LYN HUGHES is the Editor-in-Chief of Wanderlust magazine, which she co-founded in 1993. She teaches on our Travel Journalism Masterclass.
What do you look for in a travel article?
That it will inspire, inform and intrigue our audience. We have a strong relationship with our readers and so are looking for fresh ideas which will be of interest to them, even if it is a destination or topic they are already familiar with. We want to transport them to the destination and let them feel they are there. And we want to tell them how they can do it themselves.
What makes you consider a new writer?
Someone who clearly understands our audience and our style, and pitches accordingly. I never cease to be amazed by how few of the hundreds of approaches we get consider this, so they fall at the rst hurdle. After that I want to know ‘why you?’ and ‘why now?’ It helps if the writer can bring some expertise to it, or has a fresh and relevant angle, or if it is a timely idea (6–12 months before we would be running it).
Can you give us two practical tips for starting out as a travel journalist?
Don’t even approach an outlet until you really understand it and its audience. Then, and only then, send in a targeted pitch. And if you’re approaching them by email, make that subject line count – such as ‘Short Break Matera, European Capital of Culture 2019’. Most magazines, newspapers and websites have shorter, less glamorous sections that they need copy for. So target those rather than the big narrative features.
Extract from The Travel Writer’s Way, copyright Jonathan Lorie 2019.