2012 Morning Session Descriptions

Morning Session Descriptions for the 2012 Travel Writers & Photographers Conference at Book Passage.

Writing for Magazines and Newspapers, taught by Spud Hilton

--- This workshop is designed to guide you through the process of writing a newspaper or magazine travel story from start to finish: where to go, pre-trip research, strategies for gathering information while traveling, composing a story editors will love and marketing your work. I’ll cover writing both destination narratives and service pieces, and I’ll explain what editors are looking for today, with special attention on the evolution of print, online and digital and its effect on your work. I'll also talk about writing a tight, delete-button-proof lede, editing your own work and, perhaps most importantly, how to tell a strong story and avoid the dreaded diary rehash. There will be hands-on writing assignments and exercises. Consider this time to smooth out that piece you've been working on for months or start one from scratch. Also learn how to maximize earning potential from your writing by tailoring it to multiple platforms.

Personal Essay and Memoir, taught by Larry Habegger

--- The best travel stories are really stories about life, with lessons for the writer and reader about ourselves and the people and places in our still magical world. My intention in our morning sessions is to help you develop powerful stories with simple tools. We will explore the craft of the personal essay and memoir through a combination of lectures, discussion, writing exercises, and sharing our work. The concepts we cover apply equally to brief essays, short personal stories, and longer works such as full-length memoirs. We’ll start by discussing and exploring different aspects of the genre: learning to conjure up inspiration; adding emotion and weight to your work; learning how to write vivid, powerful prose; the best structure for your story; and finding a home for your work. Each day you’ll have a brief assignment to complete for the next day, and we’ll read and critique them (reading your work for critique is not required, but it’s always beneficial).

Travel Writing & Blogging in the Digital Age, taught by Jim Benning & Pam Mandel

--- This course will cover the ins and outs of travel storytelling for the internet, from writing personal essays and service-oriented articles to blogging and multimedia production. Topics will include essay structure and themes, best travel blogging practices and using social media. It’ll include an introduction to producing audio slideshows and video. It’ll look at the business of travel writing online (we’ll touch on the business of writing for print, too) and include strategies for promoting oneself as a writer, establishing professional credentials and reputation, and making money in this challenging environment.

Travel Photography, taught by Robert Holmes, Andrea Johnson & Avram Kosasky

--- Over the course of three mornings, the travel photography session will address:  Researching the destination; preparation; what’s in the bag; looking at the big picture; capturing a sense of place; looking at light ~ time of day, weather, and the impact of color; choosing the right lens; showing motion; creating a sense of scale; understanding elements of composition; the decisive moment. On the final morning, there will be a group critique with the photography faculty.

Researching, Writing & Selling the Service Piece, taught by Chris Gray Faust & Pauline Frommer

--- Service Piece Want regular work as a travel writer? Consider service writing. Articles that explain the how-to's of travel, that go into travel trends, that review travel attractions and services -- these types of pieces make up at least 70% of the work assigned to freelance writers today. This class will dig into the tenets of sellable service pieces, including how to develop strong reporting, research and reviewing skills; interviewing tips and techniques; and actionable ways to adjust your writing voice to fit the needs of different publications. We'll do this not just through lectures, but with in-class exercises (including a field trip, so you can learn how to review in the real world) and small writing assignments that you'll do between classes. We'll finish up by taking a look at how to approach editors and other possible content buyers with your pitches, paying special attention to emerging markets such as apps and e-books.

Travel Writing Advanced Intensive, taught by David Farley

--- David Farley’s Travel Writing Advanced Intensive will be an intensely hands-on workshop for a small group of advanced writers. The workshop will focus on taking good writing to the next level: framing a story, finding and crafting a lede, using the right anecdotes and details, and shaping a resolution. The workshop will include writing exercises as well as close readings and critiques of material written before the class and brought by students to the class. Note: Admission to this workshop is by acceptance only. All interested students must submit a travel essay or article of no more than 2500 words; a very limited number of students will be accepted. All accepted students must bring one article or essay to the workshop for reading and critique.

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