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    Writing a Travel Column

    Travel writing appeals to many writers as a career or to supplement other writing income. Some writers travel because of another job or family and decide they may as well write about it. Other people want to do more traveling and see writing about their adventures as a way to pay for their expenses.

    My travel columns grew out of writing occasional articles for a local tourist publication. Then I suggested a column about the history of places that travelers to our area might visit. This eventually developed into a history column for other publications.

    Then I began writing a weekly quiz about travel destinations in the state.

    Although I no longer write for this travel publication (it underwent owner and editor changes over the years), I write "Vagabond Traveler" for an online newspaper. I also put some of these articles up on my web site where interested editors can view them.


    Types of Travel Columns

    Your Travels - Write articles, stories, essays about your travels. These may be from the viewpoint of a family, senior citizens, a couple, hikers, adventurers, handicapped travelers, etc. You will delve into various types of travel that you experience. By focusing on a particular type of travel, person, or experience, you may have more success in interesting a publisher.

    Day Trips - Look into various places and activities that are easily accessible within a day's drive from where the column will be published. I've seen these columns in various newspapers and regional travel publications. I've written a few, as individual articles, when I was a travel editor. One travel writer eventually collected these into a book about day trips in her state.

    Local History - I've found the columns I write about the history of our state has appeal to readers of travel publications. Sometimes this will be the history of a destination, attraction, an inn or resort. Other times the column will focus on historical people and incidents.

    I'm in the process of collecting some of these state history columns into a book.

    Since the fourth graders in our schools study state history, this also might be a book that appeals to educators.

    Hiking - One writer in our state has written a weekly column about hiking trails and his hiking experiences. He's written enough to compile the columns into two books.

    Senior Interests - Many newspapers and magazines want columns about matters of interest to the rapidly growing senior population. This can involve many topics or focus on one which will lend itself to numerous articles.

    Quiz Column - For two years I wrote a weekly column with some type of quiz for readers of a regional travel publication. These might be multiple choice, fill in the blanks, true or false. The questions involved facts about the state, its history, attractions, resorts, and economy.

    Family Trips - Parents are always interested in learning about places they can travel to with children and activities that will keep youngsters occupied while traveling.

    One writer wrote a puzzle column for children when I was editor of a regional tourist publication.

    Check out various newspapers and travel publications. See what types of columns they use. Where do they have a gap to fill? Use your imagination and propose a new (to them) column for a print or online publication.

    Copyright © 2001 Mary Emma Allen

    Mary Emma Allen has been writing newspaper, magazine, and online columns for more than 30 years. These have involved many topics. She also has been editor of a regional travel publication and freelance travel writer for newspapers. Her "Vagabond Traveler" column appears at http://www.bridgtonnews.com. Her many publications are listed on her Web site -- http://homepage.fcgnetworks.net/jetent/mea.

    The Authentic Self: Journaling Your Joys, Griefs and Everything in Between by Shery Russ



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