Without a good mentor, novice writers are on their own to figure out the travel writing game for themselves. Beginners waste a tremendous amount of time stumbling through the freelance writing minefield. Many of them get so frustrated and discouraged they give up after a few unsuccessful pitches.
Getting expert advice and coaching early in your writing career makes a huge difference to your freelance travel writing progress and accelerates your learning curve.
When I started freelance travel writing in 2007, I made every beginner’s mistake possible. These blunders cost me published stories.
But, over the years I’ve learned from my errors. I’ve tweaked my process and evolved a unique marketing system that gets 90% of my articles published in print magazines or online. Most freelance writers are pleased with a 25% to 40% success rate.
Hi, I’m Roy Stevenson and I’ve had more than 1,000 articles published in 200 different magazines, trade journals, in-flights, on-boards, newspapers, and online magazines and websites.
I’m acknowledged as one of the most prolific travel writers in the U.S. and I’m inviting you to tap into my wealth of experience.
If there’s one thing I’m really good at, it’s getting my stories published in print magazines.
My comprehensive coaching and mentoring package will walk you— step-by-step—through the entire freelance pitching, marketing, and writing process.
Here’s how it works:
We’ll start by reviewing your story ideas.
I’ll give you feedback on whether I think you can sell them. And I’ll suggest ways to strengthen your pitch and make your story more marketable.
Then, we’ll move on to putting together magazine distribution lists for those story ideas.
I’ll walk you through the marketing minefield and show you how to find publications that will be good targets for your article.
I’ll teach you how to put together your own distribution lists using the proven techniques that I use to find homes for my articles.
Next, we’ll work together on creating and refining your query letters. I’ll give you feedback on how to make your query letters irresistible and compelling.
The query letter is your most important sales tool. It explains your story idea in enough detail to arouse the curiosity of an editor and it convinces the editor you’re the right person to produce the article.
Every novice freelance travel writer must learn how to write a professional, enticing query letter. Travel writers need to be able to write in clear and concise language to get their story ideas across in their pitches.
And when editors express interest in your stories, I’ll coach you on how to respond to their questions and suggestions.
Just as important, once you have travel assignments I’ll show you how to parlay them into complimentary accommodation, meals, and entry to tourist attractions, with your destination hosts.
After you sell your story idea, it’s time to write the article!
I’ll review your article draft—with feedback—before you finally submit it to the editor.
This review includes advice about how to improve the flow of your paragraphs and untangle your sentences. I’ll review your story with enough feedback to help ensure that your editor will be happy with your submission.
My individualized coaching and mentoring program includes:
Throughout our time together, you can “pick my brain” about travel writing topics.
You can ask me marketing questions, writing technique questions, and general travel writing questions.
You will lead the way by asking any questions on your mind and I’ll give my best advice and experience about those topics.
You’ll also get:
Here’s what I expect from my coaching clients:
I will be there to guide you through the process, lend a sympathetic ear, and advise you each step of the way. Every time you hit a bump, I’ll help you over it.
By doing the work with me by your side, you’ll learn a process that can be used over and over again to sell your story ideas.
Registration for 2017 coaching clients will open in November, 2016. I only take a small number of new clients each year. Add your name to the interest list to be notified when registration opens.
Registration is currently closed, but you can see the details for previous coaching packages by clicking on the links below:
Here's what some of my coaching clients have to say about my coaching services:
“Roy's website and eBooks have been a great find for me. They're an extremely useful resource. I've been using them to get the ball rolling with writing magazine articles and when Roy's coaching offer came up to "help me market my article" and access his "personal coaching", I couldn't sign up fast enough.
Roy really knows how the game is played and it makes all the difference.
So far I have learned how to properly prepare query letters and distribution lists, how to deal with editors, and how to work with the tourism, convention and visitors bureau's.
Avoiding little mistakes and responding to editors and others properly can be critical so having the luxury of a prolific industry expert like Roy to answer the numerous questions that come up has been invaluable for me.
His service is prompt and the price is extremely fair. The results of Roy's coaching over the last 2 month's have been amazing !!
I have managed to secure assignments with 6 magazines including Discover Britain, Renaissance, NW Travel, Kindred Spirit, and several online publications. Not only are most of these paid gigs, I have already parlayed them into free accommodations, free meals, and free tours & attractions, just as advertised. It's real and it's awesome!!
