Three By-lines and a Travel Blog: Interview with Workshop Attendee Diana Russler
Reader Diana Russler recently landed a six-page spread in a photography magazine. Scroll down to find out how she did it. You could be next!
BONNIE: Diana, what made you want to get into travel writing?
DIANA: I grew up in a diplomatic family that moved every two years to really exotic places. Writing back to tell family and friends about our adventures made me realize that I loved to tell the story about places we had been and things we had done. Then life took me down a different path, and I was only able to get back to travel writing when I retired. One of the first things I did when I stopped working was to sign up for the Ultimate Travel Writer’s Workshop in Denver to learn the tricks of the trade.
BONNIE: How is your travel writing going since you came to The Ultimate Travel Writer’s Workshop?
DIANA: The workshop really helped me get a handle on the business of writing. Since attending, I’ve had three articles published — one in Nature Photographer, one in 40+ Travel and Leisure, and one in Travel Post Monthly. My husband and I also started a travel blog — he does the pictures and I do the writing.
BONNIE: Can you tell us a little bit about your Nature Photographer article? What was it about, and how did you pitch it?
DIANA: In 2008, my family and I traveled to the Atacama Desert in Chile. While we were there, I pitched the editor a story about the trip. Nature Photographer wants articles that tell the reader how they can replicate a trip, so I focused not only on what we were seeing and doing but also how we had gone about taking photographs there and what we had learned from our experiences. The final published article was a six-page spread with six pictures.
BONNIE: How did you choose Nature Photographer for your story, and how much did it pay?
At the workshop, we were instructed to get to know a publication before pitching articles there. I chose Nature Photographer because I had a subscription to it and had signed up to be a field contributor. The article was published in the December 2009 edition (a year later) and I was paid $130 for it.
BONNIE: Do you have any other magazines, newspapers, or websites in your sights where you’d like to get published next?
DIANA: We are planning several major trips in 2011. We will be pitching possible stories from these to a number of publications and hope that they will be picked up.
BONNIE: What would you say is the biggest tip you took away from the Ultimate Travel Writer’s Workshop that’s helped you to get published?
DIANA: The biggest tip I took away from the workshop was to identify the target audience of each publication and then write your article with them in mind.
BONNIE: What is your favorite thing about being a published travel writer?
DIANA: We love being able to share our favorite places with readers. The biggest thrill is to have a reader write to tell you that they went somewhere you wrote about and loved it!
BONNIE: Thanks, Diana!
[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.]