A new session of each course opens each month, allowing you to enroll whenever your busy schedule permits!
How does it work? Once a 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.
Keep in mind that the interactive discussion area for each lesson automatically closes 2 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 2 weeks plus 10 days to complete the Final and finish any remaining lessons in your course. No further extensions can be provided beyond these 10 days.
Lesson 01 - Overview of the Travel Market
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.
Lesson 02 - Keeping a Travel Writer's Journal
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.
Lesson 03 - Writing Travel Articles
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.
Lesson 04 - Writing Travel Books
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.
Lesson 05 - Making Plans for Travel
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.
Lesson 06 - Writing Techniques
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.
Lesson 07 - Outline Methods That Work Every Time
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.
Lesson 08 - Working Like a Travel Writer
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.
Lesson 09 - Submitting Like a Pro
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.
Lesson 10 - Research and Online Techniques
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.
Lesson 11 - Photos and Travel Writing
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.
Lesson 12 - Recycling Your Material
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.