Welcome to the Friday Freebie Five, a new weekly feature on Dream of Travel Writing’s Six Figure Travel Writer blog.
Each week, we comb our Travel Magazine Database to bring you five magazine sections open to freelancers around a theme–front-of-book trend pieces, long-form first-person features, short narrative postcards–to inspire your pitches.
“The View” highlights a particular attraction in a destination. There’s a 150-word description giving more information such as the history, the entry price and the website. This is followed by a 200-word sidebar which gives more information on things to do in the surrounding area. An example from a recent issue includes “Botanical Beverly Hills,” which covers the Virginia Robinson Gardens. After the description of the gardens there is a sidebar called “90210’s Natural Side” which outlines a bar, a park, a tea room, and a garden tour with prices and websites for each.
“Adventure” is a 500-to-600-word profile of a high-adrenaline activity or location that readers can enjoy within Malaysia. It’s written in third person, and typically features thrilling destinations that Malindo Air passengers can visit at discounted prices. The writing style is simple and fast-paced, often incorporating advice on where readers should go for “stomach-lurching,” “heart-pounding” fun on a budget. One recent article profiled Sunway Lagoon, a theme park located 15 minutes outside of Kuala Lumpur, which offers everything from ATV rides and body boarding, to high-speed roller coasters and Malaysia’s first surf simulator. Other articles looked into a popular rock climbing camp, and a Motocross center for adrenaline junkies. Text is accompanied by two to three images, and no sidebars. It’s important to also note that although editorial staff sometimes writes “Adventure,” it is open to freelancers
“Been There” is a 300-to-400-word article that explores an interesting activity in a global city. It’s written in first person, and features a series of firsthand anecdotes, lively narration, and active scenes. One recent article unfolded from within an ancient temple in Kyoto, Japan, where a writer recounted his experience learning how to meditate for the first time (e.g. “I’m awake and alert, but . . . I’m not thinking about deadlines”). The writing is chronological, intimate, and lively, most often revealing what a writer felt like during an exotic or uncomfortable situation. Other past articles revealed one writer’s experience learning how to fight like a gladiator in Rome, while another followed a reporter as they scaled the risky depths of a Tahitian volcano. Text is generally accompanied by one central image and a sidebar, which details the locations of where to go to experience said activity for yourself.
“The Experience” covers one experience or activity worldwide in about 600 words. This could be a tour, class, or an element of the writer’s trip. Articles are written in first person and include dialogue from tour guides or teachers throughout. It covers what the experience is in a descriptive, conversational and sometimes humorous style. There is often a sidebar which gives more information on the destination or topic being covered in the article. This usually includes a list of alternative but similar destinations or activities. For example, for an article covering budget skiing, three further destinations to ski cheaply are listed and for an article covering husky sledding three further animal-focused activities are described. Recent examples include “Ski Like a Royal (On a Budget),” in which the writer covers how he skied on a budget in Verbier, a ski destination in Switzerland popular with royals and celebrities, by staying in nearby but cheaper La Tzoumaz, “Husky Sledding,” where the writer describes his experience husky sledding in Swedish Lapland, and “Chroma Yoga,” which covers the yoga trend in London which sees yoga classes take place under different colored lights which are said to impact your mood and energy.
“Do Something Different” outlines an interesting activity or attraction in Australia. It’s written in first person as the writer recounts their own experience in a narrative style. Humor is used throughout as the day is recounted in a conversational yet informative tone. In about 1,000 words, the activity is described with plenty of general information so the reader could replicate the trip, as well as personal anecdotes from the writer’s own experience. Quotes can also be found from relevant people such as people who work there. The sidebar called “Details” can be found again which outlines further information in about 100 words. This includes the price, website, and how to get there. A recent example includes “An Antique Aviation Adventure” which covers the writer’s experience taking an aerobatic flight with Airborne Aviation, a company which do scenic flights as well as more adventurous aerobatic flights in antique Tiger Moth planes.
You can find complete how-to pitching information for each magazine listed, including email addresses for all editors, in our Travel Magazine Database by clicking on the magazine’s name and logging in with your account.
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