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.]