Award-winning travel-writer Nick Thorpe and national newspaper journalist Jean West are hosting an online workshop in travel writing during the Covid-19 lockdown.

Newhaven-based Nick Thorpe has been a travel writer for more than 20 years and in his first book Eight Men and a Duck he voyaged to Easter Island by experimental reed raft.

His Scottish boat-hitching odyssey Adrift in Caledonia, later serialised as BBC Radio 4’s Book of the Week, taught him the magic of learning to re-see the landscapes on our doorsteps while his most recent book, Urban Worrier, tracks his adventures in the “lost art of letting go”.

Jean West, from Portobello, has written for all of the British nationals from The Times and Sunday Times to The Mail on Sunday and The Guardian and for magazines including Marie Claire, the Big Issue and Geographical. Working across news and features, the arts and culture, politics, health and campaigning journalism, she has turned her hand to most reporting – but travel is a passion.

Travel writers Jean West and Nick Thorpe

Nick said: “A travel writing workshop in lockdown might sound like an impossibility – but what if you could strip the veil of familiarity from your own backyard and learn to describe it with all the freshness of a visitor from a foreign land?”

Jean added: “This quirky half-day workshop will lean on decades of global reporting experience and put it to work on our Edinburgh doorstep – where we’ve unearthed some of our best stories.”

The Zoom workshop on Saturday (23 May 2020) at 2pm will guide participants on how to re-animate familiar landscapes, to wander locked-down neighbourhoods with new eyes, and provide writing and pitching tips and how to shape a first draft ready for sharing with others. Another workshop on the same theme is scheduled for Thursday 25 June 2020. Further details on both workshops are here

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