Want to become
a travel writer?

 


I am unable to respond to all requests for career advice, due to a busy work schedule. My best (and admittedly biased) recommendation? Take one of my classes or independent study programs. But if budget woes prevail, here are some resources.


Courses offered
online and in-person

 

 

Other options include coaching and manuscript consultation.


Rome Workshop
May 1–7, Italy

 


Travel Writing and Photography Workshop, Rome, Italy

Study as you plan to continue — on the road. Start in the Eternal City this spring... Join Amanda Castleman and British travel writer Anna Melville-James for a week-long seminar in Italy's capital. The Susan Tifft Scholarship provides a 50% tuition discount for the winner of our essay competition. Stay tuned for full details on WritingRome.com by mid-December.

Dates: May 1–7, 2016
Fee: $1,500 early-bird discount available until March 15. Prices then rise to $1,700. This small workshop fills quickly. Email amandacastleman@gmail.com with questions or to reserve a spot!


Travel Writing
Master Class
September 9, 2016
Online workshop


Please note: I'm taking a sabbatical from online teaching, except for the master class. Two incredibly talented teachers will be taking over my other courses at Writers.com: Naomi Tomky (travel) and Julie Schwietert Collazo (Pitch Like A Honey Badger).

Travel Writing Master Class (10 weeks)
This exclusive, once-a-year workshop online helps intermediate to expert authors refine their games, from timely briefs to long-form narrative.

Take your prose to the next level, honing your voice and perspective. Explore imagery and epiphanies apt to an area. Sharpen your eye for timely angles and compelling quests. Push your plot arcs further and master the interweaving of action, analysis and reflection.

We'll delve into the sound of words on the page, as well as how to capture the best quotes from locals and experts. The class will even touch upon investigative tactics: when to tuck that press pass in your hat band... and when to meditate and read poetry for inspiration. Finally, you'll refine your cutting, redrafting and re-purposing skills, exploring the same material through different subgenres and editors.

Instructor Amanda Castleman anchored Writers.com's travel-writing program from 2003 to 2015. Her work has appeared in MSN, Outside, Islands, Yahoo, Wired, Salon, BBC Travel, Hemispheres, Sport Diver, Bon Appetit, Cooking Light and The International Herald Tribune, among others. She has also contributed to 30-odd books, including titles for National Geographic, Frommer's, Michelin, DK Eyewitness, Time Out and Rough Guides.

Past students have taken this momentum into bylines at The Independent, The Guardian, The Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Toronto Sun and The Christian Science Monitor, among others. One landed three clips in national outlets – off her first pitches ever – before week six of the course. Another has won travel-writing’s most prestigious prize, the Lowell Thomas.

But awards and publications are just icing on the cake: wherever you start from, this online workshop will help you kick things up a few notches via detailed, weekly critiques.

Not sure if the master class is for you? Take our quiz to find out.

Upcoming classes: September 9, 2016
Fee: $600, email for details


Hugo House,
Seattle, WA


I also teach one- and four-day workshops in person for the Hugo House, in Seattle.
The Written Road
“We travel, initially, to lose ourselves,” Pico Iyer once said. “And we travel, next, to find ourselves.” Explore how to chronicle a journey—both exterior and interior, employing literary techniques such as plot and dialogue. Practice in
terweaving narrative, insight and analysis to capture the adventure that is uniquely yours.

Date: 2016 dates to be announced


Writing
Coaching


Even experienced authors sometimes need guidance: an external eye and cheerleading voice. I work with writers on voice development, plot structure, grammar and rhetoric, data mining, marketing, pitching (articles and book proposals) and – often the greatest hurdle of all – just getting started. We confer online or in coffeeshops in North Seattle.

Fee: Line-critiques cost ten cents a word for the first round and six cents a word for additional edits. For a larger, on-going projects, “bulk discounts” are available.


Manuscript
Consultation



I devise a three- to five-page report, outlining suggestions for improved clarity, style and marketability. Most effectively, this is paired with a line-critique: a detailed edit, which reveals a writer's unconscious patterns and explains the rationale behind changing them.

Fee: $1 per double-spaced page by arrangement with the instructor. Please note, this service is only available for longer projects, 50 pages or more.


Payment


Paypal, SquareCash, bank transfers and personal checks in US dollars are accepted. Students are responsible for any transfer fees.


Comments


"I spent eight semesters in creative writing classes at UC Berkeley, and Amanda offered more guidance and carefully directed help than any professor there." – Jenny Williams

"She is a dream teacher, just the right balance between a knuckle-rapping tutor and a mom full of hugs. Thanks again for Writers.com. The course fees are lots cheaper than a shrink!" – Linda Petrucelli

"I learned a huge amount, have had four pieces published and paid for (including my very first assignment, in The Guardian) and have completed the course with a sense of expanded possibilities. Thank you so much – this is the most rewarding educational experience I've had." – Rachael Davey

"What an amazing gift you've given us: personalized attention plus huge generosity in sharing practical knowledge from the trenches. Far better than courses at traditional institutions." – Anne Anderson

"Amanda is an amazing line editor and quick to provide excellent answers to questions. She's very supportive and encouraging, and I consider her not only my teacher, but a mentor as well." – Audrey Medina

"At the end of 10 weeks, I had arrived in the Blogosphere, made new friends and even bagged a job as a writer at a magazine – all thanks to this course!" – Nidhi Nayer

"With the confidence and skills Amanda gave me, I was able to approach highly regarded publications, like The Washington Post and the Toronto Star, and succeed in getting published. Amanda's class is a good investment, for beginners, as well as for professionals who need to energize their work and look at it from a different perspective. – Gaston Lacombe

"She encouraged me to work beyond my limitations as a writer to points I'd never before reached, and beyond to new ones. Studying with Amanda will improve your writing, no matter the genre, and you'll have fun doing it!" – Debra Borchert

"To have my first article accepted by the first publication I approached ?The Christian Science Monitor ? was like rocket fuel for me, and I have Amanda Castleman's expertise to thank." – Anne Clippinger, PhD, Adjunct Lecturer, Department of English, Montgomery College, MD

"Amanda is an inspiration, an ideal to aspire to." – James Polk

Read more reviews


Resources

 


I've posted some advice here, as well as a list of books and sites useful for travel writing, part of my curriculum.

Updated December 2015


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