PRESS PASS Newsletter

Volume 37, Issue 04, April 2019

A publication of the International Food, Wine & Travel Writers Assoc.
Distributed to IFWTWA Members Only.

In this issue...

From the Editorial Desk....

By Chris Cutler

 Logo large light blue FWT letters with smaller dark blue Food Wine Travel Magazine

You may have noticed by now that Food, Wine, Travel Magazine’s website has a different look. Many thanks to Mary Chong for working on both the new logo and website. Some of the changes we’ve made are some that Beth and I discussed last fall, and others are ones that the assistant editors and editorial board weighed in on. Please note that we are still working on the website, and we will have updated features as we progress.

The new website magazine will have monthly columns—Food, Wine/Spirits, Destinations, & Travel Tips. If you are interested in submitting a 250-350-word column (1-2 photos), please contact me: [email protected]

In response to several queries about resurrecting a digital magazine, I’m pleased to announce that we will publish a digital edition via ISSUU quarterly on a trial basis starting in July or August of this year. Each of the issues will have a general theme. In next month’s Press Pass, I’ll publish submission guidelines and deadlines for the first issue. I would like to advise that the theme of the first digital issue will be Destinations. If you would like to propose an article, please send me an email ([email protected]).

We are planning to do a crowd-sourced article for the magazine to be posted by mid-April and want your input!

Title: Travel writers Share Their Favorite Weekend Getaways

Please send your entry describing a favorite weekend getaway (especially one you’d recommend during spring and summer) in no more than 200 words, along with a photo (sized to 1000 pixels wide) with appropriate copyright info to me ([email protected]) by Monday, April 8.

Photography On The Go

By Judy and Len Garrison

Smart phone camera taking photo, Bryce Canyon, Utah, USANo matter where you go, people have their iPhones or Androids raised high, capturing that all-important shot. What you do afterwards might be the difference between getting noticed or being ignored. If you shoot with a phone, these apps will make your images pop.

Here’s eight of our favorite apps that allow us to choose the story we want to tell. And it will be the next best thing to sitting down at the computer for an afternoon of editing.

1. ProCam
It’s much like a DSLR and if you know those controls, you’ll know exactly what ProCam will do. And if not, it’s relatively simple to learn and use. Worth the cost.
Highlights: adjustment of ISO and shutter speed, on-screen histogram, shoots in RAW or TIFF, plus more.
Cost: $5.99

2. Snapseed
Truly, one of our favorites. It’s quick and it’s powerful
Highlights: a full range of DSLR editing tools including crop, straighten, healing, sharpen and more.
Cost: FREE (the best part)

It’s a filter app (over 130) that changes photos from the ordinary to the extraordinary. If you’re a little wild, this will accommodate, too.
Cost: FREE but it will ask for a subscription fee; bypass and use free.

4. Foodie
It’s all things food (Thanks Betsi for the recommendation). It’s a quick fix for drab food photos. In fact, you can use it for other shots as well
Highlights: brightness and flashlight feature for low light
Cost: FREE

Hands taking photo of who roasted chicken with smartphone

5. TouchRetouch
This gets rid of all those objects in your images that just shouldn’t be there. Removes power lines and everything distracting. One touch fixes as well as a clone tool.
Cost: $1.99

6. Enlight
For the artist in the photographer. This app offers filters, gradients, b/w, sketch effects, double exposure, photo montages, clone tool and more. It even lets you turn a photo into a drawing. A fun app.
Cost: $3.99 (worth the cost)

7. The Photographer’s Ephemeris
This can be handy when you’re traveling. It helps you plan your outdoor photography shoot by knowing what light will be available. No matter where you are on earth, you’ll know the exact time for sunrise or sunset.
Cost: $9.99

8. Fused
This app enables you to blend photos creating a double exposure effect. It makes creativity easy.
Cost: FREE

Conference 2019 News

Open-face vegetarian tamale with dark red chili sauce & beans

How much fun will a cooking class be on the second evening of the IFWTWA annual conference this year in Santa Fe, NewMexico!  All members will have the opportunity to attend a cooking class at the Santa Fe School of Cooking and have dinner there afterward.

For more information, go to 2019 IFWTWA Conference. Details will follow shortly.

Writing Tips: Active or Passive? That is the Question

By Chris Cutler 

Young boy holding Passive - Active signpost drawn on a chalkboardI have been teaching memoir to a group of seniors for a number of years, and one of the women overuses passive voice in everything she writes even though I continually tell her to write in active voice. More than once she has asked me why it makes a difference if both voices are grammatically correct. Some of you who have contributed to the magazine lately may have also received a note from me asking you to please convert your passive voice to active.

What is the difference between active and passive voice?  Why does voice matter?  Allow me to briefly explain.

Consider these two simple sentences:

  • Mary bought tickets to the concert.
  • The tickets to the concert were bought by Mary. 

The sentences say the same thing, but one sentence is active voice and one is passive voice. 

