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For the next week we’re offering a promo code to Matador readers that knocks $40 off the price of all MatadorU enrollments. Help let people know via Twitter, and you qualify for a FREE course at the U.
Photo: courtesy of Matador
[UPDATE 6/01/10 - Congratulations Alina Rădulescu (@Ariko) for winning this week's Twitter contest at MatadorU!!]

MORE STUDENTS continue enrolling at MatadorU, and the student-teacher interaction, work being shared / critiqued, and strength of our community just keeps progressing. We’re in the process of compiling a complete page on what people are saying, but in the meantime, here are a few quotes from students

Still, we’d like for more people to participate, and so we’re having a special enrollment week / Twitter contest this week. Here’s how it works:

Starting today, and running until next Tuesday, at 12:00 pm EST, we’re offering a promotional code at the U that will give you $40 off your enrollment of either the Travel Photography or Travel Writing programs. Register here using the code: TWITTERPROMO

Additionally, you qualify to win FREE enrollment by doing the following three steps (should take less than 30 secs)–

1) Make sure you follow us @MatadorNetwork so we can get in touch if you win.

2) Post the tweet below to your own Twitter account to help us spread the word about the contest.

3) Leave your @twitter_user_name in the comments below, along with the reason why why you want to join MatadorU.

We’ll be looking at the comments over the next week, and choose whoever seems like they’ll benefit most from the course.


Winners will be announced next Tuesday at the end of the contest via twitter, and also update here via a post at Matador.

Good luck to everyone, and we look forward to announcing the winner!



About The Author

David Miller

David Miller is Senior Editor of Matador (winner of 2010 and 2011 Lowell Thomas awards for travel journalism) and Director of Curricula at MatadorU. Follow him @dahveed_miller.

  • Adventurous Kate

    I’ve been trying to become a travel writer for the past seven months, and while I once had a regular nightlife writing gig, nothing else has panned out since. I have no idea what steps to take next. What I need is to learn how to write commercially, how to find opportunities, how to pitch stories, and how to market myself better to publications. Matador U will be an essential tool in helping me shape my travel writing career.

    In the meantime, I’ve been building up my travel blog, (If you participate in #TNI on Twitter, you’ve probably read the recaps there!) And while I plan to turn it into a resource for global budget travel, I can’t put all my eggs in the proverbial basket. I plan to leave for six to seven months in Southeast Asia this fall, and my plan is to publish my writing during the trip. My goal is not to subsidize the cost (though, of course, that’s fabulous!), but to become a full-time location-independent digital nomad.

    My Twitter screenname is @adventurouskate. Thank you!

  • denise

    Twitter acc: @deniseleok

    I want to join Matador U because I’ve seen this website grow since its inception, and I wanna learn what makes it tick. Moreover the people who frequent this site inspires, intrigues and energize me with their travel stories, and can-do spirit. Somewhere deep within me I think… maybe this will rub off on me and I’d be able to write for the rest of my life while travelling to all corners of the world. (Specifically, Cambodia this year.)

  • Jordan


    The reason why I’d like to participate in MatadorU mainly comes from a desire to want to better express my thoughts about travel, especially gluten-free travel for those with celiac disease and/or gluten intolerance. I am in the process of starting up a website for those with dietary restrictions to make travel more accessible to those who find eating out difficult. I also have my own website ( that is still in the inception stages, but will begin to chronicle my travels first around the US and later to other countries wherein I will be using my skills as a speech language pathologist and, essentially, be working while traveling…or traveling while working. That will be more of a personal blog type of thing, but I’d love to write in a way that’d be accessible and informative to everyone and inspire others to take the plunge and find how travel can work for them, even with a career. I’ve taken a travel writing class before that was offered through my community, but I feel the need for more intensive training and really think I could benefit through MatadorU’s services.

  • Michael

    Twitter: @artofbackpacking @djskylab and @nightlifevibe

    I’ve been running Art of for almost 2 years now and I’m always looking to improve my writing. Ive always had a deep passion for writing and travel and it shows through the website. I’d like to improve on the details of writing about destinations and how to inspire others to travel. I would take this writing class as a huge opportunity to push my websites further and continue to live a nomadic lifestyle.


