‘Moving Up A Gear’ Travel Writing Workshop with Ann Burnett

With characteristic enthusiasm, Ann Burnett had the whole room writing feverishly within the first five minutes of her Travel-writing workshop. “As quickly as you can, write down as many visitor attractions as you can think of in your local area.” Like some latter-day ticker-tape, lists were churned out featuring everything from Lochside spa days to pond dipping at Culzean; from visiting Vikings to golfing at Turnberry.
Drawing on her experience of writing for Buckettrippers and for A Luxury Travel Blog, Ann suggested that writers should send off a sample of their work to any prospective website they plan to join.
For other opportunities to submit work, Ann said, “Why not try entering a Travel Writing competition?” The Sunday Telegraph offers regular opportunities to enter.
Our next writing prompt was to plan a day trip in Scotland. We could have filled a book! Or perhaps better still, a travel brochure. And that was Ann’s message: you do not have to travel away from Scotland in order to become a travel writer. Scotland has so much to offer for writers to write about and for visitors to visit.
Ann’s next useful tip was to pick up free brochures when visiting places. These can be very useful in providing essential information for your travel article.
First person or third person? Ann explained that first person accounts are good for adding a genuine response to a place or experience. Third person is used to convey information. We were reminded that travel articles should always be positive.
We learned more about approaches and angles to travel writing. To round off our whistle-stop tour of travel writing, we played the numbers game: Top Five places to visit in… 12 children’s attractions in… Five outdoor sports activities…
Our group came up with Five Historic Sites Just a Stone’s Throw from Ayr Town Hall. Admittedly with a title like that, it’s not quite ready to submit to VisitScotland, but with another look at Ann’s handout, we’ll be well on our way.
Ann Burnett

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