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Dear Reader,

This week, Roberta Beach Jacobson profiles a unique travel publication that is definitely not interested in stories from the tourist trial.

hidden europe is an insightful publication that has a thirst for “ordinary” Europe, but allows the reader to uncover an extraordinary one within its pages.

The editors at this publication ask that you submit a lead when you query them about an article. They suggest about 300 words. Now, clearly they mean business. And you should, too. You’ll have about five seconds to capture their attention.

So what can you do in five seconds?

Well, first of all don’t waste time with “warm up” words. Get right into the action. “Show” your reader what your story is about. He must see, immediately, “what’s in it for him”. Hand him the benefit of your story right up front. And that’s just for starters.

Jennifer Stevens takes an in-depth look at the “five-second rule” in Lesson #15 of The Ultimate Travel Writer’s Program. Refer to your copy before you sit down to write, and you’ll be sure to get off on the right foot.

Lori Appling
Director, Great Escape Publishing

[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.]


If you love traveling around Europe and telling the world about your adventures, hidden europe (all in lower case) might be a magazine for you. The print monthly was launched in March of 2005 by Gardner & Kries GbR, with Nicky Gardner (a geographer) and Susanne Kries (an expert on language and identity) as co-editors

These two women (located in Berlin) are looking for good writing that evokes the spirit of Europe, conjures up a sense of place, and probes the curiosities of the continent’s cultures. Forget the usual tourist traps. They want to see more than just your words, so consider photos, maps, and illustrations when you’re thinking up ideas.

I know this lively publication from being a subscriber to their free e-letter. You can sign up to receive it at http://www.hiddeneurope.co.uk and you’ll find full writer’s guidelines on the website, too.

Tips: The editors say if you don’t know their publication, it’s unlikely you’ll hit the target for their audience without reviewing some back issues of the magazine first. They don’t mind if you wish to submit an unpublished travel piece collecting dust on your desk, but they warn something written for another magazine won’t necessarily be right for them.

Not all the magazine’s sections appear every month, but a few are titled hidden histories, books, and routes. You can find the entire listing in their guidelines. You approach them by e-mail (editors@hiddeneurope.co.uk), but the query package has some additional requirements.

To get an idea of your style (or style range), they want to review two or three of your completed articles — no matter if published or unpublished. And then, for the article you’re querying, the editors want to see your proposed lead of about 300 words, followed by a summary of the article and the estimated word count. (They don’t specify a word count requirement, but most features are on the lengthy side.)

For a first article, the pay is about 200 euro ($250 approximately). That got your attention, right? There’s more good news, too. They don’t require contributors to be established travel writers. So, if you’re new to travel writing and you have a gem of a story about some hidden corner of Europe… or a new angle on a well-visited European destination… this is an opportunity worth pursuing.

By Roberta Beach Jacobson, Travel Writer
For The Write Way to Travel

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