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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


Upcoming

  • Writing The Literary Travel Essay
    June 24 to July 29 2013
    The Grotto
    San Francisco, CA

  • 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

  • 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

  • The real meaning of travel, like that of a conversation by the fireside, is the discovery of oneself through contact with other people, and its condition is self-commitment in the dialogue.” –Paul Tournier