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Scottish author & media professor to teach feature writing & blogging at ‘Travel Writing Retreat’

We are delighted to announce that author and experienced international print, radio and broadcast editor-cum-columnist Simon Pia will be a guest tutor at our special week-long ‘Travel Writing’ Retreat from May 4-10.


Living in Scotland, having undergone his training in London, Simon has worked at the highest levels of media including the BBC, Sky News, ITV, the London-based Sunday Times, The Scotsman and The Sunday Herald. He has also been a speaker at a TedX conference.

In addition to his vast media experience, Simon is also professor of journalism at Napier University in Edinburgh, one of Scotland’s most prestigious higher level colleges.


Simon will host workshops at the ‘Travel Retreat’ on the key skills required for memorable feature writing and strategies on developing a strong travel blog, specialized subjects he has been teaching at university level.


“The art of travel journalism is about adventure - not an itinerary," said Simon. "People, places ... and god is in the detail. This course will examine, style, structure, pitching to editors, keeping a journal and special add-ons. Plus how your blog can be a showcase for editors.”


From vivid headlines to dramatic photographs to avoiding jargon and cliché, Simon will guide participants on various techniques that will help them improve their writing of feature travel articles for newspapers and print and online magazines.


In terms of blogging, a key and expanding sector of travel writing, Simon will demonstrate the important elements that help create a well-read travel blog, and how to continue to build branding and credibility to become an authority on travel.


He will also provide top tips on expanding blog readership, with the aim of receiving greater invitations to complimentary ‘familiarisation’ trips by travel agencies and national and regional tourism offices.

In terms of marketing, Simon will also offer guidelines to participants on how to maximize efficient use of social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to enhance travel blogs. 


A popular commentator on the arts, media and politics for both television and radio, as well as a regular conference speaker, Simon has also worked as a consultant in both the private and public sector, notably as director of communications for the Scottish Labour Party. 


Simon joins Irish author and travel writer, Sean Hillen,  as well as other invited guests in what is developing into a dynamic week devoted to travel writing and editing.

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