  • Sharon Hurley Hall

    I’d love to improve my travel writing skills. I think I’m a good writer but I’d like to add that extra je ne sais quoi that would help me move travel writing to the next level. My Twitter handle is @shurleyhall

  • Megan Eaves

    I’ve been a struggling-but-working travel writer for the past several years and, while I feel that I’m good at my work, I want to expand my horizons and learn as much about the art is I can. I am so passionate about this field – I have given up jobs and definitely given up salary to do this full time. My husband supports me and we are broke as hell, but I am so happy as a travel writer. I feel that the chance to enroll in MatadorU would be such a boost to my growing resume as a travel writer, and would hopefully give me so many more skills to increase my range as a travel writer. Particularly, I hope to learn further the art of showing rather than telling and using less cliches and more interesting descriptions in my writing. Thanks for this chance, MatadorU! @megoizzy

  • Adam

    Since returning from our RTW last October, I’ve struggled mightily with the dreaded “What’s next?” question that many long term travelers struggle with. We kept a blog ( throughout our journeys, initially as a tool to chronicle our journeys and keep up with family and friends. Then a funny thing happened along the way; I remembered how much I enjoyed writing. I had always wanted to be a writer (my dream was to become a sports writer as I was growing up), but something derailed me along the way. While studying journalism in college, the blandness and non-creativity of newspaper writing turned me off and sent me to a broadcasting degree instead, which I never pursued as I eventually became a high school English teacher. I lost my love of writing, but thankfully my love of travel and year long trip renewed that spark that I lost so long ago.

    So instead of going back to my previous career, and with the support of my awesome wife, I decided to try my hand at travel writing. I’m a total newbie, and while I have always had a knack for writing creative and interesting stories, I need much more guidance. I started a new blog (, and I am in the midst of starting a RTW for couples site, and from its reputation, I know Matador U would be the perfect fit to propel me to where I want to go and help me take that next step.

    Thanks for this opportunity!! @aseper

  • AngelineM

    I’ll keep entering your contests in hopes of winning a scholarship. I began writing a travel blog last year on Matador and have expanded just a bit to writing a blog on wordpress ( as we go through a foreclosure. I am loving writing and want to get back to travel once we’ve traversed our current valley. I would love formal instruction to give me the tools to improve how I present myself in writing.

  • Peter J

    Matador U’s travel writing program appears to be the best way to learn the tools of the travel writing trade online. I’ve always been interested in writing, specifically about my travels, but have struggled to find confidence. In October 2009 I took an inspiring trip to Manila with a 4 day stop over in Bangkok. It was such an eye opening experience. Through out the trip I continually jotted in my notebook, writing down everything I saw and experienced. I was living life in bustling Manila from the perspective of a local thanks to my friend’s family letting us stay at their house in the heart of Quezon City. A day spent volunteering helping Typhoon Ondoy victims proved to be extremely rewarding and inspirational. It was amazing to see such a unique city in a way that many people would never have the opportunity to. This trip inspired me to share my writing, and I started a very amateur blog on Blogspot.

    I recently started a new full time job (living in NYC is not cheap) and have neglected my blog and writing. I still use social media to stay up to date with travel news and fellow bloggers, but I have hit a bump in the road to taking my travel writing to the next level. Matador U is a great next step to dive right into the friendly community in travel writing. I felt on top of the world upon returning from Asia and felt like I had finally found a clear career path in my head. I would truly appreciate an opportunity to recieve a free tuition for Matador U’s travel writing program to take my writing to the next level.

    Peter Jeffrey Twitter: @TravelingNYRfan

  • Lorraine

    Twitter @lorraineya

    My travel blog has been up & running for about 6 months now. While I have skill in general writing, I would really benefit from attending MatadorU’s travel writing course by learning the specific tools needed for a travel writer. I’m eager to learn everything from how to translate what I’m seeing & experiencing into publishable articles to increasing my creativity to how to market myself as a travel writer and pitch articles.

    My goal is to assist travelers in the 40+ age range, emphasizing solo travel to Asia (as that’s where my interest and experience lies…). I love to travel and I hope that someday, my blog will help subsidize my solo travels to Asia!