I highly recommend Roy's marketing assistance and personal coaching service to anyone looking for a fast track to breaking into writing magazine articles.”
- Jed Vaughn, Travel Writer
“Roy Stevenson's mentoring service is the perfect solution for an aspiring travel writer. After attending a travel writing workshop, I knew this was the career path for me. Flexible work schedule, the ability to experience my local area and tropical destinations in a way I never had before, AND get paid to do it? PERFECT!
But . . getting started is tricky. It can be intimidating. It's overwhelming figuring out where to start. This is where Roy comes in.
A seasoned, well-published Travel Writing God willing to share his knowledge for a nominal fee? Sign me up! I took advantage of all of Roy's programs.
First, I came up with a list of story ideas. Roy gave me his opinions and I wrote my first query. Roy critiqued it. I followed his suggestions, researched my topic more thoroughly and sent him my changes.
Then Roy tasked me with creating my distribution list. He supplemented my efforts with a copy of his personal distribution list and other ideas of where to find suitable venues for my story.
With Roy's query approval and a hefty distribution list, I sent off my first query. I got my first paid assignment (3 stories!) from Canoe and Kayak the next day! I repeated this process for my next story idea and the next. And I'm thrilled to say I have 5 assignments with three different magazines for an upcoming trip this April.
Roy also showed me how to use my assignments for comps, and I've got freebies for meals and activities lined up for my trip!! I'll have my first print bylines, and I'm finally starting to feel confident calling myself a Travel Writer. Roy's mentoring has put me light years ahead of where I was just a month ago. I highly recommend his programs!!”
- Tracey Schultz, Travel Writer
“I had previously sent out my query letter and received no replies. When I learned about Roy's services I paid for him to help me— and the results were amazing!
Within a few days of Roy tweaking my query letter I had two editors contact me and commission my work. He not only provided help with the letter but also sent me a list of possible magazines to query. Both confirmations were from that list.
In addition Roy provided follow up advice when the editors had questions I wasn't sure about. Without his help, I might have made some beginner mistakes and not get commissioned.
I highly recommend Roy's services to anyone. The cost is low and the results high.
He not only provided me with advice on the query letter but also a list of magazines that would possibly buy my story. As soon as I sent it out I received confirmations from two editors the same week!
I believe even seasoned travel writers could learn a thing or two from Roy, but for the novice the advice is invaluable. His fast responses meant I was able to make decisions on what to do immediately, and his continued advice when the editors had questions meant I was able to reply to them with confidence about rights and payment.”
- Tim Campbell, UK Travel Writer
Sign me up - I'm ready to get started!
1. When you place your order, you will be directed to a screen to download your Quick Start package. Download any documents using links that appear on the screen. The coaching package includes eBooks, and those links will be included, too.
2. Read the step-by-step instructions found in the documents you download. Then follow the instructions to kick-off your coaching session with Roy.
3. To get things started, send Roy the information requested in your Quick Start Package.
4. Once Roy receives your email and the details for your coaching session, he'll reply back to you and get the ball rolling.
Can I extend my 3-month or 6-month coaching package into additional months of coaching later?
Yes, you can extend the coaching by signing up for another 3, 6 or 12 months at the end of your coaching program. Because the lengthier coaching programs cost less per month, we recommend you take this into consideration before making your final coaching program choice.
Can you guarantee that my article will get published?
In order to get an article published you will need to do the work involved in pitching your story to publications. If you don’t get your article published, there are usually reasons: a weak story idea, a poorly researched idea, a narrow distribution list, bad timing, or just bad luck.
I can help you improve weak story ideas. I may suggest that you need to do further research if your pitch seems superficial. But it’s your job to do the research and follow the different recommendations I give to you. I’ll work with you to create a broad distribution list to improve your chances of getting your story published in print or online.
But sometimes the timing isn’t right for a story idea, or editors just aren’t biting. These things are out of my control and yours. When this happens, you just need to move on to the next idea and we’ll do that together until you get a story idea accepted by an editor. I’m happy to work with you on up to three different story ideas, regardless of how much time it takes us.
Will you write my Query Letter for me?
No, you will write the query letter and I will review it.
My coaching philosophy is for you, the writer, to become independent. Writing your own query letters is part of the learning process. You won’t learn the art of creating a compelling query letter if I do it for you.
What I will do is to coax and coach the best possible query letter out of you so you will learn how to do it yourself. If you purchase The Complete Coaching Package, you will receive a complimentary copy of my eBook The Complete Guide to Query Letters for Travel Writers so you can see the query letters that worked for me, and use them as a template for your own query letter.
