Travel Writing Retreat 2023 Banner

Travel Writing & Photography Retreat
Santa Fe, New Mexico
May 21-24, 2023

Sorry, registration is closed for our 2023 Travel Writing & Photography Retreat 

Are you a writer looking for hands-on experience to improve your travel writing skills? 

Do you want practice using your camera to help tell your story?

Are you interested in having some exhilarating discussions & soft travel adventures with a small, like-minded group of travel writers?

Would you love to visit the best city in the United States for culture, mystery, history, atmosphere and fun?

Join us in Santa Fe for our

Travel Writing & Photography Retreat

If you want to boost your travel writing skills to a new level,  this workshop is for you.

We’ll spend time together inside the classroom learning about travel writing and photography. There will be lectures, writing exercises, in-the-field tours, group readings & discussions, and hands-on experience to improve your writing. You'll also receive one-on-one feedback and goal setting in a private session with Roy.

You'll explore the city dreaming up story ideas, writing and making photographs to help you tell your story. This is your chance to visit Santa Fe, soak in it's unique vibe and brush up on your travel writing and photography skills.

About the Retreat

This unique destination writer’s retreat includes creative travel writing and photography workshops.  You'll learn the skills you need to be a successful travel writer including tips to make quick improvements to your writing. And you'll learn how to produce quality photographs that editors will love and that will help you tell your story. 

Other travel writing workshops gloss over the details or are too academic, but that's not how we do things. You'll walk away from our retreat knowing how to develop your own travel writing voice and style.

We'll help you develop your travel story ideas and make marketable story angle. We'll give you tips and advice to help you craft active, compelling stories, and reveal the secrets to turn your creative sparks into exciting travel stories. By the end of the retreat you'll have a completed draft story and photo gallery - ready to pitch to an editor!

Palace of Governors Santa Fe crafts

Santa Fe will inspire your writing, spark your imagination and please your palate.  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.

You’ll have time to explore the fascinating local attractions and soak up the culture — all while learning the craft of travel writing and photography from a seasoned travel journalist and veteran travel photographer.

We'll spend four to eight hours daily in the classroom with lectures, group discussions, readings and writing activities.  During most afternoons you're free to explore the city with the group or on your own. 

We'll have a comfortable, private meeting room for all of our classroom sessions. There are also plenty of spots around the hotel suitable for small group discussions and class homework assignments.

Santa Fe is a walkable city and walking is the best way to get around. During your free time and while you’re doing field research, you can explore the 412-year-old plaza, and downtown, museums and museum hill, historic buildings and neighborhoods, and atmospheric cathedrals, churches, and chapels.

There’s a reason Santa Fe is called “The City Different!”

Art lovers will find Folk Art, a Spanish Market, and Indian Markets, plus the world-renowned Canyon Road with its 250 art galleries and boutiques.

And Santa Fe has 6 quality art museums! In fact, Santa Fe is designated a UNESCO Creative City for craft and folk art.

You'll have free time to get out and discover your own stories, and to relax. The classroom exercises will help you write personal travel memoirs and stories you can keep for yourself, publish professionally, or share with friends and family on your blog and social media.   

The techniques you'll learn won’t just help you write better -- they’ll help you travel better, too. You’ll gain richer awareness and deeper insights into the places you visit. 

Because you’ll be writing about Santa Fe and taking photos each day, you’ll delve more deeply and be more observant of everything around you. 

Class sessions are meant to help you write more clearly about your trip while you’re in Santa Fe. And they’ll help you pen your stories about past experiences and future destinations, too.

This retreat is open to writers of all skill levels.  It’s crafted to allow plenty of flexibility to concentrate on the things that interest you most, whether it's writing, photography, or exploring "the city different" with your fellow participants.

