Back to Back Issues Page
Issue #297: Seven Positive Things to Do While You're Stuck at Home
March 23, 2020
Greetings Fellow Travel Writers!

. . . and WELCOME all new subscribers. Thanks for joining us.

Editorial: Seven Positive Things You Can Do While You're Stuck at Home

With the constant stream of Coronavirus news, it’s hard to stay calm. It seems surreal to wake up and check the expanding figures on the spread of this virulent disease.

As you know, the epidemic’s having a devastating effect on all things travel related. Reduced airline schedules. Low occupancy in hotels, resorts and villas. Countries are closing their borders. Popular tourist destinations (Paris, Venice) are turning into ghost towns and tours are cancelled. Restaurants are closing and cruises have been cancelled. Quarantining and social distancing are becoming commonplace for everyone.

As travel writers we’re being hit hard from these effects. Cancelled press trips and Fam tours mean we’re not traveling and we’re running out of things to write about. Travel bloggers’ traffic has plummeted - people aren’t planning to travel so they’re not researching destinations online.

It’s hard to stay positive with all the bad news.

Many travel writers have temporarily given up. They’ve stopped pitching to magazine editors and are curling up into hibernation mode.

Here's the good news . . .

What we’re all going through is a temporary phenomenon. Instead of fixating on on the spread of the virus, use your newfound spare time to be productive and get ahead.

There’s a vacuum forming here and enterprising freelance travel writers can fill it. It’s Up To You!

I know we can’t predict exactly when the global “all clear” will be sounded, but it will happen. And, if you have some good story pitches already lying in editor’s inboxes, you’ll be the first writers they contact for stories.

Here are 7 things you can do to get ahead during the lockdown:

1. Look Through Your Files For New Stories

Now is the time to look through your written archives for potential travel stories that you never quite got around to pitching. Where have you been and what can you pitch? Look at travel brochures that you picked up - what stories are there that you can pitch?

For example, I have plenty of juicy, raw travel story material in “back burner” files just waiting for me to research and sell. Once I have enough “jam” on each destination or attraction, I’ll create query letters and send them out to dozens of magazine editors.

2. Look Through Your Photo Galleries For New Story Ideas

Scan through your photo archives for those “undiscovered” travel stories to research and pitch. If you have a sizeable photo gallery of a destination that resonated with you, and if you can find some interesting and unique angles in that destination, you’ve got some marketable stories.

3. Re-sell Your Old Stories

Look through your files for old, previously published stories to resurrect or rewrite and pitch to magazine editors. Then, send them out with a brief query letter.

4. Pitch Stories In Different Genres

If you have interests and talents and knowledge in non-travel related areas, now’s the perfect time to start dreaming up and pitching stories. Break into new writing arenas!

5. Tickle Magazine Editors For Work

Magazines still have to go out every month. Editors will continue to look for new articles. Some editors are screaming out for good, interesting stories right now.

Send out introductory query letters to editors. Ask if their regular travel writers are coming up short of copy and offer your services to help the editors out. Do they have a particular article they’d like someone to write?

6. Self-Study to Come Out Ahead

Prepare yourself to be even more productive for when the virus has run its course and the world is gearing back up to normalcy. Read “how to” books on breaking into travel writing. Here’s the link to our “how to” travel writing books: GO TO OUR BOOKSTORE

7. Position Yourself For Future Luxury Travel Gigs

When this virus panic all blows over — and it will — luxury hotels, resorts and villas are going to be looking for motivated travel journalists to help them jump start their marketing and advertising campaigns to bring tourists and guests back into their properties.

If you’ve had to shelve your plans to visit any high-end resorts, contact them and let them know that just as soon as the all-clear sounds, you’d like to visit their properties, tour them, dine at them, and write about them. Many of the media and PR reps at luxury resorts will see you as a godsend if you do this. Our reference book, “How To Break Into The Luxury Travel Writing Market” is designed to help you do exactly this; sell your luxury travel stories and snag complimentary accommodations at these cool resorts. Learn more here . . .

Don’t sit around obsessed by the virus epidemic. Doing nothing makes you feel hopeless. And you’ll have to start from scratch after the virus dies off.

If you’re in the travel writing game for the long haul, you can emerge from this virus hysteria far better off by taking these 7 steps. When it blows over, you’ll come out of it with assignments in hand and places to go.

This Week's Featured Post

Where to Find Travel Magazine Leads

Most freelance travel writers struggle to find print magazine leads and find it an onerous and difficult task.  But it’s a job that must be done well if you want to sell your stories.

