Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Interview with a Travel Writer...Lauren Viera.


Today we talk with Lauren Viera who is the assistant Travel Editor at the Chicago Tribune. I discovered Lauren earlier this month when reading her article A new state every three weeks and thought she would be interesting to interview. Luckily for us, she agreed.

Hi Lauren and welcome to Write To Travel. Thanks for taking some time to talk with us.

1. Did you always want to be a writer? How did you get started in writing?

Actually, yes. I recall writing stories in third grade -- one of them about my wanting to be a writer. I became interested in journalism in high school, thanks to a really inspiring teacher and great experiences working on the high school paper. I wrote arts features and submitted some of my stories to local music zines, and from there I began to build a portfolio of clips.

By the time I got to college and joined the staff of the student newspaper there, I had a strong enough portfolio to apply for internships -- which I did relentlessly, finally landing one at the Los Angeles Times. Having a variety of arts & entertainment clips from the L.A. Times opened up a lot of freelance opportunities thereafter; freelance opportunities led to more solid clips; more solid clips led to job opportunities. And so it goes.

2. What do you consider your first "break" as a travel writer?

About five years ago, I was writing for an alternative weekly in San Diego, Cal., that was launching a travel section. I was freelancing full-time and had a flexible schedule, so I pitched a few longer-term assignments -- one of them on exploring my Portuguese ancestry. My editor had learned about a press trip to the Azores, so I applied for it and went for about two weeks. It was incredible -- not only the experience of visiting a place to which I'd never been, but getting an in-depth perspective on everything, complete with escorts and translators. Ironically, that little alt-weekly folded before the article was published, but I've thought about pitching it elsewhere some day.

3. What advice would you give to someone who wants to break into travel writing?

Do a lot of other types of writing first.

Travel writing often involves reporting on all kinds of subjects -- dining, lodging, entertainment, nature, geography, culture, shopping and retail, history, sometimes religion. It doesn't hurt to be well-versed in at least a few of those areas before attempting to write about all of them at once.

Starting local helps, too. My first real travel assignments (since the Azorean trip was a no-go) were all to places within a short drive of Chicago, where I live. With any writing, knowing your subject well and having the capacity to report thoroughly is always going to be to your advantage.

That said, pitching a story on a destination that's within a few hours from you is a great place to start, since you're likely to know it better -- and thus likely to write more cohesively about it -- than somewhere that's foreign to you.

4. What do you see as the future for travel writers in the printed media and online?

Like all aspects of the media industry right now, there's definitely a big move toward online publishing. Even at the Chicago Tribune, where I work, I spend about half of my time writing stories for print, and half of my time finessing stories or packages that will have a longer lifespan on the Web. I don't think newspapers' Travel sections or steadfast travel magazines -- like Travel + Leisure or Conde Nast Traveler -- are going away anytime soon, but there's definitely a growing need for comprehensive travel guides on the Web.

5. Which travel writers and/or travel books have influenced you?

I'm still very new to travel writing, relatively speaking, so I'm still learning different authors' voices. But as far as reference books go, I tend to use Lonely Planet more than any other publisher. They're well-written and comprehensive, and they don't mince words. I love the Moon Metro series of maps, and for glossy travel books, I love the DK Eyewitness Travel series.

6. As a writer and traveler, what are the biggest challenges you face on the road?

For one, cramming it all in. I almost feel like it degrades local culture to attempt to grasp the essence of an entire city (or even just a neighborhood) in a short period of time -- and then paraphrase that short period of time into an even shorter article -- but that is the job of the travel journalist. You're never going to be able to see it all. I try to make my experiences as thorough as possible and write about them as gracefully I can, always with the understanding that there is a ton more beyond what my notebook and I experienced. A more personal challenge for me as a traveler is being a vegetarian. I'll be doing a fair amount of international travel in the coming months, and I have a feeling I'm in for a lot of meat-eating. But it's part of the job, so I'll do it.

