10 Publications for your Travel Writing

I’m writing this as an assignment for MatadorU. I am always looking for places to (hopefully) publish my writing and, although I didn’t come up with anything radically different, it was very useful to find out the details of how to go about approaching new markets.

1. Travelers’ Taleshttp://travelerstales.com

Travelers’ Tales has over 100 titles in print and publishes 6-8 books a year, including Best Women’s Travel Writing. Travelers’ Tales also runs the annual Solas Award for travel writing.

Publisher: James O’Reilly

Executive Editor: Larry Habegger

Editor-at-large: Sean O’Reilly

Submissions policy: Travelers’ Tales accepts finished manuscripts for its anthologies and for the Solas Award year-round. Previously published work is OK, as long as you retain the rights. If you wish to enter the Solas competition, you have to pay $10 for each category (with a two category minimum.)

—–Note: I submitted to the next best Women’s Travel Writing and received a message from Sean the next day telling me that they “quite enjoyed” my story and advising me to submit to the Solas Award.

2. World Humhttp://worldhum.com

World hum is part of the Travel Channel network. This site has featured articles from authors both new and renowned, including Pico Iyer. Many articles published originally on World Hum have gone on to be included in The Best American Travel Writing series.

Co-editors-in-chief: Jim Benning and Michael Yessis

Senior editor: Eva Holland

Submissions policy: As of mid-June 2010 submissions were closed, but look likely to re-open.

—–Note: I have submitted here before and received a (very nice) personal rejection note six months later.

3. The Expeditionerhttp://theexpeditioner.com

The Expeditioner is a Brooklyn-based online travel magazine featuring articles and videos for the avid traveler.

Editor-in-chief: Matt Stabile

Managing editor: Jon Wick

Submissions policy: The Expeditioner welcomes unsolicited submissions from travel writers at all stages in their career. Articles tend to be first-person narratives in the range of 1,000 to 1,300 words. Send finished manuscripts to matt.stabile @ theexpeditioner.com

—–Note: I submitted a piece to their upcoming anthology. Response pending.

4. Galavantinghttp://gogalavanting.com

Galavanting is an online women’s tavel magazine and community. From the site: “We know that not every female is in search of the world’s perfect facial. And that people without trust funds travel too.”

Editor-in-chief: Kim Mance

Submissions policy: Send a pitch or finished manuscript no longer that 1,200 words to submissions @ gogalavanting.com with SUBMISSIONS as the subject. Also provide a short bio and links to previously published writing. If you have not had a response within three weeks, assume your piece has been rejected.

—Note: I have submitted here twice and never received a response.

5. GoNomad http://gonomad.com

From the website: “GoNOMAD.com is a comprehensive resource center, designed to provide independent and alternative travelers with all the information and inspiration they need to plan their travels in the U.S. and abroad.” This website features unusual articles and off-the-beaten-path destinations.

Editor: Max Hartshorne

Submissions policy: Send one page email to editorial @ gonomad.com with pitch, dates of trip, writer’s background, intended department and whether or not it has been published before.  Also send a file with headshot, one sentence bio and information on the availability of photographs. GoNomad also accepts unsolicited manuscripts.

6. The Guardianhttp://guardian.co.uk

Publishes an 18-20 page travel supplement on Saturdays.

Submissions: Contact travel@guardian.co.uk Does not accept unsolicited manuscripts, but you can contact them with ideas.

7. San Francisco Chroniclesfgate.com

Publishes a six to eight page travel supplement on Sundays. New freelancers have the best chance with California related pieces.

Editor: Spud Hilton

Submissions: Contact Spud Hilton: shilton@sfchronicle.com

Note: I actually had found more detailed submission information, but since lost it. Anyone?

8. Islandshttp://islands.com

Published eight times a year and dedicated to travel on worldwide islands.

Features editor: Matthew Miller

Editors-at-large: Dave Herndon and Ty Sawyer

Submissions: New contributors have the best chance with the front-of-the-book Discover section–features are assigned to regular writers. Contact islands.editorial@bonniercorp.com

9. Budget Travelhttp://budgettravel.com

Published 10 times a year. Focuses on budget travel in worldwide destinations.

Editor in Chief: Nina Willdorf

Features editor: Valerie Rains

Submissions: Send published pieces as a sample, your pitch (not a completed article) and a cover letter to letters@budgettravel.com

10. In The Know Travelerhttp://intheknowtraveler.com

In The Know Traveler publishes stories that inspire travel of 450-600 words in length. The pay is low though: $10 per article.

Editor: Devin Galaudet

Submissions: Send completed story, with photographs if you have them, to editor@intheknowtraveler.com

—–

Some of the publications I have listed are still far, far out of my reach, but certainly half are achievable. I will update if I hear back from any.

