Saturday, 30 August 2008

Lonely Planet Guidebooks on Nokia Mobiles - Bookseller article

They tried to sell city guidebook content that was downloadable to Sony PSP... which never seemed like the most sensible idea for the backpackers they were aimed at – the self-same savvy backpackers that wouldn’t feel overly comfortable pouring over their pricey gaming gear in some of the world’s less salubrious transport hubs. Even the side streets off Milano central station feel like too dicey a place for whipping out your PSP for some necessary map scouring ... and now comes news of a mobile tie in with Nokia. This is something I'm feel far more comfortable trying and relying on in those sticking logistically- challenging travelling moments.

Stephen Palmer, c.e.o of Lonely Planet Publications, commented to "This deal makes Lonely Planet content available regardless of time or place. It will help answer all those questions which travellers frequently have, such as 'What should I explore today?', or 'Where should I go for dinner tonight?'"

Victoria Arnstein reported the full story at Read it here.
Founded in 1997, the latest version of was launched in January 2007. The website provides daily news and comment about the book business. Read more!

Friday, 22 August 2008

Travel Books to Buy - North Korea, Beijing and Shanghai

Flipping through the latest Rugged magazine , I came across two travel books that I'll soon be adding to my collection. If you like your books to satisfy your curiosity for the world a little more than the Do this and Die, Best of, Blue List and 1001 Tourist Traps fraternity do, I'd suggest taking a look at these too.

North Korean Posters The David Heather Collection
Seldom seen by the outside world, North Korea’s propaganda art colours the cities and countryside with vibrant images of brave soldiers, happy and well-fed peasants, and a heroic and compassionate leader. More than 250 of these posters are collected here for the first time.
ISBN 978-3-7913-3967-2
Order from Prestel
£12.99/US$ 25.00


Morning Sun
Andreas Korner, Gao Yi: Beijing-Shanghai
This project illuminates the different facets of two Chinese cities in flux – Shanghai and Peking, both on a path to becoming booming megacities. The authors keep track of personal perceptions, enjoy chance encounters and discover life on the fringes, all of which give an insight into the by-products of social change in China.(English and German text)
ISBN: 978- 3939181101
Available from Bildschoene Bucher
€35 Read more!

Saturday, 16 August 2008

THE GUARDIAN - Summer Holiday Travel Writing Competition

Scribes at the ready...

...competition details here. Read more!

LEAVE THE HANGER! New travel job added

Read more!

Travellers' Tales - Jonathan Lorie Interview plus Three Classes Announced

Travellers' Tales run creative master classes and on-location weekends which are perfect for aspiring and improving travel writers alike. Three classes were announced this week, running in November 2008.

The editor of Wanderlust magazine takes a class on Travel Writing for Magazines, while Steve Watkins of BBC Books fame runs through the practicalities and technicalities of Travel Photography for Magazines. Both master classes run this November 17th - 19th in London.

Also, back by popular demand, there's a Marrakech Weekender complete with riad accommodation and sultry, spicy inspiration of the Moroccan kind. Steve Watkins is the expert photographer on hand and Jonathan Lorie is the experienced voice of travel magazines. This course will be held from November 21st to 24th.

Jonathan Lorie, when asked how much of a traveller writer's success depends upon their raw talent and how much comes from hard work, determination and practice, said,

"You don't need to be a genius to produce publishable articles for the travel press. You need to know how to go about writing a structuring an article, and what editors are looking for. Those are things that can be taught, and we see people on our courses - beginners even - make amazing leaps with the right input from experienced professionals like our tutors."

"Writing a travel book is a bigger undertaking and more demanding. You do need more of a feel for words and for storytelling. But again, we find there are plenty of people with ideas and talent who just need to know how to go about things - how to channel their natural creativity properly - that can take you a long way."

I also asked Jonathan if, having spent the last few years running the creative classes, he believes that there's a traveller writer in every traveller. To which he replied...

"Most travellers love to share their stories and experiences, and this lends itself naturally to travel writing. The enthusiasm is the basis for great stories! But writing for the page is different from telling a story out loud - it needs more structure and style - so travellers need to learn to be writers as well. That's where Travellers' Tales can help aspiring writers save a lot of time and frustration."

And in terms of success stories?

"We regularly hear success stories from our past students getting articles published around the world. We do give people the tools to do the job : then it comes down to how much time and energy they put into making a go of it."

