PRESS PASS Newsletter

Volume 36, Issue 08, October 2018

  A Publication of the International Food, Wine & Travel Writers
  Association distributed to IFWTWA Members Only

  All Rights Reserved

Volume Number 36  
Issue Number 08  
October 2018  


In this issue...


By Jacqui Gibson

Q: What types of stories are you looking for and what is the length?

We are looking for:
- restaurant, festival, hotel/accommodation, wine and tour reviews
- interviews and/or Q&A with wine makers, chefs, tour operators and accommodation owners
- city guides and guides on a destination, ie, 48 Hours in Galle, Sri Lanka
- profiles of a destination
- listicles, ie, 10 Reasons to Visit Denver, Colorado
- collaborative posts, ie, 7 Travel Writers Pick Their Best Summer Destinations
- long form food, wine and travel stories.

FWT stories can range in length from 800 – 1,500 words and must be illustrated with 5 – 6 high quality images.

They can be written in either the first or third person and in either the present or past tense.

We embrace variety and good story telling. The most important thing is that it’s a good story well told.

Q: What makes a good story?

First and foremost, every good story is written for the reader (not a trip sponsor or PR or for you, the author, or your mum or daughter who you traveled with).

A good story has a fresh angle or a central idea. It’s packed full of specific details.

It’s realistic, not gushy and overly cheerful (read: free of exclamation points).

A good story reflects its form. If it’s a city guide, for example, it needs to be informative and accurate – and it should cover all the necessary bases you’d expect from a city guide. If not, the author needs to go away and do his or her homework.

A good story can be many things – it can be funny, entertaining and insightful (if it’s a first person story particularly). It can tell the reader things he or she didn’t know about a place or it can highlight the people who make it special.

Best-of-all, a good story paints a picture and makes the reader visualise a place and want to go there.

A good story isn’t advertorial or plumped up with words and phrases such as “city of contrasts”, “unspoilt gems”, “breath taking views” – it’s not easy but we want original writing.

Q: What is the approval/proofing process?

An author uploads the story and photos to WordPress and proofreads the story 3 – 5 times for flow, grammar, layout, SEO etc, then saves the story to ‘pending review’. From there, it is allocated to an assistant editor for proofing. Finally it comes back to me for a final proofread and check before I schedule it for publication. Date for publication is dependent on how many stories are in front of it.

Q: Why was my article rejected and can I resubmit it?

We’re tightening up on the quality of what we publish. So from now on articles will be rejected for poor writing, layout, too many grammatical or spelling errors, poor photography – anything that doesn’t cut the mustard.

We’ve decided we’d rather publish nothing than stories that are rushed, incomplete or not of standard. We want our writing to reflect the best of IFWTWA and our membership.

Saying that, yes, if an author is willing to make the necessary changes, he or she is more than welcome to resubmit an article.

Q: Can I submit an article that was published on my blog?

All FWT Magazine content should be original. We’re strict about that – partly because Google penalises plagiarised content and partly because we want to serve our readers by producing good quality, original content they can’t read elsewhere. But that doesn’t mean you can’t repurpose or rewrite something that’s on an existing blog. The only rule is that it passes the online plagiarism checker, see:

Q: What is the readership of FWT?

The monthly readership of FWT is climbing and reaches as high as 15,000 per month. We now have two marketing managers on board who will be promoting content very heavily so we expect our readership numbers to steadily grow in coming months. We also have a very strong social media following. 

Q: Do I need to pre-pitch you for my article?

It’s not required but always a good idea if you can. It helps ensure you provide an article that is most likely to be accepted and also helps us plan out content.

