Narrative Travel Writing: Capturing a Sense of Place

Christopher Clark, Travel Writer and Wanderer

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9 Lessons (48m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Your assignment: Write a Narrative Travel Piece

    • 3. Get to Know Your Hood

    • 4. Not on their watch, here or elsewhere

    • 5. Superman of Havana

    • 6. Tools of the Trade

    • 7. Getting Started and Avoiding Cliche

    • 8. Your First Draft

    • 9. Final Thoughts and Pitching Advice


Project Description

Write a compelling travel narrative in your own hood


For this class, you’ll write a narrative travel piece that looks to get beneath the skin of your neighbourhood. But the writing itself is only part of the project and part of the fun. Before you start writing, the first thing you’ll need to do is get out and about. . .

You’re going to explore somewhere in your neighbourhood where you’ve never been or wouldn’t typically spend time. This could be a block, a street, a cafe, or even just a different park bench from the one you’d usually sit on. The more obscure and foreign it feels to you the better. The more sensory stimulus there is the better.

Your observations from this experience should form the meat of your travel narrative. I can’t wait to read what you come up with.


  • A brief introduction (no more than a few paragraphs) to yourself and your neighbourhood.
  • Drafts of your travel piece for workshopping and feedback.
  • A finished travel narrative between 1,000 and 2,000 words.


'Not on their watch, here or elsewhere', by Christopher Clark

'The Superman of Havana', by Mitch Moxley

'How to Write About Africa', by Binyavanga Wainaina

'Five Rules for Effective Writing', by George Orwell


I will select and post the best class project on my blog here

Student Projects