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THE GVI WRITING ACADEMY

So you want to be a travel writer? Maybe you already are. The world of freelance travel writing can be as difficult to navigate as the seven seas, and as full of challenges. But for the thinkers, dreamers, travellers, nomads, and storytellers, the adventure is impossible to resist. It’s time to sharpen your pencil and tell the world your stories.

Get ready to grow your portfolio, improve your writing, and kickstart your freelance travel writing career in the online space.

Not only will you improve as a travel writer, but you will also learn to write responsibly about people, places, and sustainable development issues. GVI’s stance on ethicality guides all our training, including the way we work with words.

This 12-week writing internship is designed for anyone with a love for writing and travel, ready to break into the online content writing scene. From students to professional writers, career-breakers and over 50s, this online travel writing program will enable you to enhance your writing skillset from anywhere in the world.

As a Writing Academy intern, you’ll be guided through a 12-week training program that consists of four content modules. These provide training in writing for brands, search engine optimisation for writers, travel writing, and freelancing essentials.

You’ll be personally mentored by a team of professional writers and editors as you grow as a writer.

The program runs over 12 weeks, and you should expect to spend roughly 5–7 hours per week completing self-learning exercises, honing your writing skills, responding to and implementing edits, and learning how to stand out in the digital space.

Acceptance into the GVI Writing Academy is subject to selection criteria.

The next start date is 23 September 2019. Applications are accepted until 16 September 2019.

This program is suited to:

  • wordsmiths who hope to make their dream of being a travel writer a reality
  • digital nomads who are keen to share their travel experiences with others
  • keen researchers who love hunting down fascinating ideas
  • progressive thinkers who are passionate about inspiring social change through words.

Grow and develop as a writer as you learn and practise essential skills in online travel writing.

“Writing for a brand” immerses you in a brand tone so you understand how to camouflage your words to fit a publication. “SEO for writers” teaches you how to optimise your content for search engines. “Travel writing” teaches you style, structure and creativity, and “Freelancer essentials” is packed with insider tips for surviving in your dream career.

Each comprehensive module builds on the last one. By the end of the program, you’ll be ready to embark on a career as a travel writer in the online space.

Module 1: Writing for a brand

  • Learn about the competitive world of online writing
  • Learn the concepts of brand and branding
  • Learn to immerse yourself in, and write for, brands
  • Define your own brand and tone as a writer
  • Work with brand guides

Module 2: SEO for writers

  • Learn the basics of search engine optimisation (SEO)
  • Learn how SEO impacts the role of a writer
  • Learn to optimise content for search engines
  • Learn keyword research

Module 3: Travel writing

  • Learn about travel writing as a career
  • Learn different styles of travel writing (including travel guides and first-person features)
  • Learn creative techniques to enhance your travel writing
  • Learn structure, style, and self-editing
  • Learn how to write ethically and responsibly about cultures and places

Module 4: Freelancer essentials

  • Learn tips and tricks for surviving as a freelancer
  • Debunk travel writing myths
  • Discover what employers look for in a freelance writer
  • Learn about pitching stories to publications
  • Learn to optimise your content for social media

You’ll be expected to:

  • commit to the 12-week program
  • meet weekly deadlines
  • spend roughly 5–7 hours per week completing exercises, writing articles, responding to edits, and working through our training pack in your own time
  • write at least two articles per module for the duration of the 12-week program
  • implement two rounds of edits, based on your development editor’s feedback, within a week of the original deadline
  • engage respectfully with development editors and your fellow writers in the online classroom.

Admission and IT requirements

Language level: Participants must have native-level proficiency in written English. Acceptance into the program is contingent upon applicants completing a language proficiency test after application.

Education level: Participants should be completing or have completed a tertiary qualification, or able to demonstrate sufficient experience.

IT requirements: The program is run through the Google Classroom platform. Participants are required to be computer literate, have a stable internet connection, and be familiar with the full Google Suite (including Google Classroom, Docs, Sheets, Slides, Forms, and Drive)

GVI Writing Academy: Terms & Conditions

What will you receive?

  • You’ll gain hands-on experience in writing engaging articles on travel and international development.
  • You’ll have access to online training on how to use keywords to ensure your articles rank top on search engines.
  • You’ll be trained in writing for brands and publications.
  • You will receive personal feedback and mentoring from our editorial team.
  • You will receive two rounds of in-depth edits per article submitted. After your third draft, your piece may be selected for publication on the GVI website, allowing you to build an online portfolio of published content by a reputable, and highly ranked international brand.
  • You will get a digital certificate of completion (contingent upon completion of the program in full).
  • At the end of the program, you’ll receive a written testimonial from a development editor (contingent upon completion of the program in full).

