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Travel Memoir

Where in the world did you get that great idea?

Travelling to or living in a unique location? Write about it! Learn the essentials to ‘armchair travel’ writing and make your story stand out. More detail

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Upcoming course dates

StartsSaturday 1 November 2014

Location Sydney
Ground Floor
55 Lavender Street
Milsons Point NSW 2061

WhenSaturday and Sunday classes
(2 consecutive days)
10am–4pm

Price$395

Presenter Claire Scobie

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Course description

Your journey, your story, your unique memoir

  • Are you planning a trip that you think has book potential?
  • Somewhere different, something unique or someplace exotic?
  • You may travel a lot for work and believe you already have a story to share.
  • Perhaps you’d like your travel blog to be more than just a list of places and dates.
  • Or maybe you’ve recently returned from riding backwards on a unicycle across Africa whilst towing a small inflatable paddling pool.
  • Step this way. If you think there could be a book in it, your travel memoir journey has just begun!

Choose your own adventure

It’s called travel memoir, although you may know it as “armchair travel” or more recently “vicarious travel”. And that’s it in a nutshell – allowing your readers to live through your exploits. It’s a genre which has grown as fast as the world has shrunk, with thousands of titles catering to all tastes – Tuscany to Tucson, Bali to Mali, way-out wacky to down-right dramatic. And incredibly, just like a train in India, there’s always room for more!

From a publishing point of view, the travel memoir segment has a lot going for it. Publishers and readers alike love this genre – its variety, its sense of adventure and its glimpse into different worlds. Bestsellers are just that, selling millions of copies. And your story could be next!

Bestselling storytelling

Before you grab your surfboard and head for the Sahara, it’s worthwhile learning the art of storytelling. Because unlike travel journalism, literary travel writing is about narrative techniques – more closely related to fiction than a Sunday magazine travel piece.

So whether you consider yourself a travelling writer or a writing traveller, it’s essential you’re able to tell a good story.

We’re talking about crafting a compelling story with credible characters, believable dialogue, atmosphere, tension and revelation. It may be real life, but that doesn’t give you permission to be dull! Your travel blog or book needs to engage readers and invoke a sense of “being there”. Remember, the destination is merely the backdrop for your story and experiences.

Here’s what you’ll learn:

  •     How to structure your travel memoir to ensure it’s unique from the very first page.
  •     How to keeping your travel blog fresh and exciting – even when you’re not travelling.
  •     Techniques on writing your travel journal without clichés.
  •     Ways to transform your dog-eared diaries into a must-read manuscript.
  •     How to prepare for a trip and how to shape the writing on your return.
  •     How to use social media and Twitter to raise your profile as you write.
  •     The big sell – how to write a compelling book proposal to get your work published
  •     And much more!

Have course, will travel

This Travel Memoir course is suited to both first-time and seasoned writers. Packed full of tips, examples and exercises, you’ll be encouraged to leave the armchair behind and write your own travel narrative. If you’ve already completed our Travel Writing course, this is the perfect next step; taking you from articles to something longer – a bestselling travel memoir, private journal or blog of your adventures.

Your journey doesn’t need to be some exotic speck on a map – in fact, it could be in the same postcode. Quality travel storytelling is all about your experiences, not how many miles it took you to have them. So, grab your unicycle and let’s begin sharing your stories of the world with the world!

Exclusive access to our AWC Graduates’ Club

Want to know where all the cool kids hang out? The Graduates’ Club of course! Now, calm down – there’s no cigars, leather armchairs or loud ticking grandfather clocks here. But it IS exclusive invitation only (on completion of a course) and it’s free!  Meet other writers online and share successes, seek help or just get something off your chest. Many students believe this ‘legacy learning’ is one of the most valuable things about our AWC community, and who are we to argue?

So if you want to receive feedback, support and a heads-up on opportunities … join the Club!

 

Your presenters

  • Claire Scobie

    Claire Scobie, Sydney

    Dr Claire Scobie is author of The Pagoda Tree, a novel chosen by Good Reading Magazine as one of their Best... View Profile

Video: What students say

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Graduate testimonials

  • “It was truly enjoyable. I have wanted to do a course like this for such a long time. I never knew I could learn so much about travel memoir writing. Claire was excellent. Her method of teaching was encourging and easy to follow.”

    Beverly Pang

    “I found this course extremely useful. It has provided me with some very useful tools and a good insight into travel writing. Claire has such a wealth of knowledge and experience in writing. Claire was very helpful in providing advice and good feedback during the course.”

    Kirsty Cameron

    “I cannot recommend this course highly enough. I enjoyed the structure, the notes and the other participants. I found Claire a terrific and talented, warm and encouraging presenter. I wanted to write a travel memoir but lacked the confidence to start even although I have enjoyed writing about travel all my life. In five short weeks, Claire made me feel good about my endeavour and was just the impetus I needed to stop procrastinating and start writing.”

    Gill Shaddick