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The Masterclasses online: expert-led sessions on travel writing and photography

National Geographic Traveller’s The Masterclasses returns with a series of online courses in 2021, bringing the popular travel writing and photography sessions into homes across the globe.

Published 3 Mar 2021, 11:34 GMT, Updated 8 Apr 2021, 14:40 BST
Budding travel writers and photographers can take part in the expert-led sessions, led by the magazine’s ...

Budding travel writers and photographers can take part in the expert-led sessions, led by the magazine’s senior editors, renowned contributors and brand ambassadors.

Photograph by National Geographic Traveller

After the huge success of the 2018 and 2020 events, National Geographic Traveller’s The Masterclasses returns from 19 to 21 April 2021 with a series of online courses, bringing these popular travel writing and photography sessions into homes across the globe.
For one-hour a day, over three days, the National Geographic Traveller team will provide a series of stimulating workshops and lectures that illuminate the art of written and visual storytelling. Not only will these in-depth courses be led by the magazine’s senior editors, renowned contributors and brand ambassadors, they will also bring together published photographers and expert art directors.
For the curious travel writer and avid photographer, this is an opportunity to immerse themselves in inspiration and practical instruction from some of the industry’s leading experts.

Book your tickets now.* Sessions are £10 each or £50 for all six, if booked together


Appealing to budding writers hoping to break into the industry, as well as those of intermediate level, the three one-hour classes will cover everything from how to get published to self-editing and perfecting a range of different styles. Experts from the National Geographic Traveller (UK) team will lead each masterclass.

1. How to write a travel feature — from start to finish
From tricky beginnings and endings to signposting and pacing, using quotes and developing a voice, our panel lays out the best ways to tackle long-form travel writing. We’ll discuss how to structure a story so it sustains your readers’ interest, and how to really nail down that destination you love.

The panel:
Adrian Phillips, travel writer, broadcaster and managing director of Bradt Travel Guides
Amelia Duggan, deputy editor, National Geographic Traveller
Jamie Lafferty, travel writer
Monisha Rajesh, author and journalist
Moderated by Sarah Barrell, associate editor, National Geographic Traveller
2. The dos and don’ts of travel writing
Cinematic thinking, intros that wow, where to put those fascinating facts and how to make sure creativity doesn’t mean sacrificing clarity: our experts will guide you through the potential pitfalls and give you pointers to make sure your travel writing really works. 

The panel:
Pól O’Conghaile, travel writer and travel editor, Irish Independent and
Kash Bhattacharya, travel writer and blogger
Francisca Kellett, travel journalist
Nicola Trup, deputy editor, National Geographic Traveller Food
Moderated by Glen Mutel, editor, National Geographic Traveller Food
3. How to pitch and get published
Is there a science to pitching stories? If you want editors to pick your pitch from their ever-increasing pile of submissions, there are some key techniques you’ll need to master. From learning how to be persistent yet polite to timing, tone and getting noticed, our panel reveals their top strategies.

The panel:
Ben Lerwill, travel writer and children’s author
Emma Thomson, travel writer
Pat Riddell, editor, National Geographic Traveller
Travis Levius, travel journalist and content creator
Moderated by Connor McGovern, commissioning editor, National Geographic Traveller


The three one-hour classes are aimed at beginner- and intermediate-level travel photographers, providing invaluable advice on all aspects of the craft, from pitching and publication to selecting the right kit. Established photographers will lead each masterclass, alongside one of the National Geographic Traveller (UK) team.

1. How to shoot people and places
Travel photography is more than just journeys with a camera. You’ll get tips on adapting to the environment you’re shooting in, how to approach a place with street photography in mind and how to get your subjects onside, as well as the essential kit you need and the best ways to get that perfect shot.

The panel:
Ben Weller, editorial and commercial photographer
Karolina Wiercigroch, food and travel photographer
Lauren Atkinson-Smith, art editor, National Geographic Traveller and National Geographic Traveller Food
Yulia Denisyuk, travel photographer and writer
Moderated by Becky Redman, art director, National Geographic Traveller 
2. How to get published
You have your story and the photographs to accompany them — now how do you maximise their potential? We’ll take a look at how best to get your work noticed.

The panel:
Lola Akinmade Åkerström, author and photographer
Nori Jemil, travel writer and photographer
Olly Puglisi, photo editor, National Geographic Traveller 
Richard James Taylor, photographer
Moderated by Maria Pieri, editorial director, National Geographic Traveller
3. Dos and don’ts of wildlife, nature and landscape photography
Find out how to get the best out of your surroundings when you’re out in the elements and learn how to capture the fleeting drama of wildlife around the globe. Plus, discover the key tips to shooting in nature and what you definitely shouldn’t be doing. 

The panel:
Andy Parkinson, wildlife photographer
Greg Funnell, travel and adventure photographer
Kelly McKenna, senior designer, National Geographic Traveller
Slawek Kozdras, travel photographer 
Moderated by Lauren Gamp, senior designer, National Geographic Traveller 

Book your tickets now.* Sessions are £10 each or £50 for all six, if booked together

*External link. This event is organised by APL Media Limited, publishers of National Geographic Traveller (UK). Any personal data submitted will be processed in accordance with APL Media Limited's privacy policy, available here.

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