Travel Writing

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Description

About This Course

In this course you'll learn how to develop the skills of a travel writer. You'll learn how to translate what is seen, heard, tasted, touched, smelled and felt (intuitively and physically) into publishable articles and books. You'll understand the writing styles and methods needed to sell material in today's competitive market (including the how-to's of technical aspects of lead paragraphs, descriptive passages and the uses of interviews, quotes and facts). By the end of the course, you'll have the ability to write for the travel market. So pack your sense adventure, organize your determination and put your keyboard in a comfortable position. If you have a desire to write an…

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About This Course

In this course you'll learn how to develop the skills of a travel writer. You'll learn how to translate what is seen, heard, tasted, touched, smelled and felt (intuitively and physically) into publishable articles and books. You'll understand the writing styles and methods needed to sell material in today's competitive market (including the how-to's of technical aspects of lead paragraphs, descriptive passages and the uses of interviews, quotes and facts). By the end of the course, you'll have the ability to write for the travel market. So pack your sense adventure, organize your determination and put your keyboard in a comfortable position. If you have a desire to write and a yen to travel, you're a perfect candidate to become a travel writer. Let's get going. Topics include popular styles and types of travel writing that are the friendliest to new writers. Other topics of the workshop include how to write query letters, how to produce articles, essays and books, trends in types of articles and books, grammar and writing skills refreshers, and marketing information.

About The Instructor

This course includes a knowledgeable and caring instructor who will guide you through your lessons, facilitate discussions, and answer your questions. The instructor for this course will be Eva Shaw.

Eva Shaw, Ph.D. is a full-time working writer of 1000 articles, essays and short stories. She’s the ghost or author of 70 books including: Ghostwriting for Fun & Profit, Writeriffic: Creativity Training for Writers, Write Your Book in 20 Minutes (a DVD), Shovel It: Nature’s Health Plan, What to Do When a Loved One Dies, The Successful Writer’s Guide to Publishing Magazine Articles, Writing the Nonfiction Book, Insider’s Guide to San Diego, The Sun Never Sets, and more. Eva's work has been featured in USA Today, San Diego Union Tribune, Shape, Woman’s World, Country Living, Costco Connection, Publisher’s Weekly, Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal and others. She has won several awards, including the Book of the Year Award from the American Journal of Nursing, the Benjamin Franklin Award, and the Woman of Merit Award. An expert on time management for writers, Eva stays on top of market trends to sell her own work and to help emerging writers focus on quality writing and publication.

Syllabus

A new section of each course starts monthly. If enrolling in a series of two or more courses, please be sure to space the start date for each course at least two months apart.

Week 1

Wednesday - Lesson 01

Would you like your writing to make a destination, restaurant, or festival jump off the page? Do you want your readers to long to find their passports, grab suitcases, and have the post office hold their mail? Today, you'll start finding out how. We'll cover what you need to know to get started, how to create different types of travel writing, and how to begin thinking and writing like a travel writer, even if you're only traveling around your own hometown.

Friday - Lesson 02

Do you keep notes when you visit incredible locations? Do you read about a place before you visit it? Do you gather tidbits and retell the stories of your trips, keeping family, friends, and co-workers on the edges of their chairs? If so, you're thinking like a travel writer. In this lesson, we'll focus on keeping a travel journal and cover writing techniques you'll use when capturing your travels. We'll talk about travel close to home, too. Then, I'll provide some questions to spark your travel-writer's brain and share some tips about organizing your materials.

Week 2

Wednesday - Lesson 03

The genres (categories or types) of articles and essays about travel are limited only by your own imagination. Do you want to know how to write destination pieces, food articles, round-up pieces, advice, or personal experience pieces? That's what you'll learn in this jam-packed lesson. With this information, you'll be well on your way to a career (full or part-time, mind you) as a travel writer.