Feedback and support will only be available between 9:00 and 17:30 SAST (GMT+2).

Completing the internship in full means:

  • Participants must complete all assigned work on deadline. This includes eight exercises, three quizzes, and eight assignments.
  • The full course must be completed within 13 weeks of the course start date.
  • Second and third drafts of articles must be resubmitted within one week of the development editor returning feedback to the participant.

You’ll be expected to:

  • commit to the 12-week program
  • meet weekly writing deadlines
  • spend roughly 5–7 hours per week writing exercises and assignments and working through our training pack in your own time
  • write at least two articles per month, on deadline, for the duration of the 12-week program
  • edit and engage with articles based on the editorial team’s weekly feedback, and hand in revised drafts within one week of feedback being supplied.

If a compulsory article or exercise is not handed in on deadline, there is no guarantee that you will receive an edit. This means you may not fulfil the criteria for completion of the course, and will therefore not receive a certificate of completion or a testimonial.

Any inappropriate or unprofessional communication will not be tolerated. If a student uses abusive, inappropriate or disrespectful behaviour towards fellow participants, they will be muted in all Google Classroom chat spaces. Disrespectful behaviour and language towards editors will result in editors not providing feedback on a piece of work, following one written warning. This could result in incomplete coursework. Any work that is handed in incomplete will be sent back without an edit.

Publication and content rights

GVI reserves the exclusive right to publish all content produced by GVI writing interns for the GVI Writing Academy. All content produced as part of the Writing Academy belongs to GVI. This content may not be republished or resold, under any circumstances.

Participants may, however, publish an extract of published articles produced through the Writing Academy (less than 30% of an article) on a personal blog or website, with a link back to the full article on the GVI website. Please inform the editorial team should you wish to use any content you have produced with GVI in this way.

If a participant is found to have published 30% or more of an article produced through the Writing Academy, they will receive one written warning. Further transgressions will result in immediate termination of their candidacy with the Writing Academy, and the piece potentially being removed from the GVI website.

Plagiarism

Plagiarism will not be tolerated under any circumstances. If a learner is found to be plagiarising, they will receive a written warning. If a learner plagiarises a second time, their candidacy with the Writing Academy will be immediately terminated.

Plagiarism refers to taking someone else’s work and passing it off as your own. This includes GVI content. It also refers to self-plagiarism, which is re-using content you have already handed in. All content must be written in your own words.

Participation

Interns are required to submit all work by the stipulated deadlines. They are also required to keep in communication with the editorial team through Google Classroom and email. If a learner has failed to respond at least once to communication from GVI in two weeks, they will be considered to have deserted the program. It is the responsibility of participants to ensure they have sufficient time to participate in the program.

Deadlines

Each module is allocated three weeks. Each exercise and assignment has a mandatory deadline. For assignments requiring multiple drafts, the learner has one week to complete and hand in the new draft after feedback is provided.

Requests for extensions must be made to the GVI editorial team, and a valid reason must be provided. The team will review your request in line with available editorial resources, and you must agree to a new deadline.

Extensions are only granted in select circumstances, and, depending on the reason, they may result in the learner forfeiting their certificate of completion if they go over the program’s allocated time. Learners must apply for extensions at least two working days before a deadline.

Admission requirements

Language level: Participants must have native-level proficiency in written English. Acceptance into the program is contingent upon applicants completing a language proficiency test.

Education level: Participants should be completing or have completed a tertiary qualification, or be able to demonstrate sufficient experience.

Due to limited spaces in the program, placement into the program is contingent upon sign-off by the GVI Writing Academy editorial team.

Get Started
12 Weeks For
$ 2,000

Download our program brochures

How does the program work?

Interns log in to a digital classroom space, where all learning materials are made available module by module. Modules take the form of a Google Slide presentation and are accompanied by additional resource documents. Three weeks are allocated to each module, for self-study of the material, as well as completion of quizzes and exercises.

There are two compulsory writing assignments and one optional writing assignment for each module. The assignments take the form of written articles, which are submitted to the editorial team weekly. Each assignment focuses on specific learning objectives within the program.

The development editors work with you to polish and refine your articles. You will make corrections and hand in three drafts of each assignment. For those who excel, articles are published online so that you can build up an online portfolio with a reputable international brand. The third optional assignment is an opportunity to grow your portfolio further.

You will be expected to generate your own story ideas several times throughout the program. Assignments will be based on these ideas.

