Paris Travel Writing Workshop Launches

Paris: Creating world-class writers for centuries...

My dad always told me that those who can, do, and those who can’t, teach. I assumed this to be a subtle jab at some high school teacher he didn’t like that much. When I decided to go into academia, with visions of being a university professor, I thought that this was my chance to surprise dad and prove him wrong.

I teach journalism at the Sorbonne to French students, but I still keep one foot in the profession, and I always have. I still write and publish for outlets, even if it’s not always hard-hitting political analysis. I’m in the loop. I’d like to think I practice what I preach, and, while I may overuse idioms at times, these professional experiences have been a touchstone of my academic career.

While 2016 holds a big old question mark for my future teaching prospects, I decided to take it into my own hands. I’ll be finished my teaching at the Sorbonne in May, but the educational adventures aren’t about to end. Along with perpetual running buddy and colleague Heather Stimmler-Hall, we’ll be offering our new "Travel Writing Workshop" to educate those who always tell us, “Your life sounds so amazing.” 

Our pitch: You’ll come away with priceless insider knowledge you can use whether you’re looking to pursue a career in travel writing, earn extra cash with your personal travel blog, or simply plan your next vacation with the discerning eye of a travel pro.

Sometimes it is. And sometimes it isn’t. For those taking the 5-day workshop in Paris, they’ll learn it all. For me, this is an important endeavor not just because it’s my dream job to do and teach “travel journalism,” but because so much travel writing is just plain bad, and no one is educating others on why that is. The bulk of my PhD thesis revolved around studying blogs and TripAdvisor comments along with allegedly “journalistic” articles, and it was often a bit frustrating. There is no true guide on how to be a travel journalist, so we’re all over the place when it comes to quality. That can change.

Education is the first step, and in our workshop we’ll be doing classroom training along with hands-on experiences to give participants a taste for life in the field. What do good writers actually do to write and find a story? What does a day a writer’s life actually look like? It’s not all macarons and Champagne (though they make an appearance sometimes). The workshop will teach participants how to make it as a travel writer or journalist anywhere in the world, using Paris as our textbook example.

And did I mention that it will be fun?

We've written the guidebooks, and I've even contributed to an actual book on travel journalism, so we're excited to share these experiences. Check out the details on Secrets of Paris to learn more about the workshop, and register ASAP. Don’t forget to bring your teachers an apple.