Better Your Writing

How to Reach an Editor

You should always submit your story or your query for your story with a well-targeted headline on it. You want it to catch the editor's eye and show him, immediately, what your article is about. It's one of the most effective ways to distinguish yourself from the bulk of other writers also submitting material.

The Ultimate Travel Writer's Workshop in Portland, Don't Worry, We're Recording It...

Lucky for me -- and for you too if you're missing this year's event -- we're recording it. So at least we'll have an opportunity to hear the new presentations from guest speakers.

Grabbed, Pinched, and Kicked: Turning Travel into Checks

TRAVEL THRILLS (AND CHILLS) By Roberta Beach Jacobson in Karpathos, Greece A notice in a recent newsletter of Budget Travel Online grabbed my attention. It was a simple request: "We're asking readers to scan or snap a digital photo of any evocative, thrill-inducing passport stamps from far-flung countries. E-mail the images to with the […]

Turning Social Issues into Travel Articles

TURNING SOCIAL ISSUES INTO TRAVEL ARTICLES On Monday I wandered into a dive shop in San Pedro, the main town on Ambergris Caye in Belize, but instead of signing up for a scuba trip I somehow dove into an animated debate with Gilbert, a tall, 30-something Belizean entrepreneur. You see, Belize is a poor country […]

How to "Localize" a Piece for More Profit

Add "Local" Flavor to Any Article, and You Can Sell It Here... and There Last week I talked about three ways you can improve the odds you'll land a newspaper by-line. (Missed that issue? You'll find it in the archives, here) As I explained in that piece, by "localizing" your article -- that is, tailoring […]

Not-So-Elusive Benefits of Travel Writing

If you simply learn a few important tricks of the trade about putting an article together and about dealing with editors -- exactly the sorts of things you'll find documented in our archives -- then you'll be well ahead of the majority of new writers (even seasoned writers) out there.

Three Tricks for Breaking into Newspapers

Three Smart Ways to Sell Your Story to a Newspaper's Travel Editor Open any newspaper's travel section and you're bound to see articles picked up off a wire. They're easy to spot. Under the by-line they'll say something like "Los Angeles Times" (though you're reading the Denver Post). It's not that editors don't want other […]

Bonus Report: Real-World Secrets to Fund Your Travels (Part 2)

Editors -- always looking for ways to keep their readers engaged -- like to publish articles that are timely and "current."  As a writer, one way to meet that need is to peg your stories to a trend. Jen Stevens spoke to this point here at our Ultimate Travel Writer's Workshop in Paris and gave […]

3 Ways to Repackage (and Resell) an Article

Once you've invested the time and energy in researching, writing, and editing an article, it's a pity to get just one sale out of it. Now, if you maintained some rights to the piece, then you can resell it as-is in non-competing markets. (We've written about this option before. Go here for an article by […]

Graveyards and Ghost Tales

Today: *** April Means October: How to Turn Your Spring-Time Months into Saleable Articles this Fall *** Electronic Guide: How to Find the Best Story Ideas and Where to Publish Them *** Practical Writing Prompt of the Week: Writing Funny Travel Stories *** Reader Feedback: Published in Common Ties Dear Reader, It's April, but here […]

Are You a Scaredy-Cat Writer?

Are You a Scaredy-Cat Writer? Four Steps to Conquer Your Fears and Set Yourself up for Success this Week If you have yet to find success as a travel writer, odds are, it's not because the three articles a week you're sending out are all ill-suited for the publications to which you're sending them. No, […]

Four Ways to Horrify a French Waiter

Today: *** Coffee, Cheese, Butter, and Substitutes: Four Sure-Fire Ways to Ruin an Otherwise Good French Meal *** Authentic Paris: Three Ways to Find It (see today's main article) and the Best Way to Write about It (see today's writing prompt) *** Leave Your Money at Home! If You're Still Paying for Your Travel, Let […]

Turning a Bad Hotel into a Good Travel Article

In yesterday's newsletter we answered this question from one of our readers: "If you're sent to do a piece on a specific location, such as a hotel, and it turns out to be terrible, do you still have to write the article as promised? If so, what do you say? If you don't feel you […]

Eating Guinea Pig...

Today: *** How to Turn a Bad Hotel into a Good Travel Article *** Practical Writing Prompt of the Week: Eating Guinea Pig *** Reader Feedback: Writing for Other Markets Dear Reader, Before you scroll down to today's writing prompt (about eating guinea pig and drinking turkey-flavored soda), take a look at this question I […]

Writer's Diarrhea -- And Six Ways to Cure It

Sometimes the problem isn't constipation (writer's block), it's writer's diarrhea. The first drafts of my articles are often as messy as an encounter with a broken sewer pipe. Writer's diarrhea? At times it's more like dysentery. When faced with a 2,500-word assignment, I'm powerless to prevent at least 5,000 words from cascading forth. If my […]