Angela Pearse completed the Travel Writing Course and the Writing for the Web Course at NZ Writers’ College (www.nzwriterscollege.co.nz) in 2009 and 2010 respectively. One of our top students at the college, we were keen to find out how Angela is doing as a writer.
An Interview with Angela Pearse
What writing successes have you had since completing your course?
I’ve completed two courses with the NZ Writers’ College, the Travel Writing Course and the Writing for the Web Course.
Since completing both courses I have had an articles published in AA Directions Magazine and in NZ Herald online. I have also contributed guest posts to Travel Tips Plus (www.traveltipsplus.com), the popular blog, Velvet Escape (www.velvetescape.com) and well known Travel Dudes website (www.traveldudes.com).
The Writing for the Web course has taught me how to promote my website Bella Italia (www.bellaitalia.co.nz) and my traffic has certainly increased since joining Facebook and Twitter. I’ve just been approached by a European hotel site who want to write an article on Tuscany Hotels for Bella Italia, so that’s quite exciting.
How does it feel to sell your first article?
Selling my first article was amazing, I felt like I was on a high for a week! It was a rewarding ending to a lot of hard work as the magazine asked me to re-write my first draft and it took me 25 hours. (I’m sure now after completing the Travel Writing Course it wouldn’t take me as long!).
What have you learned from actually working in the industry (as opposed to the theory of it)?
I think it’s as much about who you know, as well as being a good writer. With the web it’s important to have key contacts and build up a mutual trust. I’ve learnt not to focus so much on the money side of things and to just take opportunities as they come up. Usually if you scratch someones back, they eventually scratch yours back!
What tip(s) would you give other aspirant journalists?
Keep at it! A love of writing is essential but perseverance and hard work go a long way in this business. I’d suggest joining a writing organisation, for example, I love travel writing so I joined Travcom and participated in a famil to Great Barrier Island last year. This gave me the opportunity to meet other travel writers and also get an article published.
Keep at it! A love of writing is essential but perseverance and hard work go a long way in this business.
How did the writing course help your writing?
The Writing for the Web course has given me much more confidence with my writing and also with utilising social media. Before the course I wasn’t even on Facebook; now I have a Facebook fan page (www.facebook.com/bellaitalia.co.nz), a Twitter account (@bellaitalia_nz), a travel blog (http://bellatravel.wordpress.com), have reworked my own website (www.bellaitalia.co.nz) and I’m also writing an online novel! (http://www.protagonize.com/story/pox).
I’ll be forever grateful to my tutor for instilling in me the importance of keywords and linking (I was quite resistant to the idea at first!). My site definitely looks more professional than it did before, the articles are easier to read and are now searchable and promotable on the web.