Friday - Lesson 04

Are you addicted to travel books, collections of travel essays, or books such as Under the Tuscan Sun? Travel books sell so well that you'll find many bookstores devoted specifically to them. In large stores like Borders and Barnes and Noble, you'll find sections and shelves piled high with travel books. Most of them have specific sections for travel essay books, too. Today, you'll learn what it takes to write travel books that publishers snap up and that hungry armchair travelers snatch off the shelves.

Week 3

Wednesday - Lesson 05

Travel writers should never leave home without packing their sense of adventure, sense of humor, and determination to capture their travels in image-filled writing (prose, not poetry). How do they prepare? That's the focus of this lesson. Today, we'll talk about organizing materials before you go on any trip. You'll learn how to plan the trip, how to contact publications before going, and how to dig beneath the surface to find the story within the story. By learning these techniques, you'll discover tricks to capture a reader's interest.

Friday - Lesson 06

Do you ask lots of questions? Have you ever thought that simply asking can provide some of the best travel tips you could discover? This is what we'll talk about today. Yes—how to ask questions. In other words, interview to get information that will put your writing talents above other writers. Wait! There's more. We'll also talk about the need to find the perfect title for your work, how to interview to get the story beneath the surface, and how to connect with the people in the locations you're writing about.

Week 4

Wednesday - Lesson 07

By the time you've reached Lesson 7, you'll understand that there are article and book ideas everywhere. You'll see possibilities just driving around your town or city. While these ideas sound simple, some new writers pass over them thinking they're, well, too simple to be effective. In this lesson, I'll share professional tools you can use to tap into creative juices that will generate oodles of ideas. This will help you figure out exactly what readers want. It may also help you discover what editors want before other writers come to the same conclusions.

Friday - Lesson 08

Today, we'll talk about the work of being a travel writer. You'll learn about taxes and deductions, how to organize your home office, and how to select the tools that you'll need to be a writer. You probably have many of the tools already. Later, we'll go over ways to avoid, or get over, that writing bugaboo known as writer's block. Yes, there is a cure, even if you've been down in the dumps with it for weeks, months, or years.

Week 5

Wednesday - Lesson 09

Most writers have a difficult time editing their work. A few are too easy on themselves. Others are ruthless. These same writers begin to fear creative urges and what they commit to paper. This is why we haven't talked about editing before. One of my goals with this course is to get you to enjoy the feel of words before you go back to pick out the keepers. In addition to covering self-editing, today you'll get some valuable insights and information about writing query letters, the concepts of writing on spec or on assignment, manuscript production formats, and dialogue.

Friday - Lesson 10

Today, we'll talk about research and ways you can find information about a location, culture, destination, and other travel writing areas. We'll focus on how to connect with travel sources. We'll also discuss the issue of freebies, because, depending on the publication you're writing for, you may actually find yourself in a pickle if you accept something that only seems to be free.

Week 6

Wednesday - Lesson 11

Don't you just love the travel photos in magazines? I had to learn some photo tricks in order to sell the photos to accompany my writing. In this lesson, we'll cover basic camera savvy and helpful picture-taking techniques along with information on stock photos. Smart travel writers take photos to sell along with articles, making their writing more desirable to editors and publishers. Our talk today won't instantly turn you into an expert professional photographer, but it will help you take better photos.

Friday - Lesson 12

As writers, we are idea machines. And we generally have more of them circling around in our heads than there is time to jot them in our writer's journal, turn out queries, or write articles. When selecting topics to write about, you'll have to do some research to develop them into full-blown articles. Once this research is done, don't stop with just one article on a topic. Recycle your research and you'll be able to sell and resell the material, which is exactly what professional travel writers do. In this, our final lesson, we'll talk about writing spin-offs, finding creative sources for travel writing, and combining travel writing with other genres.


Requirements

Internet access, e-mail, the Microsoft Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox Web browser, and the Adobe Flash and PDF plug-ins (two free and simple downloads you obtain at http://www.adobe.com/downloads by clicking Get Adobe Flash Player and Get Adobe Reader).

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