  • josie

    my Twitter is @iamjosie I love traveling and photography and I want to win so I can learn about travel photography

  • Alina

    My twitter is @Ariko
    I am 100% Romanian; however, I have a very diverse cultural background which steers my passion to increase my knowledge of different cultures and to discover and enjoy diversity. I love to travel and I take every opportunity to do so. So far I have travelled to Europe, Africa and Asia. I have also been an exchange student in Japan for one year. I found this opportunity very challenging and all my adventures are presented on a personal blog which enjoyed quite a success in the Romanian blogosphere. Since I have returned from Japan I joined travel communities and I depicted my experiences to travel lovers in a local conference. I will be graduating this year with a major in Communication Studies and Japanese. My dissertation focuses on traditions and rituals regarding mountains and mountain’s gods in Japanese folklore and religion. It is based on a research I did during my stay in Japan and it enjoys great appreciation among my lecturers and my peers. This real passion for folklore and local traditions encourages me to want to continue researching different themes and I think this will also imply a lot of travelling. I look forward to what the future holds and I already have strong beliefs about what I want to achieve further. I decided to share my experience on a larger scale; therefore I will be blogging in English this time. I think I could greatly benefit from this course, which would give me a good insight into English readers’ interests. My passion for travelling is complemented by a keen passion for languages. Except from Romanian I can speak English, Spanish, Japanese and a resonable level of French. I am proficient in English; hence I do not think the content of the course would pose any problems to me. I believe that I have a lot to offer to the travelling community due to my interest in local aspects and my capacity to surprise usual facts and events.

  • Elly

    I’m pretty new to writing and even newer to travel writing, but it’s something that I just find I have an uncontrollable urge to do – to learn from other cultures, to explore, to enquire, and to document that in my own way. Why do other people travel? What influences different cultures to express themselves in the way they do? What can we learn about ourselves from interacting with others and opening ourselves to new experiences? Why do we embrace certain opportunities as travellers but not others?
    I’ve just handed in my notice after 11 years in the NHS – short staffing and beaurocracy have taken their toll on my sanity and I’ve realised there is more to life. I’m not expecting to make millions from writing, but I’d love to be able to make a living from it in some way. I’ve no idea how to start making it pay though, and that’s where I’m stuck. If I can get feedback and advice on my work through MatadorU to help make it more accessible and marketable, then that would be just amazing.
    I’m @ellyoracle on twitter and my writing (on various subjects, but as far as travel is concerned there’s a fair bit about Iceland) is on

  • Nicole

    I skipped off to University with high hopes my degree would reignite the creative passion that seemed to have all but disappeared during my monotonous high school years. But the same wearisome work continued; I was not intellectually stimulated and my creative passion didn’t reignite with the burst I so craved. So after a year and a half, I decided to quit ‘being boring’ to explore and rediscover my passions whilst developing talents along the way.

    I was lucky enough to be have been bitten by the travel bug at a young age as my parents have a keen interest in travel. Unfortunately, traveling with two young children can prove expensive and our family travels had to be put on hold until recently.
    After an inspiring trip to Hong Kong, Macau and a little way into China I realized that my collection of business cards, napkins, furious scribbles in a purple flip-note book and memory card full of photos shouldn’t be wasted and stuffed in some closet with my mementos of school camping trips, and macaroni necklaces I made when I was four. I could create a travel blog.

    The issue it now seems, as I pack to leave for my solo RTW venture, is that I have the skeleton of a site, I have a few posts and I have a list of potential stories to write, but I don’t know how to effectively edit my articles. I don’t fully understand how to build a solid base of contacts and I don’t have the faintest clue about how to market myself efficiently for publications.
    I am hoping by taking part in MatadorU’s writing course I can turn the list of things I can’t do, into things I can do, as well as learning other skills – such as video, podcasting and photography, which will help me to reach my aim of becoming a professional travel writer.


  • Ryley

    I’m not going to say that I deserve to win enrollment at MatadorU anymore than the commentors before me. Each one of us are striving to achieve our own personal dreams and ambitions of becoming more effective travel writers. All I can say is that I deeply share this passion with my peers and hope that luck is on my side.

    Thank you for offering the course and this opportunity.

    Ryley (@ry1ey)

  • Abhijit Gupta


    I love traveling, and more than that, being able to appreciate the beauty of a place through writing. I realize that that, at times, the writing is never sufficient to truly describe the amazing experience that travel can be. Therefore, I want to polish my writing and publishing skills to reach out to more people and make a bigger impact. Of course, MatadorU’s Travel Writing program is the best resource to do that!! :)

  • Nikki

    Traveling around the world is a dream I have had since childhood. Being able to record the adventures into printed words; to be able to bring alive the different locales and cultures would indeed be a dream come true.

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