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Travel Writing


Welcome to the exciting, challenging Travel Writing Course at NZ Writers College.

Our 12-month online travel writing course gives you all the tools and tips you need to become a travel writer and break into the global travel writing industry. Learn to pitch to, and write for, print and online travel magazines and blogs.

Topics include:

  • how to come up with ideas for travel articles
  • how to pitch stories to magazines
  • how to conduct interviews and research, and
  • how to make an income as a freelance travel writer.


“This is a professional, high quality college that offers slick courses of international standard.”

Wendy McSeveney, Travel Writing Course



Course Details:


Students must complete:


Admission Requirements:

  • Cost: $ 1295.00 GST inclusive
  • Modules: 11 Modules
  • Duration: Course can be completed at own pace: between six and twelve months
  • Start date: At any time; applications all year round
  • Ten writing exercises with feedback on each
  • One query letter to an editor pitching an article idea
  • One original travel article of between 1200-1500 words
  • One web article of 500 words
  • Student Feedback
  • Basic writing skills are essential
  • Computer skills, e-mail and Internet access required
  • No previous tertiary qualification required



Tutors for this course:

Ewan McDonald
Ewan McDonald is a multi-award-winning editor, journalist and critic. As features editor of the NZ Herald, editor of The Aucklander, and as a travel and food & wine writer, he and his teams have won more than 50 national and international awards. More>

Donna Dailey
Donna Dailey is a travel writer and photographer whose work appears in magazines, newspapers and travel websites worldwide. Her articles have appeared in CN Traveller, Global Adventure, Travel Weekly, Essentially America, RCI Holiday, Living Spain, The Times, the Sunday Express and the Daily Mail, among other publications. More>

Course Curriculum

Module 1 - What is travel writing?

  • Distinguish magazine writing from other genres of writing
  • Acquire an understanding of the elements that characterise travel journalism
  • Get answers to FAQ about a career in Travel Journalism
  • Writing Exercise 1: Practise writing scenes that “show” rather than “tell” (assessment and feedback task)

Module 2 - Targeting your Market

  • Analyse a magazine in terms of content, style, format, tone, target market and demographic.
  • Learn how to match your writing with that of a selected magazine.
  • Writing Exercise 2: Analyze the demographic, style, tone and format of a selected magazine (assessment and feedback task)

Module 3 - Topics that Sell

  • Know where and how to find sellable ideas.
  • Learn techniques for generating ideas
  • Distinguish between a topic and an angle.
  • Study an overview of prominent international publications.
  • Writing Exercise 3: Refining topics into angles; Coming up with an angle for an article (feedback task)

Module 4 - The travel writing industry revealed

  • Find out how to write the perfect query letter
  • Distinguish between writing on speculation versus querying and being commissioned
  • Writing Exercise 4: Write a query letter for your targeted magazine covering all aspects of style, tone, content and format (assessment and feedback task)

Module 5 - Module 5 - The compelling opener

  • Distinguish the critical elements for writing a compelling lead
  • Identify the different types of introductions
  • Writing Exercise 5: Write a compelling opening to your article (feedback and assessment task)

Module 6- Body-Building Part I

  • Identify the main components of an article
  • Use a basic story structure to map out your piece
  • Use transitions and logical flow to make reading easy
  • Writing Exercise 6: Begin to write up the body of your article and hand in a first draft (feedback task)

Module 7- Body-Building Part II

  • Identify the main grammar, style and punctuation rules
  • Know the rules for apt usage of quotations
  • Writing Exercise 7: Testing knowledge of grammar, style and punctuation (assessment and feedback task)
  • Writing Exercise 8: Panel-beat the body into shape; hand in a second draft (feedback task)

Module 8 - Body-building Part III

  • Find out how to create catchy sidebars and resource boxes
  • Write your own byline
  • Writing Exercise 9: Write a byline and two sidebars (feedback task)

Module 9 - Finishing Off In Style

  • Identify the different types of closers
  • Photography tips
  • Writing Exercise 10: Write the closer to your piece (feedback task)

Module 10 - The Final Cut

  • Edit your piece by following basic guidelines
  • Understand the different kinds of cover letters and how to submit your piece in a professional way
  • Invoice and organize payment for your stories
  • Understand the basics of copyrighting, recycling stories and syndication
  • Writing Exercise 11: Edit your piece and submit it with a cover letter. Photographs included for bonus points. (assessment and feedback task)

Module 11 - Mastering travel writing for the web

  • How writing articles for the web is different to print
  • Using SEO-friendly keywords, headings and sub-headings
  • Writing tips: hyperlinking and chunking
  • Finding work online
  • Writing Exercise 12: Write and submit a web article



“I LOVED this course, from beginning to end - I was made to work hard and my tutor earned my respect by her direct and honest feedback at the end of each module.”

