This class is now over. Interested in upcoming classes and writing workshops?

Check my schedule or send me an email.

Writing & Publishing the Travel Essay

- San Francisco, CA
February 7 to March 21, 2013

Travel cracks open the mind, and the stories that result can be transformative, terrifying, humorous, and humbling. Discoveries made in foreign lands have the capacity to change who we are as people, and certainly who we are as writers. Do you have a travel tale you’re ready to unleash? Here’s your chance.

In this six-session workshop, you’ll write and revise a personal travel essay, then take steps to get it published. Along the way, we’ll cover the basics of narrative travel writing, from beginning to end, including structure, dialogue, setting, characterization, and story arc. You’ll develop and strengthen your writing voice, awaken your senses, and come to recognize your juiciest, most compelling material. In addition to writing and revising your own story, you’ll read a few published pieces and we’ll talk about what made these essays successful. This is a great opportunity to learn from a professional travel editor not only what an editor looks for in story submissions, but also the invaluable skill of viewing your own writing with an editor’s eye so you can make difficult but essential revisions. We’ll go over tips for submitting writing and working with editors, and you’ll come away with a list of print and online publication outlets. Each class will begin with lively, innovative writing exercises and end with a glass of wine. If you’ve ever aspired to being a published travel writer, consider this your passport.


The Grotto, 490 2nd Street, San Francisco, CA


Reviews

As a total newbie to writing, Lavinia's workshop class helped build my skills and confidence. Each week she taught and led us through great writing tips and techniques. Her workshopping process created a safe and supportive space for me to explore and expose my writing style and the story I wanted to share. I highly recommend this class for newbies and experienced students alike! "

Paige Mantel, former student (Writing & Publishing the Travel Essay)

I discovered Lavinia's travel essay workshop at the last minute and am so thankful I was able to join. She taught us about story structure and style and encouraged us to implement what we learned into our own travel essays. Terrific teacher and class - highly recommend!"

Jennifer Kelley, former student (Writing & Publishing the Travel Essay)

Upcoming

  • Litcrawl with AFAR magazine
    October 19 2013
    Adobe Books
    san francisco, california

  • Reading at Book Passage for Best Women’s Travel Writing Volume 9
    October 20 2013
    Book Passage
    Corte Madera, CA

  • Weekday Wanderlust’s One Year Anniversary!
    October 23 2013
    Hotel Rex
    San Francisco, CA

  • Travel Writing, UC Berkeley Guest Lecture
    November 5 2013
    San Francisco, California

  • Best Women’s Travel Writing Volume 9: Book Launch Party!
    December 9 - 10 2013
    Brick and Mortar Music Hall
    San Francisco, California

  • Writing The Literary Travel Essay: From Inspiration to Publication
    January 29 to March 5 2014
    The Writers' Grotto
    San Francisco , California

  • Beyond What You Did Last Summer: Teaching Travel Writing
    Thursday February 27 2014
    AWP Conference
    Seattle, WA

  • There She Goes Again: Women Writing Travel
    Friday February 28 2014
    AWP Conference
    Seattle, WA

  • Book Launch Party at The Mount
    June 22 2014
    The Mount
    Lenox, MA

  • The Great Books Summer Program at Stanford
    Wednesday July 9 2014
    Stanford
    Palo Alto, California

  • Book Passage Travel Writers & Photographers Conference
    August 14 - 17 2014
    Book Passage
    Corte Madera, California

  • The ROAR Retreat in Costa Rica
    September 25 - 28 2014
    Playa Conchal
    Costa Rica

  • LitCrawl with Travelers’ Tales
    October 18 2014
    San Francisco

  • Machu Picchu Writing Workshop
    November 10 - 15 2014
    Peru

  • Anthology Night at Weekday Wanderlust
    November 17 2014
    Hotel Rex
    San Francisco, California

  • The Best Women’s Travel Writing, Volume 10 at Diesel Books in Brentwood
    November 18 2014
    Diesel Books
    Brentwood, California

  • The Best Women’s Travel Writing, Volume 10 Reading at Diesel Books in Oakland!
    November 20 2014
    Diesel Books
    Oakland, CA

  • The Best Women’s Travel Writing Comes to Half Moon Bay
    December 5 2014
    Harbor Books
    Half Moon Bay, California

  • Launch for Lonely Planet’s An Innocent Abroad at Book Passage
    December 13 2014
    Book Passage
    Corte Madera, California

  • Writing the Travel Essay: From Inspiration to Publication
    January 8 to February 12 2015
    The San Francisco Writers' Grotto
    San Francisco, California

  • Women’s Travel Fest 2015
    March 1 2015
    San Francisco, California

  • Adventure Travel Stories With an All-Star Line-up
    April 8 2015
    Creekside Room at the Mill Valley Library
    Mill Valley, California

  • The Book Passage Travel Writers & Photographers Conference
    August 13 - 16 2015
    Book Passage
    Corte Madera, California

  • “An Evening with Travel Writer Lavinia Spalding”
    Tuesday October 6 2015
    Oshman Family Jewish Community Center
    Palo Alto, California

  • Interviewing the great Don George
    October 23 2015
    The Presidio Officer's Club
    San Francisco, California

  • Writing the Travel Essay: From Inspiration to Publication
    April 13 to May 18 2016
    The San Francisco Writers' Grotto
    San Francisco, CA

  • Your travel life has the essence of a dream. It is something outside the normal, yet you are in it. It is peopled with characters you have never seen before and in all probability will never see again. It brings occasional homesickness, and loneliness, and pangs of longing... But you are like the Vikings or the master mariners of the Elizabethan age, who have gone into a world of adventure, and home is not home until you return.” –Agatha Christie