Thursday, January 3, 2019

Get paid for writing about climate change in the realms of popular novels and movies!

It's not been that long since the cli-fi  term was featured on an NPR radio segment (produced by freelancer Angela Evancie on April 20, 2013) and since then, there's been no holding the term back, with editors worldwide looking for freelance science and literary reporters interested in pitching feature stories about the rise of what might very well be the most important new literary genre of of the 21st century.

The NPR story was headlined with a question: ​''​So Hot Right Now: Has Climate Change Created A New ​L​iterary Genre?"​

The subheadline read: "The genre has come to be called 'climate fiction'."

The NPR piece, which went viral in a sudden and unexpected way, was followed the very next day with a follow-up piece by a freelance writer for The Christian Science Monitor.

From there, the meme was picked up by British freelancer Rodge Glass who was asked by Guardian editors to do a blog post about the new term.

In 2014, the Atlantic magazine assigned freelance writer J.K. Ullrich to do a longform story about the rise of the genre.

That same year, in 2014, The New York Times sent national reporter Richard Pina-Perez to fly out to the University of Oregon to interview genre expert Stephanie LeMenager who was then teaching a spring semester class on the the new term for both novels and movies.

Since then, from 2013 to the present in 2019, the internet has been uploading dozens of articles a year about climate fiction, most of them written by freelancers, who pitched their''listicles'' and summer reading guides to editors worldwide.

So there is plenty of room now for freelancers to find open doors in newsrooms at magazines and newspapers (and internet sites like High Country News, Slate and Salon) to pitch feature stories to waiting editors. There's good pay, there's good exposure for bylines and it's a busy market.

Freelancers in Canada and the U.S., as well as in Britain and Australia, are finding the climate fiction news articles an easy sell after a good, strong pitch goes into the email stream. Try it.

After the recent U.N. climate conference in Poland last November, with 16-year-old Swedish activist Greta Thunberg speaking up ''to the adults in the room,'' the climate ficton term is in the air now, and it's here to stay.

For the next 100 years, newspaper and magazine editors are going to be looking for new angles and takes on the power of literature and cinema as science communication tools.

Science writer John Abraham submitted a piece to the Guardian in London last year "A New Way to Talk about Climate Change" and it was published there.

Sarah Stankorb pitched a piece to Good magazine and it got published with the headline: ''Climate Fiction Is the Hottest New Literary Genre.''

Freelance science reporter Jennifer Monnier interviewed William Liggett for a piece about his new novel titled "Watermelon Snow" and she emailed to get some feedback on what the genre was all about and how it tied in with Liggett's novel.

So for freelance science reporters with a literary bent, the a new meme is calling you. There is still a lot of territory to explore, quotes to write down, and people to interview, from all walks of life -- scientists, novelists, literary critics, book reviewers, Hollywood producers and Broadway stage directors and writers.

Some say we have just 12 years to fix the climate. I don't believe it at all, and I call that number ''fake news.'' The real truth is we have 30 generations to grappled with this problem of runaway global warming, and that means there's a lot of room for reporters and bloggers to delve into these issues, and with luck even get paid for it.

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