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Writing the Travel Essay: From Inspiration to Publication

The San Francisco Writers' Grotto - San Francisco, California
January 8 to February 12, 2015

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 the anthologies The Best Travel Writing,The Best Women’s Travel Writing, and Lonely Planet’s An Innocent Abroad.

Number of sessions: 6

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

Date: Jan. 8 – Feb 12

Course fee: $350 for six sessions.

Spots reserved with nonrefundable $100 deposit.

Limit: 10 students


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


This is the devilish thing about foreign affairs: they are foreign and will not always conform to our whim.” –James Reston