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Learn How to Tell Travel Stories with Barbara Noe Kennedy, former longtime Editor of National Geographic Travel Publishing

Barbara Noe Kennedy


START DATE: Tuesday, January 15, 2019

END DATE: Tuesday, February 19, 2019

DURATION:  6 weeks

COURSE DESCRIPTION: Do you have amazing tales to tell about your travels, but are petrified to actually put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard)? Maybe you’re not sure where to start, or what kind of story exactly it is, or how it fits into the realm of travel writing, or whether anyone would actually ever publish it. Never fear. This hands-on class takes a deep dive into the art of writing travel stories. Each week we’ll study a different type of article, from listicles to destination stories to service pieces (and more), to help you figure out how to turn your great ideas into stories. We’ll also devote some time each class for a quickie in-class writing exercise to help get the juices flowing, as well as look at some tricks-of-the-trade writing and pitching tips. A private Facebook page will allow us to share ideas, questions, and writing struggles as a community, as well as a forum to critique our homework assignments.

This online live webinar course starts on Tuesday, January 15, 2019.

This course meets for one hour each week, for 6 weeks (Tuesday, January 15, January 22, January 29, February 5, February 12, February 19).

All classes are held from 12-1pm ET, via zoom video webinar.

Upon enrollment and prior to the first class, students will receive a private link that they will need to access the webinar. It can be viewed on a tablet, phone, or computer (both Mac and PC).


This course is offered via live webinar.

Webinars are live workshops given online, where you can view the instructor and websites/materials she shares on her screen, making it an interactive experience. Webinars make learning from your home or office convenient.

The live webinars will be recorded, so if you miss a session, you will be able to view a recording of the class and read the transcripts when you have the time. Class recordings are made available within 48 hours of the class date.


I’ve just completed Barbara Noe Kennedy’s “Travel Writing in a Digital World.” I learned more in this class in six weeks than I did at four writing conferences combined. Barbara is obviously a professional, with a great deal of knowledge and experience. She was completely accessible, and always encouraging. I will watch for more classes from her—and I’ll be the first to sign up! ~ Shirley Drew

Barbara was the perfect travel writing teacher. She’s experienced in the industry and appreciates students’ unique voices. She’s very encouraging and worked with me on my first published story. ~ Peter J.

I was privileged to be in Barbara’s Creative Nonfiction writing class at Graduate School USA last spring. I was nervous for my first-ever writing class, but Barbara’s welcoming spirit quickly turned my trepidation into excitement that grew from week to week. She had just the right mix of encouragement and constructive feedback that gelled our small class, helping us learn from one another and begin to formulate our own comments and suggestions on the fly. That is not easy to do with a class of mostly new writers! I also appreciated how she selected readings that prompted us to think about our work differently, while encouraging us to explore topics and areas that spoke to us. I will always be grateful for her support, advice, and enthusiasm about my writing. ~ Andrea L.P.

Besides having a mastery of the subject, Barbara had a distinct rapport with everyone in our class. Her comments and constructive criticism were always right-on. ~ Barry G.

Barbara is a top-notch teacher. She uses an excellent mix of hands-on writing skills and real world examples of writing. She helps guide writers without trying to change their style or voice. I learned so much from her class that I use in my personal writing and my professional life. ~ Cat E.

Genuine and kind, Barbara’s skillful instruction inspires. Barbara facilitates a comfortable atmosphere for learning and exploring. ~ Lisa B.


Class One: The World Is Your Oyster

Date: Tuesday, January 15, 2019
Time: 9am PT | 10am MT | 11am CT | 12pm ET
Duration: 1 hour

Note: The live webinar will be recorded and available within 48 hours of the class date.

We’ll take a quick look at the state of the travel publishing world today, and what it means to be a travel writer. We’ll nosh on different types of travel stories and look at how they fit into the bigger picture, both print and online, as well as what this all means for you.

Topics covered include:

  • The state of travel publishing today
  • Brief overview of different kinds of travel stories
  • What’s your best plan of attack?

Assignment: Start thinking about what type of travel writer you are and make a list of possible stories. Read story packet.

Class Two: Listicles: Friend or Foe?

