Course Code: trw
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? In this lesson, you'll start finding out how. The lesson will 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.
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. This lesson will focus on keeping a travel journal and cover writing techniques you'll use when capturing your travels. It will talk about travel close to home, too. Then, the lesson will provide some questions to spark your travel-writer's brain and share some tips about organizing your materials.
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.
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. In this lesson, you'll learn what it takes to write travel books that publishers snap up and that hungry armchair travelers snatch off the shelves.
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. The lesson will 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.
Do you ask lots of questions? Have you ever thought that simply asking can provide some of the best travel tips you could discover? That's what this lesson will talk about. 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. The lesson will 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.
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 that they're, well, too simple to be effective. This lesson will share some professional tools you can use to tap into creative juices that will generate oodles of ideas. This will help you figure out exactly what your readers want. It may also help you discover what editors want before other writers come to the same conclusions.
This lesson will 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, the lesson will 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.
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. One of the goals of this course is to get you to enjoy the feel of words before you go back to pick out the keepers. In addition to learning about self-editing, 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.
This lesson will talk about research and ways you can find information about a location, culture, destination, and other travel writing areas. You'll then look at some different ways to connect with travel sources. The lesson will 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.
Don't you just love the travel photos in magazines? This lesson will 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. This lesson won't instantly turn you into an expert professional photographer, but it will help you take better photos in general.
Writers are idea machines, and they generally have more of them circling around in their heads than there is time to jot them in their 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. This final lesson will talk about writing spin-offs, finding creative sources for travel writing, and combining travel writing with other genres.
Eva Shaw, Ph.D. is a full-time working writer. She has authored thousands of articles, essays, and short stories and more than 70 books including "Writing the Nonfiction Book" and "Insider's Guide to San Diego." Her work has been featured in USA Today, San Diego Union Tribune, Publisher's Weekly, 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.
There are no prerequisites to take this course.
The instructional materials required for this course are included in enrollment and will be available online.
A new session of each course opens each month, allowing you to enroll whenever your busy schedule permits.
Once a course session starts, two lessons will be released each week for the six-week duration of your course. You will have access to all previously released lessons until the course ends.
The interactive discussion area for each lesson automatically closes two weeks after each lesson is released, so you're encouraged to complete each lesson within two weeks of its release.
The final exam will be released on the same day as the last lesson. Once the final exam has been released, you will have two weeks plus 10 days (24 days total) to complete the final and finish any remaining lessons in your course. No further extensions can be provided beyond these 10 days.
Eva Shaw is a great instructor. She teaches and motivates the students from and experienced based position, instilling confidence, encouraging the student to take positive steps toward their goals."
Eva, you were brilliant and inspirational! Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge with us. I really enjoyed the supplementary section of each lesson, I never realized just how many resources were at my fingertips! You've definitely pointed me in the right direction. Many thanks!"
I am glad I signed up for this course. I now have the basic tools to get started in something I always wanted to do. Thank you Eva!"
I can't tell you how much I've enjoyed this class. I feel inspired and motivated to pursue and area that I would never have thought of before. Isn't that the purpose of learning - to expand our horizons. This has certainly done that."
I have already referred a friend to your class, as she loves to write as well. I have taken several online classes, and by far I have enjoyed yours the most. You treat us all with respect, and the comments are so helpful. I learned so much from you, and you have ignited a spark in me to write, you taught me that I can do this with more practice, and for that I am grateful, thank you."
Just wanted to say thank you for all your help and encouragement. I have gotten so much out of this course. I found all the lessons to be full of helpful advice, and have downloaded them for future reference. The assignments were good practice, and forced me into the habit of making time to write regularly (Thanks to the bubble method I now have more ideas than I know what to do with!) Also your feedback and encouragement has helped motivate me to continue down this new career path."
Thanks again, this course has been wonderful. I put this course on my resume when applying for the travel job and he seemed impressed...and I got the job!"
You've nudged me and I finished an article. I submitted it to a small pilot magazine, and they're planning on publishing it."
After your suggestion of streamlining my query letter, I pitched to Eastern Surf Magazine (ESM) about doing a piece on surfing in India. They replied immediately and want me to do it for a section on traveling surfers on their website. I am stoked!"