PROGRAMME 

10.00     Doors open

10.15     INTRODUCTION

What’s best for you? Options and outlets for travel writing today.

MORNING SESSION: HOW TO WRITE IT

10.45     How the professionals do it

What makes the writing of the best authors come alive? Whose writing do you like or dislike, and why? Students bring a short piece of travel writing from a magazine, newspaper or book to analyse and discuss in small, break-out groups led by members of the panel.

11.20     Summary of learning points from each group

11.30     Tea/coffee

11.45     Writing vividly

How can you ensure that your writing is sharp and descriptive? In this segment we discuss the power of the individual sentence: the need to put the right words in the right order, how to paint a clear and compelling picture, and the importance of avoiding clichés and overwriting.

12.15     Shaping a story

Good articles might appear to be works of effortless spontaneity, but in reality they are carefully structured and follow set ‘rules’ of travel writing. If your piece is to be published, then it must ‘do’ certain things. We reveal the key factors you need to consider when conceiving and crafting your work, including angles, hooks, hinges and endings.

1.15        Lunch

AFTERNOON SESSION: HOW TO PUBLISH IT

2.15        Travel articles

So you now know how to shape an article, but how do you make the transition from unpublished to published writer? The Head of Print at The Telegraph Travel opens the door to the world of the newspaper travel desk, explaining what editors want, giving advice on precisely how you should go about pitching, and revealing other tricks of the trade. This is a rare and valuable opportunity to speak to a current editor who commissions articles from freelance writers.

3.15        Travel books

What are the opportunities for longer form travel writing beyond the pages of newspapers and magazines? You’ve used guidebooks, but have you ever wondered who writes them and what the job involves? Is guidebook writing something you can do in your spare time? Or do you have an idea for a travel narrative? In this session we’ll consider the pleasures and pitfalls of book writing and offer advice on how to catch the eye of a publisher.

3.40        Tea/coffee

4.00        The digital future

Online publishing and the worldwide web have transformed the travel-writing landscape. Self-publishing is now a realistic option and anyone with a computer can set up a blog. Is there a career in blogging? How should you go about setting up a blog? The digital expert on our panel will explain the possibilities and opportunities, and talk about the practical steps – from choosing the best blogging platform to increasing your blog’s profile.  

4.40        Writing competitions

Travel-writing competitions offer a golden opportunity both to practise the craft and get your writing noticed. Several winners or shortlisted entrants of the annual Bradt Travel-Writing Competition have used their success as a springboard to securing book and article commissions. And the prizes can be well worth winning in their own right! The panellists have all served as judges of travel-writing competitions and will offer their thoughts and tips.

4.50        Questions, experiences and discussion from the floor

5.00        Finish