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Issue #213: Five Ways to Add Life to Your Travel Story
July 09, 2018
Greetings Fellow Travel Writers and Bloggers!

We’re excited to announce that registration is OPEN for our Travel Writing and Photography Retreat coming up in Hoi An in December. If you need a relaxing, atmospheric place to practice your travel writing and photography skills, join us in Hoi An.

You can find more information in the next section or at this link:

2018 Travel Writing Retreat in Hoi An, Vietnam


Wow, it’s July! We’ve just entered the second half of 2018.

No doubt many of you are wondering where the year has gone. And perhaps you’re feeling a little guilty because your New Year’s Resolution to break into travel writing has stalled.

If your grand plan to become a travel writer has fizzled, don’t be discouraged. January is just an arbitrary point in time. You don’t have to wait until your January 2019 to begin. You can kick off your travel writing any time you want. Even in July!

Here’s a question to ask instead: “What can I accomplish over the next 25 weeks?”

Any business manager will tell you it’s important to have specific, measurable goals. If you don’t set goals, you won’t have anything to aspire to. You won’t have anything to work toward, or any way to measure your progress.

What are some measurable goals?

• Write down 5 travel story ideas.
• Research these 5 travel story ideas for important “sales” points to mention in your query letters.
• Write a query letter aimed at selling one of your story ideas.
• Create a list of 20 magazines that might be interested in your story and send your query letter to them.
• Assess your travel writing skills and take a creative writing course to improve your travel writing in weak areas.

You also need to allocate time for travel writing activities. One successful travel writer I know kicked her evening TV habit to do this. While the rest of her family was watching TV, she was in her office cranking out her travel book. She would go on to have stories published in many magazines and is now a magazine editor.

There are plenty of other things that novice travel writers can do to launch their writing career. These are some good first steps.

Now get out there and start pitching!

Travel Writing & Photography Retreat

December 9-15

Hoi An, Vietnam

We’re pleased to announce that registration is open for our Travel Writing & Photography Retreat in Hoi An, Vietnam, December 9-15th.

This unique destination retreat includes creative travel writing and photography workshops.  You'll learn the skills you need to be a successful travel writer and how to produce quality photographs to help you tell your story.

The ancient town of Hoi An, Vietnam was a SE Asian trading port in the 15th through 19th centuries and is a UNESCO World Heritage site. The town continues to thrive today as a trading port, center of commerce and tourist destination. 

Hoi An is especially loved for its beautiful lanterns that decorate the streets by day and magically transform the town into a colorful wonderland every night. 

At the retreat you'll learn the craft of travel writing while touring this extraordinary destination.  No experience is necessary! Just bring an open mind, a laptop, or simply pen and paper.  Your sense of curiosity and creative juices will flow no matter which tools you use.

We’ll explore the fascinating local attractions and experience true Vietnamese culture — all while learning the craft of travel writing and photography from a seasoned travel journalist and photographer.

We'll spend three hours each day in classroom instruction including writing and photography activities.  The rest of the time you're free to explore Hoi An, relax with a spa treatment, go on a bike tour or practice your writing and photography.

Join us in Hoi An this December for an unforgettable experience!


People have been asking . . .

“What’s the difference between the Seattle Master Class and the Travel Writing & Photography Retreat in Hoi An, Vietnam?"

Here’s the short answer:

- The Travel Writing & Photography Retreat in Vietnam is a one-week creative travel writing and photography event 100% focused on improving your writing and photography skills. It’s a relaxed, vacation-like retreat with lessons each morning, a cooking class mid-week, a tour around the ancient town of Hoi An, some group meals, two photography shoots and lots of time to practice your writing and your photography. We call it a “retreat” to make it clear you’ll have time to explore, relax, and practice your creative skills.

- The Seattle Master Class is a 3-day intensive workshop focused on selling your articles, getting paid, working with editors and getting comps. We spend 75% of the Master Class on these topics. The other 25% is spent on creative travel writing and success stories. We meet for 8 hours each day in information-packed sessions.

Each class serves a different purpose. There is very little overlap between the two classes.

