Gallery Cat Blog

Posted by Chika On 1:34 PM 0 comments

Gallery Cat Blog

MediaBistro is a well know website with news and views about the publishing industry, with articles geared towards everybody from public relations folks to struggling freelance writers. And that was always the problem -- too many markets and far too generalized for those of us who are writers.

Today they reorganized their website and spun off five specialized blogs to appeal to different markets, and the one I favor, and will probably subscribe to, is called Gallerycat. I'd say check it out and perhaps give it a trial email subscription. Unfortunately, I don't see a RSS feed, which is the method of news delivery I favor over email subscriptions.

Gallery Cat Blog

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Travel Writer on Assignment

The Seven Myths of Being a Travel Writer

By Tim Leffel

A few weeks ago I received an interesting piece of mail. It said, “Launch your dream career as a travel writer today and get paid to travel the world.” All I had to do was sign up for an expensive correspondence course on travel writing. After that I could expect such rewards as “a complimentary week on an exotic Asian island” or a luxury vacation in Cancun “with airfare and all expenses paid.” The breathless come-on letter asked, “Why not live on permanent vacation?”

Why not indeed? Get paid to travel the world and live a life of leisure. What could be more glamorous?

Before you fall for it, remember that it is also glamorous to be a rock star, a best-selling novelist, or a starter for the Lakers. It’s not so glamorous, however, to be an aspiring actor (waiter) in Los Angeles, an aspiring songwriter (waiter) in Nashville, or an aspiring novelist (waiter) in New York. It may sound silly to compare travel writers like Tim Cahill or Jeff Greenwald to celebrities such as Tom Cruise and Stephen King, but the odds of getting to that level of success are just as daunting. The big difference is that when you do get to that upper echelon of travel writers, you’re still not making nearly as much money as the lowest-paid bench warmer in the NBA.

Just as plugging in a Stratocaster doesn’t make you a rock star, writing tales about your travels is not going to make you a travel writer. Like any position where supply far exceeds demand, you’ll need to follow the right steps and then pay your dues. It’s not going to happen overnight.

As a service to any beginning travel writers out there who are ready for the real story, here are the seven biggest myths of travel writing and the dirt on what to it will take to defy the odds.

Myth #1: Travel writers make enough money to live on.

Some people make a living as a travel writer. They are a very small minority. Yes, I actually did make enough to live on for a while just being a travel writer. But it took three years of spotty assignments and building up a collection of clips before I got to that point. Plus I was backpacking in cheap countries at the time, which meant my expenses were low. I got most of my income reviewing hotels for a travel trade publication (and lots of free hotels rooms to boot). Like most who pay the bills doing this, I relied on at least one steady assignment to make up the bulk of my income. Most who manage it are either writing guidebooks or working steadily for one of the top travel magazines. Neither option, however, is particularly lucrative or dependable.

Tom Brosnahan, who has written over 30 guidebooks for Insight, Lonely Planet, Frommer’s, and others, lays out the numbers for a guidebook writer on the site With his calculations, a writer getting a $30,000 fee for putting a new guidebook together would spend close to a year of his or her life on the project and end up making about $6 per hour after expenses. And this is after a rather sizable advance. It’s not uncommon for a new guidebook writer to only be offered around $10,000, which almost guarantees negative income. The work is no picnic either. Guidebook writers are assumed to know every city and town in depth, but in reality they seldom spend more than a few days in each place. During that time, they are zipping around between attractions, restaurants, and similar hotels, frantically taking notes that will sufficiently jog their memories later. They then spend their evenings typing it all up, while real travelers are out having fun.

In an interview with Rolf Potts, well-known travel writer Pico Iyer described his early writing for Let's Go guidebooks as “covering 80 towns in 90 days while sleeping in gutters and eating a hot dog once a week.” It’s not a job for anyone who expects to spend time really enjoying a place and it’s also not a job suited for someone with a significant other along, much less a spouse and kids.

Pay at travel magazines has stayed stagnant for the past decade and many great magazines for independent travelers have gone belly-up (Big World, trips, Modern Nomad, and Escape to name just a few.) Rates for a 500-word article range from $10 to $1,000, the latter being for a seasoned writer doing a story for a Travel and Leisure type publication. Even with a dozen years of experience, the bulk of my freelance pieces earn me between $25 and $300. Big features and cover stories pay more, of course, but those plum assignments don’t come down the pike until you’ve forged a long-term relationship with the editor or have become famous. To support yourself at this, you would need to get a whole lot of stories in print on a regular basis.

