Just wondering if anyone has any insight into the world of travel writing. I'll be travelling Europe in the fall, and do like to write, and thought, I'll have lots of time to do so on trains, etc...but don't really know how to go about it. Should I pitch an idea to a media first? Or just write what I feel like, then try to pitch it later? Has anyone ever done this before?
Any ideas would be greatly appreciated!
I haven't yet been a published travel writer, but I'm trying hard! I've been through some of the questions and pitfalls.
You could approach publications first, but you are likely to fall foul on two counts:
1. Magazines usually plan well ahead and you may be too late for the stories they are planning (about 1 year in advance).
2. They are unlikely to commission you in advance if you are previously unpublished, as they have no idea what they will get.
Travel writing is a particularly hard part of the publishing world to get into - it's all been done before, so people are looking for new and unusual 'angles'.
Photography - again the magazines for the travel market expect the highest standards and nothing less than slide film transparencies will be accepted. Prints and Digital will NOT be good enough for them, as I have found to my cost (and I'm not talking about my composition - it's a quality issue).
I travelled all around the world with my family and took hundreds of print and digital photos. Not one of them is good enough for publishing.
Suppose I'll just have to go again!
So, just go, take lots of slide photos and come up with some unusual stories, and you'll stand a chance.
I somehow ended up on this site's mailing list:
They send an e-mail newsletter on Tuesday and Friday with recent topics and new posts.
Our locally-produced NPR radio station had the travel editor of a local newspaper as a guest to talk about travel writing. He said it's easier for beginners to get published in newspapers than magazines and that many papers have guidelines for submitting articles on their websites.
As you travel, gather sidebar information -- name, contacti nfo and prices for a 3, 4 & 5 star hotel, What to See and Do, Getting There, etc.
I think newspapers accept digital images, especially if you shoot large enough to convert files from 72 DPI to a higher resolution.