Contemporary Native Arts from Church Santa Fe

Skills You'll Develop and Things You'll Learn

  • How to develop your personal travel writing voice and style
  • Crafting a compelling beginning or lede
  • Developing your travel story ideas and story angles to make them marketable
  • Using photographs to create a sense of place
  • Tips and advice to craft active, compelling stories
  • How to improve your story structure and writing technique
  • Secrets to turn your creative sparks into exciting travel stories
  • Expert tips on how to make your travel writing more descriptive
  • How to avoid the worst travel writing mistakes
  • Making your writing stand out to a magazine editor
  • How to compile a gallery of photos that editors will love
  • Important travel writing rules you must know to be successful
  • Photography tips and techniques to help sell your travel stories

Developing Story Ideas and Angles

All travel writing is grounded in a story topic and story angle. This class explores where to look for story ideas and how to develop a strong story angle. 

You’ll start work on a writing assignment by developing a story topic and angle.  Then you’ll spend time in discussions with your small writing group in the breakout sessions.  And you’ll get some input from the instructor about how to tweak your ideas and make them shine.

“The one-on-one time with Roy to get feedback on my ideas and writing were invaluable.”
- Jill Friedman

Story Structure and Writing Technique

From developing your introduction to outlining your article and wrapping it all up, this session will provide a step-by-step outline for crafting a winning travel piece. 

Folk Art Market Santa Fe

“Just wanted to share something with the group - I've sold a story with photos, about Hoi An since coming home from the workshop. I wasn't going to tell anyone until it came out in print but was feeling like the cat with the canary however, I am choking on the feathers so just had to spit it out.”
- Linda Blair

Photography to Tell Your Story and Sell It

Colorful columns Santa Fe museum

Photography is an important part of travel journalism. But, you don’t have to be a professional photographer to create professional-looking photos that will help sell your travel stories.

This workshop covers bringing your travel stories to life with images.  We’ll cover the basics: subject selection, framing, composition, lighting.  And we’ll show you how to take photographs that convey a sense of place, deliver a polished gallery of photos, and we'll talk about processing tips to make your photos shine.  You'll also learn the top ten tips for crafting an engaging photo gallery that editors will love.

You'll go on photo shoots to capture the lights, buildings and street activity, and gather photos for your story.  In class you'll learn about what time is best for creating beautiful photos, and then you'll get to make some of your own!

On the last day we’ll spend time sharing your stories and reviewing your photo gallery with the group. You'll get feedback from your fellow travel writers and your instructors.

"Thank you for an amazing week! We learned so many useful tips to improve our writing and photography. We thoroughly enjoyed the dinners, drinks and cooking class. You are so gracious and generous. Your workshop was everything we hoped for and more!"  

- Pam and Gary Baker

“The balanced curriculum between writing and photography were outstanding.”
- Deb Sittko

“Enjoyed the dawn and sunset photo shoots. The photography tips were great.”
- Pam Baker

About Santa Fe, New Mexico

Santa Fe, New Mexico deserves its reputation as one of America’s most diverse and interesting small cities. There’s good reason for its unofficial title as “The City Different.”

Church from an angle Santa Fe

As well as being an internationally renowned destination, Travel + Leisure magazine has listed Santa Fe in its “Top 15 Cities in the U.S.” list for ten consecutive years including #2 and #3 rankings.

Conde Nast Traveler’s Reader’s Choice Awards rates Santa Fe as the #4 best city in the “Top 10 Small Cities in the U.S.”

Forbes Magazine ranks Santa Fe as the #3 top destination in the world in the “22 Best Places to Travel in 2022” list.

Described as heaven for foodies and an historic treasure, Santa Fe is also known as one of the friendliest places to visit. With several thriving market areas, historic architecture, and vibrant arts scene, Santa Fe is one of the U.S’s finest and most fun tourist hot spots.

Santa Fe claims the oldest state capital in the United States, founded in 1610. The Palace of the Governors is the oldest continuously occupied public building in the country. The adjacent historic Plaza is 412 years old!

Santa Fe also boasts the oldest church in the United States. The town and surrounding downtown area hold histories, mysteries, secrets and curiosities that can be discovered by guided tours or through locally published books (Collected Words Bookstore on Galisteo Street has many of these books.)