Myth #2: Editors are hungry for travel stories from new writers.

For every article slot in a magazine, there are hundreds of writers trying to fill it. It’s like an audition for a movie part or tryouts for a pro sports team. Editors are up to their ears in material and much of what crosses their desk from new writers isn’t worth printing. I recently asked a publication I’m writing for when they needed to see my finished article we’d discussed for two months. The editor replied that she already had the next four issues done, but get it in when I could as they would soon be starting on the fifth. Meanwhile, her slush pile is full of unsolicited manuscripts she can’t waste time wading through. Send a brief, targeted query letter that shows you’ve read the publication if you want a fair shot.

Myth #3: A destination is a story.

Many aspiring travel writers feel that telling an editor they are heading off to some certain spot on the other side of the globe will result in an enthusiastic invitation to write about it. But here’s some news: editors are not short on people who are willing to head off to this place or that to write about it. Don’t assume just going somewhere is a reason to write an article. Even remote corners of the globe are visited by more writers than we need. (I’ve seen enough articles on Iceland and Antarctica to last a lifetime.) Unless you’re going to be the first person landing on Mars, you’d better find a good story angle.

This doesn’t mean you can’t write about the Inca Trail, the Grand Canyon, or the Taj Mahal, but you’d better be able to find a truly unique slant that has never been tried before. Is there some attraction right off the Inca Trail that nobody ever visits—but should? Could you spend a couple of days with people who actually live inside the Grand Canyon? Is there a stonemason doing repairs on the Taj Mahal who is descended from one of the original masons? Wherever you are going, you need to think like a journalist and dig for something an editor will find refreshing.

Myth #4: Readers want to hear every detail about your personal experiences.

Take an hour or two and read some stories on the many travel web sites that don’t pay writers for submissions. On most of them, you’ll find long, drawn-out narratives by self-centered writers who seem to think everyone wants to know the minute details of their day—including their digestive problems. Why should travel magazines pay for this stuff? We’re already overloaded with it and it’s free! Long tomes about dodging beggars and waiting around for the bus to get fixed are not stories; they are journal entries. That’s where they belong. [Amen!]

Granted, reputable magazines do occasionally run narratives about some epic journey, but the stories are nearly always carefully edited for interest and the spotlight is seldom shining on the narrator. Here’s a good test: read a magazine story or book chapter from someone like Bill Bryson or Pico Iyer and then read your story. Then have your most brutally honest friend do the same. If your many-page travelogue is every bit as gripping or funny and flows just as well, then by all means don’t give up until you get it published. If not, edit, edit, edit.

Myth #5: Travel magazines love long stories.

Speaking of big long features, pick up a travel magazine in your local bookstore and see how many stories run for five pages or more. Then count all the small features of a page or less scattered across the rest of the magazine. Pick up a few more popular magazines on almost any subject and do it again. Notice a pattern? Blame the attention span problem on whatever you want, but a recent study found that the average magazine story length in the US is now less than 500 words. Get good at doing short, informative stories and you can get assignments. Editors mostly need articles that say something succinctly and then get out of the way. This is where the work is, especially for a beginner. Eventually you may build up a good reputation and garner a big feature assignment. Try to do it in reverse order, however, and you’ll be getting more rejections than you can count.

Think small in another way also—in the story subject itself. “London in Spring” is tough sale except for an airline magazine (where their regular writers get these assignments almost as a gift, so forget about it). A piece on how teatime works in England, however (a recent story in Budget Travel), is a nice feature that fits on one page. An editor probably has no interest in your hours getting lost in the souks of Marrakesh, but one editor snapped up a piece I wrote in Marrakesh called “Interview with a Tout.” Don’t forget that the easiest stories to sell are the ones that really do a service to the reader. Show everyone how to do something cheaper, faster, or with less hassles and you’ll have far more success than talking about the 48-hour train ride you took in India with goats and chickens.

Myth #6: You write a story, you get paid, it soon gets published.

Travel writing is a tough way to pay for your travels. The main reason is that the money comes long after the travels. The very biggest and best magazines pay “on acceptance,” which means when you hand in a manuscript they are happy with, you get paid. In the other 90 percent of the publishing world, where you will probably get most of your assignments, this is about as common as Ferraris in Cuba. Most stories are accepted “on spec,” meaning you write the story without knowing if they’ll accept it. If they do accept it, don’t buy the champagne yet. You will get paid upon publication—after the story actually shows up in print. (If they don’t go out of business first.) In the best case, this will be within two or three months. More likely, it will be six months or a year. By the time you see a check from the story you wrote in the first month of your round-the-world journey, your yearlong trip could be over.

