Does life under Covid-19 hold a future for travel writing? Silly question. Of course it does. More than ever, now that we are largely home bound and spend so much time on the internet. This is the time to collect all those trips, photographs and memories, and turn them into stories, long and short, and illustrate them with photographs and video clips. A travel blog is the perfect platform for this. In other words, an online journal or an informational website that focuses specifically on travel – your travel. The good thing: It doesn’t have to cost you a penny. And if it’s really successful, it may attract advertising. But the least it will do is to entice fellow writers and fellow travellers to read your entries and to join in the sharing of information and ideas. It’s the ideal way to promote your writing without any intermediaries fiddling with the words, contents or angle. It’s fully yours.
In our Saturday workshop, run by published travel writer and non-fiction author Fred de Vries, we’ll focus on the way a blog works, on the various possibilities, on how to create a community, on models of blogging and why you don’t have to be an expert to run a successful blog. You will also have the chance to do an exercise and receive feedback.
I am fortunate enough to have been mentored by Fred de Vries on two occasions, the first a Wits University writing programme, the second an All About Writing course in Venice. His feedback was well thought out and to the point. It helped me focus on what I was trying to say, the picture I was trying to paint, the atmosphere I was hoping to evoke. It helped me delve below the surface of my writing and bring to life what I was hearing, seeing, touching and smelling. With the ‘no frills’ input from Fred, I had an article published after working with him. – Jane Evans, Viljoenskroon, South Africa
Fred’s travel seminars were a highlight of the 2019 Venice trip. The sessions were always informative, sometimes provocative, but invariably enormous fun. Fred introduced us to new travel writers, encouraged us to write with all our senses, and always pushed us to produce better work. No tiny writing misdemeanour goes past him but his comments are always spot on and his criticisms are kindly given. Highly recommended! Fizz Carr, East Sussex, United Kingdom
I was one of the lucky ones who had Fred as mentor during the 2017 Venice retreat. What I loved is that it was so practical. We went “traveling” first to the little town of Padova, where we were et lose to roam the streets, and do what ever we wanted. I found this so refreshing. The writing part of it only started the next day, and we were guided through our writing by submitting, re-writing, (with great comments) and then handing it in again. All the pieces were really diverse in the end. I loved that we were guided, but not boxed into one idea. Fred is a Highly Recommended Mentor! – Merle Grace, Johannesburg, South Africa