An Open Letter To Travel Writers At the Beginning of a New Era

From the Desk of Nathan James Thomas
Intrepid Times Founder & Editor
May, 2020
Re: We’ll Give You the Support and Guidance You Need to Thrive as a Travel Writer in a Changing World

Dear Traveler,

Breaking into the travel writing space is extraordinarily difficult. Submissions go unanswered. When editors do reply, they send template rejection letters. Writers are accustomed to the deafening sound of silence. 

But we keep at it. We persevere. Because what we do matters. It matters to show the world as it is. To report on the wonderful strangeness of life. To tell the stories that no one else could tell. 

No one sees the world like you do. Your unique perspective is your greatest weapon. While others stare at their phones, you are the one looking out the window, noticing the people, listening to the foreign conversation, trying to understand and make sense of the new world you set out to discover.

Travel is changing. For most of us, exploring far-flung places is going to be harder, at least for a while. Many budding travel writers have already quit the game. Others are planning their exit. 

But real travel writing has always been about more than simply being far from home. It’s about finding the stories that others miss; Feeling the electric charge of curiosity, and following that wherever it leads you. And this is why I firmly believe that

…There Has Never Been a Better Time to Make Your Name as a Travel Writer

We’re about to enter a new era of travel writing. The old rule book has been torn up. The new rules are going to be written by a new generation of writers who understand that travel cannot — will not — stop because travel is a state of mind.

No, now is not the time to get established as a reviewer of resort hotels or to write listicles about which airlines have the best in-flight meals. But if you wanted to write that kind of thing, you probably wouldn’t be reading this anyway!

BUT, now is the best time to truly get in touch with what it means to be a travel writer in the deepest sense possible. To see your life as a journey. To mine experience for meaning. To structure powerful, inspirational and motivating stories from experiences that others wouldn’t even notice. To see what others miss. To listen when others talk. To understand appreciate the world as it is, and not as it is merely “sold” in guidebooks. 

Getting established and gaining real recognition as a travel writer has never been easy. We’ve read literally thousands of submissions and worked closely with writers around the world, and are committed to helping passionate travel writers survive and thrive in this new world.

When you cut to the core of what good writing means and discover how to…

  • Develop a unique voice that makes you instantly recognizable as a writer
  • Form strong relationships with editors and publishers who can get your work published on demand
  • Write a cold pitch that practically forces busy editors to sit up and pay attention
  • Master the art of transforming experience into story so you’re never short of powerful material
  • Team up with fellow writers from around the world to amplify each other’s voice
  • Explore your creative powers and push the boundaries on what you thought was possible

…Then you will be unstoppable, no matter what is happening on the news! And we’re here to help.

Today, we’re excited to announce the “Intrepid Times Private Writer’s Club” – an online membership program designed specifically to help you achieve your goals and find success as a travel writer in a changing world. 

Here’s How the Intrepid Times Private Writer’s Club Works:

Intrepid Times is bringing together an intimate group of travel writers and aspiring travel writers, and providing you with the guidance, feedback and support you need to thrive.

Membership is open to writers from around the world, at any stage in your career. You may already have had several articles published and you want to take it further. You may have a full-time job or business and want to pursue your passion for travel writing on the side. You may be committed to fully making it as a professional travel writer. The only requirement is that you are passionate about writing, and relentlessly curious about discovering the world in whatever way possible!

As a member, you will get exclusive access to a carefully created series of resources designed to help you overcome the hurdles and find success as a travel writer on your own terms. Here’s what’s inside…

  • Your VIP Writer's Code

When you sign up, you’ll join a select group of like-minded writers and travelers who are committed to your success.

You’ll immediately be given a private email code, which you can use when sending your work to the Intrepid Times editorial team. You can choose to send your work in for feedback only, or feedback + consideration if you would like us to consider your article for publication on Intrepid Times.

(While we always make editorial decisions based purely on the merits of each piece of writing we receive, your VIP code moves your work straight to the front of the queue and guarantees you actionable, detailed feedback whether or not we choose to publish. This code will be valid throughout your membership, and can be used for a maximum of one article per week).

  • Your In-Depth Monthly Masterclass

Every month, you’ll also receive a new masterclass that will focus on the areas where travel writers struggle, such as writing effective pitches, going from writing articles to writing (and publishing) books, structuring a story, and building a strong brand as a travel writer.

These lessons are no-holds-barred audio seminars on specific techniques, ideas and strategies for finding success as a travel writer. Created exclusively for club members, the intimate format means you will get the kind of uncensored, actionable advice that it is not usually possible to find online. 