A final note from the editor: thanks to everyone who has contributed to FWT Magazine so far – and to everyone who plans to write for us or be an editor or proofreader in the future. We’re continuing to learn and make changes to the magazine based on budget, time, the quality of your stories and contributions and best practice. We look forward to your continued support. Remember, you can sign up to be a contributor at any time. You can also show your support by sharing our stories on social media. We’d love that. Meantime, if you have any questions, feel free to get in touch: [email protected] (remember I’m on New Zealand time, so I might respond at weird hours). If you’re not part of the private IFWTWA Facebook group, please consider joining as we share magazine updates there frequently.




by Beth Graham

Newsletter? Please bear with us as we develop the new PRESS PASS. Our utmost goal is to deliver valuable content to you in an easy to use, searchable format. This month we offer PRESS PASS as a newsletter. This issue does not have the newsletter format or layout we ultimately hope to provide. It does deliver the content you requested, association news and resources. We also created a new website page, PRESS PASS Newsletters.

Blog? Concurrently we will release a identical PRESS PASS blog posts in October. Please consider whether you prefer the newsletter or blog format. Let us know your preference and why. We look forward to your feedback and will poll the membership later this month before making a final determination on how PRESS PASS will be delivered to you in the future.

Contact Press Pass Editor


by Adrianne Morrison

IFWTWA took a bold step on September 11, 2018. We converted our heritage website to an Association Management System. Why? 

Automation & Marketing: Membership applications, dues, renewals, e-mail communications, marketing, event registration, and compliance reporting. 

Private Social Community:  Networking, discussion forums, committee collaboration and file sharing, message boards, profile walls, photo sharing, and private messaging. Have you explored how you might use these features to enhance your career objectives?

MemberClicks: MC met all the Board's goals and expectations for a volunteer-run Content Management System (CMS) except one: beautiful member profiles. Yes, we acknowledge they aren't like before. BUT, the new profile item "06. Clips of My Work" can be a great benefit to members. It's portable, allows creativity in showcasing work products, and you control its look, feel and information about you.

Tip: Google Chrome is the best browser for accessing the new website; others are slower & may hangup.

Why the excel download from the old site? To offer members an opportunity to create a record of their postings from the heritage website, and a tool for creating the new Clips file. 

Public access to complete Member Directory? We take the issue of Security and the need to protect your privacy very seriously. Two recent articles help to explain our concern and why we are taking extra precautions before releasing any data about our membership from our new website: 
The California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018
Top executives voice support for national privacy law

Member Profiles: We also want to allow our membership adequate time to populate their profiles. Two weeks ago, only 2% of our members had uploaded a Clips file. This week, just over 30% have a profile picture & bio, and of those, many do not have a Clips file. 

Inspiration for your Clips file: From your member log-in landing page, use Search Directory to view a few examples of Clips uploads: Anita Breland; Mary Chong; Christine Cutler; Dana Freeman; Shobha Gallagher; Carolyne Kauser-Abbott; Hilarie Larson; Alisha McDarris; Tamara Muldoon; Amy Sherman; Aurelia Smelz; William Tang; and, Stacey Wittig.

As you will see, there is ample opportunity for creativity in showcasing your particular brand to potential hosts and editors. More importantly, YOU will be in control of what personal information you release to the public when you share your Clips. If you need help, look through our member directory, find a member's Clips file you admire and ask for guidance. 

Questions/Comments? Reach to us below or use the website's contact buttons - we promise to answer. 

Contact Webmaster



Digiprove - An Official IFWTWA Sponsor

IFWTWA strives to set itself apart from other associations by delivering outstanding benefits to our members. We are the first to offer the valuable Digiprove service exclusively to our members at a deep discount. When you subscribe with Digiprove, you can use your Digiprove ID and password to protect all your personal and work files including photos and your new Profile Media Clips document. Once you create a dated Digiproved history of all your published work, articles or blogs any future ownership challenges can be quickly proven, dismissed, and, with evidence in hand, you can pursue your own challenges. It's affordable & easy. Learn more and sign up here then:

  • Select “Digiprove Now - Files”
  • Select “Obtain Digiprove Certificate of content without uploading any file” and “Auto-calculate digital fingerprint(s) from your content file(s)”
  • Press “Next”
  • Select the file you want to protect from your machine (you will see a series of numbers and text which is a “digital fingerprint.”
  • Enter a description if required
  • Press “Digiprove”
  • You will see a confirmation screen. Your file has been "Digiproved"



by Len & Judy Garrison

Do you tell stories visually, only with words, or both? Can an image tell a complete story? Enter our monthly competition and show us why images are so very important to your storytelling.

