Who should take a Try Travel Writing seminar?
Students exploring potential careers, aspiring writers, long-time journalists looking for a new specialty, retired professionals looking to subsidize travel dreams, curious travelers, and anyone
who just wants to try something new and go somewhere exciting will find this seminar helpful. Some students may be experienced writers, but you don’t have to be. All that’s required is a sense of
adventure and willingness to try travel writing.
We’ll customize instruction and research options, so the trip is suitable for travel writers with years of experience or those looking to write their very first story, blog post or even a more engaging travel journal or personal memoir. Similarly, our photography instruction will focus on developing your eye, whether you’ll be shooting with a smart phone or using a more professional digital SLR.
Will I be the only beginning writer there? I don’t want to be intimidated.
Relax. We were all beginners once, too. We’ve been where you are now—poised to do something brave and exciting and completely at a loss where to begin.
We may have more experienced writers than you on this trip, but in all likelihood most attendees will be people just like you who just want to dip their toes into the travel writing world and see how it all works. We’ll help you and encourage you in your writing—not make you feel intimidated. One thing we’ve learned in our travels, and in teaching writing at universities over the years, is that every person has a unique voice, and that voice is valid and worthy of being heard. It is our desire to help you to find your voice—not to criticize or change it.
What if I am a good writer already—will I gain something from this if others on the trip are beginners?
Yes. We are in the unique position of being able to offer you an inside look at how the world of travel writing works—the business side of the travel world, as well as the writing component. We can turn you on to good resources about media outlets, teach you how to better pitch your articles, how to seek out press trips and other travel opportunities and more.
What if I’m not a photographer – do I have to bring a camera?
We’ve found that travel writers’ work becomes more marketable if they can take great photographs. You don’t have to take photos or bring a camera along if you’d rather not; however, even if you just have a point-and-shoot camera, our photography instructor will provide excellent tips that will help you capture images from your travels and help get your story sold.
I’m a good photographer already; what can I gain from the photography portion of the seminar?
Our photography instructor is a pro with much to share with even experienced photographers like you. You’ll also have time out in the field on this trip, so you can generate new photographs to sell alongside your travel features. You needn’t be a photographer to take this trip, but if you are, you’ll be able to ask a highly successful professional photographer anything you ever wanted to know.
What should I expect to get out of the trip?
You will leave with a short piece of publishable writing, the ability to see a destination and its story possibilities in new ways, an understanding of how world of travel journalism works, and an excitement about pursuing your own travel writing and photography adventures. We’ll also point you to great resources available to you as you begin to sell your work.
Where might I expect to try to sell my work?
Regional magazines, online travel magazines, daily newspapers and more are all media outlets where you may try to sell your articles. We will give you resources that provide names and emails of editors, as well as their submission guidelines. We’ll also show you how to craft strong pitches to editors. These are all topics we will be covering in our travel writing seminars.
These travel seminar locations look interesting—why did you pick them?
We choose the location of each seminar based on experience. We have a great deal of experience writing stories about these locations, and we know that you’ll enjoy seeing them through the eyes of a professional travel writer. These are destinations that editors are likely to want to highlight in travel section features like those you’ll write. One of the professional travel writers on our team has lived in Michigan for years and has written countless times about The Grand Hotel and Mackinac Island. Another on the team kept a pied-à-terre in New Orleans for almost 20 years and has even written a travel guide to that city. She also is a contributing writer for a popular Louisiana food magazine. With these professional travel writers along, you’ll get an insider’s view of these destinations.
Are the accommodations going to be nice?
Yes. We’ve stayed in some wonderful hotels all over the world, so we’re picky. We want you to experience the kind of place travel writers stay on a press trip. Sometimes the price of the hotel accomodations are included in the registation fees; other times, participants are asked to book their hotels on their own, to allow for you to fit better this trip with your budget. In that case, we will offer you a list of hotels where we have stayed and where we feel safe in recommending.
Will I have some free time to explore on my own?
Definitely. We want you to find your own story and experience the destination with fresh eyes. You’ll also just want some time to rest and enjoy the vacation part of the learning on location experience.
What should I bring?
Bring a laptop, ideally with Microsoft word or Open Office software, or let us know if you’d like for us to provide one. We’ll provide a spiral notebook, along with a favorite anthology of great
travel writing, but bring a pen or a tape recorder (if desired) as a note-taking tool. If you have an iPhone, we love the iRecorder app. If you’re not tech-savvy—that’s OK too. We like paper and
pencil notes just as much.
Clothing needs vary by trip. Generally, bring along good walking shoes and have both casual and dressy options available, since most trips will include at least one semi-formal dinner. In some of the more elegant traditional restaurants in New Orleans, jackets and slacks are required for men (not jeans, though nice jeans with a sport coat is sometimes acceptable). Ties are optional, though recommended.
What is not included in the price of the seminar?
Airfare and transportation are not included. Some trips include hotel lodging in their registation fees, but other trips allow you to find affordable lodging on your own. We are happy to provide insider advice on where to find good room rates and locations near our workshop classes. Check the "Upcoming Trips" page on our website for details about each individual TryTravelWriting workshop weekend and what is included and excluded from the registration price. Be sure to register early to save any late-registation fees.
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