Travel Writing

Turn your travel stories into published essays and articles

  • sections:
  • Tuesdays 6:45-9:45pm ET, 6 sessions full schedule

Travel writing is a conduit to other genres, from food and art to politics and technology. The skills and experience you'll gain covering travel can be applied to any writing project you take on.

Throughout this class, we'll extensively workshop your pitches and articles, and you'll finish with a series of solid pieces ready to sell.

With the guidance of James Sturz, Vanity Fair staffer-turned author, students will dissect the anatomy of travel pieces, from travel-related news items to service round-ups to personal essays. Each week, you'll produce an article and pitch letter, and will be expected to investigate unfamiliar neighborhoods, seek out experts in the field, and demonstrate the highest levels of research and reporting. Students will have the option to create a travel blog or website showcasing their work.

In this class, you will learn how to:

  • Understand the rules of reporting, interviewing, and finding sources
  • Know what travel editors look for
  • Find travel story ideas and pitch them successfully
  • Turn one trip into dozens of story ideas
  • Know where to pitch outside of travel publications

By the end of class, you will have:

Two salable travel pieces and pitch letters.

James Sturz spent three years on staff at Vanity Fair. In addition to his novel Sasso, set in southern Italy, he has written for more than 70 newspapers and magazines including The New York Times Magazine, International Herald Tribune, Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic, The New Republic, New York Magazine, The Boston Globe, Boston Magazine, Travel + Leisure, Conde Nast Traveler, National Geographic Adventure, Outside, Afar, Caribbean Travel & Life, Islands, Executive Travel, Scuba Diving, Sport Diver, Robb Report, Entertainment Weekly, Us Weekly, Men's Health, Playboy, Glamour, Marie Claire, Redbook, The New York Observer, Cigar Aficionado and Saveur. James has also served as a guest editor for the adventure magazine Blue, as a contributing editor for Manhattan File and Lexus magazines, and as a contributing writer for the websites Shermans Travel and Leite's Culinaria.

Additionally, he is a PADI-certified divemaster, a panelist for National Geographic's Center for Sustainable Destinations, and the winner of a 2008 Solas Award in travel writing. His work has been translated into a ten languages. James has appeared on Inside Edition, Real Personal, The Book Show, and Good Day New York. His journalism has also been anthologized in the sociology textbook Human Sexuality and in the volumes Italy: The Best Travel Writing from The New York Times and Best Food Writing 2007.

  • "Thanks to James, I now know the proper way to propose stories. He provided great comments on my articles and gave me the impetus to submit my ideas for publication."

    Kathleen Kent

  • "After taking James' class, I could take my writing to the next level. Since completing the class I have landed travel pieces in The New York Times, Out Traveler, Flaunt, Clear, and Genre and"

    Cator Sparks

  • "James is a great instructor. He's a smart, well-spoken guy who knows what he's talking about and can answer your questions. This was by far the best class of its kind that I've taken."

    St. John Frizell

  • "James is fantastic. If you want to become a travel writer, consider this course your first journey."

    Ethan Todras-Whitehill

  • "Since James' class, I've been assigned travel stories for Plenty,, and Experience Curacao. He didn't just make me a better travel writer. He made me a better writer, period."

    Jennifer van der Kwast

  • "James was very accomplished, professional, and had good insight. He gave you a good gist of travel writing and pitch basics. You get two classes in one."

    Janie Ho

  • "James was generous sharing his travel writing experience and insider information. This was a very valuable session of non-stop tips and wisdom."

    Amy Murphy

  • "James is candid and incredibly knowledgeable. He gives useful and enlightening feedback on material presented in class, and instills confidence for pitching work."

    Julie Potter

  • "As an established travel writer, James can teach you to cultivate a story idea, sell it, and write it in a creative and provocative way. I'd take a class with him again."

    Bobby Calise