Send your entries to Len & Judy at Seeing Southern prior to the 15th of each month. Please submit high-resolution images and include the location of the shot, what is happening, and any backstory. Inspire us; inspire the world with splendid capture. Winners announced here every month. 



by Betsi Hill

LIP SMACKING FOODIE TOURS hosts award-winning food tours with visits of up to 5 of the top restaurants on the Strip or Downtown. Guests are VIP with immediate seat-ing, 3-4 signature dishes at every restaurant and a guided walking tour between stops packed with insider information on Las Vegas and the sights along the way.

“Afternoon Culinary Adventures’’
 A casual, afternoon stroll of eating and exploring allows plenty of time for other things that evening. It includes 4 stops that are sure to satisfy each and every palate. Price is $125 per person (includes guide, 12+ signature dishes, and gratuities).

“Downtown Lip Smacking Tour’’
Get to know Vegas’ revitalized downtown bustling with spirit and spunk. This lively, informative outing is 2 ½ hours of eating and exploring in newly revitalized downtown, with visits to the most magnetic, chef-driven restaurants that are all about farm-to-table, seasonally-focused, artisan-crafted fare. Designed for those who want to experience a Vegas dining scene that has reinvented itself with an electrifying, modern flourish. Price is $125 per person (includes guide, 12+ signature dishes, and gratuities).

“Lip Smacking Boozy Brunch”
Start the morning at 10:30 a.m. with the finest sweets and savories, along with uplifting cocktails and mocktails sure to energize, revitalize and leave you ready to take on the world. This 2 ½-hour guided tour, offered on Saturdays and Sundays, offers up everything from dim sum to French pas-tries to luxurious crab Benedict. Price is $149 per person (includes guide, signature brunch dishes, cocktails or mocktails, and gratuities).

URBAN ADVENTURES – For Members with US Audiences

ABOUT: Urban Adventures are for those who want to get away from the tourist crowds and really connect with a city, with a local by their side. The experience can be as short as a couple of hours, or as long as a whole day, but in every case, the Urban Adventures tours take travelers to interesting places to experience local culture and see what makes a place unique.

OPPORTUNITY: Urban Adventures has tours focused on Food, Drink, Beer, Shop-ping, and Active adventures in 97 countries in 163 cities. If you plan to be in one of their locations and are interested in taking a tour with them in exchange for cover-age in an article please contact [email protected] to set up.

Explore Israel with ABRAHAM HOSTELS

Abraham Hostels Have three hostels in three inspiring cities in Israel- Jerusalem, Nazareth and Tel-Aviv as well as tours operating across the region. Offering a truly unique travel experience for travelers from around the world, Abraham Hostels and Tours love hosting travel writers and bloggers to take part in the hostel life and en-joy tours in Israel so they can write and share the experience with their readers.


Looking for journalists who are interested in joining one of the escorted customer group tours (these are on specific departure dates). Fabulous destinations - Switzerland, Spain, Norway and more to choose from.

Things To Bear In Mind:

  • The customer groups target the age 50+ ABC1 demographic, so whilst you (as a writer) do not need to be of a specific age, please bear this in mind. You’ll be traveling with like-minded age 50+ folk.
  • The tours are escorted, with a professional tour manager traveling with the group throughout. This may open up ideas as to pegging the story on the concept of ‘escorted group touring’. (My first time, Benefits of, etc)
  • Rail is a key focus (naturally) of the holiday and preference is given to writers who will highlight the enjoyment of traveling by train as well as the destinations or particular angle that ‘sells-in’ to targeted media
  • Tour dates show the designated departure date and you can view the itinerary typing the URL into the address bar
  • There will be a contribution fee for a companion to travel – varies depending on tour. If of course you choose to take someone with you. You don’t have to, Great Rail Journeys group holidays appeal to solo travelers too. (Traveling solo on a group tour angle?)
  • What's your angle? We can help once we know which tour you have selected, but our approach with this project is to let you pick a tour, find your angle and seek your commission
  • A confirmed commission in writing will be mandatory
  • Print and or online considered
  • Own blog sites will be reviewed, but travel will not be confirmed on purely your own blog (sorry we are not alienating bloggers or discrediting the value of your wonderful blogs, but we’ve put this criteria in place)

It's a really easy process your tour/s and email [email protected] with your pitch and ideas as to which publication/s you would like to approach. Let us explore the opportunity from there. 

