New Travel Writing Class

I had so much fun teaching an online travel writing class with Media Bistro this summer, I just signed up for another one this fall, September 15 – November 17. Here’s the skinny:

Travel the world and get paid for it? Yes, it’s true! Whether a long weekend in Mendocino or a long walk across Nepal, there’s a market out there for your stories, and a proven path that successful travel writers follow. In this course, you’ll learn how to grow your freelance writing career by mastering one of its most adaptable, engaging genres: travel.

Travel writing is a conduit to many parallel genres, from food to art, politics to technology, and the skills and experience you’ll gain covering travel can be applied to all your writings. In week one, we’ll fully assess the travel writing market (magazines, newspapers, guidebooks, websites, blogs, and more) and set individual writing agendas for the duration of class. In following weeks we’ll reveal the inner workings of the field, showing how travel editors think and what they want from their writers. We’ll diagram the many different styles of travel writing, study the critical role of pitch letters, analyze key components to strong travel writing, and show how and why you can use travel writing as a springboard to other genres.

Throughout class we’ll extensively workshop your pitches and articles, and you’ll graduate with a series of solid pieces ready for you to sell. 
You’ll also create your own blog, develop a mission for it, and learn the opportunities that exist for publishing online.

In this class, you will learn:

  • How to break into travel writing
  • The rules of reporting, interviewing, finding sources, and local color
  • What kinds of stories make good journalism
  • What travel editors look for, and how to get them to notice you
  • Where to find story ideas in any place, and how to pitch them successfully
  • What to do when you get to your destination
  • How to turn one trip into dozens of sellable story ideas
  • Where to pitch travel articles besides travel publications

By the end of class, you will have:
Two salable pieces and pitch letters to match (and the know-how to send them out!)

Students who have taken this class have been published in:
National Geographic Traveler, Travel & Leisure, Outside, Sunset, Bon Appetit, Entrepreneur, San FranciscoTime Out New York, andBudget Travel

The online classroom has several interactive components:

  • Instructors post lectures once a week. You can read them online, print them, or download them at your convenience.
  • Students post completed assignments for feedback and discussion by the instructor and class.
  • Weekly chats allow your class to get together via instant message. Transcripts are available for review if you can’t attend.
  • Technical support is available from Mediabistro staff.

Cost of the class is $499. The weekly chats will be held every Thursday from 10 – 11 p.m. EST.

Want to take the plunge? You can register for it here.



  1. Stephanie Jaeger

    I applied to work as a “volunteer” in a Lion park just outside Johannesburg, South Africa, beginning the day your course starts. I plan to stay in South Africa for three weeks, but I haven’t heard back or made any reservations yet. I may be too old and have to many medical problems for them to accept me. If I do go and I take your course, could I get the lectures for the first three weeks early so I can work on them before I leave and then catch up when I get back? It seems like it would be good to be participating in your course while traveling, but I know I won’t get much writing done while I am there. How late can I sign up for the course if I don’t go on this trip?

    • Great to hear from you, Stephanie! What a wonderful opportunity: you’ll definitely get some good stories out of a lion park! This is a fairly intense class, so you might want to wait until you are back in home base, so you can get the most out of it. (Some of the assignments include starting a blog and writing the synopsis of a book proposal, plus reading and critiquing all of your colleagues’ work.) I’ll probably be offering it two or three times a year, so there will be plenty more opportunities to take it. I think they accept late enrollment until the second week of class. Thanks for checking in, and have a fabulous time in Joburg!

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