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Travel Writing

Jan 26
Feb 9
6 - 8 PM CT
Margaret Littman and Deborah Douglas
Online via Zoom
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You love to travel. You love to write. It should be easy to do them together, right? Yes…and no. Writing practical travel articles for magazines and guidebooks takes some finesse and elbow grease, too (that was true before a global pandemic, and even more so now). This is a rigorous, hands-on class for those who want to write non-fiction travel journalism, rather than travelogues.

In the first week of this three-part class, we'll analyze what makes for good and responsible travel writing. We’ll look at how to approach travel writing in a way that is giving rather than extractive. We’ll talk about how to be inclusive and how to weigh whose stories are being told and how. We’ll guide you through how to develop story pitches that meet magazines’ requirements.

You'll have homework—reading before the first class and writing before the second and third weeks. We’ll workshop your travel magazine queries, meaning you’ll learn to give and receive constructive criticism. By the end of the third class, you should have a query letter ready to be sent to a magazine editor.

Expect videos, quizzes and engaging conversation. We’ll push you to think about what travel is, and what makes travel and travel writing better.

Margaret Littman tells the stories of the people and the places of the south. She's the author of a number of travel guidebooks to the region, including Moon Nashville, Moon Memphis, Moon Tennessee, and Moon Nashville to New Orleans Road Trip, which includes the historic Natchez Trace Parkway, and has been updated for 2021. She is at work on a new experiential guide to Nashville. As a journalist, she writes for Punch, Nashville Scene and its "Bites" food blog, Nashville Lifestyles magazine, The Telegraph Travel, Wanderly, Orbitz, Condé Nast Traveler, AAA World, and many other publications. She likes to write, travel stories about easily accessible domestic destinations. When not traveling or writing, she's an avid paddle boarder, co-owns Nashville Paddle Company, and is working on paddle boarding in all 50 states…a project a global pandemic has slowed, but not stopped.

DEBORAH D. DOUGLAS is the Eugene S. Pulliam Distinguished Visiting Professor of Journalism at DePauw University and a senior leader with The OpEd Project, leading fellowships and programs that include the University of Texas at Austin, Dartmouth College, Columbia University, Urgent Action Fund in South Africa and Kenya, and Youth Narrating Our World (YNOW). While teaching at her alma mater, Northwestern University’s Medill School, she created a graduate investigative journalism capstone on the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and taught best practices in Karachi, Pakistan. An award-winning journalist and 2019 Studs Terkel awardee and the founding managing editor of MLK50: Justice Through Journalism, Douglas is author of “U.S. Civil Rights Trail: A Traveler’s Guide to the People, Places and Events That Made the Movement.” (Moon Travel, 2021).

What Our Students Say

Margaret is so knowledgeable and generous with her expertise. I'm so glad I took her class.

I loved Margaret’s class! She knows so much about travel writing and the freelance business - her expertise was extremely valuable. I feel that I took away a lot of great tips and inspiration to apply to my own career. I appreciate her openness and anecdotes, and her feedback about our pitches was so helpful!

Deborah is new to our teaching roster. Welcome, Deborah!

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