A Taste of Travel and Twitter

On April 15 and 16, my client, JoAnna Haugen, will be presenting two workshops at the Las Vegas Writers Conference. One will focus on travel writing, while the other will provide a primer on social media usage for writers. Intrigued? Here’s a teaser from JoAnna regarding what participants will learn during her sessions:

Travel the World, Tell the Story

Many people dream of living the travel writing life. After all, travel writers jet around in first class to exotic destinations all over the globe. They sip mai tais on deserted beaches, chase wildlife across the savannah, go deep sea diving with great white sharks, stay in the most expensive hotels, have seen every famous work of art … and get paid a healthy chunk of change to say they’ve been there, done that.

Or is that the case?

Travel writing certainly has its perks. Yes, writers do get to stay in some super swanky digs (though I’ve never gone deep sea diving with sharks), but being a travel writer is still a job … and not a high-paying one at that. When I travel, my days are filled with tours, activities, interviews and research. I eat rich food and once had eight glasses of eight different types of wine sitting in front of my dinner plate so that I could understand the intricacies of pairing. I go snorkeling, and then I hop out of the water to ask questions of the person who runs the excursion company. I take showers in huge marble bathrooms, but I take note of how hot the water is and if the pressure is any good. After all, I have to share this information with my readers.

I work long hours with (often) sketchy internet access from the road. Sometimes I’m overwhelmed with stories; other times I struggle to scrape something together.

Admittedly, though, I have a stellar job, and many people aspire to have the same. During Travel the World, Tell the Story, I’ll be sharing details not on the travel writing life, but on what makes a successful piece of travel writing. Some of my key points include:

  • Research what you can before you travel.
  • Avoid clichés.
  • Bring your writing alive with characters, dialogue and action.

Social Media for Writers

If you’re reading this blog post, chances are you’re savvy enough to know that an online presence and real time communication via social media is important for writers. But what, exactly, is social media, and how can you as a writer best make use of the tools available to you?

I’ve discovered that many writers know they should be engaged in social media, but the big bad world of the internet can be a fairly intimidating place. From Twitter and YouTube to blogs and forums, how are writers supposed to know where to use their precious time and energy? Because there is a lot to understand when it comes to social media, many writers simply avoid it, and, as a result, they may be missing out on precious opportunities to network with industry movers and shakers (like Bree!), promote their work, engage in new writing opportunities and learn about new trends in writing.

Social media includes the various forms of user-generated content and the collection of websites and applications that allow people to interact and share information with each other in an online atmosphere. This means that social media not only includes those social networking sites with which you might be most familiar such as Facebook and Twitter, but also video sharing sites, blogs and online forum spaces. Yes, that’s a lot of content, but don’t let it freak you out!

Social Media for Writers is an introductory session that breaks down the various components of social media and highlights those that are most helpful for writers as they create and develop their promotional platforms. In addition, participants will learn:

  • How specific social media tools can be utilized by writers.
  • Why social media is important for writers.
  • How writers can engage in social media in a way that best benefits them.

-JoAnna Haugen

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