After 24 years covering the South Pacific islands for us, author Bill Goodwin will tell you how to get into the business when he teaches travel writing in a place he knows well -- Fiji.
"Travel writing is one of the world's most interesting jobs," Bill says. "But becoming successful is easier wished than achieved. Most experts advise beginners to take a course or workshop in the craft before starting out. There is no better way to learn than on a trip, especially to a gorgeous tropical destination like Fiji."
In 1977 Bill and a friend sailed a yacht from the east coast of the U.S. to Tahiti, where he disembarked and proceeded to backpack through the South Pacific islands. In 1986, while searching for a way to return to paradise without having to pay for it, he proposed writing Frommer's South Pacific. That book led to Frommer's Fiji and Frommer's Tahiti & French Polynesia. At home, Bill is author of Frommer's Virginia.
Daku Resort is owned by Britons-turned-Australians John and Delia Rothnie-Jones, who make it the base for their Paradise Courses, offering a variety of educational workshops such as quilting, bird-watching, sketching, and gospel singing. Bill's course is one of several writing workshops.
Bill will conduct morning seminars on the myths and realities of travel writing, how to get started, how to research a destination before going, what to look or while you are there, how to develop "slants" for your articles, and how to pitch your ideas to editors, both in print and on the Web.
Students will spend their afternoons searching for article ideas while enjoying beach excursions, hikes to a waterfall, and visits to a black pearl farm and a school for disabled children in a Fijian village.
At the end of each day they can read their writings and get feedback over sundown refreshment beside Daku's swimming pool.
The course costs $2,100 per person including accommodation, meals, airport transfers, some excursions, and domestic flights within Fiji. You will have to arrange and pay for your own flights to and from Nadi, Fiji's international airport. Bookings can be made at Paradise Courses' website (www.paradisecourses.com), which has more information.
Bill began his writing career as a reporter for the Atlanta Journal, which dispatched him to Washington, D.C., to cover the U.S. Congress and the U.S. Supreme Court. While there he earned a law degree at The George Washington University and served as a writer and attorney on the staffs of U.S. Senators Sam J. Ervin of North Carolina and Sam Nunn of Georgia. You can learn more about Bill at his Website, www.billgoodwin.com.