When I started this website last year, my original goal was the be a travel writer. This website was just going to be the vehicle to get me book deals, guidebook work, and magazine articles. I was going to be the next Bill Bryson or at least the young traveler’s Rick Steves. To get my name out there, I figured I should start with some online work. That is what people do these days. I guest-posted everywhere, and I tried to submit to sites like World Hum, Jaunted, and Gadling. But my writing needed work, and I knew that. I needed a place that would accept me and help me get better at writing. That’s where the Matador Network came in.
Matador accepts new writers and, unlike many places, even paid you for your articles. To people who had good stories but were little fish in a big pond, Matador gave them a chance. So after sending many e-mails to the editors, I pitched a few ideas and after a few drafts, they put a couple up. They went well and I wrote for them more. I frequently wrote in their nightlife section and two posts – top ten best parties and best hostels – went viral on the web.
Writing for them was a boon. The editors there took time out to give me a variety suggestions and tips on how to become a better travel writer. They were patient. Matador takes in lots and lots of aspiring writers, giving them a place to share their stories and tips when most other places turn them away. I am a much better writer today because of them. And my writing has allowed me to grow this website into what it is today.
It’s no surprise then that the Matador Crew have leveraged their great skills to design a travel writing course to help aspiring writers improve their writing and make industry contacts. Many of the editors of Matador write for Fodor’s, National Geographic, World Hum, NPR, San Fransisco Chronicler, the Washington Post, have book deals, or have Pulitzer grants. In fact, they write for so many publications, it would be too long to list them here.
These experienced editors have designed an excellent course to help you with your writing. I took a look through it, and it gives you a lot of information on helping you become a better writer. The school is broken up into twelve sessions, and there are assignments in every section. You write, they give you feedback, you rewrite, and the cycle continues. There is even a forum for course members to help each other, get feedback to questions, and get support. They take you through all the steps you need, give you good advice, teach you how to approach editors, market yourself, learn a bit about how to run a blog to showcase your work, and of course, teach you amazing writing skills. They improved my writing and will improve yours.
The MatadorU Travel Writing Course costs $350 USD for the program, but it is a small price to pay to launch your career as a travel writer. The folks at Matador know what they are doing and are excellent writers. You will walk away knowing and writing better than when you started. And to even sweeten the pot, they have a PDF of 15 magazines who will look at your work, and if they like it, will pay you to write for them. After all, we are doing this to start a career in travel and out of the gate, we know no one. They help change that with their contact list.
For anyone out there looking to become a writer in the travel industry, this course would be for you. You’ll learn great skills and make excellent contacts. Whatever path you choose, you need writing skills and, at the very least, you will get that here. Matador knows a lot of people, and while $350 may seem like a lot money it’s cheaper than any other writing class you might find elsewhere, whether online or at a university. If you are serious about becoming a travel writer and getting paid to travel or just improving your writing, then you should sign up for this course. You won’t regret it.
So go. Sign Up for the MatadorU Travel Writing Course. Learn to write. Let me see your name in the New York Times.