Featured Publication: Marco Polo
We’re just back from our very successful Ultimate Travel Writer’s Workshop in Denver this past weekend. It was a jam-packed four days, during which Jennifer Stevens and company took us through the fundamentals of travel writing and on to the more advanced techniques the pros rely on to write strong articles that really sell.
One of the most critical points our speakers made — and one they returned to again and again — is the importance of knowing your audience.
I was reminded of that message when I read through Wendy VanHatten’s publication profile, below, about Marco Polo Magazine, where the audience will, most certainly, drive what it is you write about.
When your story idea is specific enough and well-targeted to a particular audience, you’ll find that story much easier to sell than if you simply aimed to write a general article with broad appeal. Target your audience more narrowly, and you’ll know better what to include — or not include — in your story. And it will be stronger for that.
Director, AWAI’s Travel Division
Marco Polo Magazine, a national print publication geared to adventure travelers over the age of 50, boasts a readership of more than 15,000 North Americans. Since the fastest-growing segment of the U.S. population is the over-50 crowd, Marco Polo Magazine strives to be the first choice for those readers looking for adventure travel.
In other words, the readers are active folks — they aren’t sitting around in the back yard waiting for the leaves to change. Nor, however, do they have the resources of Donald Trump. So your reader is looking for adventure… but not one that will break the bank.
Marco Polo looks for articles that appeal to a real-world traveler, written in a strong voice. They publish a lot of first person narratives, and the editors look for descriptive writing and tight, relevant dialogue. (Read: Don’t include anything that isn’t immediately relevant to your story and edit yourself critically.) An article that allows a reader to experience what you experienced will gain the editor’s attention. Ask yourself, “How can I show the reader how to do what I just did?”
Various departments make up the publication, including “News” articles, which are between 300 and 700 words and discuss travel changes, how-to advice, and the travel industry.
The “Features” articles range between 1,500 and 3,000 words. These must be accompanied by at least seven high-quality photos. The editors are always looking for articles about traveling with a tour group. Many of their readers prefer the convenience and the camaraderie of group travel. (Few other publications seek out articles of this nature, so if you’ve been on a group trip and you’re interested in writing about it, keep Marco Polo in mind as a strong option when you’re looking for places to get your piece published.)
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Marco Polo buys First North American Serial Rights, as well as nonexclusive digital reprint rights.
Payment is negotiable but usually around $200 for the “featured” articles, with photos.
Marco Polo Magazine prefers writers to submit queries using their online query form. You can find it under writer’s guidelines at the website: www.marcopolomagazine.com.
Also, sign up to receive a free copy of Marco Polo Magazine, which you can also do on the publication’s website. Read the magazine to understand the writing style the editors prefer. And use that style, too, when you’re submitting your online query.
An insider tip to consider — If you haven’t heard anything three or four weeks after submitting your query, call. (Don’t keep calling and calling and harassing the editors, mind you.) But call once to follow up. The editors will appreciate your interest. And you never know, you just may get a call back saying they’ve decided to publish your piece.
By Wendy VanHatten,
Travel Writer For The Write Way to Travel
Travel, Writing & Photography Resources…
*** Turn Your Vacation Photos into a Lucrative Side-Business:
*** The #1 Easiest and Fastest Way to Get a By-Line and a Check: http://www.thetravelwriterslife.com/archive/issues/issue_045.php
*** How to Get in the Door and into Print: The Best Way to Approach an Editor: http://www.thetravelwriterslife.com/trc/getstarted
*** Odd, Shocking, and Strange: What to Look for When You Travel: http://www.thetravelwriterslife.com/archive/issues/issue_005.php
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