You’ll find historic monuments everywhere with museums, art galleries and boutique shops spread around downtown — and it’s easy to immerse yourself in all of it.

Christmas burrito Santa Fe

Santa Fe is a gastronomic center of award-winning chefs and more than 400 restaurants. It boasts several chefs who have been nominated for the James Beard “Best Chefs Southwest” awards, with Chef Mark Kiffin owner/chef at The Compound Restaurant receiving top honors.

Find out why red and green Chile appears in Santa Fe foods and drinks where you don’t expect it. If you’re adventurous, try the green chile apple pie, cheesecake, and cornbread. Sample the green chile cobb salad or mac and cheese.

Santa Fe is a culinary mecca due to its first-class chefs and creative menus as contemporary chefs revive old regional recipes and creative fusion dishes for our modern palate. You can take foodie tours, sample world class seafood and feast on authentic southwestern dishes that reflect the city’s unique history.

Travel writers will walk away from this workshop with a multitude of story ideas and a gallery of stunning photographs to go with whatever story you choose to focus on. Santa Fe is a fertile town for travel writers!

Meow Wolf with Wolf Santa Fe

What's Included:

  • A suite of travel writing and travel photography tools, tips and techniques as described above.
  • A private Facebook group is available for all participants.  You can share your work, get advice, and solicit feedback from us before and after the retreat!  You can also ask questions about things to do in Santa Fe so you can plan your itinerary.
  • You'll receive a complimentary digital copy of The Art & Craft of Travel Writing, a popular resource to have at your fingertips. (Value $14.95)
  • You'll also receive a complimentary digital copy of our recent book, Find Your Niche:  Uncover Your Most Meaningful and Valuable Writing Opportunities. (Value $12.95)
  • While you’re in Santa Fe, you’ll receive writing tasks and constructive feedback to help you grow as a writer.  You'll spend time outside the classroom writing your story and taking photos to accompany the story.  You'll leave with at least one completed draft story and many more story ideas.
  • The Santa Fe CVB will present each writer with a VIP pass to many major attractions to make it easy for you to get around Santa Fe in style.
  • We'll facilitate small group breakouts to do readings, share ideas, offer feedback and motivate each other.
  • Roy & Linda will be available outside classroom hours to meet with you on whatever questions you have about travel writing, photography and what kind of stories you can sell.
  • Post workshop mentoring/consultation with Roy on one story idea is available when you're ready.  He'll walk you through the process of how to get your story published  during the workshop and after it's over! (Value: $1000)
  • Class size is limited to the first 25 registrants. This allows you to get your questions answered, get personal feedback and an opportunity to make new friends in an relaxed environment.

What's Not Included:

  • Airfare
  • Ground transportation
  • Hotel costs
  • Meals (except where specified on agenda)
  • Other incidental travel expenses such as laundry, tips, travel insurance, and other miscellaneous costs.

“I loved the small size of the group and the relaxed and friendly atmosphere”
- Jill Friedman

"Such wonderful memories! The classes in the mornings were informative and provided the detailed info we were looking for. 

Afternoons and evenings exploring with Roy and Linda were fun and delicious! We toured the marketplace, took a Vietnamese cooking class, learned about local dishes and dined at the best restaurants. And the friendships you form will stay with you!"
- Pam Baker

Sorry, registration is closed for our 2023 Travel Writing & Photography Retreat 

Workshop fees include classroom instruction, some meals as noted in agenda, a VIP pass to many tourist attractions (from CVB), writing tasks and constructive feedback to help you grow as a writer, two digital books as noted above and one-on-one coaching sessions with Roy Stevenson during workshop and post-workshop.

Each participant is responsible for arranging and paying for their own air travel, ground transportation, hotel/accommodations and other miscellaneous travel costs.

About Your Instructors

Linda and Roy sitting under tree

Roy Stevenson and Linda Popovich have been working and traveling together for fifteen years as travel writer & photographer. 

