Would you like to turn your travel experiences into engaging stories that others can enjoy and learn from? Are you interested in a career in freelance journalism that will allow you to travel and get paid for it? Do you want to entertain family and friends with vivid descriptions of your encounters with peoples and places near and far? Whether you are a writer who wants to try out a new genre, an aspiring journalist keen to link work and travel, or a casual travel blogger interested in reaching a larger audience, this course will take you to that next step.
Travel Writing is designed both to develop your travel writing skills for publication and to foster your engagement in a critical assessment of the roots and future of travel writing in both print and digital forms. Through regular assignments, we will work through story idea development, pitching ideas to editors, building non-traditional or online-ready story elements, and interview techniques. The course will have a strong participation element: students will be encouraged to work collaboratively so as to better understand how their writing might appeal to different audiences and to become adept at providing constructive critical feedback to colleagues. It will also include in-class writing time—time to put aside distractions and simply write the story you have been waiting to tell.
This course is co-presented by the School of Continuing Studies Personal and Cultural Enrichment (PACE) program.
Start Date: Wednesday, May 7, 2014
End Date: Wednesday, June 18, 2014*
Time: 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Duration: 6 weeks
Location: Faculty of Education, Room 613
Course Fee: $275 plus applicable taxes
*Please note that there will be no class on Wednesday, May 28th.
McGill students, staff, and alumni are eligible for a 20% discount.
- develop an understanding of the basic history of travel writing
- develop an understanding of the variety of genres of travel writing
- develop an understanding of how text and image work together
- learn strategies for enhancing general written communication skills
- develop or improve reportage and interviewing skills
- learn how to pitch an idea
- develop an awareness of the legal, ethical, and personal safety considerations involved in travel writing
- learn how to give and receive constructive feedback
- learn the benefits of team writing
- contribute a piece of long-form journalism to a dedicated website
- clarify personal, including career, objectives as a travel writer
Topics covered include:
- a brief history of travel writing
- the varied purposes of travel writing
- negotiating difference: “orientalism” and “the tourist gaze”
- synthesizing and organizing personal experience for public consumption
- relationships between text and image
- basic reportage and interviewing techniques
- team writing and peer review
- pitching ideas to editors
- legal/ethical considerations
- safety considerations
Who Should Attend
- those interested in a career in journalism
- frequent travellers interested in financing their travels by selling stories on a freelance basis
- those interested in enhancing their writing skills and experimenting with online publishing
- anyone who wants to entertain family and friends by writing a blog about his or her travels
Trish Audette-Longo has written travel pieces from Canada's Northwest Territories, Poland, Tunisia, and the United Kingdom. During her ten years as a newspaper reporter and freelance writer, she covered the political, environment, and crime beats at the Edmonton Journal, and the 2011 Royal Wedding—including events, tours, and news in the weeks leading up to the event—for Postmedia News. Her work has appeared in Alberta Views magazine, the Montreal Gazette, the Ottawa Citizen, the Vancouver Sun, the St. Catharines Standard, and Vancouver Island News Group publications.
Trish is currently pursuing a PhD in Communication Studies at Concordia University, having previously completed an MSc in Media, Communication and Development at the London School of Economics, and a Bachelor of Journalism at Carleton University in Ottawa.
All cancellation requests must be made in writing on-line: click here to cancel. Please note that you will be required to quote your registration reference number.
If you cannot attend the course but wish to send someone in your place you must make a request for the substitution in writing to mwc [at] mcgill [dot] ca.
The following cancellation policy applies:
Up to 14 days prior to the start date: Full refund
Up to 7 days prior to the start date: Refund minus $100 cancellation fee
Within 7 days prior to the start date: No refund; however, the instructor may allow you to attend specific classes.
If no notice is given prior to the start of the course and you fail to attend, you will be liable for the full course fee.
The MWC reserves the right to cancel this course up to 5 days prior to the event.
Email: mwc [at] mcgill [dot] ca