If you have further questions, please ask. We’ll be happy to hear from you. Or, if you're ready register for the Travel Writing Retreat click here.

This Week's Featured Post

Successful Travel Writing: Five Ways to Add Life to Your Story

Successful travel writing consists of more than just stating that a tourist attraction is “there”. Unfortunately, many novice travel writers and bloggers believe making a list is all they have to do. They list the names of a destination’s main tourist attractions and think they’ve done their job.

If you want to break into glossy travel magazines and quality travel websites, and get paid for your work, it’s going to require more effort than simply making lists. Magazine editors expect you to be entertaining as well as informing. They pay you to use your story angle to conjure up images of the destination in their reader’s minds.

Here are some valuable ways to add life to your story and brighten up your travel writing.


Upcoming Posts

July 16:Our Latest Success Story: Chuck Warren
July 23: The Five Most Common Novice Travel Writing Mistakes
July 30: Writing For Travel Trade Magazines
August 6: Earning Tips for Travel Bloggers

We've Been In The News

Honored to be listed on as a resource.

Here’s the link:

Read the article at Travel Writers Network

How to Build Your Travel Writer’s Platform

In today’s competitive travel writing arena, building your brand and your writer’s platform are essential elements for your success.

Here are three articles in which I address the steps you need to start building your platform.

Building a Professional Website for Freelance Writers
Four Reasons to Get Published on Travel Websites
How to Get Testimonials from Editors and CVBs

Inspirational Travel Quote of the Week

Featured Book of the Week


Our best-selling eBook shows you everything you need to know about crafting compelling query letters to sell your travel articles to magazine editors. Available in PDF format, here:

Well-written query letters convince magazine editors that you have an exciting travel story their readers will absolutely love.

In ten years of travel writing I’ve had more than 1,000 stories published in 200 magazines, journals, newspapers, in-flights, on-boards, specialty magazines, and travel websites – and they all started with a query letter.  I know how to write killer query letters that work, and I wrote this eBook to show you how to do it.

This is different from all other query letter books because you get 20 sample query letters that worked for me. These are actual query letters I used successfully to get articles published in print magazines.

Each sample query letter comes with a clear explanation of the key things that sold the idea successfully. And you can use my samples to create a template for your own query letters, using the same words and layout.

BUY THE BOOK (PDF version)

Here’s renowned travel writer & blogger Chris Backe’s review of my Query Letter eBook:

“Pitch letters can sometimes feel like the secret sauce of the blogging world. Many folks have a template or two they use, but few share them as openly as Roy has here. Call this what it is – a master-class of sales writing to get into magazines and newspapers.”

“The book itself is clean, complete, yet concise enough to be read in a single sitting. Roy’s real-world experience and credentials underscore the opening chapters, which reads like common sense should – if it were still common sense. It’s up-to-date with the way things actually work here in 2015 (not the way we want them to work). A two-page template is the appetizer, with twenty query letters written by him that resulted in an article placement as the main course.

You’ll soon notice the patterns used and feel empowered to try it yourself. Note that some lateral thinking is rewarding – and that tailoring your pitch to ensure that magazine’s angle is taken care of is paramount. Highly recommended.”



All reviews of our Query Letters for Travel Writers book on are 5-Star! You can read them at the amazon link above (on scroll down to see reviews).

Friend me on Facebook

My Facebook page is about freelance travel writing. I frequently post about:
• travel writing & blogging conferences,
• links to other well produced travel websites and blogs,
• links to my travel articles,
• travel writing themes,
• links to reputable travel writer’s groups, associations, and newsletters,
• magazine covers stories and back stories,
• links to resources pages,
• links to travel writing archives,
• links to coaching and mentoring resources,
• and plenty of other useful information to get you up to speed.

Link to Roy's Personal Facebook page

Please share the e-zine with friends, family or anyone you know who's interested in travel writing. They can sign up for the newsletter and get free marketing tips each week at this link:

Sign up for my weekly marketing tips

That's all for this week.

Until next week, just keep pitching!


Roy Stevenson
Pitch Travel Write

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