Travel Writing



So I was shelving books at Springwood and I came across this gem of a writer’s guide. “Lonely Planet’s Guide to Travel Writing’ by Don George and I couldn’t resist picking it up. I think it is universally acknowledge that Travel Writing is one of those jobs that sounds pretty spectacular, especially for the adventurous writer. Some of my favourite reads that I’ve picked up from the library have been in the Travel Writing genre including the better known ‘Under the Tuscan Sun’ by Frances Mayes, and one of my personal favourites ‘Absolutely Faking it’ by Tiana Templeman.

But what does it take to be a travel writer?

“Being a travel writer is not all play and bungalows, Parisian cafes and safari sunsets,” states Don. “It’s hard work… That doesn’t mean that it’s beyond your reach. The world is travel writing is open to everyone.”

“But what constitutes good travel writing?” Don answers in a simple and concise paragraph (which also happens to be my favourite paragraph in the whole book): “In one word, it is place. Successful travel stories bring a particular place to life through a combination of factual information and vividly rendered descriptive details and anecdotes, characters and dialogue. Such stories transport the reader and convey a rich sense of the author’s experience in that place…”

He then goes on to list a handful of goals in order to achieve your maximum potential in travel writing. “The goals of travel writing are to present an accurate and compelling evocation and assessment of a place, to bring that place and the writer’s experience to life so vividly that the reader is transported there, and to enhance the reader’s understanding of the world… In some cases, a secondary goal is to present the essential information the reader needs to visit that place and duplicate the author’s experience.”

What are the publishing options in Travel Writing? Don lists five publishing areas that travel writers most common inhabit: Newspapers, Magazines, The Internet (aka blogging), Travel Literature and Guide books (like the ones Lonely planet publishes).

So, fellow creative writers, next time you’re thinking of that Caribbean cruise or that African Safari, why not have a go at writing about it? 🙂

-Happy Writing. 🙂


Source: Lonely Planet’s guide to Travel Writing (expert advice from the world’s leading travel publisher) by Don George.



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