Want to find out more?

Who leads Travel Writing Workshops?

Dea Birkett,
Rory Maclean
Guest Editors:
Frank Barrett, Tom Chesshyre,
Rhonda Carrier, Andy Turner, Joanna Tweedy
Guest Writers:
Tracey Davies, Fran Sandham, Tim Ecott,
Catherine Quinn, Robin Bayley

Tutor: Dea Birkett

Dea Birkett
Dea Birkett in Georgetown, Malaysia

Dea Birkett is a writer and broadcaster. Her weekly Travelling with Kids column appeared in the Guardian for over five years. She is a regular contributor to the Guardian and BBC Radio 4. Dea is Creative Director of www.manyriversfilms.co.uk, an Emmy-nominated documentary film production company.

She is author of seven books, including Jella. A Woman at Sea in a Man's World (winner of the Somerset Maugham Award), about her voyage on a cargo ship from West Africa; Serpent in Paradise (shortlisted for the Thomas Cook Travel Book Award), about her time on Pitcairn Island in the South Pacific, home of the few remaining descendents from the mutiny on The Bounty; and Spinsters Abroad. Victorian Lady Explorers ("subtle, acute, fascinating" Sunday Times). She has recently been made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.

Dea has a monthly business travel column, as well as a monthly on-line family travel column on www.takethefamily.com

She has worked with the National Portrait Gallery on Off the Beaten Track. Three Centuries of Women Travellers, producing a book to accompany the exhibition of the same name. She is director of Kids in Museums.

She is Creative Director of Many Rivers Films and co-director of TextWorkshop, running writing courses for museum and gallery professionals.

"I think the double act with Dea and Rory is brilliant – opens up so any more possibilities than if the workshop were with just one writer." John, Travel Writing Weekend participant
"You've gone above and beyond what's expected of a workshop leader" Sarah, Travel Workshop participant
"Your workshops were a highlight of our four weeks aboard, and we tell everyone what an amazing girl you are" Marion and Roy, travel workshops participants
"Thank you Dea. Was a truly terrific workshop. Am literally inspired." Michelle, workshop participant
"Dea and Rory are an excellent double act" Keith, Dublin workshop participant
"How could I not be inspired by Rory - a man who builds an aeroplane in a Greek village to get over his grief. Rory and Dea re-inforced my faith in human nature and that with creative writing comes passionate, imaginative people." Debbie Purser, Travel Writing Workshop participant

Tutor: Rory Maclean

Rory Maclean
Rory Maclean in India

Rory MacLean's eight books, including best-sellers Stalin's Nose and Under the Dragon, have challenged and invigorated travel writing, and -- according to the late John Fowles -- are among works that 'marvellously explain why literature still lives'. Rory has won awards from the Canada Council and the Arts Council of England as well as a Winston Churchill Travelling Fellowship, and was nominated for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. In Magic Bus (BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week) he retraced the Asia Overland hippie trail from Istanbul to India, travelling over five months by local buses through lands of astonishing beauty and hardship transformed since the Summer of Love. Now in a moving departure, with his family memoir Gift of Time, Rory comes home to travel with his mother on her final journey.

Rory has written and presented over 50 programmes for BBC radio and worked on movies with David Bowie and Marlene Dietrich. His travel journalism and book reviews appear in the Sunday Times, the Sunday Telegraph, the FT and the Guardian, as well as Conde Nast Traveller and Wanderlust.

Born and educated in Canada, he divides his time between Dorset and Berlin where he writes a weekly blog for the Goethe Institut.

