This week I had the privilege of traveling to Boston and taking part of in a Travel Writing class that was sponsored by the Mediabistro people. The class took place at night in a nice, new modern classroom located in the Calderwood building on Tremont Street and the instructor was David Abel, a veteran traveler and writer, now employed by the Boston Globe. His own stories, which were fascinating, were presented first and then he quickly delved into the main body of the course, How To Break Into Travel Writing. This is not an easy venture considering the shrinking nature of established travel writing venues.
A good portion of the class consisted of each participant, maybe a dozen,writing and then reading a five sentence blurb about a travel experience. It was at this point that I learned that my classmates for the night were very well traveled and had some surprisingly good adventures under their belts ( the class was more women than men). And like yours truly the class in general were still struggling to find their writing voices. Still, the evening turned to be well worth the effort and money spent, and I returned home with some semblance of how the travel market works for the newspapers. Unfortunately the travel editor in my hometown in Maine no longer has a job, but other papers in other places seem to be doing a little better.
The night ride back to Portland on the Downeaster was as enjoyable as ever, especially since I slept most of the way.