Press spaces are limited. So go on…pick, find and seek! If you would like to travel with a group then please let me know by 30 November and we will discuss the details.

VISIT ISLE OF WIGHT is seeking journalists who are able to help promote the island as a premier tourist destination.

To arrange a press visit, please contact Sue Emmerson on 01983 521555 or email [email protected]

Basic Guidelines:

  • Wherever possible, please contact us at least four weeks before your trip
  • Media looking for assistance must fully complete and submit the media request form.
  • Journalists should be prepared to submit a letter of assignment on the publication’s letterhead from their editor indicating intent to publish their feature or article along with a recent copy of the publication they are writing for.
  • Freelance writers need to provide two recently published travel related clippings from an audited outlet, published within the last calendar year, for the request to be considered.
  • While we welcome the opportunity to work with television and film productions, Visit Isle of Wight cannot arrange necessary work visas or filming permits. Film crews must also have public liability insurance to be able to film in many locations on the Island.

In return for our assistance on press visits must be mentioned.

Assistance Visit Isle of Wight may provide:

  • Itinerary suggestions, including accommodation, attractions and ferry travel to the Island.
  • Interview opportunities
  • Event calendar and statistics
  • Images and footage of the Isle of Wight


Visit Isle of Wight can liaise with hotels to try to secure a media rate for travel journalists depending on the publication/s. Offers of complimentary accommodation are usually at the discretion of our partner hotels.
If you are a blogger or vlogger, please contact [email protected] direct with a brief outline of your proposed article. 

Visit Isle of Wight is delighted to support travel journalists who are able to help us to promote the Island as a premier tourist destination. To most effectively meet your editorial, film and photographic needs, we ask that you read the following guidelines and then complete the registration form.

To arrange a press visit, please contact Sue Emmerson on 01983 521555 or email [email protected]

Basic Guidelines:

  • Wherever possible, please contact us at least four weeks before your trip
  • Media looking for assistance must fully complete and submit the media request form.
  • Journalists should be prepared to submit a letter of assignment on the publication’s letterhead from their editor indicating intent to publish their feature or article along with a recent copy of the publication they are writing for.
  • Freelance writers need to provide two recently published travel related clippings from an audited outlet, published within the last calendar year, for the request to be considered.
  • While we welcome the opportunity to work with television and film productions, Visit Isle of Wight cannot arrange necessary work visas or filming permits. Film crews must also have public liability insurance to be able to film in many locations on the Island.
  • In return for our assistance on press visits must be mentioned.
  • Assistance Visit Isle of Wight may provide:
    • Itinerary suggestions, including accommodation, attractions and ferry travel to the Island.
    • Interview opportunities
    • Event calendar and statistics
    • Images and footage of the Isle of Wight


Visit Isle of Wight can liaise with hotels to try to secure a media rate for travel journalists depending on the publication/s. Offers of complimentary accommodation are usually at the discretion of our partner hotels.

If you are a blogger or vlogger, please contact [email protected] direct with a brief outline of your proposed article.

FOODIE NORMANDY  A celebration of Norman cuisine (October) - Recruiting

UK journalists can register their interest in coming on a group press trip in 2018 by emailing: [email protected]


For all UK and Ireland press and media enquiries, contact:
Fran Lambert, Senior Press Officer: [email protected]

For all other press and media enquiries, contact:
Valérie Joannon, Marketing Assistant: [email protected]
Normandy Tourism
14 rue Charles Corbeau
27000 Évreux
Tel: +33 (0)2 32 33 79 00

VISIT LAGUNA BEACH is happy to assist with story ideas, information and recommendations, as well as coordinating suggested itineraries. Please be aware that all arrangements provided through Visit Laguna Beach and its partners are subject to availability and the interest of each partner.

