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Issue #185: Uncommon and Diverse Travel Writing Assignments
December 04, 2017
|Greetings Fellow Travel Writers and Bloggers!
Creativity is at the heart of travel writing, but some articles miss the boat.
We’ve all seen travel posts with names like “The Top Ten Sights in … ”, or “Five Things To Do In . .” It seems like every second travel website is overflowing with them. These articles, or listicles, are easy to write.
But, “Top Ten” lists don’t paint a colorful picture of the destination, its people, or their culture. They don’t tell a story. They don’t “show” us the place. Instead, they read like they’ve been cut-and-pasted from a tourist agency website.
Print travel magazines rarely publish listicles. Editors expect something more interesting and appealing to entertain their readers. If you want to sell your stories to print media—and get paid for them—you must show imagination with your story ideas.
Equally important, you need to be creative with where you place them.
Here’s the deal. You don’t have to restrict pitching your travel stories solely to travel magazines. There’s a whole universe of alternate genre magazines out there, just waiting for you to send queries.
It’s not a problem to track down non-travel magazines to peddle unique travel story ideas. And many of them pay well!
I’ve literally sold hundreds of stories using this formula. For example, I’ve sold a piece about a UFO street festival in McMinnville, Oregon, to a UFO magazine. And I sold a story about the aircraft “boneyard” near Tucson to an aviation history magazine.
I’ve sold a story about touring the London BBC studios to a ham radio magazine, and a piece about a Balinese healing retreat serving raw vegan food to a vegan health & fitness magazine.
I’ve sold plenty of stories about ghost towns and gold mining towns to a gold prospecting and metal detecting magazine, and stories about renaissance living history festivals to a magazine about all things medieval.
You can look at my writer’s website (www.roy-stevenson.com) for more examples where I’ve merged unconventional story ideas with off-beat magazines.
Many non-travel magazine editors are screaming out for copy. Just last week I received an email from an editor, begging her writers to send more stories.
If you’re having problems getting your stories published, I urge you be more imaginative. Reassess your approach to dreaming up story ideas. And hunt down alternate print outlets to sell them.
It’s time to get creative with your travel writing!
Callout to Well-Published Travel WritersIf you’re a well-published writer I need your help. I'm putting together a book about travel writers who consistently get published in top shelf print media glossy magazines.
If you have numerous bylines in well-known print magazines, I'd like to interview you & feature you in our new book about How Top Shelf Travel Writers Get Published.
If you’re interested, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org with a list of your top shelf pubs. I’ll follow up with the interview questions.
Do You Need a Travel Writing Coach?Do you want to see your travel stories published in print magazines and online, but don't know where to start?
Beginning travel writers waste a tremendous amount of time stumbling through the freelance writing minefield all alone. Many of them get so frustrated and discouraged they give up after a few unsuccessful pitches.
If you aren't finding success on your own, I can help you. Registration is currently open for my coaching and mentoring program.
We have 4-month, 6-month and 12-month programs available.
There are two spots available in the January 1, 2018, intake. We’ll be taking registrations until these two places fill.
Coaching Success Story of the Week
“For the last six months, Roy and I have been working together. During this time I have pitched articles to numerous publications, both print and online. I have had eight stories accepted. Working with Roy has taught me how to become more creative in my writing style. Rather than straight facts, he has taught me to dig deeper into the story and discover new and exciting twists and to craft those into a story, as if I were sitting with my best friend over a glass of wine talking about my adventures."
"I have also learned the importance of marketing. As Roy says, marketing is 90% of the freelancer’s job. The better you market and the more you market, the more stories you get to write. I will be the first to admit that researching new publications is not easy, but the payoff is worth it. If you put the work in, then the publications will come."
"Pitching publications was an area that petrified me. I look forward to the challenge now. I pitch even large publications. I may get rejected, but even in rejection, there are lessons to be learned. I know that if I have questions, a quick email to Roy will clarify the issue."
"If you are on the fence as to whether or not you need one-on-one coaching, I encourage you to take the plunge. Roy will help further you in the writer's life.”
- Betsi Hill, Freelance Travel Writer
This Week’s Featured Post
Uncommon and Diverse Travel Writing AssignmentsAs Doctor Seuss says in his book, Oh the Places you’ll go!
“And when things start to happen,
Don’t worry, Don’t stew,
Just go right along,
You’ll start happening too.”
One of the best things about travel writing is that you get to do unusual things and visit exciting places. And since you get to choose what you do and where you go, it’s more meaningful for you. After the trip you write better stories for your readers because of your experience.
This week’s post features some of my memorable moments from a decade in the travel writing game. They range from history to luxury and everything in between. You’ll get a mixed bag of experiences here.
My goal is to give you some idea of the wide range of travel writing assignments that exist, especially if you decide to write in multiple genres. If you have the desire, you too, can enjoy engaging in activities like these on your assignments.
In case you missed it ...Here's last week's post:
Finding Gold in Low Paying Magazines
Upcoming PitchTravelWrite Feature PostsDecember 11: How Photographs Will Help You Sell More Travel Stories
December 18: The Scary Travel Writing Journey is . . . . Not So Scary. Really.
January 8: Inspiring Story of a Novice Travel Writer
January 15: The Ultimate 2018 List of Travel Writing Conferences, Workshops, & Special Events
Save the Date!
