Your Ticket to the Universe: Writing for your audience

February 1, 2013
Kim Arcand

Kimberly Arcand recently co-authored Your Ticket to the Universe: A Guide to Exploring the Cosmos, with Megan Watzke. From Smithsonian Books, “Your Ticket” is available for pre-order on Amazon.com  and Barnes & Noble.

Our first guest blogger is Kim Arcand, a student in the MA program, media production coordinator at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, and new author.

The more we look at the Universe, the more interesting it gets. In recent years, astronomers have learned more about black holes, found hundreds of planets around other stars, and figured out that 96 percent of the Universe is made up of stuff that we haven’t yet been able to figure out.   So the Universe is exciting, but can also be overwhelming if not presented thoughtfully.

Astronomers are trying to determine what 96% of the Universe, known as dark matter and dark energy, is.  Only the remaining 4%, shown as the brightly colored jelly beans in this jar, is everything else that we do know about planets, stars, galaxies and usAstronomers are trying to determine what 96% of the Universe, known as dark matter and dark energy, is. Only the remaining 4%, shown as the brightly colored jelly beans in this jar, is everything else that we do know about planets, stars, galaxies and us

When writing a book about space or any other topic, you have to start with your audience.  Audience awareness is also a key component of any public humanities practice, whether it's dance, storytelling, or history museums.  Who are you trying to reach and why? What, ultimately, do you hope readers will take away from the work?  Assessing and reassessing your audience during the writing process is important to ensure you don’t lose sight of your goals, such as helping to create access points for others into the work.    

-Kim Arcand

Kimberly Arcand recently co-authored Your Ticket to the Universe: A Guide to Exploring the Cosmos, with Megan Watzke. From Smithsonian Books, “Your Ticket” is available for pre-order on Amazon.com  and Barnes & Noble.

 


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