Marilyn Scott, Travel Writing Course



How does the course work?

Detailed class notes covering the content of each module are e-mailed to students.

At the end of each module, students will be required to complete one or two writing exercises. In total, the course includes ten short writing assignments, all of which count towards the final result of the student. Students must also produce one query letter (300 - 600 words) and one feature-length article (1200 - 1700 words).

Once the writing assignment has been completed, and e-mailed to the lecturer, an assessment and feedback will be sent to the student, and the module will be considered complete. Students can also participate in ongoing online discussions by posting comments about the materials covered in the course or other issues pertaining to writing in the college blog.


Conditions of Certification:

Students will receive an NZ Writers College Certificate upon successful completion of the course, provided they meet the following conditions:

  • Students must have completed all 13 assignments (namely: 10 writing exercises, 1 query letter, 2 articles)
  • The course must have been completed within six months of registration.
  • Students are expected to attain a minimum average of 50% for the course

Minimum Estimated Time Commitment:

  • Reading time: 18 hours
  • Writing time: up to 35 hours
  • Research time: 2 - 6 hours, depending on the complexity of the selected topic for article.

Need more advice about the best course for you?

We would love to chat to you if you have any questions about our writing courses.

If you need some advice about the best course or writing field for you, drop us a line or give Koos or Nichola a call at 09 550 4635. We can tell you about going rates in the field, chance of publishing success and general writing career options both in New Zealand and internationally.

  • If you have questions about how we work, we have information in our FAQ section and How We Train section.
  • If you want to pay off your course fee, please read the information here.
  • For information on our refund policy, please read our policies here.
  • To register for the course, please click here:

Click here to enrol


Read what past-students say about this course

“I found the course to be really insightful but also challenging. I enjoyed it a lot and am really glad I did it. It gave me an objective insight into my writing abilities and what works and what doesn’t work. Having a professional, knowledgeable and well travelled writer as a mentor was a privilege. My tutor always answered all my questions in a prompt manner and was really helpful with whatever I inquired about. He had great critical feedback which was much appreciated. I have learned a lot about travel writing and being a freelancer the industry; I would definitely recommend the course to anyone. The experience is definitely well worth it!” Alesha Otto, Travel Writing Course

“I give this course a rating of 10/10. It is very informative and educational. It gave me the tools, guidance and the confidence I needed to enter the travel writer’s world. I will definitely be studying further courses through the Writers’ College. Don Pinnock is of course a legend in my eyes and it is a true honour to have been taught by him. He gives the motivation through the need for endless improvement – the mindset that one will never “arrive” and must never stagnate but always inspire to become a master of one’s own creativity and style. Keep up the great work. Thank you.” Lemanja Davidson, Travel Writing

“I thoroughly enjoyed doing this course. My tutor was fantastic and I learnt a lot from him. It was a pleasure working with the team at the Writers' College;  they were helpful and considerate.” Grant Christie, Travel Writing

“This course was a lot of fun and was most comprehensive; I highly recommend it! It provided all the necessary tools for becoming a published travel writer, such as the dos and don'ts for submitting articles to editors, as well as various writing tips and pitfalls which prevent wasting time on unnecessary mistakes. Don was a fantastic and patient mentor! I was very nervous submitting my work to such a well regarded and exceptional writer, but Don encouraged me and kept me going throughout the more complicated sections of the course. I appreciated his honesty and direct approach, but found that he never minded if I queried something or asked for clarity - he shares his experience and knowledge gladly. I have a better understanding of travel writing now, and I am better equipped to set about getting my work published. This is a professional, high quality College that offers slick courses of international standard. The fact that you're mentored by a professional in the field is an added bonus.” Wendy McSeveney, Travel Writing

“I thought the course would be good, but it turned out to be great! It was fantastic to have Yvonne as my tutor. Her responses to my submitted assignments were lightning-fast and her feedback was frank and encouraging. The course more than met my objectives. I loved it, I learnt lots and I will consider doing other courses through the Writers’ College in the future.” Ann Huston, Travel Writing Course


More Testimonials Here



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About Us

NZ Writers College is a leading online writing school in New Zealand.

We offer specialised, online writing courses tutored by award-winning writers. Get the writing tools you need, expert insider advice and hours and hours of writing practice. Work one-to-one with a professional writer and realise your writing dreams.



NZ Writers College offers online writing classes all over New Zealand, Australia and the Pacific Islands. We have students from Auckland, Hamilton, Tauranga, Napier, Whangarei, Rotorua, Hastings, Wellington, Nelson, Christchurch, Invercargill, Dunedin, Hawkes Bay, Palmerston North, as well as Sydney, Perth, Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra and Melbourne, Australia.

Contact Us

Nichola Meyer or Koos Turenhout

Phone:      +64 9 550 4635

9-5 Monday to Friday

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