"Excavating the Travel Essay" Registration Form
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.

Course materials:
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 jenna.scatena@gmail.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 jenna.scatena@gmail.com. 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!

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"Do I have to be a professional writer to take this course?"
Definitely not! This course is designed to be accessible and beneficial for writers of all levels and backgrounds. It's for anyone who wants to explore the travel essay's form and purpose and improve your craft and writing skills, wherever you're at in your writing journey. The class culture is inviting and inclusive and promotes constructive learning, not critiquing.

"What's the community forum all about?" Having a daily writing practice is an important part of becoming a better writer. Daily
prompts will help guide you through generating the type of material we discuss in our sessions, while the Q+As and live craft chats aim to inspire and help troubleshoot writers block.
"Jenna offers a game-changing class. The daily prompts helped me focus and generate while delving into this new territory. Not only did I write a substantial draft of an essay during this time (one I have been putting off!), I feel that I can take what I have learned in this class and apply it to my future writing. I would take the class again simply to be in an atmosphere that helps me get the essay out of me. Jenna fosters a collegial and supportive environment where classmates come together to share work and ideas. The class material is well-organized, thorough, and meaningful, and peppered with inspirational words from those who have walked the path before. Plus, Jenna is knowledgeable, sincere, and a pleasure to work with. I highly recommend this class." —Jennifer Kircher Carr

"Jenna takes the desire to be a writer and skillfully plots the course to make it real. In an encouraging, safe and stimulating environment she walks you through at a pace that allows you to develop and flesh out your ideas. Her breadth of knowledge in the field of writing allows you to sample writers and be inspired by their techniques.  This is simply the best, most  satisfying , practical  and least pretentious writing course I have ever had the pleasure of joining." —Julia Booth

"This class was a delight! I'm a beginner and Jenna provided me with enough structured info, examples, daily prompts and community space to feel like a pro. In a short amount of time, she managed to dive deep on aspects of travel writing with refreshing ease. And it was fun! I definitely recommend this class for experienced writers as well as newcomers like me." —Turna Mete
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