Please allow at least 5-6 weeks advance notice for media hosting and itinerary assistance. Blackout periods may be experienced throughout the year, in which a press rate may be suggested, especially for hotel accommodations. If you cannot provide the minimum advanced notice, we will assist you as much as possible and may refer you directly to our partners where appropriate.

Polar specialists, CHIMU ADVENTURES will be hosting a limited number of journalists on their Chimu Exclusive Cruises to Antarctica and the Arctic during 2019.

Traveling to Antarctica or the Arctic is an experience you will never forget, but to explore these incredible destinations with a Chimu flavour is even better. At Chimu, we love exploring new and exciting regions that have rarely been visited by most travelers. As such we love hosting our own charters, often with a particular focus, whether that be an environmental, cultural or social one. Often our exclusive departures aim to support not-for-profit organisations such as the McGrath Foundation and Love your Sister, where a portion of berth sales goes to the organization. Chimu Adventures is also a proud supporter of the Mawson's Huts Foundation to help conserve the historic huts at Cape Denison and have had a number of fundraising charters to this region.

We are looking for journalists who can offer us the very best exposure to large audiences in publications which have high domain authorities. We are open to ideas and photo/video skills would be an advantage. Our target audience is generally well-educated, well-travelled, wealthy retirees but also honeymooners and solo travelers.

The trips we would like to take journalists on are as follows:

  • Discover Antarctica with Bumble - 20th February 2019
  • Arctic Unveiled - 23rd June 2019 (this is our inaugural charter to the Arctic)
  • Pristine Antarctica - 22nd November 2019

Please contact me on [email protected] with your proposal if you are interested in this opportunity. Relevant pitches only please.

You Are Invited! HOFSAS HOUSE HOTEL FAMILY announces Media Press FAM Trips

Air Fare Not Included
Please send [email protected]
First Name
Last Name
Publication or Blog
Submit Two Sets of Possible Travel Dates
Details on Any Allergies
If you will be traveling with a dog

Blackout Dates for FAM Trips:

  • October 3, 4, 5, 6, 11, 12, 13, 19, 20, 26, 27
  • November 9, 10, 21, 22, 23, 24
  • December 21 thru 31

FAM Trip Includes:

  • 2 Nights Comp
  • Wine and cheese in room upon arrival
  • Tour of Hotel
  • Continental Breakfast
  • Dinner on your second night
  • 5th Avenue Deli Package for a beach picnic

Background on the Hofsas House:
Owned and operated by the Theis Family, Hofsas House Hotel is within walking distance of everything Carmel has to offer, including a stunning beach, fine restaurants and shops, and wine tasting. It provides peaceful respite and European charm just minutes from Monterey, Pebble Beach, Big Sur and Pacific Grove. The Hofsas House’s 38 spacious, one-of-a-kind rooms boast European comfort and lovely views, not to mention amenities like fireplaces, private balconies, wet bars, kitchens and patios. Large suites provide the perfect stay for newlyweds and everyone else seeking an extra special getaway. Dutch doors in every room allow guests to welcome in the ocean air, and free WiFi enables them to stay connected — if they want to.

The Hofsas House Hotel family works to ensure every visitor's experience is special, striving to offer the highest quality personal services. Consider the continental breakfast, abundant with fresh French Roast coffee, tea, juice, fruit and pastries from a neighborhood bakery, or the personalized concierge services for guests and their families, including their four-legged family members, who are welcome, as well.

For large groups — wedding parties, company meetings, family reunions and others — Hofsas House Hotel offers a spacious room equipped with a fireplace and full kitchen that can comfortably accommodate 40 people. A heated pool, dry saunas, decks with views and off-street parking are on offer as well.

Hofsas House Hotel is located on San Carlos Street, north of Fourth Avenue in Carmel-by-the-Sea. For more information, call (831) 624-2745 or visit




Explanation of Award ** Entry Form ** Past Award Recipients


Once again it's time to submit your entries for the IFWTWA Excellence in Journalism Award. The submission deadline has been extended this year until November 15, so you have a little extra time to submit your best work.

