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The travel writing tip I wish I’d known when I started out

In 2004 I was an IT consultant who had never been published. Now I’m a full-time travel writer with six writing awards including Travel Writer of the Year.

In 2004 I was an IT consultant who had never been published. Now I’m a full-time travel writer with six writing awards including Travel Writer of the Year.

I’ve never studied journalism or worked on a publication so I’ve had to figure out what works and what doesn’t the hard way – by trial and error.

Aspiring travel writers often ask me the advice I wish I’d known when I started writing – the tip that has helped the most in getting published. So here it is. And it’s deceptively simple: no attachments.

Until you’re established, an editor is never going to commission you to write a story if they haven’t used you before. Why would they? You’re an unknown quantity. So you’re going to have to just write something and send it in.

Getting your story read is by far your biggest challenge. Editors get deluged with hundreds of emails a week and opening yours will be very low on their priority list.

If they do open it, you need to make it as easy as possible for them to read your story. Hence: no attachments. To open an attachment, the editor has to double-click on it, wait while it’s virus-scanned and then download it to their computer – all time they could be spent doing something else.

However, if the story is in the body of the email, literally staring them in the face, it will be almost impossible for them not to read the first paragraph. If they like it, they’ll use it. If they don’t, they won’t.

Editors are always on the lookout for good stories. Make it as easy as possible for them to read yours.

 

Want more tips?

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Join Rob for a free Intro to Travel Writing talk at World Expeditions’ offices in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. Rob will share his top insider tips on how to get published plus preview the exciting World Expeditions Travel Writing trip to Cambodia he’ll be escorting in April 2016.

Sydney – Tue Oct 20 – World Expeditions, Level 5, 71 York St. Click here to register

Melbourne – Thur Nov 5 – World Expeditions, 1st Floor, 393 Little Bourke Street. Click here to register

Brisbane – Thur Nov 12 – World Expeditions, Level 2, 129 Margaret Street. Click here to register

Rob also has writing workshops scheduled in Sydney (Oct 31), Melbourne (Nov 7) and Brisbane (Nov 14). See www.robmcfarland.org for more details.

Have you ever thought about turning your travel experiences into travel stories?