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Molly at the workshop
The Travel Writing Workshop is a special event co-sponsored by Agnes Scott College’s Center for Writing & Speaking and the Office of International Education. It is dedicated to helping students deepen their study abroad experiences through writing. This year, the event took place on November 18, 2009.

 Dr. Cozzens, English professor and director of the Center for Writing & Speaking, began the event by asking everyone to “always have your notebook and be ready to write,which topped her list of “Things to remember about travel writing of any kind.” According to Dr. Cozzens’ own experience, note-taking has proved to be an incredible way to record, discover and understand things we see during our trips. It has “transformed the way I collect information and hence the way I write,” said Dr. Cozzens. Ever had a hard time remembering what happened in that beautiful picture you took along the road? Next time, bring a notebook and write down the story so that you may relive the moment in the future the way you experienced it the very first time.

 The next thing to remember about travel writing is to do research before, during, and after the travel experience. This is especially important if you are to publish your travel story in a magazine, because you would want to hold yourself credible by giving the correct information. The last thing on the list is to follow your interests, instincts, whims and passions—jot down the things your heart is really drawn to, because they are most likely to evoke memories and emotions when you revisit your notebook later on.

 Dr. Cozzens went on to show the audience examples of her own journal entries and offered some useful tips for future travel writers, such as using your notebook as a scrapbook, capturing specific moments and examples to “let the experience speak” for itself, and using the present tense and lots of verbs to bring your experience to life.

 Shannon Yarbrough, co-coordinator of the Writing Center and the college’s digital design fellow, came on after Dr. Cozzens to talk about using blogs as a medium for sharing one’s travel writing. She showed the audience blog examples of recent Agnes Scott graduates, and introduced them to a few typical blogging styles that cater to the interest of different travel writers.

 For more information on blog writing, please refer to the Writing Center’s handout on this particular topic: (handout #68).
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Zijia Sun is a senior and Writing Center tutor at Agnes Scott College. She is from Shanghai, China and a lover of travel writing.

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