7. Finally, what is your favorite place and why?


This is a tough one. I love the Pacific Northwest; I love Tuscany; I love Copenhagen. I haven't yet been to Bali, but it's my favorite place right now because I'm planning on going later this year, and the anticipation is exciting. As soon as I've been there, then a new unknown will be my new favorite. Sometimes, my favorite place is my backyard in the summertime. As wonderful as travel is, it's always nice to come home.

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Monday, January 28, 2008

Word Travel: Television Show about Travel Writing...

Anyone out there from Canada. If so, you're in luck. There's a new television show called Word Travel starting up at the end of January that follows follows two travel writers - freelance journalist Robin Esrock and national travel columnist Julia Dimon - as they travel the world looking for stories while facing deadlines, jetlag, and culture shock.

Filmed in 12 countries across 6 continents, the 13 part series takes a look at the world of professional travel journalism.

It starts January 30th at 10 pm ET / 7 pm PT on OLN Canada.

Sure hope it also ends up on the internet...

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Sunday, January 27, 2008

Travel Blog of the Week...Escape from New York.

This month I’ve travelled to India, Mexico, Guatemala, and China. Last month I was in New York City, Marrakesh and Lebanon. And I didn’t even have to leave home. My travels took place through the eyes of Wendy, a New York City based photographer and journalist who has created a great visual travel blog called Escape from New York.

The pictures are stunning and the posts just long enough to give you a taste of what’s happening in the far flung reaches of the globe. Today I visited Rome’s Campo De Fiori and learned about Mexican Ex-Voto Folk Art.

It’s a mystery where I’ll be tomorrow. The only thing I know - it will be interesting and inspiring...

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Saturday, January 26, 2008

Travel Writer Personalities...which one are you?

Tim Patterson has written an entertaining post over at Brave New Traveler, looking at the types of personalities travel writers possess.

He's narrowed it down to six...

* the intrepid monk

* the epic adventurer

* the naked introvert

* the walking party

* the public relations professional

* the guidebook writer



So which one are you???

And which one do you inspire to be???

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Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Interview with a Travel Writer...Joe Ray.

Today we talk with Joe Ray, a food and travel writer based in Paris. His articles, which you can read at his website, have been published in leading newspapers such as the Boston Globe, the Star Ledger, the Montreal Gazette, and the Associated Press. He also has a blog Eating the Motherland that documents his three month stay in Sicily.

Hi Joe and welcome to Write to Travel.

1. Did you always want to be a writer? How did you get started in writing?

Gradually, then all at once. I had a series of real jobs after college where I was spending more time writing than I should have and doing a few freelance pieces on the side. Finally, I ended up as a writer for an Internet company. Not long after bubble burst, and with little money, almost zero experience and no plan B, I moved to France and decided that I was going to be a journalist. It was one of the craziest ideas I've ever had, but having no net underneath you is a great motivator.

2. What do you consider your first "break" as a travel writer? As a food writer?

In 1998, I wrote a piece for the food section for The San Francisco Chronicle about trying out as a line cook in three well-respected San Francisco restaurants. The connection to food editor Miriam Morgan came through friends of friends, but I was on my own from there and luckily, Ms. Morgan was very helpful. After that, it doesn't snowball, but that first article is helpful for landing the second and the second the third...

3. What advice would you give to someone who wants to break into writing?

It sounds clichĂ©, but write about what you know and love. I had cooked in about a dozen kitchens across the states – from cheap diners to upscale Asian and Vietnamese places and loved it. I love cooking and knowing a little about how it works is a huge help. Plus, It's so much easier for me to pass on my enthusiasm about food than, say, accounting.

4. What do you see as the future for food and travel writers in the printed media and online ?

I think a lot of the outlets we write for are asking themselves the same question, so as a writer, being flexible and attentive to their needs is key. I took pictures as a hobby for years and eventually I started selling my photos with my stories – editors seemed to like being able to get a story/photo package and I liked making more money. Now I'm onto my second digital reflex camera and I like shooting as much as working on a story. Similar things could be said for getting into audio and video.

