Archive for category Writing
If you want to spark a heated debate in a room full of writers, just mention the Huffington Post. Arianna’s publishing empire incites a range of alternating fury and support that occasionally makes me fear for my life. There are those who proudly declare they write for such a widely read publication, even if it is for no pay, and others who proudly declare they will never give their work away to a non-paying giant like Huff Po.
Happy New Year! Okay, yes, I know it’s not really New Year’s, but September has always felt to me much more like a new beginning than January has. Maybe it’s because January brings with it the exhaustion of post-Christmas, the stress of figuring out what you’re going to do for the real New Year’s Eve and, here in Toronto at least, another three to four months of cold, slushy snow. Or maybe it’s because I’ve always been a student at heart, and have never really recovered from the sense of new beginnings that would come with each new school year.
And this September in particular ushers in a new era for me: I’m excited to announce that I’ve joined the Travel+Escape television channel, as online content manager! Which means that reading travel stories, writing travel tales, watching travel TV and being an Anthony Bourdain groupie—things I’ve been doing for years, anyway—are now officially part of my job duties. I’m grateful for the opportunity, and am eager to work with some truly talented travel bloggers, producers and television hosts.
Two weeks ago, I was startled to receive an email from an associate producer at CBC Radio. She had read an article I wrote for TravelandEscape.ca, about getting lost in Sleeping Giant Provincial Park, and wanted me to appear on CBC’s morning program in Thunder Bay, Ontario, to talk about it.
Radio has never been a medium that I would have considered for myself. I’m a fast talker and occasional mumbler, especially when I’m nervous. Thoughts of public speaking bring me back to the horrors of giving speeches or presentations in school. And while being broadcast in any way is scary enough for me, the thought of doing it live is absolute torture.
So of course I agreed.
I wasn’t going to go to TBEX. On the surface, the reason was financial—flights from Toronto to Denver aren’t cheap. But there was another reason a few layers below that, somewhere between fear, self-consciousness and existential writer angst.
TBEX, if you don’t know, is the Travel Blog Exchange—an annual event “where new media travel writers come to network & learn.” It’s been going on for four years now, but this was my first year attending. And despite my excitement in the weeks leading up to it, I secretly wondered if I really belonged.
I’m writing this on a Toronto-bound VIA train, heading home after my weekend in Montreal for the annual Professional Writers Association of Canada (PWAC) national conference and AGM. At the conference, I had the opportunity to attend a workshop on travel and food writing by GQ Brasil food editor and Montreal Buzz staff blogger Alexandra Forbes. Ms. Forbes is a world-renowned travel and food journalist, having written for publications such as enRoute, Azure, the Toronto Star, In, and Four Seasons, and having eaten at such famous restaurants as El Bulli (not once, but twice!), which is considered to be one of – if not the – best restaurants in the world, and Masa in New York, where dinner costs approximately $700 per person. As an aspiring travel writer (and someone who really likes to eat!), it was an honour to learn about the trade from someone so immersed in it.