Open Collective
Open Collective
Interview: "How to Break into English-Speaking Media as a Non-Native-English Speaker"
Published on September 27, 2022 by Alex Ip


I was recently interviewed by The Open Notebook about how ESL science writers can break into the field: 

It’s always important for editors to be empathetic, including when rejecting pitches, and even more so when working with writers whose first language isn’t English, says Alex Ip, editor-in-chief of The Xylom. Taking a few extra minutes to give feedback to writers on why their pitches weren’t accepted or pointing them toward other outlets where their ideas can fit better, can truly make a difference to a freelancer’s career, he says. “You shouldn’t just be the person that says ‘yes’ or ‘no.’”

Ip also suggests that just as many journalists track the diversity of the sources they’ve included in their stories, editors should regularly ask themselves how many writers who don’t use English as their first language they’ve commissioned. Then, actively look for new writers and keep an open mind to new ideas. “I believe that everybody can write a good story if we give them a chance to do it and the suitable resources, trust, time, and patience.”