What you will study
You’ll read and reflect on the work of some of the greatest travel writers who were pioneers in the genre as well as contemporary travel writers who are changing the way we think and write about travel. Most importantly, you’ll learn that travel doesn’t have to be about travelling to far-flung destinations, travel can also be about travelling close to home.
Throughout the course, you’ll listen to audio interviews with travel experts and watch videos which have been created especially for the course, all of which will enhance your experience of learning about travel writing and inspire you to create your own.
Week 1 introduces you to the genre of travel writing and gives you a little history and context on how it has evolved over the centuries.
Weeks 2 and 3 introduce you to influential early travel writers such as Bruce Chatwin and Jan Morris, as well as contemporary writers like Monisha Rajesh and Andrea Lee. You’ll think about why you might want to write about travel and consider the inspirations behind journeys – journeys that are close to home such as Raynor Winn’s The Salt Path or further afield like Bruce Chatwin’s In Patagonia to help you find your own inspiration. You’ll also be introduced to the actor and presenter Richard E. Grant exploring Granada, Spain through the work of the poet Federico Garcia Lorca and learn what makes travel writing so distinctive as a genre of writing. In these two weeks, you’ll make a good start on writing about a journey of your own.
Weeks 4 and 5 will help you to develop that piece of writing. You’ll learn from the techniques taught in the study of creative writing, how to make your travel writing distinctive, and how to use language to connect with your reader. You’ll look at how to write about: the setting of your travel writing, the characters you meet on your journey, and how to create a point of view so that you can tell your story in your own way. You’ll look at the work of writers such as Alys Fowler, Johnny Pitts and Jini Reddy amongst others. In Week 5, you’ll start to consider how reading fiction can help you to develop techniques in travel writing and consider Robert Harris’s novel Pompeii alongside other travel writers’ accounts of Vesuvius and Pompeii.
In Week 6
, you’ll bring all these elements together and look at some further examples from fiction where travel is central to the story. This will help you to develop your travel writing. You’ll hear again from the leading travel writer, Monisha Rajesh, about the practicalities of travel writing and will leave the course with some tips on where to go from here.
You will learn
Knowledge and understanding
You will have some understanding of:
- the history of travel writing (as opposed to travel journalism which is not being taught in this course)
- the tradition of travel writing through ‘reading as a writer’, engaging critically with examples of travel writing and responding to them creatively through writing
- travel writing as part of the overall craft of writing.
You will have learned:
- how to apply the basic approaches of creative writing to the specific genre of travel writing
- how the genre is relevant to issues of ethical, social, and public concern
- to develop your critical skills, through building confidence in analysing published work.
You will have:
- developed some research skills
- enhanced your skills in writing with fluency, clarity and precision
- started to create a piece of travel writing which you can complete after the course.
This course has relevance for those interested in becoming professional writers as well as those interested in working in the literary industries.
There is no tuition on this course and all study is self-directed. However, a Study Advisor is present to facilitate discussion within the online forums.
If you have a disability
The course is delivered online and makes use of a variety of online resources. If you use specialist hardware or software to assist you in using a computer or the internet you are advised to contact us about support which can be given to meet your needs.