Myth #7: All your expenses will be covered.

Ads for travel writing courses and workshops love to talk about “all expenses paid,” but this is a rare event for most freelance travel writers. If you have an assignment letter in hand for your great idea, from a reputable travel magazine or big newspaper, you can likely swing some freebies. Otherwise, forget it.

If a travel provider cannot see an obvious payback from providing you free hospitality of some sort, don’t expect to get it. I reviewed hotels in nine countries for a well-known travel trade publication and ended up staying at a lot of ritzy properties for free. But that’s because of the guide I was writing for and the kinds of customers that used it. If I had been writing for some obscure travel site on the Web, or even Transitions Abroad, the hotel managers never would have replied to my letters. Every tourism business wants publicity, but it has to be the right publicity for them to care.

Yes, resorts and tourists bureaus often invite press people to come visit, with some or all expenses paid, but the key word is “invite.” If you write a weekly travel column for a big Sunday newspaper, you’re in. If you’re managing editor of Islands magazine, you’ll get more invitations than you can possibly use. If you’re a schmuck like me who now writes almost exclusively for budget travel publications, you’ll be paying for your own room at that fancy beach resort, thank you very much.

So what’s the good news?

I’m erring on the side of pessimism because I am writing this for Transitions Abroad, a publication that is known for providing the unvarnished truth, refreshingly free from hype. But of course travel writing can be a lot of fun. I never would have learned as much as I have about the places I’ve been and the people I have written about if I hadn’t had a reason to really dive in. Travel writing has taken me to places I probably never would have gone: a remote spot in the Sinai, a sadhu’s den in the Himalayas, a mystical mountain sculpture garden in Korea, and every bourbon distillery in Kentucky—to name just a few. The check and the byline may have been the goal, but I always took the trips with the attitude that the money and glory were just the gravy.

I’m not trying to discourage anyone from being a travel writer, any more than I would discourage someone with talent from becoming a songwriter or an actor. But if you are committed to being one, do it because you are already a curious and perceptive traveler who happens to be a good (if not great) writer, and do it the right way. Read a few good books on the subject and really do what the authors say to do. The advice is nearly always tried and true. You will need to study the publications you’re pitching in detail, send good query letters, write about unique subjects that you’re really interested in, and make sure everything you submit is as good as it can possibly be—and on time.

Second, remember who your “customers” are. The buyers of what you are selling are editors. If they don’t want to publish your material, your creative ideas will never go beyond your journal or your letters home. Realize that if you’re not comfortable selling yourself and your ideas, this is not for you. Being a travel writer, at least until you’re established, is 90 percent marketing, ten percent writing.

Get feedback whenever you can, especially on your “leads” (the first paragraph, which needs to grab people). Then take that feedback seriously. In the end, you may not be sipping cocktails in Tahiti, all expenses paid, but you’ll be getting paid at least something to do what you love.

Transititions Abroad

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Michelin Guides Gets Psychic

Posted by Chika On 1:32 PM 0 comments

Big Whoopsie by Michelin

BBC News

Michelin guide pulled over gaffe

Jan 27, 2005

Michelin admitted making an "error" in the attribution of a "Bib Gourmand." Michelin has removed one of its renowned gourmet guides from sale after it emerged it carried a top review for a restaurant that had not yet opened. The Ostend Queen in Belgium had been awarded a "Bib Gourmand" even though it opened several weeks after publication of the Benelux Red Guide 2005.

The owner of the restaurant told a Belgian newspaper he got into the guide via his "good relations" with Michelin. Michelin, whose image has been dented of late, has admitted the blunder. The French company said it would publish a new version of the guide, which covers restaurants and hotels in Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg, within "around two months".

The Benelux guide "is withdrawn from sale because it contains an error concerning the attribution of a Bib Gourmand" it said in a statement. The decision followed a report in the Belgian newspaper Le Soir that reported that the Ostend Queen had received a "Bib Gourmand", an accolade designating a place as having excellent food at a moderate price, even though it opened on 8 January, several weeks after publication.

Michelin admitted that its procedures, which entail anonymous inspectors dropping into restaurants to grade them for the guide, "had not been respected". The Benelux guide usually sells about 50,000 copies, and a good review can greatly boost a restaurant's reputation and income. But Michelin's own reputation has suffered recently.