"Rory MacLean is one of the most strikingly original and talented travel writers of our generation." author Katie Hickman

"Rory - you are an inspiration! Yes!" Mary, Bloomsbury Travel Writing Workshop participant
"So much of what Rory said struck a chord with me. I came away with ideas about how to incorporate the landscape of Languedoc-Rousillion into the novel I'm writing, how to tackle a problem I've got with the main character, and solving a metaphor. After the workshop the ideas just flowed and I've come home with pages full of them!" Fiona, Workshop participant
"Well, what a guy!" Janice, Workshop participant

Guest Editor: Frank Barrett, Travel Editor, Mail on Sunday

Frank Barrett
Frank Barrett at the top of a mountain in Queenstown, New Zealand

Frank Barrett is Travel Editor of Britain’s biggest selling mid-market Sunday newspaper the Mail on Sunday. He was previously Travel Editor of The Independent which he joined at its inception in 1986. He regularly appears on TV and radio in Britain and America broadcasting on the subject of travel and holidays. Among the many publications he has written for are Newsweek and Conde Nast Traveller.

He has written several travel books including, most recently, 'Where Was Wonderland' a best-selling guide to the real-life locations of classic children’s books such as Anne of Green Gables and The Secret Garden.

He has won several Travel Writer of the Year awards, including the British Press Award for travel feature writing.

"Frank was funny and hard bitten as they come" Francine, Bloomsbury Travel Workshop participant
"I've just finished my article for Frank Barrett. I sent it this morning. Fingers crossed, Frank will not delete my email..."
One day later:
"Frank not only got back to me but also gave me his feedback. I was very touched. I shall do my best at following his tips."
Two weeks later:
"Frank has taken my article and it’s all thanks to the workshop. I am still trying to get over it but after my boyfriend you are the person I contacted!" Alice, Workshop participant
"Just to let you know that Frank published the piece I pitched to him during your workshop. I got a whole page with photos so I'm thrilled. Thanks again for making it all happen." Susannah


Guest Editor: Tom Chesshyre, Travel News Editor, The Times

Tom Chesshyre
Tom Chesshyre on the cliffs above Myrtos Beach, Kefalonia

Tom Chesshyre has been writing travel stories for UK national newspapers for 15 years. After reading politics at Bristol University and completing a journalism diploma from City University, he had stints at the Cambridge Evening News, Sporting Life and Sky Sports. His first travel piece was about England's cricket fans in Barbados for the Daily Telegraph. He freelanced for the Daily and Sunday Telegraphs, wrote a column for Conde Nast Traveller, and contributed to the Express, the Guardian, and the Independent, before moving to the Times in 1997, where he is a staff member of the travel desk and has written the weekly hotel reviews for three years and has written features, and overseen travel news and ski coverage. He has assisted with the research on two books - W.G. by Robert Low, a biography of W. G. Grace, and Carlos: Portrait of a Terrorist by Colin Smith, a biography of "Carlos the Jackal". He has written magazine pieces for Wanderlust, Geographical and Business Traveller. His travel writing has taken him to more than 75 countries. He lives in south-west London and was born in 1971. He has written three travel books, How Low Can You Go? Round Europe for 1p Return (+ Tax), published in 2007, To Hull and Back: On Holiday in Unsung Britain (2010), and Tales from the Fast Trains: Europe at 186mph (2011).

Guest Editor: Rhonda Carrier, Commissioning Editor, takethefamily.com

Rhonda Carrier
Rhonda with her family outside the Uffizi, Florence

Having entered written and/or edited for most of the big-name travel publishers, including Time Out, Lonely Planet and Frommer's, Rhonda has increasingly specialised in family travel since the appearance of her three sons, now 7, 5 and nearly 2. As well as commissioning and writing for takethefamily, Britain's leading family travel website, Rhonda regularly contributes pieces to the likes of Conde Nast Traveller, The Guardian, The Observer and The French Paper, is the family travel expert for the P&O Ferries website, and has discussed family travel issues on Radio 4's Woman's Hour.

Rhonda is the author of three Frommer's family travel guides - London with Kids, Normandy with Your Family and Brittany with Your Family - and of the forthcoming Rizzoli book In Love in France.

She lives in Manchester but her favourite place is Paris, where she sets much of her awardwinning fiction, which you'll find in collections and anthologies.

Guest Editor: Andy Turner

Andy Turner
Andy on Dravuni Island, Fiji, eating beans, rice and
chilli sauce - "All we had for 6 weeks!"