What is the Excellence in Journalism Award? It is IFWTWA's way of recognizing and celebrating the top talent among its members. Articles submitted will be carefully evaluated against a set of standard, objective criteria. The winner will be announced in mid-December and will receive a $500 cash award, an industry-wide press release, an award certificate, and an announcement in Press Pass and on the IFWTWA website.

You can view past winners by logging on to the IFWTWA website; select the Awards tab, and in the drop-down menu select Award Recipients.

To submit your entry, simply log in to the IFWTWA website, select the Awards tab, and in the drop-down menu select Excellence in Journalism Award. Read the Eligibility Criteria, then select Submit Your Article. Complete the submission form, which will take you to the payment form to pay the $15 entry fee. There is no limit to the number of entries you can submit. Once you submit your entry, all you have to do is wait for the announcement of the winner in mid-December.

Someone is going to win. It might as well be you!


by Debbra Dunning Brouillette


Part of the travAlliancemedia network of products, TravelPulse was established in 2002 as a leader in travel industry and destination news. Over the past two years, its mission has broadened to include the best in travel consumer features, tips and advice on the Web.

Go to this link: - write_for_us  and download the Frequently Asked Questions Document (a Word document) under the heading: NEWS TIPS/WRITE FOR US for pitching guidelines. Pay: $40-50 per article

Two contacts are listed at end of the Write for Us document but read through the guidelines before pitching: Jason Leppert, Cruise and cruise travel, [email protected] and Mia Taylor, Sr. Writer,
[email protected].


Stories take the form of “Will Travel for…” and include five locations in a variety of cities/geographic areas on a food theme. They are one-page stories, typically 300 to 500 words and pay $1/word. Eating Well’s brand pillars include Food – Health – Origins.

When pitching, include photos (or links to photos) to show what your location picks look like and include 2-3 relevant clips.

Contact: [email protected]


Curiosity Magazine is for the conscious traveler. It’s for those who want to know–really know–about the world around them. It is possible (even easy) to visit a place, see its sights, eat its food, have a great trip, and miss out entirely on the bigger picture. Curiosity Magazine focuses on that bigger picture; on history, politics, culture, and context.

If you’re interested in writing for or submitting a photo essay to Curiosity Magazine, please send pitches to [email protected]. Include samples to recent work and a bit about your background/where you live. Preference is given to local journalists or those who have spent extensive time in the places they’re covering. They are most interested in travel and food stories that highlight political and social issues as well. Please do not pitch lists or ‘how to spend XX hours/days in XX place’ stories. Find more detailed pitch guidelines here. 


Fodors is open to pitches. Recent requests were for pitches on Charleston, SC; Armenia; Mauritius; Mongolia; French Flanders; Trujillo, Peru; the fjords of New Zealand; & the Bolivian Salt Flats, but others are welcomed. See pitching guidelines here


Flung Magazine is a travel publication that prioritizes quality writing and critical thinking toward the concept of travel. The editor is always looking for long-form essays, as well as pitches for hotel reviews, book reviews with a travel angle, and other reported stories. Contact [email protected] with your pitches.


Pitches for stories about travel and or place in Texas are welcomed. Texas Highways pays a competitive rate (50 cents per word) and offers a portion of expenses. Submission details here


The Bean Magazine, a new publication about coffee and café culture, is seeking freelance writers, specifically in Charleston, SC., Atlanta, GA and Maine, but also anywhere in the U.S. or Canada.

Include links to online samples of your work, a short biography and a brief statement on why you would be a good fit. Stories focused on café culture, the arts and travel are welcomed. Although java-focused, The Bean Magazine’s articles cover more than coffee. Imagine the perfect article to read at 3 p.m. on a Saturday afternoon in a quiet corner of a nice cafe. Exceptional fiction also accepted.

Please send all inquiries regarding freelance writing to [email protected].

