Can Joining a Travel Writer’s Organization Help?

10 April 2017 Post Author:
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Whether you are a beginning writer or one with several articles under your belt, you might miss being part of a group since writing can be a lonely occupation.

Maybe you have been mulling over whether you should join a traveling writing group or not. If so, the first question would be what are the benefits to being part of a travel writing organization and how can joining help your travel writing?

Benefits offered by Travel Writing Associations

The reason you might want to join is to share your stories and encourage others to travel to the places you have been, try the restaurants, museums and great stops you have shared.

To do this, you have to get your writing where readers can see it, you have to get published and your writing needs to be visible for others to appreciate the information you have to offer.

Travel Writing Associations offer a few ways to do this as benefits for their members, such as:

  • Writing Competitions – One way your name can shine and publishers can become aware of your potential is by winning a writing competition. Most travel writing organizations offer writing competitions and publish the winners list and sometimes have award ceremonies where the winners are celebrated.
  • Educational Resources – Travel writing associations offer educational resources that can help you become a better writer. There are webinars, and speakers at conferences that can address topics like “how to get published”, “how to navigate the social media channels” and “how to catch an editor’s attention”.
  • Social Media Growth – Travel organizations provide opportunities to enhance your social media status through twitter chats, sharing on social mediums and offering member profiles.
  • Conferences – Conferences are beneficial for the educational aspects as well as the social networking. Many conferences include educational and interesting sessions along with pre- and post-conference trips that can be turned into future travel stories. At the end of the conferences you usually have a chance to meet with members of DMO’s and CVB’s and perhaps set up future collaborations.
  • Networking and Collaboration Opportunities – Travel writing associations keep members aware of opportunities and the camaraderie of working with others allows this solitary career to be a bit more of a group effort. Sometimes you might find a fellow writer to bounce ideas off of as you grow in your writing journey.

Now that you know some of the benefits, here’s a few organizations to consider joining:

Travel Writing Associations

The heavy hitters of the travel writing organizations include:

  • The North American Travel Journalists Association, (NATJA), http://www.natja.org;
  • The Society of American Travel Writers (SATW), http://www.satw.org; and
  • The International Food, Wine & Travel Writers Association (IFWTWA) http://ifwtwa.org/.

    While all three groups are quite well known and have a number of members, they are a bit different. NATJA & SATW members are mainly from the US and Canada and include travel writers, photographers, editors, bloggers and tourism professionals and broadcast professionals, with SATW also including public relations experts and hospitality industry representatives. IFTWA includes all of the above but on a global basis with members from all over the world, and actively organizes press trips for members.

    Check out their websites and read about what they are all about to learn more about each organization. This will help you find the best one for you!

    Other Professional Organizations

    Maybe the travel writing associations are not a good fit for you. Many writers are niche writers, filling a special professional position in the writing hierarchy. Perhaps a professional organization or a different type of group will be where you will shine.

    For women writers and bloggers a group like Women in Communications that cover a variety of the communications fields may work well. Many Public Relations groups and groups like Women in Communications have local chapters, with monthly meetings that offer speakers and a chance to meet with other professionals in your field.

    There are blogger groups like the Midwest Travel Bloggers and others that specialize in the type of writing you embrace.

    For me, a combination of a travel writing organization, a blogger organization and a professional organization has met my need for writing resources. They have offered writing competitions, trips, social media enhancement, plus I have met a few writers that have become friends and occasional collaborators along the way.

    I hope that you will look into the combination that will help you become a better writer and help you with your travel writing goals.

    ~Cindy

    What writer’s organizations do you belong to? How has it helped your writing career?

5 Responses to “Can Joining a Travel Writer’s Organization Help?”

  1. Roderick Eime
    Twitter:
    says:

    Joining an association is one thing – and I value my membership of the ASTW – but the best thing you can do is take your writing seriously, maintain a high ethical standard and read (and re-read) the masters of travel writing. Too many people think travel writing is a ticket to free stuff and luxury. Remember, there is no such thing as a free lunch. Your hosts want ROI.

    • Hi Rod – thank you for sharing your opinion……I TOTALLY agree with you on every point you make…..the internet has been both a boon to, and the bane of, professional writers … adapting is critical but for anyone who wants to have a successful career at writing, one simply cannot forgo the basics of professionalism, which as you’ve stated is taking your work seriously, maintaining high standards, continually work to improve your skills, and earn your keep.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  2. what is the criteria to join these organisations???i mean is there some higher degree level requirement???please share some details

    • Hi Albert – if by ‘higher degree’ you mean a university/college degree, none of the writers’ organizations mentioned in this article require any previous ‘degree’ attainment…but all do require that one is actually a writer in order to join. Some that you have professional publication and require you to provide clips or links to by-lined articles. Most offer varying levels of membership that allow beginners to join. Some, such as SATW, require you to be nominated for membership by a current member.

      Your best bet is to look into each to determine if the organization is right for you, and what their membership requirements are.

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