Travel Writing

GUIDE TO NONFICTION COURSES
Nonfiction Pathways
Foundation
If you’re not sure what kind of nonfiction to write...
If you know what kind of nonfiction to write...
Or...
If you want a rather short course...
Next Steps
After completing a Level I ten-week course...
After completing Memoir II, if you want to write a book...
Selling Your Work
If you hope to get published somewhere...
Travel Writing

Travel Writing is a 10-week workshop, which includes lectures, exercises, and the critiquing of student projects. It’s for beginners or anyone who wants to brush up on the fundamentals. Farther down, you can view a syllabus for this course.

Travel writing lets us traverse the world on page or screen, journeying everywhere from the cobblestone streets of Amsterdam to the brilliant-white beaches of Zanzibar. Reading about travel can provide the inspiration and information to set us in motion, or it can transport foreign locales right into our homes. Spin the globe to anyplace you like.

Travel writing requires you to pack a sense of adventure, a journalist’s eye, and a storyteller’s flair. Here you will learn about the full spectrum of travel writing—articles, memoir, essay, blogs, guidebooks—as well as writing craft and how to market your work.

Whether you seek to write about places near or far, we’ll show you how to turn the world into words.

About Travel Writing
Travel Writing

The instructor provided an invaluable insider's point of view…. This Gotham class allowed me to take part in dialogues with people from Croatia to Washington State, on topics from an encounter with Mother Theresa to peddling a pedicab in California. I loved the disparate points of view and the extravagant variety of travel experiences that were shared online!

Teri Albert

writer

Notes

Gotham only offers Travel Writing at Level I. After that, if you want to continue working on travel pieces, you have these options:

    Memoir I or Memoir II – for travel-related memoirs
    Essay & Opinion I – for travel-related essays and reviews
    Feature Article – for travel-related articles

Upcoming Classes

To ensure everyone's good health, students in NYC classes must provide proof of full Covid vaccinations (the initial series of Covid vaccines plus at least one booster). We will accept your Covid vaccine card (or a digital scan), a NY State Excelsior digital card, or another form of government-approved proof. We will contact you before class begins about showing us proof. Also, we will require masks in the classrooms and Gotham premises.

More Covid details
  • Starts Tuesday, April 11
    Online, anytime
    10-Week Workshop
  • Starts Tuesday, July 11
    Online, anytime
    10-Week Workshop

Price

Registration fee $25, paid once per term

See Payment Options

To register for a 10-Week course, you need to pay in full to guarantee your place in class. Or you can pay a $95 deposit plus a $25 registration fee (total $120) to temporarily hold your place, but tuition must be paid in full 10 business days before your class starts or you risk losing your spot.

10-Week

Syllabus

This course gives you a firm grounding in the basics of travel writing gets you writing a short piece (or two) or a book. Course components:
     Lectures
     Writing exercises
     Workshopping of student projects (each student presenting work two times)

New York City/Zoom classes
The syllabus varies from teacher to teacher, term to term. Many topics will be similar to those covered in the Online classes.

Online classes 
Week 1
Introduction to Travel Writing: The reality of travel writing. Types of travel writing. Which type and place for your own work? Angles.

Week 2
Destination Articles: Exploring destination articles. Structure—lead, nut graph, body, kicker. Moving parts—sense of place, people, facts, opinion, hed/dek. Outlines. Variables—point of view, length.

Week 3
Travel Memoir & Essay: Exploring travel memoirs. Aspect. Story—structure, theme. Scene and reflection. People and place. Exploring travel essays. Moving parts—viewpoint and personal experience, structure. Blurred boundaries in literary travel writing.

Week 4
Roundups & Guidebooks: Exploring roundups. Types of roundups. Writing a roundup. Writing tight. Exploring guidebooks. Guide to guidebooks. Writing guidebooks.

Week 5
Description/Voice: Description techniques—sensory, specificity, creativity, clichés, modifiers. An eye for details. What is voice? Personal voice. Publication voice. Finding your voice.

Week 6
Blogs/Photography: Types of travel blogs. Blog content. Reasons to blog (including making money). Setting up a blog. Building an audience. Photography advice.

Week 7
Travel News: Hard news. Feature articles. Advice articles. The seven “news values.”

Week 8
Travel Planning & Research: How to plan travel to find stories. Research. Resources. Traveling cheap or free. PR and ethics.

Week 9
Pitching: Selling books. Selling short pieces. The publication landscape. Homing in. Query letters. Sending out/hearing back.

Week 10
The Travel Writing Pro: Working with an editor. Building a career—money, relationships, self-promotion. Your view of the world.

Note: Content may vary among individual classes.

Teachers

Andrew Collins
Andrew Collins

Andrew Collins contributes to various guidebooks (including Mexico City, Pacific Northwest, New England, Utah, and National Parks) for Fodor's Travel, and he’s the author of the LGBTQ travel book Destination Pride and the book Ultimate Road Trips USA & Canada (both Hardie Grant). He’s the editor of the official visitor guides of Washington State, Washington State Wine Commission, Seattle, and Asheville, and has written for New Mexico Magazine, Travel + Leisure, The Advocate, and Sunset. He holds a BA from Wesleyan University.

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