3 students

Struggling to sell your ideas?
Stuck in writing limbo?
Frustrated by a lack of feedback from editors?
Need to ramp up your income each month from writing?
Don’t know where to start or where to look for pointers?

Let me help.

I offer private coaching/tutorial sessions for beginner and intermediate travel writers who would benefit from some expert guidance.

My coaching sessions are designed to fast-track your career as a successful travel writer. I don’t go into too much theory. My concern is to get you to conceive and create story ideas that editors will buy, and help you sell them, regularly and consistently.


Together we will:

  • Come up with a list of ideas that you want and are able to write
  • Tweak, fine-tune and finesse those ideas in ways I know will entice editors
  • Find specific publications and editors who would be good targets for your ideas
  • Compile great pitches, and send them to those editors
  • Once you get assigned, I will also help you edit your story
  • Along the way we will also discuss various topics from pay rates, to editor management, to finding great ideas, to writing tips – giving you excellent insight not just into how successful freelance writers do what they do, but also how and why editors do what they do – just as important when trying to sell stories.

Highly recommended. James has provided invaluable help with knowledge, experience and opinions that only an insider can give. In our first two sessions, he gave guidance on story angles, pitching techniques, writing styles and target publications. He shares his expertise freely and his rates are very reasonable – especially for someone of his calibre. Looking forward to more mentoring.”

– Deborah Mackie, early-stage travel writer

James provides real strategic insights and critiques my pitch drafts and final pieces with practical tips. He has made me understand the process better, and I have developed a more diverse way how I think about a story potential and how to craft a pitch.

“James is a generous and accessible coach and editor, always with a positive approach. His coaching style is straight-up, fact-filled, enriching, and thorough and provides results.

“Since working with James, I have added bylines with Architectural Record, Fodor’s Travel and Metropolis Magazine to my bio.”

– Petra Loho, early-stage travel writer

“James is an exceptional editor and writer who rocks the media world with snazzy headlines and smooth prose.

“A fantastic communicator and people-manager, James is also extremely punctual, swift to respond and able to deal with difficult problems with calm assurance.

“He is also a thoroughly decent chap and a pleasure to work with.”

– Robert Michael Poole, travel influencer and former CNN Tokyo editor



Your travel writing transformation

How will it work?

  1. A PRELIMINARY DISCUSSION. We will have an initial Skype call or similar so I can gauge whether I can help you. Most importantly I will need to know where you are now regarding your travel writing career and achievements, and where you want to be in the next 3/6/12 months. If I feel I can help you achieve those goals, we move to step 2.
  2. COME UP WITH IDEAS. We will immediately start to work on story ideas that you can sell. I will help fine-tune existing ideas you already have, and/or we will discuss how you can find new ideas.
  3. FIND PUBLICATIONS. Once we have several great ideas ready to find a home, we need to go house-hunting. I will help research relevant websites, newspapers or magazines, and we will dig out the contact details for the relevant editors.
  4. PITCH THE EDITORS. We will then formulate pitches, which I will help you construct, and send them out to our target editors.
  5. MONITOR RESPONSES. We will track our pitches, monitor any feedback we get, and adapt and re-pitch, if required.
  6. WRITE THE STORY. Once you get assigned to a story, you will write it with guidance from me, and I will help edit your final copy before we file it with the editor.
Travel writing teacher

How long before you’re a millionaire travel writer?

If you want to be a millionaire travel writer, the best thing is probably to start out as a billionaire something else first. Joking aside, travel writing is one of the most competitive freelance writing areas, so you need to be willing to hustle.

But a good living is certainly achievable – I know many freelance writers bringing in six figures a year, through smart, focused work and a disciplined pitching strategy. I myself have earned six figures for several years now, through a combination of one-off commissions and retainer work.

My coaching plan would be to go through the steps above each week, for three to four weeks, until you have a feel for the process and are able to jump the nest and fly by yourself.

How much will it cost?

All the steps outlined above
+ a one-hour Skype or WhatsApp call to discuss ideas and answer your questions
+ a copy of a two-hour video of a pitching workshop I conducted live last year at the HK Literary Festival (value: US$150 at the time, but included here for free)
+ PDF copies of my two ebooks ‘How To Sell Travel Stories’ and ‘Why Editors Don’t Reply’ (rated 4.3/5 on Amazon)
+ various other resources to help you find ideas, publications and editors
Week one – US$199

We do everything described above all over again
+ follow up on previous pitches
Week 2: US$99

We do everything all over again
+ follow up on previous pitches
+ start to write (if we haven’t already), with my guidance
Week 3: US$99

If you complete the three-week programme outlined above, I will be at your disposal over email for the next three weeks as well, and will add one more Skype or WhatsApp call to answer any other questions or concerns that arise while you’re out there doing it on your own.
No cost

Have other needs? 

Alternatively if you have other writing or pitching queries you think I could help you with, I am available for bespoke coaching and consulting at a rate of US$99 per hour. Contact me with your needs and I’ll come up with a plan.

Status: I always try to make room for students. 

Do you want more information or to discuss your needs personally? Do you want to book a session immediately? Fill in the form below or send an email to me at jd@jamesdurston.com and I will get back to you very soon.


User Avatar James Durston

I'm a freelance travel writer and travel editor, now teaching others how to realize their own travel writing dreams. Over the last 20 years I’ve written and commissioned articles for many different products and genres. I started as a finance writer in London, but for the last 10+ years have specialized in travel, both writing and commissioning articles as an editor. I've worked for international news organizations, inflight magazines and new startups. Some of my past clients and employers include CNN, Travel + Leisure, VICE, Men's Journal, SCMP, GQ, Condé Nast, Discovery, The Daily Mail, Travel Weekly and more. And now I’m revealing exactly how I sell articles as a freelancer, and what I’m thinking when I buy them as an editor. The tools and insights you find on Travel Write Earn provide a compact, practical and fast-track guide to rapidly master and then apply everything I’ve learned over those years. If you're a total beginner, I can answer your questions and help you hit the ground running as you start your travel writing career. I provide the real-life insights you just don't get in lecture halls and classrooms, but that you need to succeed quickly in this industry. If you're an intermediate travel writer, I can help you earn more from your articles, fine-tine your pitches to increase your sales rates, and help find new ways to write about the places you go and experiences you have. If you're an established and expert travel writer ... what are you doing here? Go write! No seriously, I can also offer help answering any questions you have about the editorial and publishing world the other side of the email divide. This could be especially useful if you have no experience as a commissioning editor, and would like some insights into that murky pond.

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