This course aims to kickstart your career as a freelance writer, with practical work, robust teaching, and personal mentorship. You will also learn to write ethically about sustainable development issues and responsible travel. Learning this sensitivity will set you apart as a travel writer.

Who do you work with?

Our team of development editors works with you to meet your writing goals during the program. They provide two rounds of detailed and constructive feedback on your assignments as you work towards implementing the program objectives and growing as a writer. You and the development editors share a goal: to create great work.

Other GVI subject matter experts, such as SEO specialists, content writers, and brand strategists, share their professional insights during the program. You are also encouraged to interact with your fellow writers in the Google Classroom space as you read each other’s published work and learn from the group.

What will you receive?
  • You’ll gain hands-on experience in writing engaging articles on travel and international development.
  • You’ll have access to online training on how to use keywords to ensure your articles rank top on search engines.
  • You’ll be trained in writing for brands and publications.
  • You will receive personal feedback and mentoring from our editorial team.
  • You will receive two rounds of in-depth edits per article submitted. After your third draft, your piece may be selected for publication on the GVI website, allowing you to build an online portfolio of published content by a reputable, and highly ranked international brand.
  • You will get a digital certificate of completion (contingent upon completion of the program in full).
  • At the end of the program, you’ll receive a written testimonial from a development editor (contingent upon completion of the program in full).
Who should apply?

Apply if you:

  • have native-level proficiency in written English (all applicants must successfully complete an admissions test)
  • aspire to a career in freelance travel writing, freelance writing, or professional online content writing of any kind
  • have completed, or are in the process of completing a tertiary education, or can demonstrate suitable experience
  • have some writing experience
  • have a passion for ethics
  • are prepared to commit to a 12-week program
  • have access to a reliable internet connection.  

“How do you feel about the time you spent in the GVI Writing Academy?

Wholly positive. It was a valuable and rewarding experience working with Kate-Lyn and Tarryn. From the weekly exercises and assignments, I learnt useful style tips and how to write to meet deadlines. It was fun writing a range of travel guides, feature articles and thought leadership pieces.

Are there any highlights, in terms of lessons learned, or personal/professional development?

The SEO module was insightful and will hopefully boost my online presence. Writing to deadlines for four months has really honed my voice and focus, allowing me the space to discover what I’d like to write more about in the future.

How would you rate/describe the support you received during the program?

I felt extremely supported throughout the process and received encouraging feedback. Kate-Lyn gave detailed and prompt feedback on every task, and challenged me to write more clearly and examine my perspective.

How do you think the GVI Writing Academy has impacted you as a writer?

I’ve learnt how to retain my voice while writing for a brand, create engaging travel features and use SEO to my advantage. I feel more confident striking out as a freelance writer now, armed with useful tips and resources.

What do you think future participants should know or expect from the program?

Be prepared to write! I put aside a day each week, but you certainly get out what you put in. Throughout the process, think about where you’re headed and try to shape your voice. That said, don’t be afraid to experiment with different styles and topics.”

Lindsey Chynoweth

Writing Academy Alumni

“During the final four months of 2018, I have participated in the GVI Writing Academy. Going into this new experience I hoped to learn a thing or two about travel writing, to learn more about the places that GVI works in, and to improve my own writing.

The GVI Writing Academy helped me to do this, and so much more.

Throughout the 16 weeks of the Academy, I wrote numerous stories about things I had never expected to write, such as trekking in Nepal, and how to dive responsibly in coral reefs. I have been overwhelmed with new information, and the opportunity to write so frequently has made me so much more confident than I was before beginning the Academy. I have been required to research and find information by myself and translate it into on-brand content optimised for search engines, which is an aspect of writing online that I had never before considered. The Academy has therefore provided me with a deeper respect and appreciation of the work that goes into writing for an online publication with its own strong identity and reputation.

The most important aspect, however, of the GVI Writing Academy for me is the incredible support, help and criticism that I have received from my mentor, Kate-Lyn Moore. As my mentor, she has edited my work and given feedback in such detail that it has changed the way I think about writing for the better. All of the help she has given me is truly what has transformed my work from good to great through these four months. I have felt supported and comfortable in asking for help, and never felt as though I was being negatively criticised, but that Kate-Lyn was pointing out areas in need of improvement, in order to bring out the best in my writing. For this, I am hugely thankful.

The GVI Writing Academy has been such an amazing experience and I highly recommend it to anybody with a passion for writing and travel. It has really shown me how two of my favourite things can be amalgamated in order to create content that people want to read. Thank you!”

Millija Elizabeth Ørgaard Laszkiewicz

Writing Academy Alumni