Walking into Ladonia

I was quite willing to go along with my friend’s idea to visit some sculptures buried in the depths of a forest in southern Sweden, but as I stubbed my toe against the thick root of a tree and fell head first into the damp earth, I had to question what kind of artist would decide that this was a good place for a project. But then again, other people’s opinions don’t seem to be of much concern to the artist Lars Vilks.

Lars Vilks is better known for his ability to produce art offensive enough that it earns him death threats and a bounty of $100,000 on his head, than for creating sculptures from salvaged materials in a Swedish nature reserve.

Mr. Vilks—a former art professor—submitted three drawings to a 2007 exhibition on the theme “The Dog in Art.” Vilks’ pieces depicted the prophet Muhammed as a roundabout dog—a form of street installation popular in Sweden at the time. The drawings provoked accusations of blasphemy, debates about free speech, a burning of the Swedish flag in Lahore and threats of murder.

Before he became embroiled in international controversy, Lars Vilks was just an eccentric artist who, in 1996, had declared the founding of a micro-nation in Sweden’s Kullaberg Nature Reserve.

In 1980 Vilks built two art pieces in the reserve in Skåne. He made Nimis from 75 tons of driftwood and Arx from stone. The local council discovered them two years later and, saying that building within a nature reserve was illegal, demanded their removal.

After losing appeals against the council’s decision, Vilks retaliated by declaring the square kilometer of land where the sculptures were located to be the newly founded independent nation of Ladonia.

While no one actually lives in Ladonia, there are 14,000 Ladonian citizens. You can become one too just by filing out an application—nobility costs extra. Ladonia has its own ministry, royal family, flag, currency, postal service and two national anthems. It’s all done a little tongue-in-cheek, but, when in 2002, 3000 Pakistanis applied for immigrant status, asking Vilks for the address of Ladonia’s embassy and how to get there, it became apparent that not everyone was in on the joke.

Our own journey to Ladonia takes us through the seaside resort of Mölle and little town of Arild, whose residents’ almost foreign sounding Swedish dialect seems like preparation for our departure from the nation. We pull up by a lonely maypole in the Kullaberg Nature Reserve and begin our trek.

Since Ladonia is not officially recognized, it does not appear on maps. The only way to find your way through the woods is by following yellow arrows painted on the trees.

True to form, these haphazard signs are misleading—perhaps intentionally. The first one we see has 1.2 km painted underneath, so we are frustrated when, after walking for at least 15 minutes, we come across the next arrow and it says 1.1 km.

It carries on like this and we try to suppress thoughts of giving up by saying that we should have expected this; this place doesn’t really exist anyway. We carry on, and it begins to feel like a hike. The arrows point us up hills, over rocks and through clusters of thick, inflexible branches. The climb is becoming slippery in my flip-flops—I hadn’t dressed for a hike. The sun is still strong, even in the early evening, and I feel my shirt start to dampen with sweat. We keep climbing.

And then there it is. Stretched out in front of us is a tunnel made out of wooden pieces. It dips down and stretches as far as the seafront where the centerpiece stands at the shore: the great sculptures of Nimis.

We walk through the piece, tottering unsteadily over thick sticks nailed together to form an almost labyrinthine walkway. Rogue nails that have worked their way out of the wood point at my feet—bare now to make walking easier—so I try to keep my eyes turned down. But I can’t help but look around at this place: Ladonia, this empty, fantastical nation.

The tunnel spits us out by the shore, and it is just the two of us—just two inhabitants of an entire nation. We each choose a rock to sit quietly on; the only sound is the waves lapping the rocky beach. My breath settles and I feel the peace that comes with the absence of anything anchoring me to a tangible place. There is something impossible about sitting here in a conceptual nation, under a sun that still burns late in the evening, having walked through a nation that is an art piece, that is not even supposed to exist. I am neither here nor there. Nimis.

I don’t know how much time has passed, but in the distance I can hear voices. Sweden is encroaching on Ladonia. Taking this as our cue, we start the walk back. We pass the new arrivals on our way. For now this nation belongs to them.

If you go

Mölle is off the coastal highway 111. The nearest airport is Ängelholm, approximately 19 kilometers (12 miles) away. Mölle is 35 kilometers (22 miles) northwest of Helsingborg and around a two-hour journey from either Copenhagen or Malmö.

Kullaberg Nature Reserve is 4 kilometers (2.5 miles) from Mölle. http://k.inventit.dk/show/english/frontpage.aspx

You can only reach Nimis by foot. The path begins at Himmelstorp—a preserved farmhouse—and walkers are guided by a series of yellow ‘N’s painted on tree trunks and fences.

Official Ladonia Website: http://www.ladonia.net/