Cochin (as its inhabitants prefer to call it) is a collection of islands and peninsulas squeezed between the shores of tranquil Vembanad Lake and the Arabian Sea. Each district has a distinct personality, from the colonial trading post of Fort Cochin and concrete towers of Ernakulam, to the sandy beaches of Vypeen Island.
The ill-lit classrooms had no glass in the windows and no plaster on the walls. Unconnected to any source, electricity wires hung like jungle vines from concrete ceilings. The children, crowded behind simple wooden tables, wore neatly pressed uniforms and expressions warm enough to melt a mountain frost.
It’s not every day that I open my emails to find I’ve been invited to write a guest column for a magazine. Oh sure, I get those you’ve-won-a-million-quid-just-click-here offers, and how-to-earn-big-money-from-travel-writing scams which go straight into the Junk Box. But when I saw an email in my Inbox from Lyn Hughes, Editor-in-Chief of my favourite travel magazine Wanderlust, I have to admit to a flutter of excitement.
I was delighted and surprised to receive the message from Wanderlust’s editorial team that I had just made it into their most important, useful and entertaining blogs…
Do you want to meet like-minded people on the net to practise and talk about the art of travel writing? Pop over to the ITINERANT WRITERS CLUB forum to see what we’re up to.
A rare easterly blowing through Cochin this morning has freshened things, brightening colours and tempering Kerala’s humidity. It has lured me from the air-conditioned saloon up into our boat’s cockpit. The breeze brings with it snatches of a lone voice chanting a Malayalam Christmas prayer across the water.
“There is no silver bullet. It’s trial and error. It’s hard work. And perseverance. And you won’t get that from any course. You’re better off finding a little community of like-minded individuals, like the Itinerant Writer’s Club, and asking for advice, ideas, comments. Plus you develop your own voice and style. Creative writing courses are like battery farms for writers. They all come out sounding the same.”
Read Peter Moore’s explosive interview!
One top tip: if sending [a pitch] by email, give a lot of thought to the subject line. We get a couple of dozen proposals a day… and that’s on top of the other 300 emails I get. So give us a reason to open it. Which would you be more tempted to read: “Wanderlust Proposal” or “Beyond Mandalay – off the beaten track Burma” ?