[Great Escape’s Member Caroline Maryan is on a roll. Ever since she came to The Ultimate Travel Writer’s Workshop in Santa Monica, she’s been having a blast getting her photos and articles published… and landing new assignments, too. She’s published three articles, landed TWO of her photos on different magazine covers, been accepted into a few online stock photo agencies and more. Here’s how she got started in her own words… and how you can do the same by simply putting in the time and going for it…]
SUCCESS COMES EASY — JUST GO FOR IT
Interview with Great Escape’s Member Caroline Maryan by Bonnie Caton in Portland, OR
BONNIE: Caroline, it looks like you’ve had a few articles with photos published recently, following the Ultimate Travel Writer’s Workshop. Can you tell us about the most recent one?
CAROLINE: It’s funny how this article came to be. I actually queried a travel article about our stay at a ryokan (a traditional inn) in Miyajima, Japan. The editor liked it but didn’t need it for this issue.
However, she noticed the neighborhood that I lived in (in Seoul, South Korea) and asked if I would write an article with photos about tea houses in our neighborhood. I jumped at the chance. I decided to enlist the help of two friends, and we spent two days visiting different tea houses, taking photos and sampling the tea selections. Then I submitted the article with photos and it was accepted.
BONNIE: Wow, that’s great! You mentioned one of your photos won a cover contest at the same magazine with a photo that you took — was that part of the article, or a separate submission?
CAROLINE: Actually, they are separate. For each issue, this magazine runs a contest for the cover photo. Each time there is a theme. This time, the theme was “holiday with a Korean twist.” To make the photo, I put our Christmas tree up really early, then went shopping for Korean souvenirs that would look festive on the tree.
I decorated it with fans, brass bookmarks, colorful tassels, and traditional Korean costumes. I pulled out my flash and set it up on a pile of books to light the side of the tree. I also used available light from the window for the other side. It took a lot of experimenting. In the end, the best shot was of the top portion of the tree, and that’s what I submitted.
BONNIE: How does it feel to see your name in print?
CAROLINE: I absolutely love seeing my name in print. I had one article with a photo in International Living in November, plus an IL Postcard that month so this was my third published article.
BONNIE: Any other articles in the works right now?
CAROLINE: My article about Miyajima will be in an issue this winter. The editor also sent out a request to her regular contributors asking for an article about getting custom-made clothing for men in Korea. I immediately volunteered my husband as a model and said I’d write the article. He is definitely a good sport!
BONNIE: Where would you like to go from here?
CAROLINE: I plan to rewrite these articles for an American audience in January and query them to some U.S. magazines. I’m also working on an article about a trip we took last fall, traveling from Virginia to Korea without taking a plane.
BONNIE: What would you say is your number one tip that you took from the Ultimate Travel Writer’s Workshop before you started getting published?
CAROLINE: Workshop instructor Jen Stevens challenged us to get started right away. And to start locally. She was so right! I found it so much less intimidating to start with a small local magazine. I started by just submitting photos for the cover competition. Then, I queried the first article.
In the meantime, I submitted to International Living, which she had also recommended. I referred to the Writer’s Guidelines and the Style Guide from IL, as well as the Ultimate Travel Writer’s Program. I found that, as I went, each article got easier and easier.
Finally, I learned that what works for me is to just write the article, without editing it. Then, put it aside for a bit. When I return to it, I can almost hear Jen’s voice in my head saying, “There, that’s the point. That’s what you should start with.” Then, the rewrite is actually fun!
The biggest change occurred when I realized that the people who were succeeding were actually out there doing it. It was not a matter of luck. It was just a matter of following directions and putting in the time. And the rewards have been awesome!!!
And before I go, I have to say… the biggest surprise to me has been the friendships that have occurred because of this. I have friends all over the world now that I would not have had without writing and photography! It’s the icing on the cake.
I really am so grateful for all the training that I’ve gotten from Great Escape Publihsing!
[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.]