Roy is a professional travel writer and the author of PitchTravelWrite.  He’s had more than 1000 articles published in 200 magazines, trade and specialty journals, in-flights, on-boards, blogs and websites and has traveled on assignment around the U.S. and to dozens of international destinations.

Linda is a professional travel photographer and editor/publisher of PitchTravelWrite.  Her photographs have been published in a variety of regional, national and international magazines and online.  After working for 25+ years in a corporate office, she now enjoys photographing anything that keeps her outdoors, takes her to new places and introduces her to new friends.

You can learn more about them at and

"We had so much fun, but more importantly, we learned a lot! If you're ready to up your game on writing and photography, Roy Stevenson and Linda Popovich are the dynamic duo!"
- Pam and Gary Baker

Course Agenda

You’ll fly into the Albuquerque International Airport (or the Santa Fe airport) and take a shuttle or rent a car to our host hotel.  If you arrive early, you can explore Santa Fe on your own. You'll find plenty to do.

May 20, 2023

4 pm - Official Check-in at Hotel Santa Fe Hacienda & Spa

5 PM –  Meet and Greet where we’ll have a drink and get to know each other. Attendance is optional.

May 21, Day 1 - Travel Writing & Photography Retreat Begins

8 am-4 pm

- Brief introductions & CVB visit and introduction to Santa Fe

- Introduction to travel writing. Learn the seven trade secrets for writing a good travel story.

- Developing your story ideas & story angles. Learn how to make them marketable so that editors will buy them.

Lunch (included)

- Using photography to create a sense of place. Most editors expect you to provide high quality photos with your stories. Learn techniques for creating a sense of place with your photographs so editors will love your photos (and you will, too!)

- Crafting a compelling beginning or lede (includes creative writing time)

May 22, Day 2 

8am - Noon

- Lesson: What Editors Want in Photography

- Tips & advice to craft active, compelling stories

- Lesson: Top 10 Tips for Better Photos

Lunch on your own


12-4 Free time to explore Santa Fe, work on your article, do some field research, or visit some of the local sites.

4-6 pm - Class Assignments and One-on-One Coaching

May 23, Day 3 


You’ll learn about the worst (and most common) travel writing mistakes and how to avoid them

Learn the secrets to turn your creative sparks into exciting stories

Why editing matters – see examples of stories before & after editing and the important differences

Discuss how to write a query letter and how to successfully pitch editors your travel stories


12-4 Lunch on your own

Free time to explore Santa Fe, work on your article, do some field research, or visit some of the local sites.

4-6 pm - Class Assignments and One-on-One Coaching

May 24, Day 4

8 am-1 pm

Learn how to make your writing stand out to a magazine editor

You'll share the story you wrote during the week with the class and show the photos you made to accompany your story.  Includes a Q&A session plus private feedback and comments from other participants.

Wrap-up and next steps in the process.

Lunch included.

Travel Writing & Photography Retreat concludes after lunch at 1pm. 

Note: If you're signed up for the Complete Package , lessons continue with the Marketing Master Class in the afternoon, after lunch.

“The tour of the market and the cooking class were wonderful – never thought they would be so great! Loved the day!”
- Pam Baker

“I liked the pace of the sessions and blocks of free time – spot on. And I loved the group dinners!”
- Janet MacDonald

“The balance between the workshop, free time, and group events, and the practical, usable advice were great!”
- Annette DeSmedt

“Good scheduling, excellent instruction, good exercises, and great discussions.”

“I would like to thank you for all you did for me in Hoi An. I thought you made the classes very relaxed and understandable and passed on a wealth of information. This was the biggest bang for my buck of all the travel writing workshops I’ve attended. I learned more from you in those 5 days than I did in two previous workshops with a competitor. I will definitely recommend your classes.”
- Linda Blair

Registration Details

Sorry, registration is closed for our 2023 Travel Writing & Photography Retreat 

Join us in Santa Fe 2023 banner
Marketing Master Class 2023 banner
Complete Package 2023 banner

Sorry, registration is closed for our 2023 Travel Writing & Photography Retreat