In active voice, the subject is performing the action. In passive voice, the focus switches from the subject to the object of its action, and the person performing the action becomes an object of a preposition. In passive voice, the subject of the sentence is the recipient of the action. 

The verb “to be” and a past participle indicate passive voice. In addition, another indicator of passive voice is that the subject of the sentence is not performing the action. 

Passive voice is not necessarily wrong, but it weakens your writing. It can make your sentences appear vague and unclear. 


It’s easy to change passive voice to active. First, identify the performer of the action. Often, the performer is the object of a prepositional phrase that follows the verb. Once you identify the performer, make it the subject of the sentence by moving it before the verb. 

Stay Active.

By the way, the student I mentioned at the top of this article is 87-years old. I think I’ll have a hard time changing her at this point.

Small Meetups Can Work

By Kathleen Walls

Hotel conference room with men & women engaged in conversations

I just attended a small meetup, Southeastern Tourism Meetup, in Daytona, Florida today. There are pros and cons in attending these kinds of affairs. On the con side, is it's not a huge affair so you won't meet hundreds of DMOs. No pre or post trips or even an overnight hotel are offered.

But the pros outweigh the cons easily especially if you are within driving distance. No charges to attend. Registration is simpler and if you are a newbie probably you have a better chance of acceptance. However you do need to provide clips and credential to be invited. 

Southeastern Tourism had destinations as far away as Greenbriar in West Virginia and Florida locals like Daytona, Jacksonville, West Volusia County, Palm Coast, Sarasota, Martin County, and Ocala/Marion County. Neighboring Georgia was well represented with Woodstock, Peachtree City, Jekyll Island Club Hotel, and Alpine Helen-White County. Arkansas had both the state representative and Rogers, AR. Tennessee had both Rock City and Clarksville. Huntsville, Mobile, and OWA, a new-to-me resort that sounds a lot like Branson, represented Alabama. Biltmore was there to remind us "that glorious day, it was yesterday at Biltmore." Louisiana and Mississippi were represented by Vicksburg and New Orleans Plantation countr

Woman holding microphone addressing group to gather for presentationWe met at the Daytona Hilton. Since that's only about two hours from my house and it was a beautiful sunny day, the drive was no hardship. There were about 25 DMOs in attendance. I met with some new friends and reconnected with some old ones. Since the meetup was from 11 to 2, I wondered how we could meet with everyone. Pineapple Public Relations handled the arrangements and did a wonderful job. It went very smoothly. The destinations had table set around the perimeter and our lunch tables were set in the middle of a very nice meeting space. The lunch was done as a round table setup. Each of us in the media was assigned a place. Room was left at each table for the DMOs who rotated with each course.

At our table we were joined by three destinations who each told us a bit about their area. With the rotation we met with nine destinations this way. There was about an hour prior to the lunch were we moved from destination to destination table and learned what they had to offer while we told them what we liked to write about. As we visited and shared information, we enjoyed a lovely tomato, mozzarella cheese on a bed of lettuce salad, tasty ravioli with green beans and carrot, and for dessert a slice of scrumptious chocolate cake.

I came away with a promised lodging at OWA, a decision to add Clarksville to an upcoming trip. One destination that is planning a group press trip is putting me on its list. More detailed arrangements set with three destinations I am going to be visiting next month. Invitations from many destinations to keep them in mind for future trips. Touched base with many old friends.

I would say that was a day well spent. Wouldn’t you?

New on the Blog

By Deirdre Michalski

8 Ways to Save Money on Your Summer Holiday ~ by Andrew Schrage, Money Chasers Editor in Chief

Rest and relaxation aren’t the only things you get from vacation. If you aren’t careful, you could end up with a lot of debt. A recent survey by Learn Vest of vacation-going Americans found 74% went into debt to bankroll their getaway, spending $1,108 on average for a single trip. Of those surveyed, most spent about 10% of their annual income on one trip, and most of them did not budget for the trip in advance.

Saving money in jar for travel vacation with passport & camera

The good news is that vacations don’t have to be such an enormous expense. There are ways to rein in spending and still have the vacation of your dreams. Check out the following eight ways to do so:

1. Determine Your Budget
Before you can start planning your vacation, you have to come up with a budget. If you don’t want to use debt to fund the holiday, you’ll have to determine how much free money you have. To do that, add up all of your monthly bills and expenses. Whatever amount of money is left over is the amount you can spend on your vacation.

It won’t be an exact number but if you figure out how much you want to spend beforehand, planning it can save time and money. Prior planning also eliminates the need to rack up debt. It's harder to resist that five-star hotel if you’ve spent time researching the property.

... continued on the blog 

Please take a moment to share IFWTWA's blog posts. 
If you'd like to be featured on the blog, contact Deirdre.

