Larry Bleiberg on travel writing for newspapers

This month at the Writers page, I interview Larry Bleiberg, who has been travel editor of The Dallas Morning News since 1999. Having spent his entire career in traditional newspaper journalism, his perspective is especially useful for those who are interested in writing for the travel section. “Often the people that pitch the best aren’t necessarily the best writers,” Bleiberg notes. “Usually the tentative, quiet submissions offered without any fanfare end up working out best. But the truth is you have to be good at both skills: selling and producing.”

Bleiberg also emphasizes the practical matters of travel writing, such as:

  • Have an angle.
  • Know your market.
  • Research — the reader wants more than your take on a place.
  • Tell them something new.
  • Have a nut graf.
  • Don’t show off.

“With most travel publications, the story really isn’t about you,” he continues. “Even if it’s first-person. Arthur Frommer said it best: ‘Tell the reader about their trip, not your trip.’ This doesn’t mean you need to write guidebooks, and that your story can’t have voice. Every trip doesn’t have to be perfect either. But for the most part, your job is to entice other people to travel. Some personal touches are fine, but when it becomes an essay about how you bonded with your son/mom/girlfriend/sister-in-law in Puerto Rico, I lose interest. Quickly.”

Bleiberg’s full interview is online here.

Posted by | Comments Off on Larry Bleiberg on travel writing for newspapers  | January 12, 2005
Category: Travel News

Comments are closed.