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Issue #262: 10 Freelance Writing Tips to Sell More Stories
July 08, 2019
Greetings Fellow Travel Writers and Bloggers!

. . . and WELCOME all new subscribers to The Best Travel Writing Newsletter, ANYWHERE!! Thanks for joining us.

We’re excited to announce that registration is OPEN for our Travel Writing and Photography Retreat in Hoi An, Vietnam, December 8-14.

If you need a relaxing, atmospheric place to practice your travel writing craft and hone your photography skills, join us in Hoi An.

You can find more information after the editorial, or at this link: LEARN MORE

Editorial: Learning From Medieval Storytellers

Storytellers in medieval England, known as bards, wandered into small towns and villages. Enthralled townsfolk would hear stories of folklore and legend while sitting upon tree stumps in the village squares.

The bards had the gift of the gab. They could take an ordinary event and turn it into a story that had you on the edge of your seat. Whether their stories were about myths, history, or mysterious places, they entertained their listeners and made them laugh and cry.

As payment for their tales, a collection hat was passed around. Or, the bards would accept food, beer, or lodging as a reward for their stories. They served an important social and informational role in medieval society.

Sounds a lot like modern day travel writing, doesn’t it?

Of course, now our stories are published in widely distributed magazines and websites. And instead of passing around a collection hat, we’re paid by publishers and assisted with comped travel by CVBs.

But contemporary travel journalists can learn a lot more from the medieval bards. Because even in medieval times, poor storytellers didn’t survive.

Their tales had to be captivating. If their stories were dull and lackluster, the bards were thrown out of the village and pelted with rotten vegetables.

The same principles apply to your travel stories today:

• To sell your travel story ideas to magazine editors, you need to dig deep and look for something unique about your destinations.

• Unless you can convince an editor that your travel stories will knock the socks off their readers, they’re going to reject your pitches.

• At the very least your stories need to provide entertainment. If you can inject humor, pathos, and emotion into your work, so much the better.

Remember what happened to the medieval bards who failed to deliver. Are your story ideas unique? Do your travel stories entertain, make your readers laugh or appeal to their emotions?

Travel Writing & Photography Retreat

December 8-14, Hoi An, Vietnam

We’re pleased to announce that registration is open for our Travel Writing & Photography Retreat in Hoi An, Vietnam, December 8-14th.

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! We limit registration to 10 people.


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 in the U.S. focused on selling your articles, getting paid, working with editors and getting comps. We meet for 8 hours each day in information-packed sessions and often in the evenings in impromptu sessions. It's an "intensive" 3 days.

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

10 Freelance Writing Tips to Sell More Stories

Here are some freelance writing tips that helped me get published prolifically, from the start of my travel writing career.  They'll help you get published more frequently, too, and can boost your efforts at breaking into the freelance writing market with your first piece.

These ten freelance writing tips are a result of all the things I learned during my journey into freelancing.  If you apply these techniques you'll find your efforts to get published will improve - even if you're a beginner.

How many of these techniques do you use?


What's Your Success Story?

We’re Looking for More PitchTravelWrite Travel Writing Success Stories.

Have you used our reference books, our website, Roy’s coaching, our Master Class, our online Master Class, our Travel Writing & Photography Retreat, our weekly newsletter, or any of our other resources to achieve travel writing success?

If so, we’d love to hear from you. Don’t be shy!

We also want to hear how you’ve used our resources to land press trips, score complimentary stays at hotels and resorts and spas, get free guided tours and meals and ground transport and tours, etc.

Please send a summary of your successes to

Upcoming Posts

July 15: Memorable Travel Writing Assignments
July 22: Smackdown: Travel Guidebooks vs. the Internet
July 29: Facebook Tips for Travel Writers
August 5: Breaking Into Military Travel Writing

Pitch Travel Write: Most Popular Links for Dreaming Up Story Ideas

It's getting harder and harder to be a generalist travel writer trying to do what thousands of other generalist travel writers are doing. You have to be really creative to come up with unique story ideas that editors haven’t heard before.

A huge factor in selling story ideas and getting them published is the quality of your idea. While this may seem self-evident, finding an interesting story to pitch is a daunting task for novice freelance writers. 

It takes some experience to know what constitutes a viable travel story.  And deciding whether a story idea is a dog or a shooting star is an important first step in the pitching process.

So where, and how, do travel writers start their quest for a salable story? Here are 6 Tips for Dreaming Up Better Story Ideas

For novice freelance writers, trying to figure out what story to pitch to an editor is a daunting task. Because of inexperience, you have no frame of reference.  Often, beginners lack confidence in their story ideas. So where do you start? 
 If you want to boost your bylines, try My Winning System for Dreaming Up Travel Story Ideas

The beauty of travel writing is that you can write an article about almost every aspect of your travels and find a home for it somewhere. Editors get tired of being pitched the same kind of roundup story. They see it all the time and it’s not what they’re looking for anymore.  They are looking for new ideas and fresh perspectives.

This page will give you some idea of the types of travel stories you can write and sell.

I’m often asked, “What are the best travel stories to write?”  The answer is:  whatever you enjoy writing about. Maybe you enjoy writing food, wine, or beer stories. But, by far, my favorite travel stories are roundup pieces.

Round-up travel stories are high-level descriptions, or “roundups”, of what a city or destination has to offer.  There’s enough variety to offer something of interest for everyone--or at least to the audience the editor wants to appeal.
 Here's how to write roundup stories and why Roundup Travel Stories are the Most Fun to Write

Do you have trouble figuring out what travel stories will sell? This ebook guides you along the highly creative path of inventing and discovering potential travel stories to pitch and sell to magazines. Master this first step - and combine it with a great pitch - and you'll soon find yourself immersed in exciting experiences with fascinating people. Learn more about Story Ideas that Sell here.

Inspirational Travel Quote of the Week


Featured Book of the Month: How to Break Into the Luxury Travel Writing Market

Would you like to stay at luxury resorts, villas, and lodges—for free?

How about being treated like royalty in high-end resorts?

Would you enjoy personalized tours with your own guide and driver?

Does being pampered with lavish treatments in some of the world’s most beautiful spas sound good to you?

Would you enjoy eating at some of the finest restaurants in the world—for free? Or wine tasting at some of the world’s most gorgeous boutique wineries?

Do you want to know how to enjoy the luxuries of travel without the high cost?

My 12-chapter, 130-page manual will walk you, step-by-step, through the luxury travel writing process. You’ll learn how to get luxury travel assignments and leverage them to land luxury travel trips. I’ve used these techniques to land assignments at dozens of the finest luxury resorts and spas in the world.

This manual contains an up-to-date list of 150+ print magazines and travel websites that publish luxury travel articles. It’s the most comprehensive list of luxury magazine outlets you’ll find ANYWHERE. Having immediate access to these lists alone is worth the price of the eBook, saving you hundreds of hours of research.


We want to say THANK YOU to all our subscribers and social media followers. Running the PitchTravelWrite site would not be possible without your support. Thank you for following us, reading our posts, and emailing questions, comments, and compliments.

We value you more than you can know. Our goal is to help you break into travel writing, get paid for it, and land some cool press trips and free travel.

So keep emailing us - we love hearing from you!

At Your Service

Coaching and Consulting
Travel Writing Workshops
Travel Writing Retreats
Online Courses
Vietnam 1-1 Retreat & Consulting
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That's all for this week.

Until next week, just keep pitching!


Roy Stevenson
Pitch Travel Write

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