Creative Writing - Travel Writing

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Course description

Learn how to write about your travels at this course in Sydney.

Do you love to travel and write about where you’ve been? Maybe you want to publish your writing in a blog or pitch articles and short stories to publishers. This course will develop your skills as a travel writer, focussing on how to structure your story, evoke a sense of place, include historical details and keep your writing original, fresh and engaging.

Each class will inspire new writing. Students will finish the course with a polished piece of travel writing.

Course content

Class time will be spent discovering the secrets of great travel writing from established travel writers such as Bill Bryson, Bruce Chatwin, A.A. Gill, Brigid Delaney and Pico Iyer. We’ll discuss these works from a writer’s perspective and then move on to write travel stories – both in class and at home.

From the second week we’ll workshop each other’s pieces, focussing on positive feedback and constructive criticism. Each student will receive a typed critique of their piece with specific feedback from the tutor.

Week 1 – What is travel writing?

  • Where have you been and where are you going?
  • Brief history of travel writing
  • Listen to Pico Iyer’s Where is Home?
  • Writing exercise

Week 2 – Start with a bang!

  • Where is best place to start your travel writing piece?
  • Read and discuss openings from Brigid Delaney and Bill Bryson
  • Writing exercise
  • Workshop

For next week, go somewhere in Sydney and write about it

Week 3 – Evoking a sense of place

  • Using specific details to capture where you’ve been
  • Read excerpt from Bruce Chatwin’s Songlines
  • Writing exercise with the five senses
  • Workshop

For next week, research history of your travel writing destination

Week 4 – History

  • Enriching your piece with relevant historical details
  • Read and discuss A.A. Gill’s The Cape of Good Hope
  • Writing exercise
  • Workshop

Next week: bring a photo from your travels

Week 5 – Structure

  • Finding the heart of your story
  • A clear beginning, middle and end
  • Read Bill Bryson excerpt
  • Writing exercise with travel photo

Week 6 – Editing, publishing and self-publishing

  • Places to publish and self-publishing
  • The world of blogging
  • Where will you go from here?
  • Final tips on good travel writing
  • Editing writing exercise

By the end of this course you will be able to:

  • understand the history and nature of travel writing
  • know how to engage and surprise the reader
  • structure a piece of travel writing
  • evoke a sense of place
  • include history in your travel piece
  • feel more comfortable editing your own work
  • understand the world of editing, publishing and self-publishing
About the tutor

Sarah Klenbort is a prize-winning short story writer. She teaches Literature at Western Sydney University and Creative Writing at Sydney Community College. Her writing has appeared in Best Australian Stories, Overland, Southerly, Island Magazine and various U.S. and U.K. literary journals. She’s published articles in The Guardian and Eureka Street. In 2016, Sarah and her Welsh husband left their jobs, took the kids out of school and travelled around Australia with a camper trailer, visiting deaf schools and deaf communities along the way. You can read about these adventures on her blog:

Please come prepared...
  • Bring a notebook and something to write with
  • Laptop (optional)

Avoid disappointment. Enrol early.

Please ensure that you have given a valid email and mobile number as all course changes will be communicated via sms or email.

Course testimonials:

  • Jackie said: More structured learning

  • Colin said: Sarah has amazing insight, provides great assistance which helps develop your skills. She is accommodating, pleasant and positive.