A Michelin inspector in France was sacked after writing a book saying that some chefs were treated as above criticism and that there were not enough inspectors. Ostend Queen restaurant owner Fernand David said he got into the guide because of the "good relations" he had with Michelin, and because he was sponsored by an established three-star chef. "We reached an agreement to appear in the 2005 edition of the Red Guide and to not have to wait a year unnecessarily," he told Le Soir.

BBC News on Michelin Guides

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Time for Digital Photography?

Posted by Chika On 2:57 PM 0 comments

Brazilian Sunset


January 27, 2005

I own a digital point-and-shoot camera, and was looking to upgrade to a "nicer" camera for some more ambitious photography. But I was wondering if it makes sense to spend a lot on a digital camera, as it seemingly will be a bit archaic, if not outright obsolete, in a few years. E.g., old Leicas or even manual Nikons still fetch fair amounts on Ebay, while digital cameras a few years old sell for a fraction of their original value. I know digital cameras are supposed to making analog obsolete, but I'm just wondering about the obsolescence factor of digital. In other words, should I buy the new digital Leica or a vintage analog Leica? Any thoughts?

posted by jgballard at 12:52 PM PST


If I was buying a Leica, I would definitely get the film model. Putting a CF card into a Leica just seems wrong.

posted by trbrts at 1:00 PM PST on January 27


I agree, some things shouldn't be "improved". But that said, I'm a huge digital fan and have taken thousands more pictures because of the digital aspect. Obsolete is a matter of personal opinion in digital camera terms. I have been very happily using a mere 4 MP Canon S400 for a couple of years now and it still takes great pictures. Doesn't mean I don't want one of those sexy Sony T1's but I can wait a bit longer.

There will always be something newer, better, faster or whatever. Get what you are happy with and let the rest of the world worry about itself.

posted by fenriq at 1:11 PM PST on January 27

I found DP Review to be very helpful in my search for the right digital camera. From what I remember, the Leica digital was not rated particularly high for it's price.

posted by lobstah at 1:13 PM PST on January 27


I side with digital because I know personally the hassles of film would prevent me from actually doing the photography. I think you can gain experience much faster with digital where you're worrying about money spent on film and effort spent in a dark room. The freedom to snap away is what it's all about for me. (I'm not professional, and I am in the same state as you, snapping pics with a P&S camera.)

I'm sure some film enthusiasts will correct me shortly.

posted by knave at 1:14 PM PST on January 27


I paid $800 for a Canon G3 two years ago. Searching E-bay for closed auctions for them, they're averaging around $400. That's not too bad for consumer electronics. There will always be something newer, better, faster or whatever. Get what you are happy with and let the rest of the world worry about itself. Excellent advice.

posted by jperkins at 1:15 PM PST on January 27


An old Leica or manual Nikon has had thousands of dollars of film run through it by the time it's sold on ebay, whereas a digital might sell for much less on the used market, but it only ever required one or two thirty dollar CF cards during its lifetime. In terms of money, you still end up ahead with digital. In terms of photos, well, that's a more complicated decision. While a digital camera bought today might be "obsolete" in five years, current medium to higher end digital cameras take pictures of sufficient quality that I doubt you'd be limited by your equipment, even if a new model has more resolution or features.

posted by Nothing at 1:15 PM PST on January 27


Are you planning on selling this camera in a few years? It sounds to me like you're thinking more about the money than about the functionality. If you want a camera that'll take good photos now that you can easily store/manipulate on your computer, then get the digital. If you're more comfortable with non-digital, then go that direction. Obsolescence is in the eye of the beholder IMHO. I have an Olympus that I bought for $700 a few years ago that I probably couldn't sell for $100 now. I took lots of photos with it though, and had a blast. It was worth it to me. And though it may technically be obsolete today, I still use it and think it does the job just fine. Granted, I'd love a new Nikon D70, and my old non-digital Nikon still works and takes great photos. I value the digital aspect so much though that I never use the old Nikon anymore.

Sorry, that was kind of rambly. Oh and on preview - what fenriq said

posted by soplerfo at 1:15 PM PST on January 27


I went through a similar decision recently and I realized that I needed to figure out what sort of workflow I wanted and what I wanted to do with the pictures first, and then the digital / analog decision would come pretty naturally.

For me it didn't make sense to take a picture on film unless I was planning on making a photographic print to hang on the wall. I really like sharing pictures by email / web / electronic means and the workflow using film for that involves taking a picture, developing the roll, scanning the roll (frame by frame or slide by slide), making any adjustments in Photoshop, and then finally uploading the pictures.

