Presentation on theme: "How and Where to Find the Best Assignments By Steenie Harvey AWAI’s Ultimate Travel Writer’s Workshop ● Denver, CO ● July 2009 Please turn off your cell."— Presentation transcript:
How and Where to Find the Best Assignments By Steenie Harvey AWAI’s Ultimate Travel Writer’s Workshop ● Denver, CO ● July 2009 Please turn off your cell phone. Thanks!
THE FIRST AND MOST IMPORTANT THING IS TO GET SOMETHING PUBLISHED Your byline doesn’t have to be on a travel story...the vital thing is to build up a clip file. High-paying commissioning editors seek proof that you can write. Get some published samples to show them!
The aim: Build A Relationship With an Editor
First Step: Find the Story Keep your ear to the ground. Don’t spurn writing non-travel stories. Get in touch with your local tourist board and chamber of commerce…ask to be put on their press release list Read your local newspaper… What’s happening in your city/town/region that could interest a wider audience?
IDENTIFY A MARKET FOR YOUR STORY Think Small (Postcards/Front of Book Pieces) Think Local Newspapers... Internet publications… Regional Magazines... Hotel Magazines Travel General Interest Features Shopping Restaurants Homes & Gardens People Stories Wildlife Real Estate
Pest control is really not a sexy business, so kudos has to go to Boar Busters at Mission Beach in Queensland, who’ve managed to turn their contract to get rid of feral pigs into a tourism opportunity. The Big Pig Shindig allows guests to get as involved as the Occupational Health and Safety chaps will allow. And, yes, that means getting dirty. The Boar Busters try to stagger things so that their guests can set a trap, check devices that have already been set and see pigs that have been caught in the previous day’s traps. Boar Busters (www.boarbusters.com.au) ) operates the Big Pig Shindig for $90 per person. The day out also includes a visit to a croc farm. Catch some pigs Australian Traveller
Internet travel mags Wend Magazine. Interested in first person accounts of literate adventure travel with a social/ anthropological/ environmental awareness that permeates the story. Its ‘Feast’ section celebrates strange culinary encounters. ‘Whether it's drinking Chang (rice wine steeped in rendered yak fat) in NE India, eating fried worms in Africa, or searching for the best kabob in Istanbul, Feast is dedicated to the fuel our bodies need for adventure.’ Pays 25 cents/word
Internet travel mags and webzines ($25 per feature) ($50-$100) (unstated, rumored to be $100) (up to $40) ($25 per feature) (hope to pay by next year, but can possibly help with assignment letters for FAM trips)
USE YOUR LOCAL KNOWLEDGE… Editors love insider stories
On the Block: Creemore by Olivia Stren Set in a valley by the Mad River and hemmed in by the Purple Hills of Mulmur, this hamlet has a sleepy, lost-in-time feel. Free of subdivisions and big-box stores, it has retained what Gap-ifying towns like Collingwood have lost. Eight ways to enjoy a little town and country 7. Some towns have plazas or cathedrals; Creemore’s proudest landmark is its brewery—its arrival 19 years ago revived the town’s economy. The brewery’s premium no-preservatives lager is made in copper kettles, using water from a nearby spring and spicy hops imported from the Czech Republic. Visitors tour the immaculate facility with a gratis cold brew in hand. 139 Mill St.,
Be a Glutton in Québec City by Olivia Stren Canada's oldest city also has the country's best food, from highbrow French-fries-and-gravy to croissants that would make a Parisian jealous. Where to stay Where to eat What to do Insider’s tip An oddball day
Feeling French in a fairytale city: 48 hours in Quebec city (National Geographic Traveler) Set Your Sights on Niagara (Where, Canadian tourist info magazine) The Hazelton Hotel: Toronto’s Luxury 5 star hotel (National Post) Shopping with chefs (Toronto Life) Too nursery-room blue! Too blah beige! New condo owner Olivia Stren’s search for the perfect paint colour (Calgary Herald)
We rely heavily on freelance writers and photographers. Writers: Send a query letter with ideas for stories you may have. Attach no more than three samples (preferably tear-sheets) of your writing. Pays $25-$300 for assigned articles, $25-$100 for unsolicited articles. Kentucky Monthly
Days at the museum Kentucky Monthly School is out and vacation plans are in full gear. Why not throw in some reptiles, baseball bats, quilts and dolls when scheduling your summer fun? From ventriloquism to the story of Creation, museums and zoos can be found off the beaten path all across Kentucky. Off I-71 in northern Kentucky, a collection of figures, photographs, playbills and books draws visitors from around the world. But this isn’t your ordinary exhibition. The Vent Haven museum in Fort Mitchell is the only museum dedicated to the world of ventriloquism....
