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Travel Writing Masterclasses

Our incredibly popular sessions will cover finding a story, how to pitch, beginnings and endings, structure and a Q&A with the editors

Travel Writing Masterclasses

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The team from the award-winning National Geographic Traveller magazine are bringing its Travel Writing Masterclass to the Festival, taking an in-depth view of the art of storytelling, with tips and ideas of how to improve your travel writing and get published.

The sessions

New Beginnings

So you want to write? And you’ve got plenty of ideas? But why is getting started always the hardest part?

Everything has to start somewhere, and travel writing is no exception. But, according to our Deputy Editor Glen Mutel, the opening is the most important part of any travel feature, and should be given all due care and attention. In this session, the panel will show you how to start your features with a bang, and create your very own “wow Introduction”.

Dos & Don’ts

How do you turn an average writer into a great one? Well, often, it’s simply a matter of helping them eliminate just a few common errors.

The balance between an OK piece and a good one is often very fine. In this session, our panel of experienced travel editors will highlight those common mistakes that too often drag down otherwise fine writing. And, while they’re at it, they’ll also teach you a few tricks to help bring your work to life.

Finding a Story

Just going somewhere is only half the job. What matters more is knowing what to do when you get there.

So you’ve arrived in your destination. But now what? With so much choice before you, so many directions to take, how do you decide what to do next? In this session, a panel of experience freelance travel writers will show you how to find the story – where to go, what to see, who to seek out and what angles to pursue whenever you’re in the field.

How I Got Here

So you want to be a travel writer? But how on Earth do you get started?

Ever opened a jobs section of a newspaper and seen the words: “Wanted – travel writer! No experience necessary!”? Ah, if only it were that easy. However, if being a travel writer is your ambition then rest assured, there are several pathways available. In this session, three regular NGT contributors explain how they got where they are today.

Meet the Team

A unique opportunity to meet the senior team at National Geographic Traveller (UK).

If reading National Geographic Traveller has ever left you with questions, now’s your chance to get them answered. In this session, four members of the magazine’s senior team, including the editor, Pat Riddell, will be on hand to answer your queries – whether on travel, publishing, writing or just whatever pops into your head.

Glen Mutel is deputy editor of National Geographic Traveller and responsible for editorial standards across the title. He appreciates a good pitch, a well-worded intro, quirky tales and a good European city.

Pat Riddell has been National Geographic Traveller‘s editor since 2010 and a travel writer/editor for over 15 years. He has an unhealthy Nottingham Forest obsession, an unfeasibly large record collection and a love of Australia, Italy and New York.

Maria Pieri is National Geographic Traveller’s editorial director. A family travel specialist, curious traveller and fitness enthusiast, Maria will be bringing a touch of order to the proceedings, and putting the speakers on the spot.

Sarah Barrell joined as associate editor for the title’s launch. Former deputy editor and acting editor of the Independent on Sunday’s travel pages, Sarah is also a guest lecturer in travel writing at Oxford Brookes University and the London School of Journalism.


All tickets are non-refundable. Once the full programme of events has been finalised you will receive an email with instructions on how to book on to individual sessions and talks taking place throughout the day. Your ticket includes access to all sessions and talks (subject to availability).