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Break into Travel Writing with Barbara Noe Kennedy, former longtime Editor of National Geographic Travel Publishing

Barbara Noe Kennedy


START DATE: This class is currently closed.


DURATION:  6 weeks

COURSE DESCRIPTION: Have you traveled somewhere and are dying to write a story about your experiences? And get it published? Learn to write and publish your own travel stories in a wide range of publications including blogs, digital magazines, websites and more traditional print publications—and figure out what works best for you. You’ll learn how to write pitches and land assignments; tips of the trade including how to make your writing pop off the page (or screen); and what the trends are and where they’re headed. At the end of the class, your instructor will provide an offline personal critique (up to 1,500 words) of your travel story or pitch.

This online live webinar course starts on Wednesday, January 16, 2019.

This course meets for one hour each week, for 6 weeks (Wednesday, January 16, January 23, January 30, February 6, February 13, and February 20).

All classes are held from 12-1pm ET, via zoom video webinar.

Upon enrollment and prior to the first class, students will receive a private link that they will need to access the webinar. It can be viewed on a tablet, phone, or computer (both Mac and PC).


This course is offered via live webinar.

Webinars are live workshops given online, where you can view the instructor and websites/materials she shares on her screen, making it an interactive experience. Webinars make learning from your home or office convenient.

The live webinars will be recorded, so if you miss a session, you will be able to view a recording of the class and read the transcripts when you have the time. Class recordings are made available within 48 hours of the class date.


I’ve just completed Barbara Noe Kennedy’s “Travel Writing in a Digital World.” I learned more in this class in six weeks than I did at four writing conferences combined. Barbara is obviously a professional, with a great deal of knowledge and experience. She was completely accessible, and always encouraging. I will watch for more classes from her—and I’ll be the first to sign up! ~ Shirley Drew

Barbara was the perfect travel writing teacher. She’s experienced in the industry and appreciates students’ unique voices. She’s very encouraging and worked with me on my first published story. ~ Peter J.

I was privileged to be in Barbara’s Creative Nonfiction writing class at Graduate School USA last spring. I was nervous for my first-ever writing class, but Barbara’s welcoming spirit quickly turned my trepidation into excitement that grew from week to week. She had just the right mix of encouragement and constructive feedback that gelled our small class, helping us learn from one another and begin to formulate our own comments and suggestions on the fly. That is not easy to do with a class of mostly new writers! I also appreciated how she selected readings that prompted us to think about our work differently, while encouraging us to explore topics and areas that spoke to us. I will always be grateful for her support, advice, and enthusiasm about my writing. ~ Andrea L.P.

Besides having a mastery of the subject, Barbara had a distinct rapport with everyone in our class. Her comments and constructive criticism were always right-on. ~ Barry G.

Barbara is a top-notch teacher. She uses an excellent mix of hands-on writing skills and real world examples of writing. She helps guide writers without trying to change their style or voice. I learned so much from her class that I use in my personal writing and my professional life. ~ Cat E.

Genuine and kind, Barbara’s skillful instruction inspires. Barbara facilitates a comfortable atmosphere for learning and exploring. ~ Lisa B.


Class One: A Broadbrush Look at Today’s Travel Writing World

Date: Wednesday, January 16, 2019
Time: 9am PT | 10am MT | 11am CT | 12pm ET
Duration: 1 hour

Note: The live webinar will be recorded and available within 48 hours of the class date.

Overview of the state of travel publishing. Is print really dying? Should I start a blog? What is a travel writer, anyway? Start thinking about a travel story you’d like to write.

Topics covered include:

  • Class overview
  • What is travel writing?
  • Is travel writing relevant today?
  • Traits of a travel writer
  • Some tips to get started

Assignment: Start thinking about what type of travel writer you are and make a list of possible stories. Read handouts.

Class Two: Where Do I Fit In and How Do I Start?

Date: Wednesday, January 23, 2019
Time: 9am PT | 10am MT | 11am CT | 12pm ET
Duration: 1 hour

Note: The live webinar will be recorded and available within 48 hours of the class date.

Deep dive into books, magazines and newspaper travel sections. What about self-publishing? Ebooks?

Topics covered include:

  • Overview of travel books, publishers
  • Overview of print magazines
  • Overview of which newspapers excel at travel writing
  • Online travel magazines, how they work, examples
  • Blogs vs. online magazines
  • How to break into an online magazine
  • The realities of getting published in print
  • What are some resources?
  • What about self-publishing?

