CW 12 W — Adventures in Travel Writing
Course Format: Flex Online (About Formats)
Duration: 10 weeks
Date(s): Jan 16—Mar 22
Refund Deadline: Jan 19
Instructor(s): Michael Agresta
Class Recording Available: Yes
As the travel industry hits its post-pandemic stride, there is once again a booming market for well-told travel narratives and helpful guides to locales both far-flung and just around the corner. In this course, students will be introduced to several approaches to travel writing, including short-form reports focused on a single site of interest; emotionally compelling first-person travel essays; environmental, cultural, or culinary trend pieces; and wide-ranging features that tackle an entire city or region. We will sample work from such authors as Rachel Monroe, Stephanie Elizondo Griest, and Zadie Smith. Expect to write one shorter and one longer piece, and prepare to be part of a kind and considerate writing community. There is no requirement to travel specifically for the purposes of this course—students may write about where they live, from memory about a trip they took in the past, using long-distance interviews, or adapting their usual outdoors-oriented or food-focused writing style to the travel market. Each student will aim to complete two articles that could be published in the magazine of their choice, from illustrated newsstand glossies to literary journals and regional or in-flight magazines.
Michael Agresta has written for The Atlantic, Slate, The Wall Street Journal, Wired, Travel + Leisure, and other publications. He contributes regular cultural coverage to Texas Monthly, where his work was a finalist for "Best Column" at the 2017 City and Regional Magazine Awards. He has also published fiction in The Southern Review, Boston Review, Conjunctions, and elsewhere. He has received residencies from the MacDowell Colony, Blue Mountain Center, and Virginia Center for the Creative Arts.
Faculty, MFA Program, Western Connecticut State
Textbooks for this course:
(Required) Robin Hemley, A Field Guide for Immersion Writing: Memoir, Journalism, and Travel (ISBN 978-0820342559)