On a brisk March day, mentees and mentors gathered in Girls Write Now’s headquarters in midtown Manhattan to travel to exotic locales with words! The Travel Writing Journalism workshop invited mentees and mentors all on a journey by focusing on setting: the smells, tastes, sounds, sights, and feel of a place.
In the morning, Lauren Mechling showed girls and mentors how she gets inspired and how to hook an editor. In the afternoon, Heidi Mitchell galloped across the plains of Argentina with mentors and mentees by her side, and described the importance of details.
Are you thinking about travel writing? Take some tips offered in the workshop: Think of a new and exciting place you’ve been to recently or a familiar place that really lights you up. Then, think about the concrete details about this place, or the journey to get there, as well as the intangible energy of the experience. Are you reviewing, or recommending? Are you informing, or describing? Mentees and mentors also learned about the all-important pitch, and the lede. How do you get an editor to care?
Check out some talented lines that came from our writers, and the locations they were inspired by:
- Sade: It’s a place to discover the talents of Big-Apple-living, never-sleeping, New Yorkers. (New York City)
- Mennen: It feels like no-one belongs there; the old people complain about the young people, and the young people complain about the old people. (Florida)
- Ireen: Want to meet college boys from the middle of nowhere? Take the N, Q, R train to 8th Street NYU! (New York City)
- Luljeta: Once a bright blue, the water coming in as waves are now murky. The beach was once a shore for pirates… that history is gone along with its famous sky-color blue water. (Montenegro, which in Luljeta’s words, is “now a popular tourist place — which is not good!”)
- Karilis: Head down even deeper, and find this creek running between two rocks. Sometimes it’s water, sometimes it’s dry, like it never even existed. (Highbridge Park, Washington Heights)