Assignment: Based on the information provided in this webinar, start honing in on a short story you would like to write for publication; review possible markets. Read handouts.

Class Three: Getting the Skinny on Blogging

Date: Wednesday, January 30, 2019
Time: 9am PT | 10am MT | 11am CT | 12pm ET
Duration: 1 hour

Note: The live webinar will be recorded and available within 48 hours of the class date.

Deep dive into blogging, with focus on how to write a blog post. How do you monetize a personal website or blog?

Topics covered include:

  • Creating your own blog personas (i.e., finding your ideal market)
  • Tips on writing a winning blog post, including crafting the perfect headline and writing amazing body copy
  • Ideas on how to monetize your blog

Assignment: Play around with different personas. Write a blog post targeted at one of your personas. Read handouts.

Class Four: Tricks of the Trade

Date: Wednesday, February 6, 2019
Time: 9am PT | 10am MT | 11am CT | 12pm ET
Duration: 1 hour

Note: The live webinar will be recorded and available within 48 hours of the class date.

One sure-fire way to succeed in travel writing is good writing. In fact, you won’t succeed without it. We’ll learn how to craft a travel story. At this point, you’ll be encouraged to write your travel story before the next class, based on what we’ve learned so far.

Topics covered include:

  • Common themes for travel stories
  • Reporting the story
  • Bringing your story to life (dialogue, characters, show don’t tell)
  • Beginnings, middles and ends
  • The importance of verb tenses
  • Adjectives ad nauseam
  • More tricks

Assignment: Practice “tricks of the trade” exercises outlined in handouts.

Class Five: The Business Side of Things

Date: Wednesday, February 13, 2019
Time: 9am PT | 10am MT | 11am CT | 12pm ET
Duration: 1 hour

Note: The live webinar will be recorded and available within 48 hours of the class date.

Writing query letters. Pitching editors. Getting to the top of the slush pile. Keeping track of it all. How can you be successful in this very difficult realm?

Topics covered include:

  • How to write a pitch
  • Examples of successful pitches
  • Who should I pitch? How do I find them?
  • The editors will want clips. What if I’ve never published anything?
  • How much $$ should I expect?
  • Rejection is not a dirty word
  • How to stay organized
  • A little bit about contracts and legalese

Assignment: Submit your travel story to instructor via email. Write a pitch to a publication where you would like to be published.

Class Six: Developing a Personal Brand

Date: Wednesday, February 20, 2019
Time: 9am PT | 10am MT | 11am CT | 12pm ET
Duration: 1 hour

Note: The live webinar will be recorded and available within 48 hours of the class date.

Knowing what you have to offer will help sell your stories. Are you Johnny Jet or Adventurous Kate? We’ll take a look at some of the more successful platforms out there to help you figure out what works best for you. We’ll also take a look at stories you and your fellow students have written as first-hand examples of everything we’ve learned.

Topics covered include:

  • What is a platform?
  • Why is it important?
  • Examples of successful platforms
  • What about social media?
  • The matter of photography
  • The beauty of networking
  • Lessons from our classmates

Assignment: Based on what you’ve learned in class, rewrite and submit the same story or pitch that you’ve been working on—or a brand-new one—up to 7 days after the last class. Your instructor will provide a personal offline critique via email.

Materials needed: All written materials and resources are provided by the instructor. She will provide PDFs of sample travel stories to read ahead of each live class.

ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR: Barbara Noe Kennedy is a former longtime editor with National Geographic Travel Publishing. She currently works as a fulltime freelance travel writer, with credits including Fodor’s, Lonely Planet, London Telegraph, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, National Geographic, and more. She also teaches travel writing and creative nonfiction and leads tours.

COST:  $165, which includes six 60-minute live webinars, virtual communication with your instructor, and a critique of your travel story or query letter (up to 1,500 words).

BUY NOW: Get Published in Travel Writing with Barbara Noe Kennedy (6 weeks, starting 1/16/2019) Limit: 10 students. Early registration is recommended.

This class is now closed. Please check out our current list of classes here.

For Class Session Starting 1/16/2019


Notes:  Upon successful completion of payment, your name, email address, and contact info will be submitted to your instructor. Just before class begins, she will e-mail you with instructions on how to get started.

Questions? Email Marcia & Angela at:

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