5. Which travel writers and/or travel books have influenced you?

For me, it's not necessarily travel writers, but people who have that enthusiasm about what they write or do. I went through a big Hemingway phase, but came away mostly appreciating his gift for brevity. Steinbeck's "Travels With Charley" makes you want to jump in a truck, hit the road and finish the day with a glass of applejack. I read Jeffrey Steingarten's "The Man Who Ate Everything" when I was starting to hit a bit of a stride with my own work, and it was wonderful to see his combination of knowledge, enthusiasm and humor. Finally, Julia Child's "Mastering The Art of French Cooking" and just about anything from M.F.K. Fisher should be required reading for anyone who likes to eat.

6. As a writer and traveler, what are the biggest challenges you face on the road?

I've been on the move for the last two years, essentially living out of two bags, which can lead to a little meltdown every couple of months. (Where is that box with my birth certificate? Where will I find an apartment the next time I head back to Paris?) That said, the privilege to have gone to some of the places I've been and meet some of the people I've met always outweighs it.

7. Finally, what is your favorite place and why?

For some of the best food and dining experiences, the Pinotxo food kiosk in Barcelona's Boqueria market, a Sicilian gelateria, an Argentine steakhouse, a Parisian bistro, and, for a good dose of plaid, New England accent and a killer coconut cream pie, the Agawam Diner in Rowley, MA - all with friends or family.

(photo by Olivier Benoit)

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Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Travel articles that caught my eye...


There’s not been much time for reading this week but I still managed to read a few travel articles.

Did you know that grease was one of Vancouver Islands most valuable commodities. Neither did I until I started reading A taste of history on the Grease Trail by Lawrence Millman who takes on a journey along the Grease Trail. Not a trip that most travellers would take.

The recent coup in Fiji has discouraged tourists from visiting. But if you want to know whether it’s safe to return check out this article Some Enchanted Island by Justin Wastnage.

I always believed that Elvis still lives…I’d run across him in Los Angeles and in Las Vegas. Now it seems that he’s in Australia. Presley’s Pulling Power by Guy Wilkinson tells you just where to find him.

Happy reading…

(photo credit)

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I have a dream...

Yesterday was Martin Luther King Day in the United States and so I thought it would be nice to re-listen to his famous speech 'I have a dream'. It's a speech that everyone should listen to at least once in their lifetime.


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Sunday, January 20, 2008

Travel Blog of the Week...High Culture on a Low Budget.


Written by freelance writer Olivia Giovetti, High Culture on a Low Budget aims to provide tips and information on little known places of culture - dance, museums, art, music - around Europe that are really worth checking out and will not break the budget. Each post features a beautiful photograph to tempt you and also show you what you’re missing by not being there.

For example…

“In our peripheries, we’ve all heard of Bruegel, da Vinci, Botticelli, Rembrandt, Caravaggio…I could go on with enough names to fill a textbook here. But who’s heard of Benkovic, Piazzetta, van Ruisdael or Gros? Here’s a hint: my spell-check knows how to properly spell (and doesn’t underline) the first batch of names. The second batch…not so lucky. Welcome to the list of artists that did not go down in supermodel history but nonetheless are considered masters (and well-deservedly). You’ve probably seen most of them in other museums (especially in Europe) en route to La Primavera or the Mona Lisa, but in Croatia they take center stage.” (Zagreb: Strossmayer’s Old Masters Gallery)

and

“Here’s the cool thing about the Scottish Ballet: if you’re traveling through the Highlands and are counting your pounds and pence (and let’s face it, no one should deny you that deep-fried Mars bar), you can play around with the Ballet’s schedule and catch the company in a town where tickets are cheaper than, say, Glasgow. While Aberdeen may not be the cheapest place to catch the ballet (that honour currently goes to Edinburgh), it’s where the dancers have currently parked their toe shoes.” (Aberdeen: The Scottish Ballet)

This three month old travel blog is definitely worth keeping an eye on, especially if you’re planning a trip to Europe.

