My blog has moved!

You should be automatically redirected in 6 seconds. If not, visit
and update your bookmarks.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

In print and online

It's been a busy period for Terry and I, as you've gathered from the dearth of blog posts these last months. And we've got a lot of work being published to prove it, from a small 'Up Next' piece on Abu Dhabi in the September edition of National Geographic Traveler to half a dozen eco-experiences I wrote about in Rough Guide's Clean Breaks book. I saw our first edition Travellers Northern Italy guidebook for the first time in a bookshop in Dubai the other day too and got exhausted just looking at it - that was a tough trip. Although I know you don't believe me. We've always written for in-flight magazines, but we've been doing a lot more writing for them these past few months. If you're wondering why, it's because it's fun, the editors are lovely, easy to work with and respond to emails, it's nice to submit a story and see it in print a month or two later, and they pay on time. In September's Storytelling issue of Gulf Air's in-flight magazine Gulf Life, we have features on Abu Shady, Syria's last hakawati or professional storyteller and a review on the Sheraton Aleppo; while in the October issue, we have articles on Syrian sculptor Mustafa Ali; a new Damascus jazz duo comprised of opera star Rasha Razk and pianist Ghazwan Zerkli; and funky Zen bar in Damascus with its fabulous views. All feature Terry's gorgeous photos of course, as does a story on Doha Tribeca Film Festival director - he shot the stunning portrait of Amanda Palmer in the lobby of Doha's W hotel. We've got a bunch of stories in this month's issue of Jazeera's in-flight J Mag too, and in MPI's One Plus magazine a profile on Emirati Ali Al Saloom who is changing the way visitors to Abu Dhabi experience the UAE.


Heather on her travels said...

I loved the clean breaks book so much that I've got a review and giveway still running for a little longer

I did wonder how even two well-travelled journalists could cover all the wonderful places in the book - now it seems there were a few more of you - don't tell me the Lebanon Mountain Trail was yours?

Lara Dunston said...

Hi Heather

There were lots of writers on that book - surely there are credits somewhere? I haven't seen the book yet. I wrote 6 pieces, and it was a nightmare of a book to work on actually - there was no brief, for starters, and the two author-editors were probably two of the most inexperienced I've ever worked with.

As far as I know, they definitely didn't go to all the places in the book - it's not really a guidebook as such, rather an inspirational travel book, which is essentially researched from the desk, in the same way that travel magazines and newspaper travel supplements put together top 100 type-lists or best hotel overviews. So, my understanding is that they came up with the list from research and then commissioned various writers to do pieces. They hadn't done any of the ones I wrote.

For instance, we had just stayed at Kangaroo Island, Australia, which they wanted a piece on. As I was originally told it was an eco-themed book, I pitched something focused on the eco-lodge we'd just stayed at, Southern Ocean Lodge, acclaimed as one of Australia's most cutting edge eco-resorts, which is winning awards for its environmental initiatives. They gave me the go ahead but when I submitted it, they decided they wanted the focus on some little B&B I hadn't stayed at, and not on the award-winning resort because it was too expensive. As I refused to write about a place I hadn't stayed at, they were going to rewrite the piece - neither of them had been to KI of course nor the nondescript B&B they wanted me to write about. You can read my original review of SOL on