We’ve lined up friends, including book publishing executives, journalists, personal branding experts and editors of leading publications to participate in the next few masterclasses and give you the breadth of their experience. You’ll be given the opportunity to send your questions in in advance and have them answered by our host and expert guests.

As a member you get unlimited access to all past masterclasses + any new masterclasses released while you’re a member! You will also have the opportunity to submit your questions to be answered / discussed by our editors and guests.

Each masterclass is released only to Club members and will be accompanied by relevant notes and examples to support the lesson. You will be able to listen to the audio version on any device, and each masterclass you receive as a member is yours to keep for life.

Here’s What’s Already Waiting For You In the Members Area…

Masterclass #1: Your Lead Paragraph

Editors will tell you they read every line of every submission. But the truth is, most editors have already decided to reject (or not) your story by the end of the first paragraph. In the first masterclass, we’ll take a look at some examples of what to do and what not to go to give you the best chance of success right from the start. Sign-up before May 25th, and you’ll also have your chance to get your questions in and have them answered on the call.
Hosts: Nathan James Thomas & Jennifer Roberts
Status: Published and available for all members!

Sneak Peak at Masterclass #1:

The complete first masterclass includes an 80 minute long audio lesson plus a detailed downloadable workbook full of examples of what to do (and what not to do) in your opening paragraph. It’s waiting for you in the members area right now!

Masterclass #2 Will Be Released June 25. Become a Member Today To Submit Your Questions and Influence the Content of the Second Masterclass!

Whatever Writing Success Means to You, We’re Here to Make That Happen

No one sees the world quite like you do. This is why your voice deserves to be heard. Using our experience, network, and resources, we’re going to amplify your message and help you have the impact you want to have as a writer — however this looks for you.

Maybe you see yourself as a professional travel writer, able to make a living or meaningfully supplement your income writing articles about the places you visit. Maybe you see yourself as a published author, able to pop into your local bookstore and see your name in print and on display. Maybe you are just passionate about the art of travel writing and want to share your story in the most powerful way possible.

Together, we can rise to the challenge of keeping real travel writing alive. And I would love for you to be a part of this journey with us.

  • Welcome Bonus: "The Rejection Report"

Every writer has been there – the cold template email or (rare) polite note from the editor saying that your work has been rejected. We receive up to fifty submissions a day, yet publish only one story per week, so we are no strangers to having to reject authors’ work. And pretty much every piece that is rejected gets sent back for one of the same five reasons. 

Editors are busy. When they load an inbox full of dozens of submissions, they will look out for these five reasons and nearly always kill any article that commits even one of these mistakes. And this isn’t just magazines and websites – book publishings often choose a page at random and carry out the same process with the manuscripts they receive.

That’s the bad news. The good news is, these five mistakes are surprisingly easy to avoid – once you know what they are!

The moment you sign up for Intrepid Times’s Private Writer’s Club, you’ll get access to the “The Rejection Report” as a welcome bonus to read while you wait for the next masterclass!

Be Part of the Select Few Helping to Keep Real Travel Writing Alive, No Matter What

As you know, Intrepid Times pays all of our writers, but we don’t display ads or charge our readers. By joining our “Private Writer’s Club,” you’ll not only be investing in your success as a writer, but also helping to support an independent voice for real travel writing with heart.

Your “Private Writer’s Club” Member Benefits: 

  • Monthly Masterclass: Learn how to navigate the world of writing and publishing and get your questions answered by our editors and special guests, including leading book publishers, editors, and writing coaches. Access the archive of all past masterclasses, and influence the content of future lessons.
  • Article Feedback: Get detailed feedback on your writing from Intrepid Times’ editors, and skip the queue with your private code if you wish for your article to be considered (purely on its merits) for publication on Intrepid Times.
  • Network: As this private group grows, we will introduce exciting online and (eventually) in-person networking opportunities for you to learn and grow with a team of like-minded travel writers.
  • Bonus: Referrals: Where possible and appropriate, we will refer travel writing opportunities ranging from articles to books that we are frequently sent from our partners.
  • Bonus: Rejection Report Discover the five mistakes that cause editors (and publishers) to immediately reject most submissions they receive.

We’ll see you on the inside!

Nathan James Thomas
Founder & Chief Editor,
Intrepid Times
Author, Travel Your Way (2021) Co-editor,
Fearless Footsteps (2020)


Each monthly masterclass will be saved in a private archive so club members can always access them.

Because this club is brand new, there are no masterclasses in the archive. This is why we’re keeping the price low – when there are a couple of masterclasses in the archive, the monthly fee will more than double.

By joining now, you secure the lower rate for your entire membership, and will have the opportunity to get your questions answered have a hand in shaping this group right from the start.