Medical Writing Writing Matters In the Bookstores

Volume 21, Issue 3 - Writing Matters

In the Bookstores


A personal view incorporating the insights of a UK-based book group

Henrietta Lacks was a 31-year-old African American who died in 1951 from cervical cancer. Her biopsied cancer cells were taken without her permission, propagated seemingly forever after and shared by research laboratories across the world. The resulting immortal HeLa cell line is an integral, multimillion-dollar constituent of the scientific and medical research industry from which Henrietta's family has failed to materially benefit. Her story is rooted in the institutionalised racism of the 1950s and 60s, unthinkable today. Skloot personalises the cell line that so many of us are familiar with, using gritty and sometimes depressing insights into the life of the real person behind it.

I suggested that my book group, based in Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK, read Skloot's book late in 2011. We are an eclectic mix of high-achieving women with a rough balance of arts and science/medicine backgrounds. Our system, by which the member hosting the book club for a given month, chooses the book in advance, ensures endless variety. Meetings can become quite lively as we thrash out often polarised views


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  1. The ‘Busy’ Trap. Krieder T. The New York Times. Available from:



Writing Matters
Message from the President
EMWA news
Getting what you want from your scientific writing: tips for writing clearly
What's your problem? A practical approach to scientific document design
The joys of outlining in medical writing
Pleasing the reader by pleasing the eye—Part 1 The role of format and design in readability
Writing visually for medical writers
Quality control: getting the best out of your review
Pharmaceutical medical writing competencies: Comparing self-perception with employers' expectations
In the Bookstores
Journal Watch
The Webscout
Manuscript Writing
Regulatory writing
English Grammar and Style
Out On Our Own
Gained in Translation


The Write Stuff Archive Contact Instructions for Authors Article Template (Word) Journal Policies

Editoral Board


Raquel Billiones


Evguenia Alechine

Jonathan Pitt

Managing Editor

Victoria White

Deputy Managing Editor

Alicia Brooks Waltman

Associate Editors

Anuradha Alahari

Jennifer Bell

Nicole Bezuidenhout

Claire Chang

Barbara Grossman

Sarah Milner

John Plant

Sampoorna Rappaz

Amy Whereat

Section Editors

Daniela Kamir


Jennifer Bell


Nicole Bezuidenhout 

Digital Communication

Somsuvro Basu

EMWA News 

Ana Sofia Correia 

Gained in Translation

Ivana Turek

Getting Your Foot in the Door

Wendy Kingdom / Amy Whereat

Good Writing Practice

Alison McIntosh 

In the Bookstores

Maria Kołtowska-Häggström

Lingua Franca and Beyond

Maddy Dyer


Lisa Chamberlain-James

Medical Communications/Writing for Patients

Payal Bhatia

Medical Devices

Evguenia Alechine

My First Medical Writing

Anuradha Alahari

News from the EMA

Adriana Rocha


Tiziana von Bruchhausen


Clare ChangZuo Yen Lee 

Regulatory Matters

Sam Hamilton

Regulatory Public Disclosure

Claire Gudex

Teaching Medical Writing

Louisa Ludwig-Begall / Sarah Kabani

The Crofter: Sustainable Communications

Louisa Marcombes

Veterinary Writing

Editors Emeritus

Elise Langdon-Neuner

Phil Leventhal

Layout Designer

Chris Monk