Advanced Travel Writing (10 weeks)
All fired up after taking Amanda Castleman's course From Free Trips to Flat Tires, and ready for the next step? Advanced Travel Writing builds on Amanda's lessons and helps hone and refine the skills that separate beginners from the people cashing big checks from big magazines.
Learn how top-echelon editors work with writers, what they're looking for in stories and pitches. Work on interview and sourcing skills, and learn how to refine the language of your writing so that each word conveys description, emotion, and local content.
Most importantly, learn how to write, rewrite, and then rewrite a little more, giving pieces that final polish that makes them stand above the crowd.
During this ten-week course, we'll refine the skills that go into a first-rate piece of writing and polish your feature article to ready it for publication.
This class is exclusively for those who have finished Amanda's class.
Week 1: Who are you and where do you want to go? Learning how to assess - and plan - your writing career. Mapping out the best ways to move forward. Business planning and legal technicalities. Assignment: re-editing the final piece from Amanda's class.
Week 2: The advanced query. Tailoring ideas that match your strengths with editors' needs: how to show an editor why they want this story now, and why you're the only person who can write it. Plus: how to develop and maintain long-term relationships with editors and magazines. Assignment: three full queries.
Week 3: Mastering the narrative arc. Nothing is as important as how a story begins. Except how it ends. And how it gets from the beginning to the ending. Advanced work in ledes, endings, and story movement. Assignment: Story outline and lede.
Week 4: Language, part 1: metaphor, analogy, word use, avoiding overwriting, mastering the dependant clause. Assignment: First section draft (500-750 words).
Week 5: Just the Facts: Interviewing skills, finding sources, backing up facts, ensuring accuracy in everything. Assignment: Full interview, relevant quotes from other sources.
Week 6: Language, part 2: How to make your sentences convey emotion and analysis, not just description. How language shows who you are; developing voice. Tone: humor, poetry, or folksy? Finding what's right for you. Assignment: Second section draft (500-750 words.
Week 7: Making the right choices: picking just the details, sites, anecdotes that move the story forward and increase its power. Making the personal universal and the universal personal. Assignment: Repurposing. Spinning multiple, very different articles out of the same trip and same research.
Week 8: Advanced rewriting techniques. Anybody can write; only the best know how to rewrite. Assignment: Critique/rework two assigned passages.
Week 9: Final draft. What elevates a good story to a great story. Final polishing techniques. Word counts, sidebars, sourcing. Turning in bullet-proof copy. Assignment: Rewrite of full story.
Week 10: Taking your travel writing to the next level. Managing the work and the lifestyle. Stretching for bigger and bigger stories. How to work with the biggest names in the field.
Edward Readicker-Henderson is a frequent contributor to such magazines as National Geographic Traveler, Budget Travel, Sierra, Modern Bride, AARP, and dozens of others. Edward has won a Lowell Thomas Award for cultural writing, a Northern Lights award for the year's best travel story on Canada, and has been short-listed in Best American Travel Writing.
writers on the