As long as wanderlust exists, the well-written and engaging travel essay will never stop appealing to readers who want more than mere information. While there’s no foolproof formula to crafting the travel essay, a few “rules of the road,” do exist. Your travel essay will be a success when it leaves readers with a vivid and fresh memory of a place they’ve never seen. You’ll learn that to be an effective travel writer you must lead the reader into the wonder of the place you’re describing, always remembering that your experience can only be conveyed through specific details. Because a good travel essay should be readable in one sitting, it takes an artful approach to focus your lens, build your structure, and discover colorful threads to weave through the fabric of your essay. Your task is to steer your reader to critical moments and unforgettable images. We’ll discuss ‘finding’ the story and how this isn’t something you can anticipate before leaving; traveling for a story as opposed to traveling for travel’s sake; ways to begin your story; the various types of travel writing; and the importance of the ‘quest’ to entice readers. We’ll do lots of fun and inspiring writing exercises, sharing our travel experiences through the written word.
About Laurie Gough:
Laurie Gough is a journalist and award-winning author of three memoirs: Stolen Child: A Mother’s Journey to Rescue Her Son from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder; Kiss the Sunset Pig: An American Road Trip with Exotic Detours; and Kite Strings of the Southern Cross: A Woman’s Travel Odyssey, shortlisted for the Thomas Cook Travel Book Award in the U.K., and silver medal winner of ForeWord Magazine’s Travel Book of the Year in the U.S. Over twenty of her stories have been anthologized in literary travel books. She has been a regular contributor to The Globe and Mail, and has written for The Guardian, The L.A. Times, Maclean’s, The Walrus, USA Today, Salon.com, The National Post, Canadian Geographic, among others. Her work has been translated into several languages and she has been teaching memoir and travel writing for 20 years.