Summer Writing Course | Travel Writing

3 points
Session 1 (May 23-July 1), TTh, 6:15-8:25PM
Instructor: Porter Fox
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How does the traveler become the travel writer? What makes good travel writing? Why does it matter today? This course examines and breaks down the very specific craft of travel writing.

Simply because we like to travel, does it qualify us to write about it? Everywhere has been written about, so how do we find something fresh to say about… Paris, or even Patagonia?
In this course, we both dispel, and prove, some of the myths of travel writing. Students learn to find an angle in order to uncover destinations anew and make them personal— it’s in the personal that the universal is revealed.
From crafting a compelling lede and understanding the need for a strong “nut graph,” to knowing the value of dialogue in propelling the story forward, and then finding the ideal kicker to send the reader away satisfied, students dissect published stories and are sent out into “the field” (of New York City) to craft their own.

Travel writing is more than, “I went here, I did this, I ate that.” From front-of-book and service pieces, to destination features, we discuss magazine and newspaper travel writing in depth, as well as touch on longer form travel writing. Finally, through exercises and assignments, students learn to craft a compelling pitch in order to approach editors.

Tuition & Fees
The 2016 rate for current degree seeking students and visiting students is $1630 per point. Students enrolled in postbaccalaureate and certification programs can review tuition and fees here.

Materials Fee: $20
For questions about School of the Arts summer courses, including those concerning admissions, registration, and billing, please contact the School of Professional Studies summer team at, or 212-854-9666. With questions about specific course content, please contact Writing Departmental Representative Dorothea Lasky at

About the Instructor

Porter Fox lives, writes, teaches and edits the literary travel writing journal, Nowhere, ( in Brooklyn, NY. He graduated with an MFA in fiction from The New School in 2004. His fiction, essays and nonfiction have been published in The New York Times Magazine, The Believer, Outside, Men's Journal and Powder, among others. He was anthologized in The 2011 Best American Travel Writing.
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Columbia University School of the Arts offers MFA degrees in Film, Theatre, Visual Arts, and Writing, an MA degree in Film Studies, a joint JD/MFA degree in Theatre Management & Producing, a PhD degree in Theatre History, Literature, and Theory, and an interdisciplinary program in Sound Arts.