Thanks for your interest in Excavating the Travel Essay--write a literary travel essay in just three weeks!
This course is for anyone who wants to write travel essays that are as vivid as they are insightful. We'll mine old travel journals, photos, correspondences, and conduct original research to write a rich and layered essay. Perhaps it's a story of transformation abroad, of a place that moved you or a stranger who changed your life, a journey that still haunts you, or simply of a distant meal you'll never forget. Or maybe it's a story of migration and identity in a foreign landscape. We’ll push the boundaries of the genre while remaining committed to the heart of the story.
We begin by reading a broad range of travel essays to understand how different techniques impact the reader. When would an anecdote be more effective than a statistic? How should a writer portray a culture they know little about? We'll break away from the clichés, tropes, and stereotypes that plague travel writing in order to tell an authentic and dynamic story.
Next, we'll dive deep into structure and craft. Whether you're writing a chapter in a memoir, a magazine feature, a letter, or deep captions for a photo essay, we'll cover the pillars of a solid travel story—curiosity, sense of place, a moment in time, local characters, rich context, narrative arc, sensory details—as well as techniques to illustrate it skillfully.
The course is formatted with a one-day Zoom session to deep-dive into the craft of the travel essay, followed by three weeks of virtual class that includes:
*Daily writing prompts that correspond with the course material
*Video lessons to guide you through writing a full essay, step-by-step
*Live craft chats and virtual office hours to help hone your skills, troubleshoot writer's block, and support your journey
*Online community forum for peer support and feedback
*Virtual public reading to showcase your work
Each participant will write an original travel essay of up to 3,000 words and receive feedback on their story, including a personalized list of recommendations for places to submit.
To take the course you will need a functioning computer with Zoom, Slack, and Google Drive installed (all are free).
To reserve your spot, please fill out this form and send the course cost ($345) via Venmo @ledestudio or PayPal at email@example.com
. You will receive an email confirming that you're registered after you've submitted this form and the payment.
If you have any questions, please reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
. Otherwise I'll be in touch one week before the start of the course to help you prepare for how to make the most of it. I look forward to getting to know you and your writing!