LIVE-TWEET TRANSCRIPT: Allan Young's Presentation on Travel Writing

Allan Cannon YoungAllan Young spoke to Ozarks Romance Authors Saturday, June 5, 2010, on the field of travel writing. We live-tweeted as fast as we could and managed to keep up rather well, sharing his information with the Twitterverse. If you would like to see our future live-tweets during our meetings, which are held in Springfield, Missouri, on the first Saturday of each month, follow us on Twitter HERE.

Here is a transcript of the live-tweet.

Our speaker today is Allan Young. He has written for travel industry for 40yr and taught at Ozarks Technical Community College for 14 yrs.

OTC’s summer/fall schedules include Young’s courses Travel Writing; 6 Other Ways to Get Your Book Published; and…

How To Get That Job, Keep It & Get Promoted

Allan doesn’t tell people how to write or what to write. He helps them get published.

His 96th book was just published.

Of all the writing he’s done, travel writing has been the most exciting/lucrative of all genres.

Allan Young’s first magazine article published at age 11.

He was a mechanical engineer, which led to becoming a published author in that field. Led to writing college textbooks.

He is 82 years old and has been married to same woman since they were both 20.

Allan traveled a lot as editor of engineering magazine.

While on biz trip to Japan, saw a sexy dress in a window. That’s what led to him becoming travel writer.

Bought that sexy blue dress for his wife (showed us a photo of wife in photo). Oooh la la!

On flight home, thought about experience buying dress. Dress sizes are not the same in Japan!

Wondered what you need to know when traveling to Japan for the first time.

Wrote article on foreign clothing sizes for travelers. Was pub in 3 magazines immediately.

There is a hungry market for useful info for travelers.

Not just travel magazines pub travel articles. All types of publications look for them.

Allan Young is teaching a course about travel writing this summer at Ozarks Tech Comm College --

What is travel writing? Write about…

People, places, things, events so someone who will never go there can visualize.

Travel writing should encourage ppl to visit these places for their own enjoyment.

Educate those who will never go there and encourage those who will go there.

All of the $ Allan earns from writers, speaking, selling books, goes to charities including Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer (wife is survivor).

Reasons to become travel writer?

Money is good. Benefits are good (lots of tax deductions).

Everything that you do as a travel writer becomes a biz expense.

Go visit your kids and there are lots of things to write about along the way.

Can even get admission free. Contact places in advance to see about free passes.

People welcome you when they know you are writing about their destination.

Doesn’t call himself freelance writer. Prefers contributing editor to variety of magazines.

Get biz cards. Give them to people. Allan has 12 different biz cards.

You don’t have to travel to be a travel writer.

Most events have a press room. Ask where it is when you are at events.

Allan creates a badge to wear w/biz card & empty convention badge holder. Wears it while out at events/places he’s writing about.

Dress the part. If writing about golf, he dresses like a golfer. Makes you look legit.

Opportunities will come to you once ppl know you are a travel writer.

Allan wrote about golf, suddenly got invitations to play for free on many golf courses.

Most people he contacts re: coming to write about them, he sends letter via US mail.

He has seen every show in Branson more than 1x and never paid a dime. Same in Myrtle Beach.

Let people in charge know you are coming, you’re a travel writer, doing a piece on their biz.

Often will receive free tickets.

Teaches travel writing at OTC 3x per year. Students come from a broad range of backgrounds.

Travel writing can be used to help boost your own biz.

Interviews are important in travel writing. Quote the performers and those who enjoyed the show, for example.

Putting the article together – use the WHEN/BUT approach. “When I…, but…”

“When the American Legion decided to build a new__ it was __, but they were to soon learn…”

You’ve written the article. Now what? Where to sell it?

Study the market. Use Writer’s Market and other resources, of course. Available at library. Hundreds of publications devoted to travel. .

Look beyond the magazines on your coffee table.

Many companies publish their own magazines. Airline magazines publish travel articles.

Don’t forget trade magazines and Internet publications.

When submitting to publishers (selling your work), refer to yourself as writer.

When soliciting for info at places U want to write about, refer to yourself as editor.

There are many aspects to write about in travel writing.

Places to visit, history of those places, seasonal jobs in tourist areas, clothes, food…

things for kids to do, things for young families to do, things for seniors to do, events, fairs,

motorcycles, antique cars…

trains, transportation, farm machinery, boats, lakes, Amish communities…

If taking photos of individuals, if it is far enough away that you can’t recognize them, he says you don’t need a signed release.

1 thing Allan encourages us NOT to do – don’t write about yourself doing this or that. Let the reader experience the trip through your writing.

Of his 96 books, he has recycled 10% of them. Can also recycle with travel articles.

Visit a canyon. Write about a different aspect of that visit each time and it becomes more than 1 article for more than 1 pub.

Much of his travel writing has been result of needing to go somewhere already. What will you see along the way?

Don’t write the same old crap everyone else writes. Put a new twist on the same destination or topic.

Do not embed photos into your Word doc. Do not try to lay out the story.

Just send the story as Word doc and photos as jpg. They will layout the story.

If you embed photos into Word doc, they likely can’t be used. Need to be jpg files.

Allan Young’s latest book is “How To Get That Job, Keep It and Get Promoted.” He also wrote the book, “Writing For Magazines: How-To Articles, Travel Writing and Short Stories” He has a CD for $20 that includes curriculum for the 8 courses he teaches at Ozarks Technical Community College.

You can take a series of articles and turn them into books.

You can take a book and turn it into a series of articles.

He also writes with pen names. Doesn’t care what name is on the book as long as he gets a check!

To contact Allan or order his books, write to him at:

CANNON PUBLISHING COMPANY 3428 West Highland Place Springfield, MO 65807

Or find him on Facebook at:!/profile.php?id=100001619838292

Some of Allan's titles include: "The Coal Digger"

"The Stoneface Legend"

"Me and Jake"

"How to Get That Job, Keep it, and Get Promoted"

"Take the Hard, Dirty Jobs and Turn Them Into Rackets"

"Writers' Universal Stylebook"

"Write Right and Get Published"

"Writing For Magazines: How-To Articles, Travel Writing, Short Stories"

"The Last Cruise of the Cajun Queen"

"Twice-Told Tales" (co-written by Rosemary Young)

"So You Want to Live in a Small Town" (co-written by Rosemary Young)

Ozarks Romance Authors has been a registered non-profit in the state of Missouri since it was founded in 1987. The group has fun and informative meetings the first Saturday of each month at The Library Station on Kansas Expressway in Springfield, Missouri.

Members range from those just thinking about writing a book to award-winning authors.

We are a multi-genre group with members writing all types of fiction, non-fiction, articles, poetry, six-word memoirs, blogs, web sites, and photography.

Visitors are welcome! Your first 3 visits are free. Annual membership is just $25, and our "new year" begins in October (dues, officers, etc.).

If you have questions about our group's meetings, annual conference, or the Weta Nichols Fiction Writing Contest, leave us a comment, email us at, or call (417) 597-4716 to leave us a message.