The 2018 Travel Writing & Marketing Master ClassThe best travel writing and marketing workshop, anywhere!
The Complete Travel Writing & Marketing Master Class will help you sell your travel articles. Our Master Class includes world-class guest speakers and topics:
How to Land Press Trips and Fam Tours: Working Successfully with DMO Media Reps with Guest Speaker Annette Bagley, Media Rep, Bellingham Convention & Visitors Bureau.
What Travel Magazine Editors Want with Guest Speaker Allen Cox, Editor-in-Chief, Northwest Travel & Lifestyle Magazine.
The Art of Creative Travel Writing with Guest Speaker Nick O’Connell.
And a special field trip How to Cruise a Magazine Rack with Roy Stevenson.
“I cannot say enough about how valuable this workshop has been. Roy is a wealth of knowledge and just a joy to work with! I love his enthusiasm, encouragement and passion for helping new travel writers.”
Pam Baker, April 2017 Travel Writing & Marketing Master Class Attendee
There isn’t another travel writer’s marketing workshop like this, anywhere.
Please note - workshop size is limited to 25 people. If you enjoy learning in a small, supportive environment, this workshop is for you. Join us in Seattle on April 27-29, 2018 and launch your travel writing career.
Put your name on our interest list and you’ll be the first to hear details when we open registration and offer our substantial early-bird discount:
Travel Writing Magazine Sales LeadsThese articles on PitchTravelWrite cover the nuts and bolts of things like creating your own distribution lists and finding magazines to pitch your stories.
Different Kinds of Magazines to Query
Step-by-Step How To Create Magazine Distribution Lists
How to Use Vendor Websites to Find Magazine Leads
We’ve Been in the News!Roy wrote a guest post in WritersWeekly.com about his transformation “From Exercise Physiologist to Freelance Travel Writer”. Here’s his post:
Link to Writer's Weekly - From Exercise Physiologist to Travel Writer
Inspirational Travel Quote of the Week
Our Featured Book of the WeekThe Art & Craft of Travel Writing
This reference book has five main sections:
This book will help you hone your travel writing skills and get more stories published. We’ll show you how to allocate your writing time for maximum efficiency, and exactly what you need to do to break into the competitive travel writing market.
Here's a sample of a few chapters you'll receive:
You can see a complete list of the Table of Contents at the link below:
Resources for Travel Writers
Books and Reference Guides:
The Art & Craft of Travel Writing
Beginner's 3-pack Reference Guides
The Complete Guide to Query Letters for Travel Writers
100 Print Magazines that Want to Publish Your Articles
Fifty Websites that Want to Publish Your Travel Stories
Advanced Travel Writing 2-Pack Reference Guides
How to Land Press Trips and FAM Tours
How to Break Into the Luxury Travel Writing Market
The Complete Guide to Marketing and Selling Your Travel Articles
Digital Bookstore - Guides, Manuals and Special Reports
Friend Me on Facebook:My Facebook page is about freelance travel writing. I frequently post:
• travel writing & blogging conferences,
• links to other well produced travel websites & blogs,
• links to my travel articles,
• travel writing themes,
• links to reputable travel writer’s groups, associations, and newsletters,
• magazine cover stories with the back stories about my published articles,
• links to resource pages,
• links to travel writing archives,
• links to coaching & mentoring resources,
• and plenty of other useful information to get you up to speed about travel writing.
If you haven’t ‘friended’ me yet on Facebook, please feel free to do so here:
PitchTravelWrite.com was named in 2016’s Writer’s Digest 101 Best Websites for Writers list.
We’re the ONLY travel writer’s website on the list! We urge you to forward our newsletters on to your friends that might be interested in taking up travel writing.
“As a writer, pen to paper, words on the page and developing ideas are not my obstacles, but rather the continued motivation to seek outlets for my stories. Roy Stevenson inspires, encourages, and ignites the fires of enthusiasm to continually push forward into the often-quiet echoes of the publishing world.
Roy has championed my stories and my queries, when I myself had doubts. I am over the moon with the results and feel prepared for my future as a writer on any subject I may choose.
He also helped me write my About page which I believe is the most influential piece when editors consider my stories.”
“While attending a travel writers conference in 2014, Roy and his wife Linda sat at my table and, to my good fortune, easily struck up conversation. After chatting with Roy, I immediately purchased his eBooks, even before hearing him speak on stage.
A few short weeks after the conference, I landed my first byline. Bolstered by the knowledge gained from Roy’s books and his PitchTravelWrite.com posts, I pitched a well-known regional magazine and blog.
Upon submitting my first article they offered me a permanent contributor’s role. There, I published dozens of articles, both digital and print, in over a year of writing for them. I’ve also simultaneously pitched and written for other outlets to maximize my bylines.
I've only been writing on a part-time basis, but thanks to Roy I’ve landed several press trips and have nearly 100 published articles. I even launched my own blog, TheRootedGypsy.com where I was recently discovered by a neighboring city’s CVB and invited to write for them.
And all thanks to Roy's unfettered knowledge. I can’t wait to attend one of his workshops! Who knows where that will take me!”
Thank you again!
- Jessica Pickett, Travel Writer and Blogger
Please share this e-zine with friends, family or anyone you know who is interested in travel writing. They can get free marketing and travel writing information by signing up for my e-zine at this link:
Sign up for my weekly marketing tips ...
That's all for this week.
Until next week, just keep pitching!
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