All Posts in Category: The Writing
When the topic of writing feature-length pieces for magazines in heavily formatted articles like round-ups or guides is broached amount freelance writers who don’t have those clips under their belt (yet), one of two emotions usually comes up:
- abject fear at writing something that long for a magazine (and how long it will take them to do it)
- absolute “I got this,” because you write these exact same types of pieces for blog posts
In case you can already tell where I’m going with this, neither of those is the “right” answer.
Are Newspapers Really Dead? (And How Learning to Write for Newspapers Will Actually Help You Write Better Online)
I’m sure you’ve seen or heard it in the news regularly.
Newspapers are dead.
Especially newspaper travel sections, right?
I can count on one hand the number of dedicated, just travel, newspaper editors remaining in the U.S.
Newspapers have taken numerous content turns, from Jeff Besos of Amazon acquiring the Washington Post and bringing his unique business sense to it to the Tribune corporation, known for the Chicago Tribune, which has pioneered a new business model very heavy on centralized content that is syndicated out and, at times, written entirely by machines. Besides Besos, celebrities like Ashton Kutcher are even buying newspapers.
We’ve done a huge upload of our webinar library, and you can now grab packages with audio, video, slide, and transcript versions of:
- The Difference Between the Photos You’re Shooting Now and What Magazines are Publishing – The photos you’re shooting for Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and your blog won’t cut it for magazines.
- Creating a Shot List to Organize Your Trips Around Saleable Photography – This one technique will keep you from coming home without the photos you need to land photo contracts with your pieces.
- Plating, Staging, and Food Photography: Bringing Still Lifes to Life – You could pay $1,200 for a weekend food photography workshop, but here’s what you need to know to get started.
- The Art of the Follow Up — The Simple Key to Dramatically More Assignments – Your guide to what might be the most valuable hour of your entire week.
- What Types of Articles Should You Be Writing? – Once you see each article idea in 10 different formats, you’ll never hurt for pitch ideas.
- Mastering Style at a Sentence by Sentence Level – Your pitches will be the only clip you need when the quality of your writing shines through.
- Story Structure to Take Your Feature Travel Articles to the Next Level – Narrative writing can be terrifying. Once you learn the underlying structure though, it’s smooth-sailing.
- Annual Review Part 1: What is Standing Between You and Your Travel Writing Goals – The most likely roadblocks between you and your travel writing goals–and how to tackle them.
- Annual Review Part 2: How to Clearly Catalog the Work and Opportunities You Have Now – To know where your travel writing business needs to go, you need to be honest about where it is now…in numbers.
- Annual Review Part 3: Taking Stock of the Past Year to SWOT Yourself Into Shape – Align your freelance business with the marketplace and the best place in it for you.
- Annual Review Part 4: Getting Crystal Clear on What You’ll Accomplish in the Next Year – Rather than goals–an all-or-nothing approach to what you’ll do next year–focus your year with this method.
- Annual Review Part 5: Mapping Out Your Step-by-Step Plan for 2018 Success – Follow along with your year-long work plan as we workshop three attendees’ live.
- Article Nuts and Bolts: Putting Together a News Brief – Learn the core of how all front-of-book magazine pieces are constructed.
- Article Nuts and Bolts: Putting Together a Front-of-Book Round-Up – Hone in on the easy-to-write (and pitch!) staple: the front-of-book round-up.
- Article Nuts and Bolts: Putting Together a Trend Piece – An in-depth look at the staple of magazines front-of-book and feature sections everywhere: the trend piece.
- Article Nuts and Bolts: Putting Together a Business Profile – An in-depth look the type of article that should be the bread and butter of your freelance travel writing toolkit.
The Answer to the Perennial Travel Writer Question: How Can I Pitch This Hotel/Museum/Restaurant That’s Already Been Open for Years?
When you start planning a trip on your own or first get the bug of a press trip in your ear, the options of what to explore in a destination are tantalizing.
Nailing down the sense of place, honing in on the food culture in a new place, and the promise of highly quotable sources with exciting stories you would have never thought of all give you a high.
