Travel and Words offers two conference tracks―Beginning and Experienced―to meet the specific learning needs of attendees. Both tracks will attend the general session, panel discussions, speaker presentations, group meals and networking events.
Beginning writers and bloggers will attend the Beginning Track, with five workshops focused on the basics of launching a successful travel writing career. Think of it as Travel Writing 101. They will also attend a Q&A session with magazine editors.
“Travel Writer’s Road Map” by Allen Cox
In freelance travel writing, what are the rules of the road? In this workshop, you’ll learn the types of travel articles, the etiquette of approaching editors, how to find publications (both print and digital) looking to buy freelance work, the importance of developing your brand and platform, and much more. You’ll leave the workshop with a solid roadmap to get you on the path to publication.
“The Art of Pitching” by Kim Cooper Findling
There are a few tried and true rules on how to approach editors with a story idea. In this workshop, you will develop the skills to write a good story pitch, identify good pitches from bad, learn about the etiquette of pitching one or more editors with a story idea and what happens next. By the end of the workshop, you will feel more confident about writing an eye-catching query.
“The Craft of Travel Writing” by Adam Sawyer
Few writers were born with the skills to write a compelling story. The skills can be learned and applied. This workshop focuses on learning to write concise yet compelling content, incorporating the senses into your writing, identifying the cliches and pitfalls in your own work, and the importance of the self-editing and revision process.
“Social Media for Travel Writers” by McKenzie Tobeck
Editors and host destinations want travel writers to have a social media presence. In this hands-on workshop, you will learn why social media is important for travel writers, what platforms you should utilize, how to post on the go, and how to build a following. Bring your mobile device to class.
“Landing FAMs and Other Pro Tips” by Adam Sawyer
For travel writers, field research is essential. In this workshop, you will learn tips on becoming a professional that destination hosts and editors will want to work with again and again. How to find and apply for familiarization (FAM) trips, FAM-trip etiquette, meeting production expectations and much more will be discussed to prepare you to become a professional travel writer.
Experienced writers and bloggers will attend the Experienced Track, with two advanced workshops and meetings with destination marketers. (Experienced writers may elect to take Beginning Track workshops instead of Experienced Track workshops.) Experienced Track attendees will sign up for two preferred workshops at the conference registration desk.
“How to Become a Social Media Influencer” by McKenzie Tobeck
Influencers have entered the travel media space in a big way. Editor’s and destinations expect content creators to go beyond what’s on the page or website. They are looking for exposure through social media, blogs and other platforms. Learn how not only to gain a larger following but also how to gain a targeted following for the right niche.
“Navigate the World of Book Publishing” by Kim Cooper Findling
Inside most travel writers, there’s a travel book waiting to be published. How do you identify the right topic, go about your research and find a publisher? Is traditional publishing, self-publishing or an e-book format right for you? What types of contracts will you encounter? What about the format and the cover art? And how will you promote the book? These and many other questions will be addressed, giving you the information you need to navigate the publishing process.
Both Experienced and Beginning
“Photography Tips for Travel Writers” by Corey Dembeck
Learn to take publication-ready photos to accompany your articles. This photography workshop includes explanations of aperture, shutter speed and ISO to help move you from the auto to manual settings on a DSLR camera. Also includes tips on mobile phone photography. Learn composition basics like the rule of thirds, golden ratio, balance and symmetry, perspective and angle. Get tips and advice on architecture, landscape, portrait, food and product shots.
“Expand Your Repertoire – Consider Business-to-Business Publications” by Ron Engeldinger
Business-to-business and trade publications are often overlooked as potential markets for travel writers. When visiting locations and talking with local representatives, travel writers often uncover stories that may not be a fit for a traditional travel or lifestyle magazine but are nonetheless saleable. Connecting with these business-to-business publications offers an additional revenue opportunity. In this workshop, you will learn how to scout out interesting stories, what the types of publications to consider and how to approach these publications.