Date: Tuesday, January 22, 2019
Time: 9am PT | 10am MT | 11am CT | 12pm ET
Duration: 1 hour

Note: The live webinar will be recorded and available within 48 hours of the class date.

This class we’ll take a deep-dive into listicles (aka round-ups). We’ll address the burning question of whether real travel writers should even consider writing listicles, as well as how to avoid having your listicle sound like marketing copy.

Topics covered include:

  • Overview of listicles
  • Brainstorming for listicle ideas
  • A thorough dissection of a winning listicle
  • The super importance of the header

Assignment: Read story packet. Write a listicle. Write two or three!

Class Three: Destination Pieces

Date: Tuesday, January 29, 2019
Time: 9am PT | 10am MT | 11am CT | 12pm ET
Duration: 1 hour

Note: The live webinar will be recorded and available within 48 hours of the class date.

Many literary-type travel stories showcase a destination. In this type of story, your literary toolbox must be dusted off. We’ll be exploring exactly what that means.

Topics covered include:

  • Overview of different types of destination pieces
  • The use of the Mighty I
  • Breaking down the pieces of a destination story
  • The narrative arc (it’s not as scary as it sounds)
  • The importance of using dialogue, five senses, and other literary devices
  • Secrets to strong beginnings and endings

Assignment: Read story packet. Write a destination piece.

Class Four: Travel Advice or Service Articles

Date: Tuesday, February 5, 2019
Time: 9am PT | 10am MT | 11am CT | 12pm ET
Duration: 1 hour

Note: The live webinar will be recorded and available within 48 hours of the class date.

Service stories aren’t the most exciting pieces to write, but they provide vital travel information to readers, as well as an important checks-and-balances on the travel industry. The best news? They tend to pay better than other types of stories.

Topics covered include:

  • Overview of different types of service stories
  • Breaking down a service story
  • The importance of delivering on your promise
  • Survey of possible outlets for publication

Assignment: Read packet. Write a service story.

Class Five: Personal Essays

Date: Tuesday, February 12, 2019
Time: 9am PT | 10am MT | 11am CT | 12pm ET
Duration: 1 hour

Note: The live webinar will be recorded and available within 48 hours of the class date.

Personal essays delve into the heart and soul of a travel experience, and often reveal a writer’s vulnerable side. They can be award-winners, but they’re also among the hardest stories to write. We’ll learn the best approaches to tackling them, plus how to make your prose sing.

Topics covered include:

  • Overview of different types of personal essays
  • What’s the difference between a personal essay and a destination piece?
  • Breaking down the personal essay
  • Do I really have to share my innermost secrets?

Assignment: Read story packet. Write a personal travel essay.

Class Six: Getting Published

Date: Tuesday, February 19, 2019
Time: 9am PT | 10am MT | 11am CT | 12pm ET
Duration: 1 hour

Note: The live webinar will be recorded and available within 48 hours of the class date.

Who wants to publish your stories? It takes research, and patience. This class session will help you derive a game plan. If we have time, we’ll also glean some lessons from our travel stories that we’ve written over the course of the past six weeks.

Topics covered include:

  • Pitching Tips
  • Survey of possible outlets
  • Photography/videos

Materials needed: All written materials and resources are provided by the instructor. She will provide PDFs of sample travel stories to read ahead of each live class.

ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR: Barbara Noe Kennedy is a former longtime editor with National Geographic Travel Publishing. She currently works as a fulltime freelance travel writer, with credits including Fodor’s, Lonely Planet, London Telegraph, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, National Geographic, and more. She also teaches travel writing and creative nonfiction and leads tours.

COST:  $165, which includes six 60-minute live webinars, virtual communication with your instructor, and access to a private Facebook page.

BUY NOW: The Art of Travel Storytelling with Barbara Noe Kennedy (6 weeks, starting 1/15/2019) Limit: 10 students. Early registration is recommended.

This class is now closed. Please check out Chelsey’s upcoming class, Women Writers Anonymous starting January 2.

For Class Session Starting 1/15/2019


Notes:  Upon successful completion of payment, your name, email address, and contact info will be submitted to your instructor. Just before class begins, she will e-mail you with instructions on how to get started.

Questions? Email Marcia & Angela at:

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