With digital images this workflow becomes: take a picture, import the photo into iPhoto, make any edits / crops / adjustments in either iPhoto or Photoshop, and then use Photon to automatically upload the pictures to my blog. No wait, no muss, no fuss. And with the medium-high resolution of the D70 I can still make decently large prints.

posted by bshort at 1:19 PM PST on January 27


A Leica gearhound tells me that film cameras are devaluing, but I'm not sure I buy the rationale. I have bought good digitals since they were first released, and I am loving my D70 these days. It really does take excellent pix, even without a wizard behind the shutter. I have retired all of its predecessors and they are pretty much valueless these days (to me).

Looking at obsolesence, how much improvement over 6Mp do you need (yeah, 640kb should be enough for anyone). You can get more these days, but I've read that 6Mp is as good as film at the 4x6 point, and reasonably good up to a full sheet of letter or A4.

I have a Nikon F3 and too much glass, but I wouldn't sell it today. It was all bought used (by aforementioned gearhound) and probably is still worth what I paid. It's marginally compatible with the D70 (no metering on AI lenses) and it does something the D70 can't in producing the film negative. These days we put mostly B&W film in the F3 and use digital for our snaps. This is a pretty harmonious blend.

As for Leicas, my main question would be of value for money in their digital offering. If their CCD doesn't deal with the quality of the lenses, what's the point? There are good reviews (and forums) at sites like Steve's Digicams that tackle issues like the one you are raising.

posted by sagwalla at 1:31 PM PST on January 27


Not much on a digital camera is really going to go obsolete; they're too self-contained for that. Think of the parts of the camera: There's the internal, picture-taking part, that spits out jpegs or tiffs or raw files onto your memory card. *THIS* part will be obsolete soon, in the sense that there will be better camera cores next year, and better still the year after that. But so what? Even if there's better out there, that doesn't degrade the quality of what you have in the slightest. It will still take the perfectly-good pictures it took yesterday even when the Niko-Canon Super-Mega-Thingy 5000 that's nine billion terapixels and can see through wood is released next week.

The rest of it is obsolescence-proof for a long time. Cameras spit out images onto memory cards; all of the formats are going to be around for a while, especially compact-flash. They communicate using USB, which isn't going away anytime soon. By the time they're a couple years old, they'll have had all the firmware updates they're ever likely to get or need.

As far as resale value goes, it's a consumer product, not an investment. I wouldn't consider resale value to be important on a camera any more than I would on a TV, unless you're considering blowing $10K on a big pro-level setup.

posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 1:36 PM PST on January 27


I'm not saying you shouldn't go digital, I shoot with a Canon 20D right now. But, if you are going to go digital, I wouldn't get the Leica. You can get better quality and more features for less money. The digital Leica is just trying to replicate the analog camera for the digital age. Some things just can't be improved on.

posted by trbrts at 1:40 PM PST on January 27

Also, something to note - if you're buying a even a low range DSLR, you're also going to be buying a lot of other stuff - lenses, flashes, lights, what have you. All of that other stuff doesn't tend to devalue the same way digital cameras do, and you'll more than likely be able to move it all to your next body, even if it doesn't have all of the new bells and whistles.

posted by Caviar at 1:41 PM PST on January 27


Not sure about the Digilux 2, which has a hard-to-get-used to LCD viewfinder, but I have had a Digilux 1 for two and half years now and still adore it. Sure, it's relatively bulky and only 4Mp, but for ease of use it's hard to beat - everything is right to hand and the controls are amazingly intuitive, even on fully manual settings. It's also beautifully built and the 2.5" screen is still far better than most. Even so, I don't think the Digilux 1 would be the first choice of a professional photographer (you'd want more flexibility with lenses), but I have met a photographer who uses a Digilux 2 day to day.

posted by jonathanbell at 1:49 PM PST on January 27

If you want to collect cameras, get a Leica. If you want to take pictures, there are much less expensive options that you should consider.

(1) Soviet leica / zeiss clones. "Fed" and "Zorki" are worth looking at. These cameras are simplified copies of their german counterparts. At the top of the dot-com boom, they went for $100-$200 each. Now they often go for well under $100, with a lens. They take standard 35mm film, and are compatible with Leica screwmount lenses. These camers don't have built in light meters. Fully manual.

(2) Japanese "Voigtlander" cameras. Amazing wide angle lenses, mostly leica screw mount. Very decent camera bodies that generally include a light meter.

On the digital side, Panasonic makes Leica's digital cameras. You can get nearly the same camera for a much lower price by picking up the Panasonic version.