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Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Interview with a Travel Writer...Barbara Hudgins.

Today we talk with travel writer Barbara Hudgins. Barbara is the author of several travel books, including New Jersey Day Trips (now in it's 10th edition). She writes a travel column which has appeared in The Madison Eagle, the Bernardsville News, and various other newspapers. Her articles have also appeared in national magazines such as Signature, Women's World, and Foreword.

Barbara is also the author of the recently published book 'Crafting the Travel Guidebook' that looks to be a very useful resource for anyone considering writing a travel guidebook. You can get a sneak preview of the book here and purchase here.

Hi Barbara, and welcome to Write to Travel. Thanks for taking the time to talk.

1. Did you always want to be a writer? How did you get started in writing?

Yes, I always wanted to write, but like many people thought fiction was the way to go. I was an English major in college and took a class in short stories. But my first professional writing was for a newspaper, although I knew nothing of journalism. I was living in Albuquerque, New Mexico on very little money and I missed the New York theater terribly. I walked into the leading newspaper and asked to do theater reviews. They had someone who did the local community theater beat but they gave me concerts, ballets and that sort of thing. I’m talking about classical concerts here. I fudged it well enough that they finally let me cover the shows. I had an 11:15 pm deadline and would have to leave the theater by 10:30 pm. It taught me to write fast—very fast.

2. What do you consider your first "break" as a travel writer?

It was by accident. I was writing freelance real estate ads in the 1980s when my children were young. The advertising company asked me to do a booklet on recreational activities in the New Jersey area. When I started researching I discovered there was not one decent guidebook to New Jersey, so I wrote one. It sold very well. Because I became an expert on the area, a local papers asked me to write a column. I still write occasional articles both on daytrips and foreign destinations.

The newspaper gave me access to freebie entrance to many of the local destinations. It was much easier to say I’m the travel writer for this newspaper chain than to explain that I was the author of New Jersey Day Trips, a book that not everyone might have heard about. I would also be asked for freelance articles on the subject from various regional papers or magazines.

3. What advice would you give to someone who wants to break into travel writing?

Well, starting from a local base always helps. There are local newspapers, websites and small magazines that will take newcomers. They don’t pay very well, but it’s a beginning. Or start with something you feel passionate about. I know one woman who wrote a directory of motels that accommodate dogs because she was so angry that she was unable to find lodging for a night for her Labrador in a rainy night on Cape Cod. And ecotourism was certainly helped by the passion of travel writers. Since just about every destination has been covered it’s mostly a matter of slant and specific interest nowadays.

4. What do you see as the future for travel writers in the printed media and online?

The printed media market is shrinking. The online world is expanding. For the travel writer, the competition consists of all those thousands of people online who are writing on travel forums and travel communities offering their opinions and descriptions –for free! They don’t think of themselves as travel writers but they are attracting the same travel consumer.

As for the online e-zines that do take travel articles and stories—they pay nothing or next to nothing even for professional writers. The best they can offer is the ability to snag a sponsored trip if you are writing for a well-known online magazine. And there’s insane competition for those spots! Probably the quickest way to get a paycheck is to become the editor of some travel zine, or become an about.com guide or start your own blog and hope to attract sponsors.

Take your travel interview blog, for instance. Twenty years ago you would have had to contact an editor—either of a travel magazine or writing magazine with a query. Then he would ask you who you lined up. Then you would have to line up a few names of enough consequence that he would be interested. Then you would have to write to all those people and wait for answer. Finally, when the article was finished and accepted you might get $250 USD.

Now, you just go ahead and do it! Of course you do not get any paycheck— at first, at least. But who knows—you could collect all your interviews and create your own POD book and sell that. Anything is possible. It’s figuring out how to make money at it that’s the problem.