Fortunately there are several excellent resources you can tap into to accomplish this task. 

Here are the best print references on the market today and why they are important . . .



There's been a lot of interest in group coaching and many of you asked when we’re going to offer it. We're working on it.

We’re planning to make it affordable, fun, helpful and productive for you. And we'll be releasing the final details soon. Stay tuned!

Our BRAND NEW group coaching program will be limited to the first 25 registrants.

Only people on the interest list will receive early signup privileges and discounts.

Click here to get on the Group Coaching Interest List

Upcoming Posts

March 30: Writing Successful Query Letters: Seven Tips for Travel Writers April 6: Six Ways to Earn More in Travel Writing by Investing in Yourself
April 13: Five Surprisingly Simple Readability Statistics to Improve Your Travel Writing and Blogging Success Stories

If you read our first travel writing success story, you’ll recall that we gained considerable momentum with Roy Stevenson as our coach. We made a strategic decision to extend our coaching contract with Roy – and we’re glad we did!

As a result, we’ve moved up the travel writing totem pole and started getting better paid assignments with print magazines. We leveraged those assignments for two memorable complimentary trips this past year.

Our success story continues.

Here’s our travel writing success story for the past 12 months:

Read the article: The Continuing Success Story of Pam & Gary Baker - Part 2

Pitch Travel Write: Most Requested Links about Creating Magazine Lists

Travel writers are always asking me to help them prepare magazine distribution lists so they can send out their queries. I’m not surprised that so many travel writers contact me with this request. I get it. Searching for target magazines is perceived as an onerous clerical task and can take many hours. Yet, it’s an indispensable step in getting your articles published.

After all, if you can’t find magazines to pitch, you’re not going to get your stories published.

But I wouldn’t be doing you any favors by doing this research for you. If someone else does your work for you, you’re not going to learn how to do your own magazine searches. And, this is such a crucial skill for freelance writing success.

You need to put in the time on the Internet, researching Writer’s Market, and checking out the magazine racks at your local bookstore.

There are some things you can do to enhance your magazine researching skills. The following articles cover the nuts-and-bolts of creating distribution lists.

This article shows you—step-by-step—how to create your magazine distribution lists, and where to look for them.
How to Build Magazine Distribution Lists

Here’s a summary of how to select magazines where you can pitch your stories:
Where to Pitch Travel Stories

You can use magazine vendor websites to find magazines. Here’s how:
Finding Travel Magazine Sales Leads on Vendor Websites

Here are six reference books that I use to find new magazine leads:
Finding Magazine Leads: The Best Print References on the Market Today

Inspirational Travel Quote


Featured Book of the Month: THE ART & CRAFT OF TRAVEL WRITING

“The Art & Craft of Travel Writing: How to Develop Your Craft, Hone Your Skills, Avoid Mistakes, Work Smarter, and Be More Successful”.

What’s in our 21-chapter, 152-page book?

The Art & Craft of Travel Writing has five sections:
1. The Craft of Travel Writing
2. Things That Go Wrong in Travel Writing
3. Keys to Success in Travel Writing
4. Working Smarter
5. Goal Setting for Your Travel Writing

Here are some of the chapters . . .
- Creating a Sense of Place and Ambiance
- Turning Your Destination into a Compelling Read
- How to Write Like a Seasoned Professional
- Five Travel Writing Blunders and How to Avoid Them
- Why Some Travel Writers Have More Success
- How to Plug into the Travel Writing Community
- Seven Ways to Take Control of Your Writing Time
- Set Up Systems to Create More Writing Time

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.


At Your Service

Coaching and Consulting
The Marketing Master Class for Travel Writers Travel Writing & Photography Retreat New Orleans 2020 Online Courses
Vietnam 1-1 Retreat & Consulting
Expat Consulting


If you know someone who will enjoy this newsletter,
please forward or sign up

HERE., is our information-packed website for travel writers. This e-zine, a series of travel writing books and reference guides, coaching programs, and our workshops all work together to give you guidance in this field.

Our aim is to provide you with practical, nitty gritty information to help you gain entry the travel writing realm and all the enjoyment that comes with it, too. 

We're thrilled to announce that is on The Write Life’s 2020 list of 100 BEST WEBSITES FOR WRITERS! 

You can see the entire list by visiting their website - click on the graphic to view the list now.

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

That's all for now. Until next week - just keep pitching! Roy

Roy Stevenson
Pitch Travel Write

Back to Back Issues Page