Unless you have tons of money to throw away, avoid the digital SLRs. The SLR design uses a mirror to allow the photographer to look through the taking lens before the photograph is made. But digital cameras provide an LCD-preview screen connected to the CMOS or CCD sensor. So the mirror and retrofocus lenses it requires are really unnecessary for digital cameras.

Digital camers with interchangeable lenses will eventually converge to rangefinder style camers like the Epson RD-1, and SLRs will slowly die out.

When considering the cost of digital vs. film, also consider the cost of processing. I typically take between 2 and 10 thousand digital pictures a year. At 36 frames per roll, and an average of $20 for film and development, that would be between $1111 and $5555 in film and development cost. Even though a new digicam will be obsolete in a few years, it will probably pay for itself in the first year you own it, unless you take very few pictures.

posted by b1tr0t at 1:49 PM PST on January 27


Faster digital cameras are currently extremely expensive and still much slower than film cameras. So if you need to take a series of shots quickly (e.g. sports photography) you'll probably want a film camera. Otherwise, for photos that are mostly only going to be used on a computer, digital is probably preferable. Film still produces the highest-quality images but on a computer the difference is will be negligible.

As far as resale value goes, it's a consumer product, not an investment.

Antique fountain pens can be worth thousands. You can't get anything for a used Bic is worthless even though in some situations a Bic pen is preferable (like filling out triplicate forms).

A film camera might be an investment because there is a degree of craftsmanship not present in digitals, which are essentially fungible. But someone could reasonably prefer to use a digital camera.

posted by TimeFactor at 2:02 PM PST on January 27


The difference between digital cameras and a quality slr: the lenses. Most digital cameras have at best medium quality lenses. With a 2 or 3 MP sensor I guess it doesn't matter that much, but now that higher resolution sensors are becoming affordable the next horizon will be the glass. To step up you will want to find good high speed lenses with high resolving ability, low flare and low aberrations. Right now those are found on digital SLRs and perhaps a very few fixed lens digital cameras. If you pick the right SLR system (this is hard and I have no answers) your investment in glass, flash accessories etc. will not become obsolete in the next couple of years the way the electronics probably will. I shoot both film and digital and each has its advantages, but I really like digital for the ability to shoot massive numbers of pictures at low cost. On the other hand, learning the art of picture making with a camera is probably still best done with a manual focus and exposure camera which forces you to think through each picture. If b1tr0t is right, and you choose well these lenses should still work on a viewfinder style digital camera.

posted by caddis at 2:15 PM PST on January 27


If you buy a digital SLR, your investment in the body will eventually be dwarfed by the amount you spend on lenses, just as it would be with a film SLR. You can upgrade your body when the next great thing comes out and typically lose only a few hundred dollars -- assuming you stay with the same manufacturer. Otherwise you have to buy all new lenses.

posted by kindall at 2:29 PM PST on January 27

Ask Metafilter about Digital Cameras

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Editors with Issues

Posted by Chika On 10:28 AM 0 comments

Editors on Ego Trips

If editors were secure in their issues of self worthinness, they would just call themselves "editors" and get on with their lives. But's their self gratifying titles as announced at some upcoming all important seminar:


"A selected group of travel writers gathers annually for the popular Travel Classics writers conferences, which have been held for more than a decade in New York, and in Scottsdale, Arizona.

The big news for Spring 2005 is the first Travel Classics Europe conference, April 21-24, in beautiful County Kerry, Ireland, with the sponsorship of Tourism Ireland and Aer Lingus. Hosted pre- and post-conference travel will be offered.

Keynote speaker will be Mark Orwoll, Executive Editor/International, American Express Publishing and Senior Consulting Editor of Travel + Leisure magazine. More than a dozen assigning editors from top international magazines will attend, including:

-Keith Bellows, Editor-in-Chief of National Geographic Traveler

-Gary Walther, Editor-in-Chief of Spa Finder

-Dana White, Executive Editor of Golf for Women

-Patti Verbanas, managing editor, Art & Antiques

-Susan Moynihan, travel editor at Modern Bride

-Delia Orlando, managing editor, Four Seasons

-Lisa Gosselin, editor-in-chief, Islands

-And 4 more assigning editors, including the new editor of the monthly London Times Sunday Travel Magazine

Fuck em. Fuck all of them. The only person on the above list that I respect is Susan Moynihan, who has the humility and tact to call herself a "travel editor." The rest of you girls need to grow up or find another profession.

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