After I graduated from college, I moved to Ibiza, Spain to teach English. On a daily basis, I experienced new ways of seeing the world and learning about food, language and society in another country. I felt like I had so much to say, but I had no idea how to say it.
I found several resources to help me get started as a writer, but I still wanted to find a way to learn how to tell stories about my travels. I stumbled upon many online classes, but many seemed better suited for people already in the industry.
Unsure if writing was even the path I wanted to pursue, I was hesitant to invest time and financial resources into online writing courses.
Because I wanted to write about personal transformation through travel that revolved around being a woman, I also wanted to find workshops focused on those themes.
The following affordable, newbie-friendly workshops or short-term courses are a great way to learn the basics and start writing confidently. As a bonus, these courses are specifically geared toward women.
1. Pink Pangea
Pink Pangea is a community of women who love to travel.
They hold online travel writing workshops ($12) where women writers not only receive feedback and guidance on writing, but are also encouraged to step out of their comfort zones. It’s an encouraging space where new writers will feel comfortable exploring their thoughts and experiences through writing.
The website features stories of growth and adventure written by women from all parts of the globe who have found meaning through travel. Pink Pangea also hosts week-long writing and yoga retreats around the world, along with a series of online workshops and classes, including memoir writing, a four-week travel intensive ($360) and travel blogging.
One of the best parts of contributing to Pink Pangea or taking one of their courses is access to their online community, where women travelers and writers share advice and support one anoother.
Travel memoirist Jillian Schedneck, author of Abu Dhabi Days, Dubai Nights, holds several four-week travel memoir programs throughout the year.
Her courses are applicable to writers of any stage in their career (male writers are also welcome), but new writers will find her advice and editing especially helpful. Schedneck teaches students a story structure that is sure to pull readers in and keep them invested in writer’s personal journey.
The course also features weekly “read like a writer” segments, which gives writers the tools to dissect a piece of writing and figure out why it presents a successful story.
At the end of each week, writers submit their assignments to Jillian, who gives feedback in an encouraging, constructive manner. At the end of the course, participants will have a story ready to submit for publication. It can be intimidating to submit your first piece of writing to a publication, but with Schedneck’s support you’ll feel confident your story is worth sharing.
The class runs around $200.
D.I.G. stands for “Dream, Inspire, Grow” and is ideal for women who need some confidence in getting their authentic thoughts on the page.
D.I.G.’s interactive travel memoir workshop is for women writers of all levels.
Following the original D.I.G. workshop style, it includes elements of the three fundamental components, dreams, inspirations and ways to grow. According Raquel Reyes, the founder of D.I.G., those are the three things any woman needs for “heartfelt and successful writing.”
Reyes started these workshops after meeting with a group of women writers in Italy. She was so moved by the experience she wanted to give other women the opportunity to work in have a safe space.
D.I.G. workshops transcend teaching travel writing tools. Reyes says that while the main focus is writing, there’s also the opportunity for personal transformation. Women are given a space to open up and connect with one another.
All group online workshops (she also offers in-person in Los Angeles and New York) are under $20 a session.
Twenty years ago, former news reporter Leyla Giray Alyanak, now a travel writer and blogger, funded her solo travels through Africa and Asia as a freelance writer. She’s continued to thrive, writing, blogging and running her website Women on the Road, where she gives women the advice and tools they need to travel solo.
After so many people asked how she was able to write and travel, she developed a ‘crash course’ Kindle book to introduce the world of travel writing. This e-book, called My Free Travel Writing Course was then republished on her website.
The course offers informational, easy-to-read content surrounding the world of travel writing, including everything from the actual writing to what it means to report and shape a story.
According to Giray Alyanak, this course is all about the fundamentals of being a writer and just happens to focus on travel. The course is a great way for women interested in travel writing to have access to a comprehensive introduction — a ‘first step,’ so to speak — without investing in an expensive course. Through its content, Giray Alyanak gives women a chance to ‘test the waters’ and give new writers a no-nonsense idea of what travel writing actually involves.
Each of these workshops is a great chance for women new to travel writing to explore their burgeoning skills in a safe environment.
After you’ve tried some of these workshops, you’ll not only have the tools and confidence to share your transformative travel experiences, but will also have a better idea of if writing is a career or hobby you’d like to pursue further.
Have other courses to share? Let us know in the comments below!
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