Learn travel writing

Manukan beach, BorneoIf, like me, you’re prone to keeping travelogues whenever you skip out of town, why not have a go at turning your holidays into magazine features?

Tina Walsh is a freelance journalist with more than 25 years’ experience of writing about travel for publications such as TIME, the Guardian, Daily Mail, Daily Express and many more.

She’s leading a five-week online travel course, providing an insight into what travel editors are looking for from freelance journalists and offering tips on how to sell your stories.

What does it cover?

* How to find engaging story ideas
* How to write a pitch
* How to structure your story
* How to get invited on press trips and organise your own trips

The course is suitable for beginners and more experienced travel writers looking to brush up their skills.

Start dates are ongoing, so you can sign up whenever you’re ready and complete the course in your own time.

Taking part costs £250 (inc VAT) for five individual one-hour sessions. It could be the start of a brand new career, or at least add a new string to your writing bow.

Find full details at tina-walsh.com.

New Artist – a new magazine

newartistI recently got invited to write a feature for a brand new magazine, New Artist. It was a dream commission, involving me visiting galleries, coffee shops and the like and talking to the people about the pros and cons of choosing to exhibit in unconventional spaces. It opened up really interesting discussions, and gave me an opportunity to consider some unexpected sides of the arguments for and against, while enjoying spending time in some of my favourite kinds of places with some truly talented people.

I was thrilled to receive my comp copy of the magazine last week, which comes with a cover gift of a set of sketching pencils (bonus!), and is packed with beautiful practical articles designed to improve artistic skills and inspire ideas for new compositions.

art_on_display_p1

One special detail for me is that among the photos I submitted along with my feature text was a photo I’d taken in the Grant Bradley Gallery, Bristol, which just happened to include a small work of art by my mum. It made it onto the printed page, which means I now have the pleasure of letting my mum know her collage has been featured in a national art magazine. How lovely.

Print editions of the quarterly New Artist magazine are available to buy online from craft.buysubscriptions.com/Special-Issues/New-Artist, with digital versions available on iPad, tablets and Zinio. The print version of issue 1 will be on sale until early March 2016, with digi editions available indefinitely. Huzzah!

Deadlines, deadlines…

Hotel Chocolat goodiesOne of the challenges of being a freelance writer is that occasionally more opportunities arise than you rightly know what to do with.

Last week, for example, I had a few chats with magazine editors I’d written for previously, and suddenly realised I’d accepted 12 commissions, all with deadlines before the end of February.

Gulp.

Time management is a key part of the freelance writer’s job. Luckily, I keep two days a week solely for writing projects, so getting these completed should be no problem, providing that the people I’ve agreed to produced profile pieces on actually respond to my emails and phone calls…

Other than that, I need to get down to it. Which requites writing fuel, aka Hotel Chocolat goodies, and plenty of them…

How to conduct a successful interview

Reflection in Limerick RiverAs writers, we’re naturally interested in the lives of other people, and interviewing the people who inspire us can be one of the major perks. From Q & A sessions to in-depth features, there is definitely an art to carrying out a successful interview.

From expats in Spain to legendary authors, I’ve interviewed a large range of people through my work as a journalist. Here I’ll cover everything you need to know, from choosing and contacting your subject to preparation and implementation. Continue reading