To book a Travel Writing master class with Jonathan and his expert tutors, visit the Travellers' Tales website. .

There's also more at yesterday's post on Written Roads - the travel writers' resource. Read more!

Sunday, 10 August 2008

Henry Rollins Spoken Word - an engaging, enraging traveller

Sandwagon skidded across mud to the Indoor Stage at the Summer Sundae weekend fringe festival, (De Montfort Hall, Leicester, UK), where a two thousand-strong audience was treated to a Rollins' spoken word performance of the highest order.

America's outspoken singer-songwriter, actor, writer and prolific traveller took us on a journey through US politics and then across the world to, amongst other places, Cambodia. Rollins shared details of the hideous history of torture, death and human debris he witnessed there, in the rooms of Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum (previously Security Prison 21), and also at the edges of a Killing Field.

Littered with laughs yet rising and flowing from one despicable global catastrophe to the next, Rollins' brutally honest and powerful performance steeled me to travel for the sake of seeing, as he has, and for telling, as he does, to combat ignorance. It was a powerful reminder that the myriad opportunities that we have to travel shouldn't be wasted in fun, games and total self-indulgence.

He closed his set by asking the audience to make each others acquaintance, then to exchange email addresses and experiences - because lasting change can only be achieved through global citizenship, not via the next newly elected Prime Minister or President, as too many of us still believe.

Books based on Rollins' travel journals include:
Do I Come Here Often? (1998); Smile, You're Traveling(2000)

I recommend catching a performance and making up your own mind about Rollins' style and the substance of his performances.

Henry Rollins Spoken Word Tour 2008 dates:
Aug 10 - Glee Club - Birmingham, UK
Aug 11 - Glee Club - Cardiff, UK
Aug 12 - IndigO2 London, UK
Aug 13 - Komedia Brighton, UK
Aug 14 - Pukkelop - Hasselt, Belgium
Aug 15 - Biddinghuizen - Lowlands, The Netherlands
Aug 16 - Highfield Festival - Erfurt, Germany
Aug 18 - The Gilded Balloon 'Edinburgh Festival' (22.45-00.00)- Edinburgh, UK
Aug 19 - The Gilded Balloon 'Edinburgh Festival' (22.45-00.00)- Edinburgh, UK
Aug 20 - The Gilded Balloon 'Edinburgh Festival' (22.45-00.00)- Edinburgh, UK
Aug 21 - The Gilded Balloon 'Edinburgh Festival' (22.45-00.00)- Edinburgh, UK
Aug 22 - The Gilded Balloon 'Edinburgh Festival' (22.45-00.00)- Edinburgh, UK
Aug 23 - Leeds Festival (13.30)- Leeds, UK
Aug 24 - The Gilded Balloon 'Edinburgh Festival' (22.45-00.00)- Edinburgh, UK
Aug 24 - Reading Festival (13.30) - Reading, UK
Aug 25 - The Gilded Balloon 'Edinburgh Festival' (22.45-00.00)- Edinburgh, UK
Aug 27 - Junction 2 - Cambridge, UK
Aug 28 - Academy - Oxford, UK
Aug 29 - The Assembly in Leamington Spa
Aug 30 - Academy - Liverpool, IL
Aug 31 - Stradbally Manor 'Electric Picnic' - Portlaoise, Ireland

Recountdown Tour 2008

Henry’s hitting the road with a brand new election time talking tour. See Rollins' official website for dates and details. Read more!

Friday, 8 August 2008

Written Road - a real resource for aspiring travel writers

Pie in the sky or obtainable over time?

Aspiring travel writers the world over may well be asking themselves the same question over and over again as rejection emails hit their inbox, or worst still, they hear only silence.

Have faith! SandWagon definitely falls in the 'obtainable over time' camp. Commissions and pay cheques may come painfully slowly as you straight, but there's no harm in building up industry contacts, confidence and writing experience over a few years. And this is the viewpoint I'll wax on about in my new weekly guest writing slot for Written Road - the inside scoop on the travel publishing world.

I'll be joining the blog's editors and two co-writers on a mission to bolster the confidence of other would-be article and guidebook writers. I've also charged myself with offering a insight into the UK travel publishing scene.

There's no denying that travel writing is a competitive field but it's also one in which networks such as Written Road can benefit the majority. Never underestimate the power of recommendations, shared contacts and experiences.

Visit Written Road every Friday for The Pipes' Post Read more!