Jay R. Thompson | Professional Writer

Readers need a writer who puts new information in context and who makes a topic readily understood through clear and engaging language. Whether business, government, the arts, or technology, readers need a writer who is passionate about the subject, familiar with the lay of the land, and knows where to find answers. Writing about science requires no less.

My knowledge, interests, and experience make me best suited to writing about earth science or space science, while my skills and talents are best exploited through features, profiles, or other long-form formats. However, when I started writing professionally, I was a community newspaper journalist and so am a seasoned generalist.

When I was a staff newspaper reporter, I wrote features for the weekly print edition while hammering out breaking news stories for the web and then drawing web traffic via social media. I profiled local businesses, new and old. I covered local schools, from school board meetings to an elementary school’s steel drum band. I investigated, knocked on doors, wrote feature/obituaries, and covered elections, events, crime, and the rest. Dozens of my photos have been published in print and online. I also shot and narrated web videos.

After a few years as a staff reporter, I earned an M.A. in Science Writing from Johns Hopkins University. Through my graduate studies, writing experience, and from teaching an Introduction to Science Writing course during grad school, I refined my ability to effectively communicate complex scientific and technical ideas to non-technical audiences.

While an intern at EARTH Magazine, and more recently and comprehensively while teaching a professional communications course (and grading piles of student writing), I’ve developed a quick and seasoned eye for text that lacks an engaging hook, as well as clarity, concision, coherence, and precision, and I have ready solutions to apply to those imperfections. I have since been a freelance science writer, primarily for EARTH but I’ve also written for Discover Magazine, ScienceNOW, and The Baltimore Sun.

At Johns Hopkins University I taught a professional writing and communication course for a couple of years, in which I taught students who were in engineering, science, economics, and other fields to write and speak in plain, direct, and accessible language. I value the practice of tailoring a given piece of communication based on the message, audience, medium, all of which I emphasized to my students.Headshot

As a staff reporter and then a science journalist and teacher, rapport-building has served me well. Rapport-building comes naturally to me, whether via email, on the phone, or face-to-face. I smile often and am outgoing, friendly, helpful, and diplomatic. My energy, natural curiosity, passion, and good humor are contagious. I function best when I’m responsible for a variety of tasks, and when my precise communication skills are tested.

You can view my resume, clips, and videos at their respective links above, and you’re welcome to email me at jayismadeofstarstuff@gmail.com.