But we all know trips, attractions, interviews, hotels, and meals don’t always live up to our imaginings. Sadly!
Some parts of a trip will be brilliant and bring those great quotes and anecdotes and new story ideas you never would have had at home, but what do you do with the rest of it?
How do you get the best assignment-dollar-worth out of your on the ground research time?
Ever heard of a time peg?
I try not to use the word too often, because it masks much more important issues at stake in people’s pitches, but, at its core, it means pegging or affixing the topic if your article to something timely.
There’s lots of options for this “something timely” that ger thrown around when discussing pitches, from openings of new things to renovations of old things to major anniversaries of even older things.
I cannot tell you how many pitches I saw either related to country of Canada’s 150th anniversary of statehood or the American National Park system’s 100th anniversary of its founding.
Working on front-of-book pieces has several key benefits we’ve discussed, especially honing your ability to write short and journalistically.
But one of my favorites is that it offers you a venue to use all sorts of excess pieces of research that you collect on your trips with the most minimal investment of additional research.
This week, during our winter Freelance Travel Writing Bootcamp, a very interesting question has come up several times.
It’s a very common situation that travel writers find themselves in.
During the bootcamp, we try as hard as possible to stimulate real-world circumstances in our afternoon tours. The bootcamp focuses through morning lessons and afternoon outings on honing your ability to find stories out in the world wherever you are. And one of the realities of traveling as a travel writer is that not everything you see is interesting to you personally.
For the large subset of travel writers who come from blogging, specifically writing on their own blogs without someone overseeing the writing or editorial direction, 1,000-word articles don’t inspire trepidation. They write 1,000-word blog posts all the time!
But as you spend more time reading magazine articles, you’ll very quickly find that a 100-word magazine article tends to have as much information as a 1,000-word blog post simply because in print, space is at a premium.
Every block of text could potentially be replaced by an advertisement (and this is often what happens when your story gets killed last minute!).
Our Last Holiday Special Offer…An Opportunity to Be the First to Access Our Newest Way to View All Our Resources: Webinars, the Travel Magazine Database, and Our Q&A Library for Coaching Students
Today’s holiday trivia: While king’s cake or Gateau des Rois has becoming associated with North and South American Mardi Gras festivities, it was originally consumed on Twelfth Night, the last day of the 12 days of Christmas. Each cake, or pudding in the case of Britain, had a bean or charm baked in. Whoever found it–assuming they didn’t choke on it–was said to be blessed with good luck for the year ahead.
We’ve let you know for months this was coming, and now it’s finally here!
If your circumstances–time-wise, financial, or just not being ready quite yet to pull the trigger and dive headlong into travel writing–make it so that our coaching programs aren’t the best option for you right now, but you follow our webinars and new magazines in the Travel Magazine Database, we’ve got something that might be just what you need for where you are right now.
For Today’s Holiday Special, We’ve Put Together a Package of One-of-One Support to Completely Transform You as a Travel Writer in an Incredible One-Time Special
Today’s holiday trivia: It seems like we’ve totally missed the mark on Christmas by running our 12-day special a week late this year, but today is actually the official Christmas Day in more thank 15 countries, including Greece, Egypt, Russia, Ethiopia, Greece, and Bulgaria. These countries follow the Ancient Roman Julian calendar rather than the Gregorian calendar. Russian Christmas is marked with a 12-course dinner centered on fish in honor of the 12 apostles, while Greeks use a sprig of basil rather than the European and American fir tree.
People often ask me which of our retreats is my favorite.
They’re all so different–from the people to the programs–that I say it’s like the favorite child dilemma.
But since our first week-long Freelance Travel Writing Bootcamp, I have to say, there is a certain child that I favor. Having the opportunity to spend a week together digging in and making deep progress throughout the week felt special on its own, but the last 24 hours of the retreat were what sealed it for me.
When you hear the term essay, similar to the even more antiquated concept of a “composition,” you likely think back to your school days more quickly than your bank account.
Especially if the phrase used is “personal essay,” which fills an alarming number of people with dread.
The thing is, many of you are incredibly acquainted, both as readers and as writers, with the personal essays, just under a different name: blog posts.