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Writing The Literary Travel Essay: From Inspiration to Publication

The Writers' Grotto - San Francisco , California
January 29 to March 5, 2014

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, we’ll study published pieces and discuss what made these essays shine. 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 talk about the business of travel writing and 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.

Instructor: Lavinia Spalding

Number of sessions: 6

Meeting time: Wednesday nights 6:30-9:00 pm

Date: Jan 29-March 5, 2014

Course fee: $350 for six sessions. Spots reserved with $100 deposit.


The Writers' Grotto , 490 2nd St. Suite 200, San Francisco , California


What is art but a way of seeing?” –Thomas Berger