QWF Travel Writing Workshop

The Quebec Writers Federation is accepting registrations for its upcoming travel writing workshop. The cost is $75 and space is limited to 11 participants. Call (514) 933-0878 or email admin@qwf.org for more information or to sign up. The workshop details are below.

MARKETING AND THE ART OF THE PITCH or PROFESSIONAL SECRETS OF A TRAVEL JOURNALIST

Saturday, September 8, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

1200 Atwater Avenue, Suite 3

Workshop leader: Cleo Paskal

The inside scoop on the nuts and bolts of being a successful travel writer, one of the world’s most desirable jobs. Many of the marketing lessons are also applicable to other genres of feature writing (including health and beauty, entertainment, profiles, etc.).

Topics covered include: assessing markets; writing query letters; the difference between newspaper, magazine, radio and tv; clichés to avoid; basic story structure; what topics are ‘hot’; the role of photos; selling in the U.S. and U.K.; how to work with fact checkers; the ethics of freebies; how to handle more rejection than you’ve experienced since high school; and how to get your parents to store your boxes in their basement while you travel the world.

In-class discussion will centre on actual case studies. We will follow the tortuous path of one story from nebulous idea to six-page spread. Hand-outs include information on professional organizations, insider tips, writers guidelines and what never, ever to do when dealing with
editors.

Workshop participants should bring along a sample of the magazine or newspaper that they dream about appearing in.

Cleo Paskal has written for The Economist, Sunday Times, Wired, Columbia Journalism Review, The Independent and many, many others. She hosted two travel shows for B.B.C. radio, was a C.B.C radio travel columnist, wrote an Emmy award-winning TV series (Cirque du Soleil: Fire Within) and has won fourteen major travel writing awards, including the Grand Prize (best entry overall) from the North American Travel Journalists Association (twice). She has lectured at universities in Canada, the UK and New Zealand and ran a radio-training program in the Maldives. She is currently a Toronto Star travel columnist, and an Associate Fellow at Chatham House (the Royal Institute of International Affairs, London). For more: www.cleopaskal.com.

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