Sunday, June 7, 2015

Five Ways to Succeed as a Travel Writer

(NewsUSA) - As the media landscape keeps changing around us, travel writers are following many paths to success. Some are book authors, some write primarily for magazines and others are earning a good income by blogging or running destination websites. Tim Leffel, author of "Travel Writing 2.0" (, offers these tips on making it as a travel writer, whether in print, e-books, travel apps or the next media we haven't seen yet.

1. Get the Basics Down First. There is far too much competition in this desirable field for sub-par writers to succeed. Read books on writing well, take a course at your local community college or attend workshops that include peer and teacher reviews. At a minimum, travel writers need to master the basics of reporting and writing engaging prose before blogging or getting hired by an editor.

2. Find Your Niche. Trying to be a generalist travel writer puts you into a bloody pool with incredible competition. It is far easier to make a name for yourself becoming the expert on one region or one style of travel.

3. Be Original. Ideas are your main currency as a travel writer. The ability to find good original story ideas for any destination is often more important than what you actually put on the page.

4. Be a Professional. The main complaint of editors is that so many writers are unprofessional. They send sloppy e-mails. They miss deadlines. They make promises they can't deliver. You can rise above the pack by reading publication guidelines carefully and not wasting editors' time.

5. Travel Every Chance You Get. It's difficult to succeed as a travel writer, even a part-time one, if you are not traveling on a regular basis. It can be in your own region, but you need to go find the stories nobody else is writing and get past the routine vacations that have been reported on a thousand times already.

Learn more about travel writing in the book "Travel Writing 2.0: Earning Money From Your Travels in the New Media Landscape" or by visiting

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Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Summer Reading Tips From the Experts

(NewsUSA) - Summer outdoor play is central to a child's development. Many experts agree that reading, however, is just as important.

According to Richard E. Bavaria, Ph.D., senior vice president of education outreach for Sylvan Learning, summer is the perfect time for learning and discovery. "It's very important that children continue to practice their academic skills in summer as strong reading skills are incredibly important for all subjects in school. The more children read, the more they'll enjoy reading, and the better readers they're likely to become."

Here are some reading tips from the brain-trust at the National Summer Learning Association and tutoring authority, Sylvan Learning.

* Be a reading role model. By spending time reading at the beach or using the lengthy directions to put the grill together, you show your child that reading is both fun and useful.

* Set aside a consistent time each day for reading. Depending on your family's schedule, reading time might be in the morning, afternoon or before bed. Whatever time you choose, stick to it! Consistency is key to building good habits.

* Let your child make their reading choices. Let kids read whatever they want. Now is a good time to encourage reading about topics they don't study during school to explore new interests, discover new talents or delve into old hobbies.

* Get your child to savor the book she or he is reading. Don't rush through a book -- take time to enjoy it. Have your child stop and think about plot points and characters. This will develop their analytical skills.

* Set goals and reward effort. Reward reading with more reading. Download the next book in your child's favorite series on your tablet or Kindle. Let your child peruse library catalogues online for e-books.

* Read the book, then watch the movie. Few things make kids feel more "superior" than comparing and contrasting a movie to the book it's based on. "That's not the way it was in the book!" Let them explain the differences, guess why a director made those changes and then discuss which version they preferred.

* Go online for ideas. There are lots of websites for kids' book choices. Visit for reading tips, book suggestions and educational games.

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