AWAI Wall of Fame

Mike Slagle
Age: Boomer
What is your current occupation?
Freelance Writer/ Copywriter, and teach writing part-time at two local universities
What are you studying at AWAI (travel writing, photography, import/export, or all three)?
Completed travel writing course and 6-figure copywriting course
What was your first successful article or photo about and where did it appear?
My first travel article, "Accidental Pilgrims at the Abbey of Sant' Antimo," was published in The Traveler. I later re-slanted the article and sold it to Dream of Italy.
Mike Slagle
What are you working on now?
Between copywriting projects (several for International Living) and my teaching obligations, I am reworking several of my travel journal reflections which I hope someday to publish (self-publish?) as a collection of travel essays. The travel essay has always been one of my favorite genres. To publish my own collection of travel reflections is mostly a vanity thing -- Pico Iyer has nothing to fear.
What has been your proudest writing, photography, or import/export moment?
Though not directly related to travel writing, my proudest writing moment was getting my short story, "Summer Souls," published in the literary journal Redbud a couple of years ago. However, a large part of the success of that story was due to creating a sense of place -- a skill I learned in the travel writing course. As for travel writing, I was recently invited to read a couple of my travel essays at a public reception/ reading at the University of Saint Francis.
Please give us an example of how your life has changed since becoming a travel writer, photographer, or import-exporter.
I've traded a two-hour a day commute for one of about a dozen steps from the espresso maker in the kitchen to my study. And, I never have to fill out a "vacation request" when I get the urge to travel... or just take a day or two away from work.
What success tip would you like to share with your fellow AWAI members?
Leave your guidebook in your hotel room and train your "writer's eye" to observe the unique or unusual about a place and its people.
When did you realize you were living the writer’s or photographer’s life?
When I realized I had way too many dress shirts and ties hanging in my closet.

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