By Roberta Beach Jacobson, in Karpathos, Greece

The Christian Science Monitor is a national daily independent newspaper, published in Boston. Approaching a national daily newspaper to publish your articles may seem like a bold step… but CSM has a section called Home Forum, which is perfect for someone starting out.

The Home Forum section runs brief travel vignettes (under 800 words). “What is a travel vignette?” you ask.

According to Home Forum editor, Judy Lowe: “These are descriptive pieces focused on just one aspect of a particular destination — maybe a walk, a landmark, a building. Armchair travel, but something the reader could also do or see should he or she want to.”

So, to write a vignette you really need to narrow your focus. Don’t write about your trip to New York City — that’s too broad. Instead, write about your visit to the Empire State Building… or a boat ride on the Hudson… or the carousel in Central Park.

In fact, if you took even a weekend trip to a favorite city, you could come home with a bunch of travel vignettes (each about a unique aspect of your trip).

The Christian Science Monitor accepts work from new writers “on spec” only. When I submit to Judy Lowe, I simply paste in my article at the paper’s website. Right away you get an automated acknowledgment. If you haven’t heard from Ms. Lowe within three weeks, you can assume she isn’t interested.

I’ve never submitted any travel-specific material to the paper, but I have sold a few short personal essays there and I was paid $75 for 300 words. These first-person accounts pay according to length, up to $160. And payment is made on publication with CSM having all rights to your work for 90 days from publication.

CSM, will not accept a story resulting from a sponsored trip. And, your material must be previously unpublished.

Tip: Here’s something a bit unusual to keep you busy writing (and maybe laughing) in the new year! They print travel-related poetry in the Home Forum too, 18 lines or less. The pay is $25 to $40. I only learned this tidbit while researching today’s column. Yet I recall that my very first sale to this paper, many moons ago, was a short poem. And boy was I proud!

You can find complete guidelines for writers at: If you plan to print the guidelines, make sure you have plenty of paper in your printer. You’ll start to wonder if you’re printing out a book!

To get geared up to write for this market, you can access most of the newspaper’s articles for free at the website:

[EDITOR’S NOTE: These travel vignettes the Christian Science Monitor is looking for are akin to the “postcards” or “front-of-the-book” pieces Jen Stevens talks about in her Ultimate Travel Writer’s Program. She shows you exactly how to define them, write them, and pitch them to editors.

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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