BITW 052: How to Become a Great Travel Writer with Don George

BITW 052: How to Become a Great Travel Writer with Don George

My guest today is the one and only Don George! Don is the author of the best-selling travel writing guide on the planet, “The Lonely Planet Guide to Travel Writing”. He is currently Editor at Large and Book Review Columnist for National Geographic Traveler magazine, Special Features Editor and Blogger for BBC Travel, and Editor of Geographic Expedition’s online magazine, Wanderlust: Literary Journeys for the Discerning Traveler.

In today’s episode, Don and I talk about the process of finding the story and sacred mission of travel writers to bridge the gap and pave the pathway for human connection. As Don says, “Each one of us connects with a different part of a place” [click to tweet]

Don George Travel Writer

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Along with his current  is the former travel editor at the San Francisco Examiner & Chronicle, founded and edited the Wanderlust section of Salon.com, former Global Travel Editor at Lonely Planet Publications and Special Features Editor and Blogger for Gadling.com.

He is the author of the best-selling travel writing guide on the planet, “The Lonely Planet Guide to Travel Writing” and is editor or writer for 11 other literary travel anthologies, including The Kindness of Strangers, Tales from Nowhere, By the Seat of My Pants, A Moveable Feast and his new book; The Way of Wanderlust. He is also co-founder and chairman of the annual Book Passage Travel Writers and Photographers Conference.

His awards are plentiful and include the Society of American Travel Writers’ Lowell Thomas Travel Journalist of the Year Award. Click here to listen to the podcast now!

The Finer Details of Episode 52 with Don George!

In this episode Don shares how to develop your story lead and why you must know how to grab the reader in the first two sentences of an article.  Here are some of the points we cover in this episode:

    • Writing is about connections we make during travel.
    • Why Don considers himself a travel evangelist.
    • Travel paves the road for peace and evolution. [Click to Tweet]
    • All travel writers and bloggers should read great travel literature!
    • Two things you must do to be a great travel writer: read & write! [Click to Tweet]
    • the importance of deconstructing good travel writing.
    • Don’s process for ‘finding the story’.
    • Honing in on the lesson the location taught you.
    • Don’s writing process and why he writes in scenes.
    • Macro and micro editing techniques.
    • The importance of vulnerability when traveling.
    • The value of an editor.
    • Where bloggers aren’t hitting the mark today.
    • Why your story has to have a point and sense of meaning.
    • Why your blog should be mindfully and consciously shaped.
    • Connection to human truth makes great story telling! [Click to Tweet]
    • Why he is worried about the trend with destinations that have money are the only ones being written about.
    • People must find ways to be intrepid! [Click to Tweet]
    • Why you should turn the camera around and learn to see the story others aren’t seeing.

In addition to the above points, Don shares background about his role as Editor at Large for National Geographic Traveler and how to get your foot in the door with Nat Geo! He also shares why you should target the “front of the book” when you pitch a new publication.  Click here to listen to the podcast now!

Episode Resources
Break Into Travel Writing Episode 51
Lonely Planet: Better Than Fiction: True Travel Tales from Great Fiction Writers
National Geographic Traveler Book Column
BBC Travel
Words & Wanderlust
Piecing Together Puzzles in Cambodia
BBC Chance Encounters
Book Passages
Upcoming appearances with Don George
Don’s Anthologies
Rolff Pott’s Interview with Don George
The Lonely Planet Guide to Travel Writing
Tbex
National Geographic Traveler

People Mentioned in this Episode
Rolff Potts
Tim Cahill
Shannon O’Donnell
Gary Arndt

Connect With Don
Don George on Facebook
Don George on Twitter
Don George on Linkedin

Connect with Break Into Travel Writing
Twitter
Facebook
Instagram
The Aspiring Travel Writer, the Facebook group

Hope you enjoyed this episode and please join me in thanking Don for sharing such awesome information and actionable tips! Interested in hearing the full podcast? Click here to listen now!

Tweetables:

  • “Each one of us connects with a different part of a place” via @don_george on Episode 52 of @writetotravel podcast http://bit.ly/1OJr1Uw [Click to Tweet]
  • Travel paves the road for peace and evolution. Words of wisdom from @don_george on @writetotravel Podcast! http://bit.ly/1WePelh [Click to Tweet]
  • Two things you must do to be a great travel writer: read & write! via @don_george on @writetotravel Podcast! http://bit.ly/1WePelh [Click to Tweet]
  • Connection to human truth makes great story telling! via @don_george on @writetotravel Podcast! http://bit.ly/1WePelh #travel #travelwriter [Click to Tweet]
  • People must find ways to be intrepid! Advice from @don_george on @writetotravel Podcast! http://bit.ly/1WePelh #travelwriter #travel [Click to Tweet]

Feedback on the Podcast If you have any suggestions for upcoming shows or a question for an upcoming episode, leave a comment below. If you enjoyed this podcast, I’d be extremely grateful if you would take a second and leave me a review and rating over on iTunes. Your taking a minute to do this allows me to help more people with this podcast, so I really appreciate it (once on that page, simply click on the “View in iTunes” button to leave your review — thanks very much!)

How to Become a Great Travel Writer with Don George

Interview with travel writer Don George
By | 2016-09-22T10:08:38+00:00 January 5th, 2016|Shows|9 Comments

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9 Comments

  1. Arnie January 19, 2016 at 6:49 am - Reply

    Have bookmarked so I can come back to listen later.

  2. Leticia January 20, 2016 at 2:33 pm - Reply

    Saving the quote “Each one of us connects with a different part of a place” Really inspiring! Thanks for sharing this interview Alexa 🙂

  3. deb January 20, 2016 at 3:44 pm - Reply

    This is excellent information! Thank you so much for sharing.

  4. Jen Morrow January 21, 2016 at 2:42 pm - Reply

    He provided such good advice – I always try to learn a few phrases in a foreign speaking location. He has great stories, too!

  5. Amanda April 4, 2016 at 9:58 am - Reply

    So much information! Love listening to these podcast during my workouts. It starts my morning feeling motivated and ready to work!

  6. Laura @ Grassroots Nomad April 4, 2016 at 10:04 am - Reply

    So inspiring! I’ve heard Don George speak before and it is great to hear more from him!

  7. Lara Dunning April 4, 2016 at 11:24 am - Reply

    Wow, lots of great points covered in the episode. I’m looking forward to listening to this after work and putting new travel books on my to-read list.

  8. Tara April 5, 2016 at 6:34 am - Reply

    Great interview. He’s really inspiring! Yes, we all connect to a place in different ways, and all of our stories reflect that.

  9. sumti April 6, 2016 at 8:09 am - Reply

    Nice information…Thanks for sharing it..

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