Coming in October from Kimberley Lovato and Reedy Press, this book promises to be very tasty:

When people talk about great food cities, San Francisco rises to the top of the list thanks to its 49-square-miles of mouthwatering ways to whet your appetite. Unique Eats & Eateries of San Francisco invites the city’s nearly 25 million annual visitors—and its food-obsessed residents—to discover the stories and histories that simmer behind some of San Francisco’s iconic dishes, historic restaurants, and artisanal shops.

August 19, 2017
7:00 pmto8:30 pm

I’m thrilled to announce the impending launch of my new collection of travel stories, Your Crocodile has Arrived.

The party will be on Saturday, August 19th, at Book Passage in Corte Madera, and Travel Writers News subscribers are all invited. More info and a link to the invitation are here. We’ll have lots of chocolate (in honor of the story about my chocolate massage), including enough of the world’s best chocolate cake to serve the first twenty people who request it—so arrive early.

How to Launch

August 3, 2017 | Leave a Comment

I learned a lot when I launched my first collection of travel stories, Lost, Kidnapped, Eaten Alive! in 2014. I kept notes about best practices so I wouldn’t forget all that important info, and they’ve come in handy now that I’m launching my second book, Your Crocodile has Arrived. There’s a lot to plan, prepare, and organize!

If you’d like access to suggested activities and timing for a book launch, head over to BookLaunch.US, where I’ve consolidated and organized the information. I hope it’s as helpful to you as it has been to me.

“You can have the most stunning subject to photograph in the most gorgeous lighting, but if you don’t take care to compose the shot well, no amount of good light and inherent beauty will prevent the image from being a dud.” Fortunately, Alex Schult gives us 10 Rules to Follow When Composing a Photo, illustrated by … his excellent photos.

How to pitch

August 3, 2017 | Leave a Comment

On Travel, Write, Earn, James Durston interviews Lola Akinmade Ă…kerström—photographer and author—on how to pitch a travel article. “Lola put together 87 pitches during 2016,” Durston writes, “with a 43% success/assigned rate.” Here’s her analysis of assignments, rejections, and everything in between.

Those are impressive results, as one would expect from a writer disciplined and generous enough to keep track of all her own stats, analyze them, and share what she learned. Thanks, Lola!

With an indoor slide, an outdoor swimming pool, a butterfly sanctuary, and free cinema 24/7, Singapore’s Changi Airport is sometimes marketed as its own destination. Part of the reason is customer feedback, in the form of 1.8 million clicks/month. Another excellent idea: The complimentary whisky tasting bar with more than 100 brands. And the gardens: 5 themed ones, with more than 150 gardeners keeping it green.

Dave Dean at Too Many Adapters explains how to back up your travel photos taken with a DSLR—without dragging a laptop into the equation, and even if you don’t have a fancy new camera with built-in wi-fi.

This science-backed advice about how to get the most from your vacation includes widely reported strategies such as the importance of antici …… pation of future activities and savoring good times. It also includes something called the “Peak-End” Rule, which, believe it or not, comes from colonoscopy research.

All this expert advice comes from Eric at Barking up the Wrong Tree, a blog I’m becoming increasingly fond of, that “brings you science-based answers and expert insight on how to be awesome at life.”

 

 

I bit, so you don’t have to. The New York Times, which has a paywall for more than 10 views/month, posted this article by Michelle Higgins on June 28th: The Right Way to Pack for Travel. Suggestions include investing in a “hard-sided suitcase no taller than 22 inches, with a structured shell, so you can’t squeeze in any extras.” (“Many frequent fliers interviewed for this article said they favored the Rimowa Salsa Deluxe, about $500.”) Also, “use the ‘5, 4, 3, 2, 1’ rule for a weeklong trip, limiting yourself to no more than five sets of socks and underwear, four tops, three bottoms, two pairs of shoes and one hat.”

Here’s a link to the writers guidelines for GoNomad.com. They don’t pay a lot, but the guidelines are so thorough and detailed that reading them is like taking a mini-course in travel writing. You’re welcome!

OK, not really travel related, but you’re writers and I know you love puns and such. (The stats don’t lie.)

  1. How do you catch a unique rabbit?
    Unique up on it.
  2. How do you catch a tame rabbit?
    Tame way.
  3. How do crazy people go through the forest?
    They take the psychopath.
  4. How do you get holy water?
    You boil the hell out of it.
  5. What do fish say when they hit a concrete wall?
    Dam!
  6. What do Eskimos get from sitting on the ice too long?
    Polaroids.
  7. What do you call a boomerang that doesn’t work?
    A stick.

Google Maps Tricks

January 18, 2017 | Comments Off on Google Maps Tricks

Dave Dean over at TooManyAdapters.com has “uncovered thirteen of the most useful Google Maps tricks and secrets for travelers. They’ll save you time, money and energy, help find places you didn’t even know existed, keep a journal of your entire trip, and a whole bunch more. Enjoy!”

How to identify Asian, African, and Middle Eastern alphabets at a glance

January 18, 2017 | Comments Off on How to identify Asian, African, and Middle Eastern alphabets at a glance

Can’t tell your Devanagari from your Gurmukhi? Here’s an article from The Week that will help you identify Asian, African, and Middle Eastern alphabets at a glance.

