TRAVEL WRITING: Carving your travel writing niche in the digital world
The world of media is changing and the art of travel writing along with it. This workshop will teach you how to carve your own travel writing niche in the ever-expanding digital platform. We’ll dispel the myths of travel writing, discuss new opportunities and how they differ from the traditional, and review the various categories of travel writing from the Destination Piece, to the Round-Up and the Special Interest Feature. We’ll give you tips to find your travel writing voice, offer the pros and cons of becoming a generalist or specialist, show you how to construct a story for the digital model, offer tips on how and when to make the pitch, and how to deliver the story and exceed expectations. We’ll talk about getting started in the biz, online outlets looking for content, and how to maximize your particular expertise – whatever that may be. You will leave this workshop ready to hit the road running.
Take the Trip, Write the Story — Take an Actual Press Trip!
Note: There is an extra cost associated with this course. Total cost for the two-day workshop including instruction, transportation, lunch, and entrance fees is $220 U.S. per person.
We believe that while you can learn the basics of travel writing in a classroom setting, the most effective method of learning is to go on an actual press trip and write a real story! This two-day, in-the-field workshop offers you exactly that opportunity.
Day One is a 7-hour guided “press trip” in an air-conditioned van to the Spanish Colonial town of Dolores Hidalgo, the birth place of Ignacio Allende (after whom San Miguel was renamed), a center for Talavera ceramics, and a “real” Mexican community. We’ll visit the town’s historic centro, tour a traditional market, drop into a Talavera ceramics shop and watch artisans at work, stop for a taste of the famed ice-cream, view the church where Mexico’s War of Independence actually started in 1810, and “media” will have 30-minutes of free time to take photos of the central jardin and surrounding monuments. We’ll then move on to lunch at the most famous carnitas restaurant in all of Guanajuato and a chance to meet a Mexican chef. On the way back to San Miguel we’ll stop at a popular thermal springs mineral bath for a tour and, for interested participants, a chance to quickly “take-the waters.” The day wraps up with a visit to a folk art gallery to meet with the owner for a fascinating look at the significant and importance of the Mexican folk art tradition.
You’ll find out what it’s really like to be on a press trip, experience attractions and activities outside of San Miguel, collect notes, interview locals, and capture photos to accompany your story. During the travel portion of the trip, we’ll discuss new options and opportunities for travel writers, the various travel-writing categories, give you tips on what makes a good story, how and where to find it, the various ways to take notes, how to work quotes into a story, and where to look for the best photo ops. Yes, it’s a long day. Welcome to the world of the professional travel writer on a press trip!
Day Two unfolds in a classroom setting where you will have time to craft the notes and stories collected into a saleable story. We’ll help you develop a good opening, select the best images (if you have a digital camera), give you a critical editorial review, give you ideas on where to pitch your story, and help you craft the pitch. You’ll leave with a story and pitch ready to submit to an editor. This workshop needs a minimum of 8 people (maximum 14). Recommended equipment: notebook and pens, digital camera, and laptop (if you choose) to write your story on Day 2.
A 20-year veteran of the travel writing industry, Toronto-based Anne Dimon, Publisher/Editor of Travel to Wellness Magazine, has worked as a newspaper columnist, feature writer, contributing editor and industry journalist for magazines in Canada, the U.S., Britain and Asia.
She has traveled to over 35 countries on assignment for various publications plus for her own seven-year-old online magazine, newly available for Apple mobile devices.
As a travel columnist for the Toronto Star, she was one of the first journalists to file a story and photos from 35,000 feet. For a story on best beds in Business Class she flew on six different airlines, landing in four continents in just nine days. Over the years she has collected memories and crafted stories from places such as a neighborhood hammam in Marrakech, a hill tribe village in Vietnam, a trail to the summit of Mount Kenya & countless luxury resorts and spas around the world.
Prior to becoming a full-time writer Anne ran her own PR consulting company, and in her early career worked in broadcasting – both in front of and behind the mike and camera.