All articles should be of general interest. The Bean Magazine is not a trade magazine. Pay rate: 25 cents per word. The Bean retains all rights to the work.

OCTOBER / Falling for Beer

October is always looking for pitches about beer and beer-related miscellany. We want stories about brewers + breweries, food and beer pairings, righteous op-eds, travelogues and more. Think outside the six-pack. Email [email protected].

October is a project devoted to the best beer journalism and supported by ZX Ventures (Ab-Inbev's new venture capital team), and led by Pitchfork's Slow Focus Studio (Condé Nast), Good Beer Hunting, and BeerGraphs. October has brought together a group of people with expertise in publishing, culture, and of course, beer. Its goal is to tell stories at the intersections where beer becomes part of a bigger picture, as it does in both past and present.


By Len & Judy Garrison

Len and Judy are traveling in Greece. They will be back next month with more great tips and tricks to enhance your photography skills.


By Kathleen Walls

New marketplaces are springing up lately. One relatively new one is the Outdoor Bloggers Summit being held this year in Roanoke, VA. It's a two day event with speakers on various subjects like getting press trips, monetizing your site and others. Naturally there are meeting with DMOs for many outdoor friendly places. No press trips with it and it does cost to attend. It's normally $399 which covers two nights at Hotel Roanoke, and all meals and happy hours. I spoke with founder Yoon Kim about the summit and he offered a discount to IFWTWA members. Read on to see more about it.

(Me) I asked if this was the first conference.

(Yoon) This is actually the fourth year.

(Me) Tell a little about why you started it and where you see

(Yoon)I was actually invited to start the conference by Christian Beckwith, who runs another conference called SHIFT. He asked me if I would be interested in starting a media conference at the same time as SHIFT and do some cross-content so media would get exposure to SHIFT. That was 4 years ago.

(Me) Do you include press trips attached?

(Yoon) We've had press trips attached to OBS for the last two years. There are two press trips this year but they are invite only based on selection from the brand sponsors (so the brands invite attendees kind of randomly based on their publications). That said everyone who attends OBS this year is invited to participate at GoFest the day before as a VIP!

(Me) Do you plan to have it in different places each year?

(Yoon) Yes that is the plan!

(Me) Do you welcome freelancers who write about outdoors but don't have their own blog?

(Yoon) Absolutely. The show will is really for all outdoor media, not just bloggers. Probably half of the media attendees are freelancers, editors in print, that sort of thing.

(Me) Is there a certain registration period?

(Yoon) Not really - the show starts October 14th. We have about 20-25 Hotel + Badge tickets left and will sell out before then but it's first come first serve.

(Me) And what gives a writer the best chance of getting accepted or do you vet the applicants?

(Yoon) There's not really an acceptance component but to some extent, it is invite only. That said, journalists within INFWYWA are ideal in terms of our target audience. If you wanted to extend a discount code to that audience - here's one that will get $100 off FRIEND-OF-OBS. That brings the price down to $299 and includes two nights of lodging (at a Four Diamond resort), breakfast and lunch for two days, dinner for one day and two happy hours on top of the world class education that we're offering.

Yoon said if anyone has questions, direct them to [email protected] and you will get answered.

Here’s the link to the Marketplace Events Google document maintained in our Facebook Members Group - feel free to add to it!



by Adrianne Morrison

Our Board of Directors elections are approaching, when some of our officers and directors either resign or re-run and new candidates step-up (the four-year-term positions are staggered so that elections for half the seats take place every other year). We surely need the contributions of both new and existing board members to keep things moving forward.

This year we have four (4) Board Members whose terms are ending: Linda Kissam, Allen Cox, Susan Montgomery and Marc d'Entremont. We also have two (2) additional open Board seats, one of which is reserved for an Associate member. Won't you consider applying for the Board to help shape our organization and its path into the future?

If you are interested in serving the organization as a Board Member, it’s important to know that all Board Members must sign an Expectations Document, which outlines the responsibilities expected of those who serve on the Board. Each Board Member agrees to be actively involved to the fullest extent possible, and to commit to the time and work necessary to serve the best interests of the organization.

