About the instructor: Don George is the author of How to Be a Travel Writer—the best-selling travel writing guide in the world—and the award-winning anthology The Way of Wanderlust: The Best Travel Writing of Don George. His most recent book is entitled Wanderlust in the Time of Coronavirus: Dispatches from a Year of Traveling Close to Home. He is the editor of ten literary anthologies, including A Moveable Feast, The Kindness of Strangers, and An Innocent Abroad and has been honored 17 times in the Society of American Travel Writers annual Travel Journalism competition.
Currently Don is Editor at Large for National Geographic Travel. He has also been Travel Editor at the San Francisco Examiner & Chronicle, Salon, and Lonely Planet. Don regularly teaches travel writing workshops and has taught at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism and the San Jose State University MFA Program. He is also co-founder and chairman of the annual Book Passage Travel Writers & Photographers Conference. He also leads tours around the world for National Geographic and for Geographic Expeditions.
During this course, you will conceive and write a personal travel essay of about 750-1500 words that explores and evokes a connection with some place you have visited and loved, or some exceptionally moving travel experience you have had (this can be in Paris, or anywhere that has captivated you), making it so vivid that readers also feel its spell.
In our first class I’ll share thoughts on travel writing and personal travel essays, and we will discuss our assigned readings. We’ll end with a neighborhood walk and delve into the process of understanding the essence of a place through the clues that it presents.
For our second class, you’ll conceive and describe the idea for your essay. We’ll identify any special challenges your essay/idea may provide and suggest ways to shape your piece for the best possible outcome. You can use whatever place or experience you’ve found inspiring.
For the third class, you’ll write the beginning and middle of your essay. In class, we'll discuss your piece. Does your essay get off to a compelling start? Does it flow coherently? Are your descriptions as powerful and effective as possible?
For the fourth class, you’ll finish your essay and we'll examine the whole piece. Have you made your points effectively? Does the end wrap up in a satisfying way?
For the last class, you’ll revise your entire essay. We’ll discuss your finished piece, then talk about possible publishing outlets.
For writers of all levels.
Preparation: Workshop reading assignment:
Five essays that illustrate different aspects of the personal travel essay:
- Ryoanji Reflections
- Connections: A Moment at Notre-Dame
- Impression: Sunrise at Uluru
- At the Musée d'Orsay
- Making Roof Tiles in Peru
Agent consultations: For an additional fee, you can register for one, or two, agent consultations. Available exclusively to participants who have enrolled in a masterclass. Space is limited. More information here on Oliver Munson, and more information here on Caroline Hardman.
- Full refund through 15 April 2024 minus 100€ admin fee
- Half refund through 30 April 2024 minus 100€ admin fee
- No refund after 30 April 2024
In the event of unforeseen circumstances, PWW reserves the right to replace an instructor.