Board Notes

By Linda Kissam

Desktop computer & cup of coffee & saucer on desk infront of window with view of lake

2019 Conference
The 2019 Conference is coming together nicely. The committee, chaired by Linda Milks and co-chaired by Allen Cox is being held in New Mexico at the La Fonda November 11-14. The culinary panel, a HUGE hit the past two years is once again being chaired by our Vice President, Andrew Harris. Cori Solomon is planning the wine programs. There will be press trips to apply for.

As you may know, this event is our main fundraiser besides membership dues. It determines future dues, programs and events.

Besides executing the necessary contracts with the hotel, the conference staff is now rounding up the exhibitors. This is the profit center for the event. Please think about who we have good working relationships with or places in states close to New Mexico that you could provide an introduction or names we may contact for potential sponsors or exhibitors. Any suggestions are very much appreciated. Contact Linda Milks [email protected]

IFWTWA has not had an attorney review and approve our bylaws for many years. We will begin the review process beginning in April with our in house legal counsel reviewing our current bylaws for appropriate content according to California State law. The entire board of directors will be involved in this process right alongside our attorney. The finished product will be sent to all members for formal approval. If you have any comments for the Board to consider, please contact Linda Kissam prior to April 15, 2019 at [email protected]

Social Media
All of our social media (SM) platforms gained in numbers this month, the first time that has happened in some time. While the gains were small, hopefully this is a sign of an upward trajectory that we can maintain. If you would like to help out with our social media efforts, please contact chair Tom Westerhof at [email protected]

Food Wine Travel Magazine
We have had a number of new articles over the last month, which is the good news. The article on being a wine tourist and the Valentine's Day crowdsource article were the top 2 since Feb. 1.

Those two articles also had the most shares via social media. Our Instagram interaction was up 73 % this month when we post. Robyn Nowell has volunteered to post daily for FWT on IG.

Chris Cutler has formed an editorial board for the magazine to help with deciding themes, accepting articles/photos and such. Members are Debbra Brouilette, Dave Drotar, Mary Farah, Dave Nershi, and Jan Smith. Debbra is going to take over the next crowdsource article for Chris, and she, Jan, and Irene remain assistant editors.

Big Blend Radio
Adrianne Morrison is no longer chairing the Big Blend program. Adrianne took over the program a while back as a personal favor to me. Since then, her other duties with IFWTWA have expanded greatly. Adrianne had asked to be replace by March of this year to concentrate on her efforts with IT issues.

While no member stepped up to replace her, Big Blend show host Lisa Smith said she would take over. Pretty much everything stays the same. You can still book a radio segment or be invited to be a guest on a tourism panel. Remember it’s FREE to you, as a member benefit. Go here to explore how you can book a segment. If you would like to help with just the marketing of the Big Blend program to members, please contact Linda Kissam at [email protected]. This is a 30-minute obligation per week.

Story Opportunities

By Debbra Dunning Brouillette

Woman writing in journal with laptop nearby


Hemispheres is the onboard magazine for United Airlines. The magazine is published by Ink and reaches more than 11 million readers every month.

Contact: Executive Editor Nicholas DeRenzo ([email protected]) or International Editor, Chris Wright ([email protected]
How to pitch: Writer’s guidelines outline the sections open to freelancers –
What they pay: $1/word

Southwest: The Magazine

Southwest is the official inflight magazine of SouthWest airlines, attracting more than 6.3 million readers each month.

Contact: [email protected]
How to pitch: Geared to the business traveller, the magazine features profiles, business stories, personal essays and sports features, among others. Most of their travel writing is done in house, but writers are welcome to pitch ideas. Read the guidelines and look at the editorial calendar for themes:
What they pay: $1/word


enRoute is the bilingual (English/French) inflight magazine of Air Canada, read by over 1 million travelers a month. Past issues of the magazine are available for review on the website.

Contact: E-mail editorial queries to [email protected]
How to pitch:
What they pay: $1/word (Canadian)

Delta Sky

Delta Sky is the online magazine for Delta Sky Airlines.
Contact: [email protected]
How to pitch:
What they pay: $1/word


Departures is an American quarterly lifestyle is available only to holders of the American Express. Pitch travel stories, front of book pieces and unusual, quirky round-ups.
Contact: Features editor, Heather Halberstadt (heather.halber[email protected])
What they pay: $2/word

Association Recognitions

Closeup of partners clapping hands

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! 


10 years
Christopher Davies
Wine Country International Magazine

10 years
Roger Paige
The Focused Traveler

* * * * *


Leigh Cort
Leigh Cort Publicity

IFWTWA Resources: Ways to Connect with Experts and Members

Friends toasting with wine glasses

Connect with fellow IFWTWA experts. Join Forums & create Social Circles on IFWTWA's website. Meet members in our private Facebook Members Group. Keep up-to-date and connect for retweets, "like" member's posts and follow each other, attend events, and volunteer to work with the board of directors and committees. Interact with your colleagues to enhance and grow your professional goals.  

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Chris Cutler
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IFWTWA | Murrieta, CA | 877-IFWTWA-9