Tag: travel writing

Sign up for my new online travel writing course with City Academy

Have you always wanted to break into travel writing? Or want to expand your freelance portfolio post lockdown?

I am leading a new online travel writing course in collaboration with City Academy.

The course runs for six weeks online from May 25 and is scheduled for a Tuesday evening.

Here’s what to expect:

  • Learn to generate the kind of ideas editors want
  • Identify appropriate story angles
  • Learn how to pitch commissioning editors with your ideas
  • Plan, structure and write a draft story
  • Explore networking opportunities with the travel industry and build profile
  • Establish a community of editors and start earning money

Sign up here. And read more about my teaching here.

Plus find details of other writing courses from City Academy here.

Why my postcard from Llandudno has a taste of seaside nostalgia

It was a weekend of seaside nostalgia.

We took a trip to Llandudno last weekend to write a postcard from the North Walian resort for Telegraph Travel.

But it was also something of a personal journey.

I used to go to Llandudno on family holidays as a child — that’s me aged around five with my mum on the prom at the North Shore [pictured above].

This time I was back with my own two daughters for a UK seaside break after our original holiday plans were cancelled under lockdown.

But how would an old-school seaside resort shape up for two Tick Tock teens?

Here’s a taster of my story:

The collapse of air bridges has led to the North Wales coast enjoying a post-lockdown bonanza.

We find Landudno’s pebbly North Beach busy with rockpool paddlers, despite some rather menacing clouds over the Great Orme, and the cafés along Mostyn Street bustling with al-fresco diners seeking Cymru-sur-mer vibes.

“People are hungry for good food they don’t have to prepare and clean up afterwards,” says Michael Waddy, Executive Chef at the Empire Hotel.

Read the full story here.

How to get into travel writing — via Zoom

The landscape looks pretty different since my last post.

Global events have overtaken normal life and we’re all now staying home to protest out precious NHS.

It’s easy to hide under the duvet at times like these but, as a long-standing freelancer, I know it means I need to change, adapt and evolve my working life.

I had a writing workshop lined up in Chester later this month, offering my insider tips from the coalface of freelance travel writing.

Obviously we couldn’t now meet physically. But one of the delegates inspired me with her positivity to not cancel the event. Instead we did it by Zoom.

I prepared a short PowerPoint and did two Zoom sessions with some homework set between the two online tutorials.

It’s a very different way of teaching for me from my usual workshops and university lectures but it proved yet again that adaptability is a cornerstone of freelance life.

I’m available for travel writing workshops and tutorials — both online and, eventually, in person.

Contact me if you would like to take part in a future workshop.

How to get into travel writing at the Chester Literature Festival

The Chester Literature Festival was in full swing this week.

I was there on Friday to run a travel-writing workshop [pictured above] for future freelancers and career changers seeking to branch out.

Some planned to pitch ideas to magazines, others were looking to develop their voice online as a blogger.

I ran this workshop as a taster session but, given the interest on the day for a sold-out event, I will look at future workshops for the new year.

Meanwhile, as part of the session, I shared my top six travel-writing tips as follows:

People, not places

The best travel stories are not about places. They’re about the people who live in those places.

So talk to local people and weave this into your narrative. Nothing adds life to a story like direct speech.

Find a story

A lot of travel stories are very information led. But the stories that really stand out tell proper stories. So find a real story, get a proper angle, think about your readership. Then frame these elements in the context of a destination.

Get it right

Commissioning editors don’t have the time, nor the inclination, to correct your spelling, cut down your copy if you bust your word count and punctuate your sentences. Want more work? Then get it right.

Work with the medium

And not against it. Writing for print? You have the luxury of longer sentences and more descriptive language. But if you’re writing for online, then take a leaf from George Orwell’s book and keep the language more direct. People are increasingly reading your articles on mobile devices, so format for the screen.

Spot the openings

Publications thrive on regular sections and this is your way in, especially as a first-time contributor. Editors need to fill these sections and often to look to freelancers to plug the gaps. So, read, read and read some more.

 Strictly business

Travel writing is a job. Treat it as such. You’re working as a specialist reporter, covering a niche area. You want to be regarded as a professional? Then act professionally. And expect to be paid …