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

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Writing the Travel Essay: From Inspiration to Publication

The San Francisco Writers' Grotto - San Francisco, CA
April 13 to May 18, 2016

Some of our greatest moments and breakthroughs—or at least our best bar stories—come from our travels. 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, from vague idea to final draft, and then take steps to get it published. Along the way, you’ll learn the essentials of narrative travel writing, including structure, setting, dialogue, 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 have the opportunity to study published pieces and discuss what made these essays shine. You’ll learn not only what an editor looks for in a story submission, but also the invaluable skill of viewing your own writing with an editor’s eye in order to make difficult but essential revisions. We’ll discuss 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, plus plenty of ideas and inspiration for future projects.

If you’ve ever aspired to being a published travel writer, consider this your passport. Essays written in prior sessions of this course have been chosen for anthologies such as Travelers' Tales The Best Travel Writing, The Best Women’s Travel Writing, and Wake up and Smell the Shit, Lonely Planet’s An Innocent Abroad, and Harvard Bookstore's Around the World.

Dates: Wednesdays, April 13, 20, 27; May 4, 11, 18


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


Writing has been a way of explaining to myself the things I do not understand.” –Rosario Castellanos