Los Cerritos, Baja. Late 90s, back when it was ‘free.’ Photo by Laura Bernhein
Writing a good travel narrative (or the shortened form I like to call a travel “note”) is not as easy as it sounds. It takes the right mix of characters, observations, and a sense of the place having some kind of effect on the traveler, whether it be connection, alienation, inspiration, or whatever.
For several months we’ve taken a break from reading travel narrative submissions at Matador, however we’ve just started again, for the “notes for the road” section here at the notebook. If you’re interested in sending a note, here’s a quick guide:
What to send
- Stories that are between 400 – 800 words
- Stories that are actually stories (They have a beginning, middle, and end).
- Stories that have characters
- Stories that are funny
- Stories that are sad
- Stories that are honest
- Stories that are real
- Stories about connecting (or being unable to connect) with people (physically, spiritually, whatever) and places
- Stories that have dialogue
- Stories written in your voice, not copying anyone else
What not to send
- Stories over 800 words
- Stories with the words / phrases ‘nestled’, ‘a paradise for nature lovers’, ‘the heart of’, ‘snowcapped’, ‘a must-do’
- Stories that end with tidy conclusions
- Stories that are just the narrator pontificating / judging without interacting
Please send your work directly to david[at]matadornetwork[dot]com with the text pasted into the email. Bios and cover letters are not necessary. Please put “notes for the road” in the subject line, plus the title.
Response times are generally within a week. If you do not hear back from us within a week it means that your narrative did not fit our specific editorial vision. Please do not take this as a judgment of your skills or talent, but simply a question of the type of stories we’re trying to publish.
Payment is the same as a regular matador network article. $25 via paypal.
Final note: pieces previously published on the internet or print are not accepted, however if you’d like to rework something you’ve already published at your matador blog, that’s fine.
We look forward to reading your submissions. Suerte,