I was in the Finger Lakes Region of New York last week for a meeting of the Midwest Travel Writers Association, an organization of Midwest-based professionals specializing in travel journalism and promotion. We had the opportunity to explore the many things there are to do there–much more about that in future posts.
I’m happy to announce that I received the group’s Mark Twain Award for travel book for Off The Beaten Page: The Best Trips for Lit Lovers, Book Clubs and Girls on Getaways. The Mark Twain Awards are given each spring to members for excellence in travel writing and photography. I feel very honored to receive the award from this group of excellent and well-traveled writers. Judges called the Off The Beaten Page, “Quirky and surprising. A nice twist on several nonfiction genres of guidebooks.”
For those of you who don’t know about Off The Beaten Page, hey, get with it– it’s available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, IPG (the publisher/distributor) and you can order it from any independent bookstore and it makes a great gift. The book was inspired by “field trips” with my own book clubs, and offers a literary look at fifteen U.S. destinations—including the Twin Cities—as seen through the works of famous writers. ideal for anyone eager to mix their love of travel and quality time with friends or family with their desire for meaningful cultural experiences.
Off the Beaten Page includes:
– Ideas for simple literary field trips close to home
– Practical advice for planning stress-free group travel
– Thoughtful essays describing each destination’s literary heritage and attractions – Suggested three-day itineraries that include plenty of lit-inspired excursions—such as Santa Monica through the eyes of noir crime master Raymond Chandler; a Devil in the White City view of Chicago in the Gilded Age; and an exploration of Edith Wharton’s elite Newport, Rhode Island; and look at Minneapolis/St. Paul through the eyes of authors such as F. Scott Fitzgerald and Tim O’Brien—while blending in “beyond the book” experiences such as Broadway shows, Segway tours, and kayaking.
Library Journal called Off The Beaten Page, “A bookworm’s dream,” saying, “This title is an inspiring, unique read. Book clubs and the literary-minded will love it for the travel ideas, book lists, and delightful commentary on each city’s history. Highly recommended.”
The purpose of this blog is to keep sharing ideas for literary travel, with a lot of other travel and reading ideas thrown in. Plus, I love to share readers’ ideas and their own literary travel experiences so please send ’em in. And stay tuned for my Finger Lakes travel ideas.