 

Taking a break….

April 24, 2016 | Comments Off on Taking a break….

Dear Travel Writing Friends,

My current labor of love is a new book, which I’m very excited about. Like Lost, Kidnapped, Eaten Alive!, it’s a collection of true stories of travel around the world. Because I need time to focus on that project, I won’t be updating Travel Writers News for awhile.

In the meantime, please feel free to continue to access the information here; some of it continues to be useful. And thanks for your interest and enthusiasm!

With warmest wishes,

Laurie McAndish King

March 6, 2016
7:00 pmto9:00 pm

Ethical Travel 2016Jeff Greenwald, founder of Ethical Traveler, invites us to Ethical Traveler’s annual “Best Ethical Destinations” awards event. It’s happening Sunday, March 6th, from 7-9 p.m. at the wonderful Book Passage in Corte Madera. Join (it’s free!) in celebrating this year’s 10 winning countries. Schmooze with ambassadors, browse the bookstore, and drink good wine!

Thanks to Michael Shapiro (travel writer, editor, photographer and interviewer) for letting us know that George Stone has been named the new Editor-in-Chief of National Geographic Traveler. This is excellent news. I met George in New Zealand when he was the keynote speaker at the 2014 Travel Classics Conference, and was very impressed with his vision. Follow George on Twitter @travelersstone.

George Stone

George Stone

Here’s an interview at Skift in which George Stone talks about the kinds of stories he plans to run, his priorities, and the role National Geographic Traveler plays in the context of worldwide travel media.

Night photographyHere’s a blog post from Light Stalking that provides the rundown on basics for getting started with long-exposure photography.

headphonesMeagan Francis at Contently gives us the basics on podcasting: How much technical ability is required, how much time and money a new podcaster needs to invest, and how much money you can make from podcasting.

CatherineKarnow

Photo © Gary Drayluck

In another of the series of podcasts from the Book Passage Travel Writers and Photographers Conference, I interview National Geographic photographer and conference instructor Catherine Karnow, who discusses her approach to composing photos, tips for photographing people, and how to communicate with photo subjects who speak another language.

She also tells us about her photoworkshops in Italy and Vietnam — which sound like a blast, with lots of opportunities for interacting with locals, as well as ready-made photoshoot set-ups, great food, and Catherine’s expert instruction. VietnamcoverAnd we hear about the surprising and deeply moving experiences Catherine has had photographing victims of Agent Orange in Vietnam. Check out her beautiful book, Vietnam: 25 Years Documenting a Changing Country.

Farley-at-BPIn this podcast from the Book Passage Travel Writers and Photographers Conference I interview David Farley, travel writer and author of An Irreverent Curiosity: In Search of the Church’s Strangest Relic in Italy’s Oddest Town. Farley tells us how he researched his book — the true story of his search for a unique holy relic, the foreskin of Jesus, which went missing from an Italian church under mysterious circumstances. Irreverent Curiosity(Check out the National Geographic special about Farley and his search for the holy foreskin.)

ShakespeareLooking for a travel writing subject with a news hook? Smithsonian magazine lists ten destinations with related anniversaries in 2016, from the Folger Shakespeare Library  (2016 marks the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death) to Carnegie Hall (2016 is its 125th year) to America’s national parks and monuments (the National Park Service celebrates its 100th anniversary in August).

BATW-TFP coverBy the way, Bay Area Travel Writers offers a free download of their new 4-color publication, Travel Features and Photos: California’s National Parks, Monuments, Trails, Seashores and Historic Sites.

 

 

DonGeorgeinAfrica“Truly great stories succeed in extracting meaning from the everyday,” said Don George at National Geographic‘s Intelligent Travel. “They are also the record of two corresponding journeys: a journey in the outer world and a journey in the inner world. And the travel writer’s story is built upon the interplay between these worlds and journeys.” This article is an opportunity to learn about storytelling from a master.

Aaron Williamson Flickr Photo

Aaron Williamson Flickr Photo

A big Thank-You to Dick Jordan at Tales Told from the Road for his article about how to get landline messages on your smartphone.

 

find-me-unafraid-cover“Jessica Posner grew up a middle-class American in Denver. She hadn’t seen much of the world, and when she had an opportunity to study overseas she chose to do political theater work in Kenya. Jessica ended up living in a slum with no streets, no toilets, no running water, no electricity and no public services. Then she got malaria.”

I recently had the opportunity to learn more about this remarkable young woman, who went on to transform Africa’s largest urban slum and change the lives of many of its residents. Read more in the article I wrote about Jessica for The Women’s Eye.

Global Adventure

January 25, 2016 | Leave a Comment

LifeisaTripTravel writers Judith Fein and Paul Ross have some wonderful photography on their site, Global Adventure. While you’re visiting, check out Judith’s book, Life is a Trip.

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  • Available in August, 2017

    I'm thrilled that it's getting rave reviews! Order your copy of Your Crocodile has Arrived from Book Passage, and I'll be happy to sign it.  
  • Winner of 4 Literary Awards in 2017

    Lost Kidnapped Eaten Alive!Order your copy of Lost, Kidnapped, Eaten Alive from Book Passage, and I'll be happy to sign it.
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