As for travel books, which is more my forte than articles—there are some trends. One is the related destination book such as wedding destinations, great spas, food-related vacations, or “finding-your-own soul” travel. For American baby boomers who are retiring it’s long-term trips and RV vacations. And of course there’s no shortage of hiking and biking books and there is always room for another in a new territory.

There is also the melding of categories or genres. For instance the self-realization book has been combined with the long-term travel. Travel memoirs, if well-written, can still kick it.

And of course there are all those travel destination books that are dominated by a few brand name publishers—they are always looking for new blood to do the 7th edition of some guidebook.

5. Which travel writers and/or travel books have influenced you?

Strangely enough I really didn’t read many travel books until I wrote my own. And those I read, I analyzed for slant, format and organization rather than reading them for enjoyment. It was the stories of Hemingway and Paul Bowles that made me want to visit Paris and Spain and North Africa.

6. Finally, what is your favorite place and why?

Well, I’m a city girl---um, woman. I was born in New York (Brooklyn to be precise) so although I love sun-baked beaches (as long as I’m in the shade) cities hold an excitement for me. So it’s always going to be Paris because sitting in a cafĂ© watching the world go by is great recreation to me. Then certain places retain a sentimental hold for personal reasons and so I’ll take the view of Magens Bay in St. Thomas above any other.

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Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Travel articles that caught my eye...


I spend what my family and friends consider ‘way too much time’ reading articles on the internet. I have an excuse though - it’s all market research…

How else, I ask, will I get my travel articles accepted if I don’t know what they are looking for, if I don’t have a good grasp of the travel topics that are popular and if I don’t pay attention to the advertising that is part and parcel of newspapers and magazines. After all, the key to freelance success is to know your market.

So, to prove that it really is market research, I’ve decided to post a weekly column about travel articles that caught my eye…

New York Times

Any article that has the words ‘road trip’ will immediately catch my attention. And if it’s located in the American southwest, then I’m hooked. An Arizona Road Trip on the Edge of America by Keith Mulvhill simply made me want to hightail it back to the states and hop into a car and re-visit the Arizona desert.

Or I could just stay in New Zealand and go winery hopping. I’ve done a lot of that in New Zealand’s South Island. But North Island Coast of Small Wineries and Big Pleasures by Debra A Klein has made me think that I need over to the North Island one day and check out the boutique wineries and cafes in the far north.

The Baltimore Sun

It’s a long way from New Zealand to Europe. Actually, it’s a long from New Zealand to anywhere. So it’s great to have a few interesting places to stopover en route. And let’s face it, Dubai is interesting. Dubai: The new Gold Coast by Toni Salama tells us why.

Chicago Tribune

People watching (and food) are great ways to spend time when travelling. And with millions of people visiting Las Vegas each year, this could be the prime people watching city. The Las Vegas insiders' guide to people-watching by Jay Jones gives the low down on when and where to people watch.

USA Today

Nine destination bookstores worth putting on a tourist's itinerary by Beth J. Harpaz focuses on bookstores across America. I’ve only been to one of the bookstores listed - The Strand in NYC. One day, who knows, I’ll make it to the rest. Meanwhile, the article is a good example of how to compile an interesting and compelling travel list.

Budget Travel Magazine

Written by editor Erik Torkells, Paris and Amsterdam, Together, is a first person account of how to plan a trip for someone else and discovering that not everyone wants to see what you do.

So what are you reading this week???


(photo credit)

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Sunday, January 13, 2008

Travel Blog of the Week: Ivan About Town...

Ivan calls himself a travel freak, a frustrated historian, and a heritage activist. He forgot to add a passionate advocate for all things to do with the Philippines and surrounding countries.

Ivan about Town documents this passion. The blog is full of fantastic photographs and travelogues about Ivan’s trips. Anyone considering a visit to the Phillipines would be wise to wander through the archives and discover all the unique and interesting places worth visiting. Places that you might not find in a ordinary travel guide. For example, did you know about the annual San Fernando Frog Festival or the Obando Fertility Rites?

