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Today:

  • A Little Rejection-Letter Humor: Laugh Now… But  Don’t You Make the Same Mistake Later
  • What to Do With Those Travel Stories Editors Reject?
  • Congratulations Sara Chute: Published in 10 Days

 

Dear Reader,

I’m not mean. Okay, on occasion I hide my fiancés underwear so that he’s forced to do the laundry himself if he wants anything clean to wear. But I like to think that, generally, I’m a caring person, not prone to finding humor in somebody else’s misfortune.

Today, however, I have to admit: I’ve snickered at the misfortune of a few struggling writers.

Now, as a reader of this e-letter, you know that there are certain fundamentals to getting your articles published —

  1. You need to be sure you’ve tailored your piece to the audience for which you’re writing.
  2. You need to use just the number of words required… and no more.
  3. You need to include strong descriptions alive with specifics.
  4. You need to edit your material before you send it anywhere.

These are just some of the basics. But make them habit… and you’ll build your portfolio quickly.

With that in mind, I think you’ll see why I found some humor here:

An editor says:

Dear [Travel Writer]:

I’m afraid your piece lacks the physical description and the fresh observation that give a travel story life.

Sincerely,
[Travel Section Editor of medium-sized paper]

And the writer comments:

“I took the editor’s criticism seriously, and went back and looked at the article to see if this criticism was true. It was not!”

Or how about the writer who gets a letter saying:

“…this is not what we publish”

And counters:

“My poetry is exactly what they publish… 5 friends told me to submit it there.”

I found these rejection letters online today at http://www.rejectioncollection.com. And while I feel for the writers, I kept thinking to myself: “Come on… if the editor says it doesn’t fit… it doesn’t fit. And if he didn’t like it, he didn’t like it.” (See issue #115 on how not to bore the socks off your reader.)

Anyway, I share those rejection stories with you (and encourage you to visit what is a perfectly charming site) as a reminder that there are tried-and-true ways to avoid rejection and easily increase your odds of travel-writing success.

Tomorrow, freelance travel writer Steenie Harvey will show you how it’s done.

In the meantime, I want to encourage you to take up another good habit: writing every day.

Recently, fellow writer John Forde passed along a resource that I think would make doing so when you’re on the road not just easy… but great fun, too.

At http://www.MyTripBook.com, you can create an online trip journal for yourself, to share with friends, or even to make public. There you can post articles, short stories, and even photographs and video clips.

I can’t think of a better way to document a trip. Just think: You’re on the road, and at the end of each day you duck into an Internet café, log onto your account, and type up your thoughts and observations about the last 24 hours.

By the time you get home, you have a fantastic log of your trip, your notes will already be typed up, and you’ll have great fodder in your computer that you can then turn into articles.

(Remember, a diary does not an article make. You rarely tell a travel story in chronological order. But with your notes logged in by day, you’ll be able to quickly and easily pick out the highlights and identify some great points around which to build your stories.)

I’m really excited at the prospect of doing this myself to document my honeymoon. We’re (literally) flying around the world. And each diary at TripDiary.com is linked to Google Maps, so I’ll be able to link my entries to road maps and satellite photos of where we’ve been.

If you’ve got a trip planned sometime soon — try this out. (And let me know how it works for you.)

Tomorrow, look for Steenie’s article on avoiding rejection. Follow her advice. And when you get your next article published or sell your next photo, send me a quick note at lori@thetravelwriterslife.com.

Have a great weekend,

— Lori
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.]

 


CONGRATULATIONS SARA CHUTE!

She writes…

“I just wanted to share some good news.  Only 10 days of intense study into the Photographer’s program and I’M PUBLISHED!

“By thoroughly analyzing the information in the first few chapters and then putting into practice some of the different elements, I’m not only published, but have the main, full-color photo on the front page of a regional newspaper that goes out to multiple communities.

“Wow!  I’m so excited!  To think that I only purchased my first digital camera a little more than a month ago and haven’t even sent in my first assignment to AWAI yet!  With your help, my photos have gone from mediocre, at best, to a much higher quality.  They’re more fun to look at, too.  On top of that, the paper says they are willing to consider anything I care to send in.  This morning they had me cover the Terry Fox Run for cancer research.”

Sara Chute
Turn Your Pictures into Cash Member

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