Hey guys, I am considering taking a MatadorU course in travel writing and wondered what people's thoughts were about travel writing courses? Are they worth the money basically?
I am already a trained journalist in the UK but want to hone my skills more to travel writing.
Cheers for any replies.
I'm thinking of taking it as well so I'd be interested to hear what others have to say.
I've joined up to the MatadorU course but I'm only up to week two so don't have a well rounded opinion on the course yet.
For students, they offer a lot of hands on help, though I'd be interested in more technical help (I'm not exactly the most competent grammar student ^^; ) and each week you have the ability to submit a piece you've been working on or a current/past assignment and a group of Matador Editors will have a look at it and give you suggestions on how to improve it.
They have a lot of really good content for both current students and alumni - including extra topics, a publication on guides which may be interested in your writing and a job board.
I'm a Journalist student, but Mike, I do think it's worth looking into as it concentrates more on how to write effective travel narrative and how really focus your writing on travel.
My suggestion is to get in touch with Julie (one of the people who runs MatadorU) if you have any questions, or ask this question using the Twitter hashtag #MatadorU :)
Sorry I can't be of more help, but feel free to ask me anything and I'll see if I can answer it! :)
Hi Nicole, thanks for your input -I'll be interested to hear how you go as the course progresses. Being able to write a compelling narrative is something I am very interested in.
I will certainly ask Julie on twitter also.
I took the MatadorU course back in September 2009. I think they've changed the format a little bit, and they didn't have the photography course when I took it.
For me the course was worth it. I didn't have a writing background, and I knew nothing about blogging or travel writing. I took the course because I wanted to see what being a travel writer would be like, I wanted to know what to expect. I found the course gave me a really good, and realistic overview. They don't try to tell you that you're instantly gonna be published in National Geographic as soon as you finish. When I took the course there were several other students, so there was a lot of discussion and feedback in the forums. I've heard some people enroll and they're basically the only student at the time, so they don't get as much forum activity.
For you I think it depends. You already have a journalism background and a lot of the course is learning the basics of how to craft a good story. But there's also other tips, like marketing, pitching and SEO that could come in handy if you're not familiar. Plus (for me) I found the interactions and feedbacks between myself, the other students and the instructors to be really helpful.
I'm with Nicole on this. Talk to Julie or someone esle from the course. I know they have a trial period where you can test the course out for a week for only $10. You can always do the trial and see what you think.
Hi Alouise, thanks for the feedback. Its very interesting to hear from someone who has finished the course.
The marketing and pitching side of writing is not something I was taught on my journalism course, they were a bit behind on the web side of thing, focusing more on more traditional journalism. And of course crafting a story for for a newspaper is certainly different from crafting a travel piece.
Once again, cheers for your feedback.
Are you going to do it Mike?
I think I might!
I am def leaning that way - I've had some cracking reviews http://jasminewanders.com/2011/06/is-matador-networks-travel-writin... and http://blog.unanchor.com/2011/06/matador-u-travel-writing-course-su...