This past February, historian and author Dr. Megan Kate Nelson visited The University of Alabama Department of History virtually, zooming in from her home in Boston to conduct a writing workshop entitled “Writing for Academic and Public Audiences.”
In a wide-ranging presentation, Dr. Nelson shared the story of her shift from academic to popular publishing, including an explanation of how to pitch and write an op-ed drawn from her January 7, 2021 Washington Post op-ed. She also outlined the differences between academic and non-academic writing and gave practical tips for structuring dissertation and book chapters.
Q&A sections were interspersed throughout the workshop. During such sections, Dr. Nelson answered queries about op-ed structure, journalistic outlets to pitch to, public response to op-eds, agents & publicists, and writing practices.
Dr. Nelson’s publications include Trembling Earth: A Cultural History of the Okefenokee Swamp (University of Georgia Press, 2009), Ruin Nation: Reconstruction and the American Civil War (University of Georgia Press, 2012), The Three-Cornered War: The Union, the Confederacy, and the Native Peoples in the Fight for the West (Scribner, 2020), Saving Yellowstone: Exploration and Preservation in Reconstruction America (Scriber, 2022), and numerous op-eds.
The UA History Department thanks Dr. Nelson for her workshop, as well as the graduate students and faculty who attended the workshop.
This event was sponsored by the Charles G. Summersell Chair of Southern History.