An Interesting Evening

Good Morning. This will be a short post because between work and my trip into Boston last night I just haven’t had time to properly prepare anything. Still I owe you something if I am going to meet my goal of 6 posts a week.

Last night instead of applying myself and preparing today’s adventure, I went into Boston to the BCAE (stands for Boston Center for Adult Education) to take a class called Travel Writing. It was taught by a feature writer from the Boston Globe, David Abel. I read the Boston Globe travel section regularly and get lots of ideas in the New England section for places to go and see that I then write about here.

David Abel’s pieces tend to be the international stories, the features that lead the travel section. Those are the premier spots so it was really exciting and kind of intimidating to be in a class taught by someone whose work I read every Sunday.

Right out of the gate, David had us write a lead in to a story. Then he had each of us read our lead in out loud. There were 7 of us in all and it seemed that I was the only one that did not have international travel experience. I also had the lead in that needed the most work. I don’t think I do my best writing under those conditions but the class critique was ok. As usual I was harder on myself than my classmates or the teacher 🙂

The class was about 3 hours long and consisted of 6 women and one man. It went fast, always a sign of an interesting topic. We touched on blogs as a way to develop our writing skills and to provide examples of our writing to potential editors. He asked how many of us have blogs and 3 of us raised our hands. In reply he said, then start one! He also looked at my Blog Book and pronounced it well done and showed it to the class.

The main thrust of the class was to  GET PUBLISHED!  David addressed the differences in writing for a magazine vs a newspaper such as the Boston Globe. How to “pitch” a story and what you might expect to be paid. He spent a good part of the class stressing the different parts of the story and how each part supports the lead in. I am not going to share too much of that here. If you are interested there’s another class coming up later in the year.

He wrapped up the class by telling us we were all his collegues and that we can get published even without journalism degrees and experience. We have to be open to the editors suggestions as they are bound to take our story and shred it, returning the bare bones to be reworked whether we agree with it or not. But David said leave the ego at the door and develop a good working relationship with the editors and making good money on each trip is not out of the question.

Wow! What a positive experience! Could there possibly be a Dusty Roads by-line in my future? A big Thank You to my friend Diane of the Mexican travels for suggesting  this class to me. I’m really glad I took the class!

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