Andy Turner is Senior Commissioning Editor at Rough Guides. He has also written travel pieces for the Guardian, Observer and various websites, covering destinations from Denmark to Australia. He helped create Rough Guides' On a Budget series and currently commissions and edits titles covering the more exotic corners of the world from Jerusalem to Tokyo. Still addicted to travel, he has completed two round-the-world trips and dreams of settling down on a small Fijian island.

Guest Editor: Joanna Tweedy

Joanna Tweedy
Joanna Tweedy, Mail Online Travel Editor

Jo was initially employed by Associated Newspapers to write three travel features a week on everything from consumer issues to fashion to budget holidays. She eventually took over the editorship of Thisistravel.co.uk, Travelmail.co.uk and most recently the travel channel of MailOnline, currently the world’s biggest newspaper website. The impact of the internet on travel journalism is a particular area of interest and Jo’s role involves commissioning everything from video to blogs and news articles as well as traditional travel features. In addition, Jo is a regular travel writer for The Mail on Sunday and also edits a series of glossy souvenir magazines for the Daily Mail.

The Guest Writers

Guest Writer: Tracey Davies

Tracey Davies
Tracey Davies on Bora Bora

Tracey Davies is a freelance journalist and mum of three. She writes about travel, twins and her often errant parenting skills for national newspapers, websites and magazines including Metro, Daily & Sunday Express, The Independent, Psychologies and Sainsbury's magazine along with top family travel website, Takethefamily.com. Tracey is a Travel Writing Workshop graduate. ‘It changed my life!’ she says.


Guest Writer: Fran Sandham

Fran Sandham
Fran Sandham on Nambia's Skeleton Coast

Fran Sandham was an editor at Rough Guides for several years, and now divides his time between freelance writing, editing and public speaking.

His book Traversa is an account of his epic 3,000-mile solo walk across Africa from the Skeleton Coast to the Indian Ocean. Traversa has gained wide publicity and critical acclaim in the UK and elsewhere, including serialization in the Sunday Times and Travel Africa magazine, with features in the Financial Times, the Irish Examiner, the Scotsman, Daily Mail Online, Adventure Travel, Holland Herald, The South African and a wide variety of travel publications and regional press, plus interviews recently with over thirty national and regional radio stations across the UK including Radio 4’s Excess Baggage programme, BBC Radio 5 Live, LBC and BBC London.



Guest Writer: Tim Ecott

Tim Ecott
Tim Ecott in the Cayman Islands

Tim Ecott is a former BBC correspondent and broadcast news producer who resigned in 1998 to write full time. His journalism and travel writing appears in The Economist, The Times, Guardian, Daily Telegraph, Conde Nast Traveller and Wanderlust.

He has written three books: Neutral Buoyancy: Adventures in a Liquid World, Vanilla: Travels in Search of the Luscious Substance (Penguin), and Stealing Water: A Secret Life in an African City. He has also written the screenplay for the movie version of the BBC's Blue Planet series (Deep Blue). He is happiest underwater.

Guest Writer: Catherine Quinn

Catherine Quinn
Catherine Quinn

Catherine is a freelance travel journalist, contributing to Real Travel, EasyJet Magazine, Pefect Wedding, The Guardian, Time Out Guides and many more. In her editorial work she has edited for The Telegraph, worked as Deputy Editor on Fresh Magazine, and currently edits online travel hub www.traverati.com. She has also published a book on freelance writing with Bloomsbury - No Contacts? No Problem! How To Pitch and Sell a Freelance Feature.

www.catherinequinn.com and www.thefoodexplorer.co.uk

"Catherine’s advice is proving invaluable!" Anna, Workshop and Masterclass participant

Guest Writer: Robin Bayley

Robin Bayley
Robin writing in Spain

Robin Bayley worked in advertising and then children's television before deciding that enough was enough; it was time to start writing. He signed up for a Travel Writing Workshop. He resigned from his job, sold his flat and begun researching and writing The Mango Orchard, an account of his travels in the footsteps of his English great grandfather round Latin America. Robin lives in London and is presently researching and writing his second book.

themangoorchard.blogspot.com/ and www.robinbayley.com

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