The second twice-yearly National Travel Writing Month is already in full swing, and it seems fitting to mention it and encourage any budding travel writers out there on this day, which happens to be the birthday of one of the most esteemed and well-read travel writers working today: Paul Theroux. (Just because I like neither him nor his books, as I wrote about in the post Famous Travel Writers I Don’t Like, doesn’t mean he’s neither esteemed nor well-read. Humph.)

Blogger Christine Gilbert came up with the idea of National Travel Writing Month. Modeled partly on the long-running annual National Novel Writing Month, the event focuses on prompting wannabe travel writers to craft one well-written story pitch/query every day, and (this is the key) to send it out to a publication the writers think might be interested in the story.

Ten days leaves you a little behind if this is the first you’re hearing about the challenge. But that’s no reason why you shouldn’t dive in anyway. I know there’s a lot of bloggers out there, writing about their travels, and a lot of writers dreaming of the day they’ll be widely published. This is one of those chances to get encouragement, advice, direction, and inspiration from others with the same dreams. The participants include widely published, very experienced writers, people who are complete beginners, and even me. Some people have written a pile of query letters already, some stalled out at two. Some have received assignments through this challenge, and some their first rejections (which always hurt). Speaking for myself, I am now 4 pitches behind, and will probably not keep up the pace, but am having fun writing down my ideas anyway.

If you’d have fun, too, why not join in?