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GETTING YOUR FEET WET: HOW TO GET YOUR FIRST TRAVEL ARTICLE PUBLISHED

Interview with Chicago Workshop Attendee Shelley Huskey

TRWTT: Hi Shelley.  You attended our Ultimate Travel Writer’s Workshop in Chicago last month.  What attracted you to that event and the idea of travel writing?

SHELLEY: I’m an Environmental Manager by profession and have been working in the environmental field for about 13 years. My husband and I are now empty-nesters.  With our youngest son finishing up his final year in college in Chicago, I had been thinking a lot about how I want to spend the next half of my life when I read about the travel writing workshop.  Travel writing sounded more like fun than work, so I decided to give it a shot.  American companies tend to only provide a few weeks of vacation each year, but most of us need a break before we are entitled to take it.  A freelance travel writer sets their own hours.  I like the sound of that.

TRWTT: Can you tell us a little bit about the article you wrote and where you got it published?  Was it the article you worked on in class at the event in Chicago? 

SHELLEY: Yes, it was the article I worked on in class.  I like to stay active and enjoy bike riding.  So when I went to Chicago, I took my bike and decided that if it was nice, I would ride it to the travel writing class along Chicago’s lake front.  Since we had to come up with a story during the class, I decided to write about the awesome bike path along Lake Michigan.  I titled it “Bike Chicago’s Lake Front for Free!”  When I got home, I sent it to the editor at my local paper and she responded within a few days to say she’d like to publish it.  The article then came out on my birthday.  What a great way to celebrate!

TRWTT: Was this the first article you tried to write and publish or have you tried before? 

SHELLEY: This was the first time I tried to get published.  I wrote another article about a vacation in Fort Myer’s Beach Florida, but I haven’t done anything with it yet.   

TRWTT: Are you hooked?  Do you think you’ll do this again? 

SHELLEY: Most definitely!  I purchased a copy of Writer’s Market per Steenie’s suggestion at the workshop.  I also created a spreadsheet to keep track of which publications I send my articles to and when I sent them.  I sent this same article off to a couple of other local publications, too.  One turned it down and the other I haven’t heard from yet. 

TRWTT: If you could take your travel writing anywhere in the world, where would you go? 

SHELLEY: Costa Rica in Central America… From what I have read, it seems like a paradise anytime of year.  From there, who knows; I have a long bucket list.

TRWTT: Any other advice for those just starting out? 

SHELLEY: Give it a try.  I did.  And you just might get hooked!

[Editor’s Note: Learn more about opportunities to profit from your travels (and even from your own home) in our free online newsletter The Right Way to Travel.]

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