Once I’ve reviewed your query letter, you may need to do a rewrite or two, and then I’ll help you put the final polish on it.
Will you prepare my magazine distribution list for me?
Short answer: No.
I will show you how to assemble your own magazine distribution list from the primary sources that I use. I’ll also review it and make other suggestions for expanding and refining it. In some cases, I’ll give you the inside scoop on the editor and his or her preferences if I’ve worked with that editor.
When you purchase The Complete Coaching Package, you receive complimentary copies of my eBooks including print and online distribution lists to get you started, Fifty Websites that Want to Publish Your Travel Stories, and 100 Print Magazines that Want To Publish Your Travel Articles.
Can you guarantee that I will be paid for my article?
I cannot promise that you’ll get paid for your article. Whether or not you get paid is between you and the publications you pitch. Some magazines and websites are non-paying publications. It will be your decision whether or not to pitch these publications.
I also cannot guarantee how much you will be paid for an article. Magazines differ enormously in what they pay. Whether you are paid, and what you are paid is out of my control and completely between you and the editor or publisher.
Our first goal will be to get your story into print. If the market isn’t ready for your story, we’ll place your article online. I will do my very best to help you get your story published in one of these places.
If we fail to get your first story idea published online or in print, we'll choose another story idea and work on that one together until you get an article published.
Will I get feedback on my travel writing?
I’m happy to give you feedback on your travel story as part of the coaching or consulting packages.
How will I help? I’ll help you with article ‘readability’, and general travel writing technique. I’ll tell you where your paragraphs look tangled, where it will help to move sentences around to improve the flow of the story, and I’ll point out any gross errors so that an editor is more likely to accept your article in the first round.
I’ll teach you my favorite techniques to help you polish your article before submitting it to the publication.
Spelling, punctuation and grammar are your responsibility. Using your software tools will help you in these areas.
What work do I need to do?
You’ll be expected to come up with your own story ideas, create your own query letters, assemble your own distribution lists, send out your own query letters, write your story, and any other actionable work involved with getting your story idea published.
I’m here to coach you through the process and make recommendations to help you reach your goals.
I’ll be there with you every step of the way. I’ll get you moving forward when you’re stuck. I’ll recommend some extra reading to get you up to speed. I’ll listen to your whining and grumbling about how freelance writing is harder work than you thought it would be, all with great patience and tact.
I’ll show you what writing and marketing techniques work most effectively for freelance writers today. I’ll recommend the smartest marketing strategies for getting your work into print.
Finally, I’ll be the first person to congratulate you when you get your stories published!
“I've just returned from the Billings, Mt area where I spent 5 days researching 2 articles that I have for NW Travel magazine. Custer's Battlefield" a 400 word article and "Best of Billings"- a round-up piece 600 words. Publication will be July and September respectively.
I was the recipient of free tours, lodging and quite a few meals, courtesy of the Montana CVB and others. I will also be paid for the articles.
I have also secured articles for a trip I'm taking to UK this summer. Renaissance magazine, Discover Britain magazine, Kindred Spirit magazine and Travel.co.uk online magazine have all commissioned me to write 800-1400 word articles and I'll make about $1000.00 USD for them, besides any travel perks that I am afforded.
I couldn't be happier with the coaching I've received from the prolific magazine article writer Roy Stevenson, who not only is an excellent teacher but also has the tremendous amount of patience required to deal with me when it comes to technical stuff. (I'm sure many of you who are new to the arena can relate ).
I highly recommend Roy’s services. Thank you, Roy !!!”
- Jed Vaughn, Travel Writer
“After being inspired by Roy Stevenson at a travel writing workshop, I subscribed to his weekly newsletter. When he offered subscribers different mentoring options, very reasonably priced, I chose all of them because I figured I'd benefit most that way.
In the last 2 weeks I've had 4 article queries accepted by Canoe and Kayak Magazine and Cruise Travel Magazine - that's 4 paid stories for a trip I haven't even taken yet!!!!
I've done all the work, but he's guiding me every step of the way. Making suggestions about how to make my queries stronger, how to build up my distribution list, recommending other paid magazines to pitch, and checking my work.
With Roy's skilled guidance, this does not feel so overwhelming anymore. Highly recommend it!!!”
- Tracey Schultz, Travel Writer