Intro to Travel Writing
This is a sample syllabus. Actual course topics and assignments may vary
by instructor and class.
Introductions. Why is travel writing right for you? Your writing and journalism experience and goals.
Travel writing genres: guidebooks, magazines, newspapers, books, web, in-flight magazines.
Guidebook excerpts. Hiring guidelines.
Assignment: Peruse travel pieces in the bookstore. Jot down your travel story ideas that you have for
each publication targeted to a particular section.
Magazines. Turning travel experiences into travel stories. Types of travel stories: FOB, service pieces,
roundups, destination well features, sub-genre features, travel news, events, city profiles, columns,
personal profiles, reflections and personal narratives, etc. Travel and its relationship to other genres.
Pitching and queries. Understanding your markets and audiences. Your web presence .
Assignment: Craft a FOB piece for a targeted section of a specific travel publication with service info.
Newspapers . More about pitches/queries. Interviewing your subjects. Outlines. Travel writing hints
Assignment: Travel this weekend (close or far away). Take notes, snap pictures, talk to locals. Focus
on a variety of attractions and write a service -oriented travel piece about this specific place.
The web. Working with editors. What goes on behind the scenes at a publication? How to make the
system work for you. Thinking seasonally and in advance . Nurturing contacts. Journalistic ethics.
Assignment: Travel this weekend (close or far away). Take notes, snap pictures, talk to locals. Find a
hook and write a travel roundup about this specific angle.
Travel trends, real and manufactured. Recycling ideas. Languages and niche travel expertise. Writer’s
guidelines, fees, expenses, deadlines, and payments.
Assignment: Craft a travel piece for a NON-TRAVEL publication. Focus on one travel-related subject.
Travel books and essays . W ork of well-known travel writers and w hat made them successful.
Assignment: Write a 500-word personal/reflective travel story.
Fine-tuning pitch letters . Protocol and behavior on assignment. Persistence, diligence, rejection.
Networking, writers’ groups. Navigating the PR world. Press trips, press releases, events, and freebies.
Assignment: Make a comprehensive list of all the editors to whom you intend to pitch your travel
pieces. Include a timeline showing when you intend to pitch.
Finalized pitch letters. Open Q&A session.
Call 212-547-7890 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up for this course.