A senior Lonely Planet author is offering travel writing courses, passing on his expertise gained over two decades of creating content for top travel brands. Featuring a lively mix of teaching, exercises and feedback on students’ work, the day course covers everything from research techniques and honing your prose to media industry insights and selling your stories.
Workshops are coming up in Somerset West (19 October), Johannesburg (25 and 26 October), Cape Town (2 November) and Durban (22 and 23 November). Tutor James Bainbridge is the senior author of Lonely Planet’s guides to South Africa, Turkey and Morocco. He says he got the idea for the course when UCT invited him to run a week-long workshop at its Summer School in January. Since then, he has run courses at the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown/Makhanda and all over the Western Cape.
Bainbridge says the courses attract everyone from novices to travel industry bloggers and content creators. ‘I wasn’t originally thinking about the travel industry, as my background’s in journalism, but there are normally a couple of people from travel agencies and tour operators looking to sharpen their prose. Usually, they get their boss to pay! After all, everyone knows that Google and potential customers are looking for fresh, relevant, engaging content; simply trying to play the Google rankings isn’t enough anymore.’
Based in Cape Town, Bainbridge also offers tailored in-house training to companies with a few staff members to teach. ‘We normally read out a few inspiring passages by great travel writers, and between my presentations on research and writing techniques, the students do exercises and get feedback from the rest of the class. Most of them feel “Hey I can do this” by the end of the day. And we have a lot of fun!’
As well as media brands from the UK Guardian to Weg/Go, Bainbridge has worked with travel organisations including the South African Youth Travel Federation (SAYTC), KLM and Travelstart.
For more information visit: www.facebook.com/travelwritingcourses