It’s a journey worth taking. You’ll find Ivan with you every step of the way. You can re-live Ivan’s trips by boat, plane and train, and learn about the area's ecotourism, heritage conservation, and politics and society.

Ivan, by the way, is not in the least bit camera shy. In fact, one of the great things about this travel blog is that Ivan has turned many of the photos into postcards and has placed himself smack dab in the middle - so you know that he really can say ‘been there, done that.’

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Saturday, January 12, 2008

Blogging Tips: Write a Killer Blog...

Originally presented at The Blog Business Summit 2006 by Robert and Maryam Scoble (Scobleizer).

Lots of good tips here...

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Friday, January 11, 2008

Meet the Frommers...

I'm a big fan of the Frommer Guidebooks, having used one to navigate my way around Arizona on a road trip a couple of years ago. And my recent trip to Madrid, Spain wouldn't have been the same if I hadn't had my Frommer's guide to highlight the great walking tours around the city.

So I reckon it would be interesting to Meet the Frommers. But there's not much chance of that out here in New Zealand. Those of you living in the USA, however, will have the opportunity to meet the Frommers in the next few months.


According to Arthur Frommer's blog they will be speakers at a large number of travel shows that are happening between January and March around the country.

Here's their calender...

January 11 at Book Passage Bookstore in Corte Madera, California (just north of San Francisco. (Pauline Frommer)

January 12 at the Bay Area Travel Show in Santa Clara, California. (Pauline Frommer)

January 12 at the Adventure in Travel Expo in New York City. (Arthur Frommer)

January 24 at the Evanston Public Library in Evanston, Illinois. (Pauline Frommer)

January 26 at the Adventure in Travel Expo in Chicago, Illinois. (Pauline Frommer)

February 8, Pasadena Public Library in Pasadena, California. (Arthur and Pauline Frommer)

February 9 and 10 at the Los Angeles Times Travel Show in Los Angeles, California. (Arthur and Pauline Frommer)

February 19 at the Astor Center in New York City. (Pauline Frommer)

March 1 at the New York Times Travel Show in New York City. (Arthur and Pauline Frommer)

March 12 at the Tuckahoe Women's Club in Richmond, Virginia. (Pauline Frommer)

March 27 at the PLA National Conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota.(Arthur and Pauline Frommer)

Further details about times and locations can be found here.

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Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Travel writing opportunity...

I found this over at Performancing.com

Travel bloggers needed

thebloggersguide.com, thetravelfront.com, and theweatherfront.com are looking for freelance writers and bloggers to blog about specific geographic regions. Currently they are looking for

"...editors and contributors for all European countries and capital cities, as well as Sydney, Adelaide, Brisbane, Auckland, Cape Town, New York, San Francisco, Toronto and Vancouver."

These are paid blogging positions...

"There is a flat monthly fee for the ongoing work as above, plus a bonus based on page views – the more traffic you generate, the more money you earn.

In the summer of 2008 we will be publishing paperback guidebooks with the best content from each location. You will need to organise the content with this in mind and the book will carry your name as the Editor. We will pay a 12% a royalty on the guidebook."


Check out the full post at Performancing.com for more information.

Sounds intriguing.

Anyone decides to apply, let us know how you get on...

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Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Writers need to feed the brain...

Having trouble concentrating?
Memory not working so well.
Got writer's block?
Lacking in motivation?

Could be you're not feeding the brain enough goodies to make it work right.

You need this list of 20 Super Brain Foods

1. Wholegrain Foods
2. Walnuts
3. Cashews
4. Almonds
5. Pecans
6. Blueberries
7. Strawberries
8. Blackberries
9. Sunflower Seeds
10. Pumpkin Seeds
11. Green Tea
12. Eggs
13. Avocados
14. Tomatoes
15. Brocolli
16. Red Cabbage
17. Eggplant
18. Spinach
19. Yoghurt
20. Chocolate

Head over to Life of Zen and find out why these foods are so good for the brain...

