workshop, participants will learn how to engage the public more effectively through their writing. They will also discover some of the unheralded benefits of public engagement and discuss why this work is so urgent in the professional and political landscape of the twenty-first century.
The workshop will focus on journalistic and short-form writing for forums like The Atlantic, Slate, The New York Times, and others. But the writing strategies outlined in the seminar will also help scholars more effectively pitch their work to funding bodies across the humanities.
More specifically, participants in Writing for the Public will learn how to:
- Work with UF resources and independently select writing topics that enliven their expertise for public readers;
- Maximize the impact of their writing while minimizing word count;
- Identify appropriate venues for their public-facing writing;
- Maintain their scholarly integrity while writing incisively;
- Pitch their work to editors; and
- Publicize their work effectively.
This workshop is for anyone interested in public-facing writing – no matter his or her level of experience. Writing for the Public will be valuable to humanities scholars from a variety of professional backgrounds, including faculty, staff, and students at all stages.