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Writing the World with Thomas Swick
Wednesday, February 22 @ 7:00 pm
6 weeks: Wednesdays, February 22 – March 29 / 7 – 9 p.m.
During this course, students work on travel stories with the intent of eventually publishing them. Discover the seven key elements – a personal voice, a point of view, imagination, insight, humor, people, dialogue – and how best to incorporate them into your stories. Learn about the importance of finding a theme – something that ties your disparate and seemingly random experiences of a place together – and creating a narrative arc and, if possible, a sense of suspense (so readers will keep reading). As examples of how it’s done, we will read excerpts from the instructor’s and other travel writers’ works. Toward the end of the course, we will talk about the markets – both print and online – for travel stories, and practice how to write an efficient and appealing query letter.
Thomas Swick is the author of a travel memoir, Unquiet Days: At Home in Poland; a collection of travel stories, A Way to See the World: From Texas to Transylvania with a Maverick Traveler; and, most recently, The Joys of Travel: And Stories That Illuminate Them. From 1989 to 2008, Swick was the travel editor of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. His work has appeared in The American Scholar, The North American Review, The Oxford American, The Wilson Quarterly, The Missouri Review, Ploughshares, Boulevard, Smithsonian, National Geographic Traveler, The Morning News, Roads & Kingdoms and six editions of The Best American Travel Writing.