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Monday, January 07, 2008

A true book lover...

I found this over at Neatoroma and just had to share...


Photo Credit

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Sunday, January 06, 2008

Travel Writing Opportunities....

Want to write about food and travel ?

Vezeo.com, a restaurant and travel blog, is seeking freelance writers to review great restaurants, hotels and resorts, wineries, golf courses and more.

Requirements:

-You are passionate about food and travel
-You enjoy writing about your dining or hotel experiences
-You are a very good writer
-You are a fair and objective positive person
-You are passionate about service and hospitality
-You currently dine out at interesting restaurants in your home area or cities.
-It would be very beneficial if you have a camera and an interest in photography
-This is an opportunity that could morph into a full-time writing and/or traveling position for the right person.
-We are seeking writers from all corners of the world

If you are interested in learning more about this rare opportunity, please visit:

http://www.vezeo.com/write-for-vezeo

Compensation: $25-$100 per article

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Saturday, January 05, 2008

The Facelife continues...

It's a whole new year and a whole new look.

My Year of Getting Published has been transformed.

I've changed the name - Write to Travel

I've clarified the focus - exploring the world of travel writing

And Heather at GoofyGirl Designs has created a whole new look.

Still to come ...an update of the right side column (about page, blogroll, archives, etc)

Posting has been a little sporadic of late but things will be back to normal next week with new ideas, new interviews, and new resources...

By the way, if you know of any travel writers looking to be interviewed let me know...

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Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Writing Goals 2008...

My writing goals this year can be summed up in one word - consolidate. 2007 saw the beginning of my freelance writing career with blogging becoming a high priority.

In 2008 I plan on consolidating my initial successes by strengthening my blogging skills through learning more about social networking, computer language, and writing skills.

Specific Goals:

Goal #1 - continue with providing a travel writing resource with this blog. Changes are coming, however, for the My Year of Getting Publishing. Expect a facelift and new name with the next month and some great new weekly posts to complement the ‘interview with a travel writer’, 'weekly top 5 blog posts for writers’ and the 'travel blog of the week’ series.

Goal #2 - dedicate one day a week to writing only about travel and finding markets for travel articles.

Goal #3 - continue to develop my expertise in heatlh writing by daily posts to Healthbolt and Alzheimer’s Notes, my two paid blogging positions with b5Media.

Goal #4 - attend at least one writers conference this year.

Goal #5 - aim to earn double my 2007 writing income.

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Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Writing Challenges 2008...

If you’re looking for a way of challenging yourself as a freelance writer, then check out this two writing sites.

Inkthinker (aka Kristen King) is offering the 2008 Inkthinker Query Challenge.

What is the Inkthinker Query Challenge ? It’s a place to obtain encouragement, advice, and and hear about success stories from freelance writers just like us. The goal is for each participant to send out 120 query letters in 2008, the theory being that the more you send out, the better you get at writing query letters and the more chance you have of getting some accepted. So if your planning on sending out query letters this year, then it’s worth signing up for the Query Challenge for the support and encouragement that it provides.


All Freelance Writing (aka Jennifer Mattern) is offering monthly writing challenges to help freelance writers improve and grow their writing business. Each month a new writing challenge will begin. Here’s the lineup so far…

January Monthly Challenge - E-book writing.

“…you’ll be challenged to write an e-book in 14 days (the final 14 days of the month). During the first half of the month, I’ll be offering a selection of lead-in articles on topics like e-book pricing, e-book covers, e-book distribution / delivery, e-book formats, and writing a sales page for your e-book.”

February Monthly Challenge - Writer’s Website

“…covering some very basic HTML and CSS that writers really should know these days (especially if you’re a Web writer, where these things can get you gigs), as well as a tutorial or two on editing free or purchased Web templates to make them your own. I’ll also take a look at a few content management systems for those of you wanting to be able to edit and update your websites from anywhere you are, directly online.”

Go for it.

Challenge yourself.

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