Feature stories: pay $800- $1,200. Columns, departments and short features: $100-$800. Sample stories: Rogues, Rascals and Villains -- A roundup of Hawaii’s most notorious baddies from loveable hucksters to cold-blooded killers. The Yard -- the past and present of the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard. On the Hunt--the Nature Conservancy takes on Hawaii’s feral pigs Monsarrat--- blocks away from bustling Waikiki, Monsarrat offers a variety of shops and eateries—at a much slower pace Honolulu Magazine www. honolulumagazine.com
Inner Tubes and Daylilies Ohio Monthly It is the crunch of the gravel under the tires that lets me know when I have arrived. When I was little, I could feel it all through my body, stretched out in the ‘way back’ of my family’s Buick Electra, in a giant fort of blankets and pillows, stuffed animals and duffel bags, in order to comfortably bear the two-hour trek up I-71 and across several state routes from Madeira to Indian Lake. A different trip now, but the same arrival. Car doors fling open as my own children scramble out, freed from the confines of the minivan. I can already see the orange daylilies from the window….
Pays $0.50-$1/word Target Niche Magazines
Morning After: Tampa Bay (Draft magazine) Skyway Jack’s Don’t let the 6-foot chicken statue perched outside fool you: This is pork country. On an average day, 60 pounds of sausage and 45 pounds of bacon fly through the window. Notice the plastic pig dolls, porcine porcelain, and assorted oinker ornaments on the walls and dive into your Philadelphia Scrapple replete with pork, pork stock, fat, skins, liver, and hearts. Despite the fetishistic deference to tasty barnyard denizens, the true charm comes from the folks who treat the place like a second home. The fishermen sloshing in for a pre-dawn meal, the packs of early-rising old-timers, groggy construction workers, and bloodshot-eyed cops, businessmen, families, you, me -- all waited on by gruff old girls who’ve been doing it half their lives, and they don’t have all day, so hurry up and order that plate of scrambled pork brains ’cause you know you’re curious.
Wants tightly focused stories--- timely, unique, positive. No generic travel articles. (e.g. an article about olive oil touring around Santa Barbara - not an “article about Santa Barbara.”) The readership is travel industry professionals + guests of hotels operated by Broughton Hospitality. Focus is on Broughton locations such as Santa Barbara, Santa Monica, Palm Springs, Chicago. Articles must tie in to these places or in some way fit the magazine’s approach to travel. Broughton Quarterly Payment: on individual basis; reprints considered
Godfathers of Grit Broughton Quarterly With Tommy guns blazing and kitsch to burn, Chicago’s Untouchables Tour puts an ironic spin on the city’s notorious past Oprah and Obama may be the faces of today’s Chicago, but there was a time when names like George ‘Bugs’ Moran, Frank ‘Tight Lips’ Gusenberg and Johnny ‘The Fox’ Torrio trilled off the tongues of frightened citizens. And while these mobsters of yesteryear have been swimming with the fishes for decades, the Windy City’s marriage to the mob simply can’t be silenced. The proof lies behind the folding door of an old black, and somewhat dilapidated school bus belonging to The Untouchables Tour.
Read--- and follow--the Writer’s Guidelines What length should your piece be? Should it be written in first person or third person? Should you query first or submit the finished article? ALSO READ SOME SAMPLE COPIES Has a similar topic (or the destination) been covered recently?
Do plenty of pre-trip research Find out as much as possible about your subject (but don’t take it as fact that everything on the Internet or in guidebooks is accurate) Set up meetings if your story will include interviews Draw up an advance plan of action on where to go and what to see Does a guidebook or tourism website mention something quirky but not cover it in depth? That’s an additional story for you, maybe…. Maximize your time …nowhere is a ‘one story town’
Identify A Number of Stories To Come Back With Iceland Following Odin’s Ravens: Viking Festival Steamy Iceland: Geothermal pools, the Blue Lagoon Drinking the glaciers: Icebergs at Jokulsarlon glacial lagoon Curse of the Puffin: Strange eats Whale-watching and fishing Iceland’s secret inhabitants: trolls, elves and other hidden people Holmavik’s Witchcraft Museum Pagan Iceland
KNOW YOUR ‘RIGHTS’... AND THEN RESELL YOUR STORY (AGAIN…AND AGAIN)
First Rights/First North American Serial Rights (FNASR) means granting a publication the right to publish your article first. FNASR applies throughout the United States and Canada. Without a major rewrite (it’s normally around 80% of the content to be considered a new article), you can never sell FNASR again. So, be careful whom you sell these rights to! Hook a generous-paying publication to start with, and FNASR is the most lucrative method of selling a story. The door then stays open for selling reprints.
And if you can‘t find a market in the U.S. …. Then try the Brits
Mating time at the buffalo farm (The Times) From our hotel window, we can see two buffalo copulating. Our room is lovely, featuring polished wood, embroidered bed linen and what must be some of the finest views of copulating buffalo in Italy. We chose Agrituristica Seliano because we wanted a ‘’proper’’ horny-handed farm-stay holiday, the sort where you really get to chat to the livestock and smell the labourers. Looks like we found it.
Water cure for a fire down below It took me quite a long time to understand, as my girlfriend and I canoodled in the Caribbean Sea, that a jellyfish had swum down the back of my trunks and wrapped its tentacles around my testicles. The feeling of 23 cigarettes being simultaneously stubbed out on your scrotum isn’t the easiest thing to comprehend while you’re waist-high in water.