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Photo courtesy of Abbie Mood

It was just about a month ago that Matador launched the first course at MatadorU: the 12 week travel writing curriculum.

SINCE THEN, DOZENS of aspiring travel writers have joined the course, working through the curriculum at their own pace and enjoying the conversation with other students and the Matador editorial team.

One of those students is Abbie Mood, who has also been a member of the Matador Travel community for about six months. Abbie registered for MatadorU two weeks ago, and says, “I already feel like I’ve gained so much! Besides the chapters being really informative and interesting, being able to connect to and share feedback with editors and other writers has been amazing.”

Abbie has taken full advantage of MatadorU’s features, including the Market Leads board, which provides students with exclusive listings of online and print opportunities for publishing their work. In fact, Abbie has already landed a writing gig through the market leads; she learned this week that she has been hired as Planet Eye’s local expert blogger for Orange County, California. “I’m very excited,” she says, “because this is my first official writing gig!”

Abbie has lived in Orange County for just over four years and will be using her experience to inform her postings for Planet Eye about what’s going on in Orange County. Some of her favorite places there are El Moro Canyon/Crystal Cove State Park to trail run (“There is a beautiful view of the ocean, and the trails kick my butt!”), Main Street on Huntington Beach to bar hop and people watch, and the Irvine Spectrum in Irvine for shopping!

Though it will be a few more days before her local expert page is active, you can check out the site and other cities’ local experts–including Matador’s own Twitter Ninja and Edinburgh local expert, Andy Hayes–at

Community Connection:

Abbie isn’t the only MatadorU student who has landed a writing contract since entering the travel writing program. Over the next few days, we’ll be profiling other students who have found gigs through the Market Leads board.

Interested in joining the U? Learn all about it here. And keep your eyes on that page– over the next few months, Matador will be introducing other courses, too!

About The Author

Julie Schwietert

Julie Schwietert Collazo is a writer, editor, researcher, and translator currently in New York, formerly of Mexico City and San Juan.

  • Abbie

    Love it :)

  • Patty

    Absolutely Fantastic!!!!

  • Hal Amen

    Nice, Abbie. Congrats.

  • Christine

    Woo hoo! Making it happen!

  • neha

    Cheers Abbie!

  • tom gates

    Super cool and inspiring!

  • JoAnna

    Very exciting ~ congratulations!

  • Jukurenshia

    Man I can’t wait to enter the course soon!! Just need to save up the money!

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