Travel awakens the mind and deepens the consciousness. When we cross borders and cultures, discoveries we make can lead to profound breakthroughs. And now, with most of us not traveling, there has never been a better time to reconnect to our richest travel experiences and deepen our own understanding of them by committing them to paper. In this three-week generative workshop, Lavinia Spalding, award-winning author of Writing Away and six-time editor of The Best Women’s Travel Writing, invites you to gather the words to bring your travel stories to life.
In each two-hour session, we write together from innovative prompts, poetic passages, and photographs as we conjure “story slices” that serve as the seeds for longer narratives. We share our work in class and offer feedback as a supportive, curious community. We also read various short published pieces for inspiration and illumination. In focused craft sessions, we discuss bringing concentrated sensory attention to our writing, creating momentum, developing scenes, handling setting, making diverse characters come alive, utilizing metaphor, and more. We explore creative approaches to animate and enliven our prose as we compose evocative sketches of the people and places that have moved us—and in turn, we learn how to move readers.
In this dynamic three-week course, we reengage with the most pivotal moments of past journeys and mine them for more meaning. We learn to articulate impressions and experiences succinctly and vividly. And we emerge not only with fresh, powerful drafts and ideas, but also with a newfound capacity for creative expression and the heightened ability to identify our most compelling material.
This online workshop is open to writers and wanderers of all experience levels. Come with half-formed ideas or journal entries you would like to shape into essays, or photos and sketches that tell a story. Come with an open mind, a sense of wonder, and a few hours to lose yourself, once again, in some faraway elsewhere.
This program is open to writers of all levels.
Lavinia Spalding is the six-time editor of The Best Women’s Travel Writing, author of Writing Away: and co-author of With a Measure of Grace and This Immeasurable Place. She introduced the e-book edition of Edith Wharton’s classic travelogue, A Motor-Flight Through France and has contributed to such publications as AFAR, Longreads, Tin House, Yoga Journal, Sunset, AirBnB magazine, Ms., Post Road, Inkwell, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Guardian, and The Best Travel Writing. Her work has won gold Lowell Thomas and Solas awards, has been recognized in The Best American Travel Writing, and has been widely anthologized. Lavinia is a member of The Writers Grotto and Peauxdunque Writers’ Alliance. She has taught writing workshops around the world, from Mexico to Morocco to Peru to Nepal. Lavinia lives in New Orleans with her family. You can also watch her TEDx talk here.