I just read the Writer ’s Guidelines for JustSayGo.com, this week’s Featured Publication, and the following description grabbed my attention: “A key interest point of JustSayGo.com is the readability, conversational tone, and (where appropriate) irreverent humor.”
“Irreverent humor” is what caught my eye. Writing humor can be challenging. It’s just hard to know what to include, when — and, even, if what you have to say really is funny.
Done well, however, humor isn’t just fun to read — it sells.
You’ll recall that Stan Sinberg, an award-winning travel writer and humor columnist, was one of our featured speakers this past July at our Ultimate Travel Writer’s Workshop in Denver.
He got lots of laughs… and he did an excellent job of explaining what makes a story funny — and how to transfer your own humorous experience into print.
According to Stan, “When you travel, things go wrong. That’s part of the adventure, and part of the fun when you tell a story later. Some of the best travel stories tell the tale of something that wasn’t funny at the time. However, with some time and perspective, things that weren’t funny then can become hilarious travel articles now.”
The message? The first step in creating a funny story is to go out in search of misadventure. It might not be amusing when it happens — but out of absurdity and frustration can grow a remarkably funny — and publishable — story.
So think about your worst travel nightmare. There you may just find the making of a by-line (and a very funny clip).
Below, Roberta Beach Jacobson profiles a great place to get it published.
Director, Great Escape Publishing
P.S. During our Travel Writer Workshop in Denver, Stan Sinberg also told us that to write a successful travel article that’s funny, you need to volunteer to be the victim of the story. In other words, whatever happened that wasn’t funny at the time had to have happened to you, not someone else. If it was your friend who got trampled by the ostrich and not you, don’t write the story.
Ron Stern is the Editor in Chief of an eclectic e-zine called JustSayGo.com. I have a special connection to this travel publication, as I won their contest to name it a few years back!
They run stories “from the backyard and around the world.” My favorite department is Fiesta, which highlights fascinating parties, festivals, and holidays around the globe. They cover everything from whale festivals to kite festivals.
Articles for the online publication should be 500 to 1000 words and should be written in a conversational tone. At least one photo is required per article (.jpeg or .gif) but they will accept up to six. Send to: firstname.lastname@example.org. No need to query first!
[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.]