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Issue #355: Five Highly Effective Ways To Sell Your Travel Articles to Print Magazines
May 17, 2021
Greetings Fellow Travel Writers!

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


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Editorial: Huh? Some Magazines Don’t Pay?

In my first couple of years in the freelance writing game I occasionally discovered magazines that did not pay their contributors. In fact, you’d be surprised at how many magazines don’t pay their writers.

These editors rely upon the novice writer’s gullibility, or play on their vanity and desire to get published, using phrases like “it will increase your exposure as a writer.”

However, I have to admit that 29 of my first 100 published articles were written for free. I would get an unpaid story published if it suited me.

Why did I write for free?

The main reason is that I wanted to build my bylines. I had one story published in each non-paying magazine that I discovered. This helped me build my bylines rapidly.

As I moved up the travel writing totem pole and broke into paying publications, I stopped writing for free.

If you encounter a magazine that doesn’t pay, you’ll need to decide whether or not you want to "donate" articles to rack up the bylines, or simply move on. This decision depends largely on where you are in your progression as a writer.

Seasoned writers typically ignore magazines that do not pay and target the ones that pay top dollar. However, beginners can’t always afford to be choosers. It’s a decision you’ll have to make for yourself.

Do you need some help deciding whether to write an article for free? Here’s a link to my post about writing for free and when you might consider doing it . . . Here’s a link to my post about writing for free and when you might consider doing it . . .

This Week's Featured Post

Five Highly Effective Ways To Sell Your Travel Articles to Print Magazines

Everyone wants to be a travel writer — there’s a certain glamour attached to it. When I tell my colleagues how many articles I’ve sold in the fourteen years I’ve been travel writing, they look at me in disbelief. (At this writing I’ve sold 1000+ articles to 200+ different publications.)

When my peers ask me how I manage to sell so many articles, I tell them I spend at least 50% of my time on marketing. Without a marketing plan and strategy, you’ll simply be sending out random query letters, hoping for the best.

Here are five simple and effective ways I market & sell my travel stories to print media — they’re all strategies you can adopt to sell more articles . . .


Upcoming Posts

May 24: The Best Websites for Travel Writers
May 31: The Ultimate Travel Writer’s Resource List
June 7: Selling and Reselling Your Articles: Three Tricky Situations and How to Handle Them Success Stories

Tim Cotroneo: My Story as a Golf and Travel Writer

"In 2011, I attended a travel writer’s workshop and listened to a presentation by a speaker named Roy Stevenson who shared several travel writing tips. I thought to myself, “If I can accomplish half of what this guy has achieved in his short travel writing career, I’ll be as happy as a clam.”

After the workshop my wife and I planned a trip to the Turks and Caicos Island of Providenciales. I emailed the golf professional at the island’s only 18-hole course in advance of the trip and presented myself as a golf and travel writer. I thought to myself, “I have nothing to lose and everything to gain.”  On the trip I met with the pro and played the course. 

My First Yes

During our stay in Providenciales, I noticed a glossy magazine on the coffee table in our hotel room and read it. Upon returning home to Minneapolis, I pitched this magazine a story idea about what I experienced at the golf course when I played there.

 The editor said yes! 

I wrote the story and got paid $300. I was officially a travel writer and have been writing about golf and travel ever since."

Here’s Tim Cotroneo’s exotic golf and travel writing journey so far . . .

Pitch Travel Write: Most Requested Links About Dreaming Up Travel 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.

It takes some groundwork to become savvy at recognizing and mining gold nugget travel story ideas.  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 to help you . . .

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. These seven techniques can be used to constantly generate salable 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 always what they’re looking for. They are looking for new ideas and fresh perspectives.

There are some common themes for travel articles, there are travel articles that focus on "the best" that a place has to offer, and there are travel stories based on specific areas of interest. This might include things like luxury travel, adventure travel, beer and wine, just to name a few. This post will give you some idea of the types of travel stories you can write and sell.

Inspirational Travel Quote



Where do travel writers find magazine leads to pitch and sell their stories? My reference guide, 100 Print Magazines That Want To Publish Your Travel Articles, is a great place to start your search.

This compilation is far more specialized than what you find in Writer’s Market. Compiled over ten years from a wide variety of on-line sources, field resources and book references, this comprehensive listing also includes international publications for the English-speaking market.

If you want to be a successful travel writer and get your articles published in paying print publications, you need to be highly proficient at finding travel magazine leads. 

Having a solid list of magazines makes it easier to find assignments that will help get you invited on Press trips.

You can get $5 off the price of the book if you use promo code MY5 at checkout: BUY THE BOOK

Here’s what professional travel blogger Chris Backe has to say about 100 Print Magazines That Want To Publish Your Travel Articles reference manual: “The title tells you exactly what to expect. Roy introduces the concept of a ‘distribution list’ early on, his approach to simultaneous submissions, along with the need for writers to research and add places of their own to the list.

The list itself is well-organized and offers a paragraph or so for every noted magazine (though some descriptions do look copy-and-pasted from a magazine’s own page ). Look for the website, a link to their guidelines, the editor’s name, and an e-mail address – note of course that you’ll want to confirm everything’s still up-to-date before sending off your pitches.”

“Writers will be hard-pressed to find a resource as great as Roy Stevenson's, "100 Print Magazines that Want to Publish you Travel Stories." This is packed with insider details and contact information that will help any writer winnow down markets by developing target-specific lists for publishing their articles.”
Karin Leperi, Award Winning Travel Writer/Photographer (USA)

Learn more and buy the book . . .

Group Coaching Mastermind Community

Our first Group Coaching Mastermind Community kicked off in October, 2020, and we’ve got a global group with members living in Australia, Belgium, Canada, Vietnam and the U.S. We're very excited about this group of writers and our new community! We added new members to our community in early January and they're getting to know the group and participate in writing activities.

If you missed out on the opportunity to join this session, you can get on the waiting list for the next session starting in June . . .

Learn more and get on the waiting list . . .

Live Workshops

People have been asking when our 2022 workshops in New Orleans, Louisiana are scheduled.

Here are the 2022 dates:
June 17-20, 2022, Travel Writing & Photography Retreat
June 22-24, 2022, Marketing Master Class for Travel Writers

We've had lots of interest already. You can sign up for our no-obligation interest list for these workshops and receive our substantial early bird discounts when we open registration:


Did You Know . . .

Our Complete Marketing Master Class for Travel Writers is ranked #1 on’s Top Ten Travel Writing Workshops.

You can access the list of the top ten travel writing workshops at the link below . . .

Travel Writers Exchange workshop list: #1 Marketing Master Class

Online Travel Writing & Marketing Master Class

Now, you can study our Marketing Master Class for Travel Writers online for only a fraction of the price of the live class! We recorded it LIVE in Seattle, for aspiring travel writers who weren’t able to attend in person.

    Who's it for?

  • If you’re a novice travel writer, or you haven’t had much luck selling your articles to print magazines, this Online Travel Writing & Marketing Workshop is for you.
  • If you weren’t able to travel to our Live Master Class, here’s the opportunity to attend anyway - without any travel costs and at a substantially reduced cost!
  • If you work a full-time job and can’t get time off to attend the live class – you can still attend on your own schedule after working hours.
  • If you’ve wanted to attend our Live Marketing Master Class but can’t get your schedule to fit with the dates it’s offered – here’s your opportunity to attend at your own convenience.


At Your Service

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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 into the travel writing realm and all the enjoyment that comes with it. 

We're thrilled to announce that is once again on The Write Life’s 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:
• links to other well produced travel websites and blogs
• links to my travel articles
• magazine cover stories and back stories
• links to resource pages
• 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

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