If you have the energy and dedication necessary to serve your Association, and can make the time commitment for the work involved, please consider running for the Board of Directors

October 10th
Self-nomination begins

October 31st
Self-nomination closes 

November 15th
Membership voting begins

November 30th
Membership voting ends

December 9th
Announce new Board members

January 14th
Convene new Board of Directors



by Linda Milks

IFWTWA loves making you smarter! We love helping you grow your social media and find ways to add to your travel experiences.

The latest short video posting to the most current IFWTWA YouTube site was shared by Joy Steinberg. Joy’s video is called “Scheduling Tools to Keep you on Track with Social Media.” This is a great piece of information because we are all so busy and yet want to grow our presence on social media.

Rossana Wyatt offers up her viewpoint on the topic “Engagement vs. Numbers.” Rossana teaches classes about social media and is well aware of this complex “creature” of social media.

Last but not least is a very informative piece by John Owens on “How to Break Into Big Magazines.”

These are all relatively new. If you haven’t heard Katy Walls speaking on “Who to Follow on Social Media and other Tips” and Betsy Hill on “Growing Your Social Media”, make sure you see these, too.

Subscribe to our YouTube to see these videos and new ones as they are added.



by Linda Milks

Mary & hubby at Graceland - Oct 2018 IFWTWA Volunteer Spotlight

Mary Lansing-Farah has been chosen as the IFWTWA Volunteer of the Month because of her willingness to assist our group with all things social media, including her posts of member videos to the IFWTWA YouTube site. 

Mary started her blog as a hobby in 2012 while working in the social media field. After a media trip opportunity in 2014, Mary knew she'd found the niche she wanted for her blog, Along Comes Mary, and she began to pursue more food, wine and travel stories which led her to IFWTWA the following year.

Mary is a California native and resides in Los Angeles. She was recently married to her best friend and partner-in-crime (and often blog photographer), Mike. Whenever she can drag him away from his job as an IT technician, Mary and Mike love to travel together and enjoyed a blissful 10-day honeymoon in Maui. They're in the early stages of planning their first international trip together. He votes for Japan. She's hoping for Europe. 

When Mary is not traveling or handling social media for her day job, she loves to be at home with Mike and their two dogs, Hammond and Nova. That time at home often includes sipping a glass of wine on the couch! Mary is a huge music and theatre lover, and you'll often find her at a concert or play.

She's extremely thankful for her IFWTWA colleagues for their continuous support in this ever-evolving travel writing industry.



by Linda Kissam, President

It’s an honor to introduce you to our new members and to give recognition to members having anniversaries this month. We thank our new and anniversary members for including IFWTWA on their pathway to success. Your choice to work hard, think positive, network, and use your member benefits brings you to a whole new level of achievement. 

Way to go! 


 5 years
Todd Montgomery
Joined October 7, 2013
* * * * *

Jane Ammeson 
Stevensville MI, USA

Jana Seitzer
Whiskey + Sunshine
Beeverton, OR, USA 

Diana Becevello
Diana's Healthy Living
Mississaugo, Ontario, Canada

Betina Mariante Cardoro  
Cucina in Prosa
Porto Alegra, Brazil
Sugato Mukherjee 
Kolkata, India
Wendy Van Hatten
Poway, CA, USA



Connect with fellow IFWTWA experts. Join Social Circles on IFWTWA's new website. Meet members in our private Facebook Members Group. Follow and connect for retweets, like member's posts and pages, attend events, and volunteer.


IFWTWA Members-Only Facebook Group
Important and timely information posted daily
Job leads, media trips, help with social media, writing opportunities 

Weekly sharing threads for social media.

Follow - Connect - Retweet

Twitter - IFWTWA 
Twitter - FWT Magazine 
Instagram - IFWTWA
Instagram - FWT Magazine
IFWTWA Facebook
FWT Facebook

We're looking for Regional Directors to plan
Regional Networking & Team Building Events



Work with our Board of Directors and Committees

Beth Graham
Press Pass Editor

IFWTWA | Murrieta, CA | 877-IFWTWA-9