Correspondence Course


In 2004 Rob McFarland was an IT consultant who had never been published. Now he’s one of Australia’s leading travel writers, with six awards including Travel Writer of the Year.

He’s proof that you don’t need to have studied journalism or worked on a newspaper to break into travel writing.

Can’t attend one of Rob’s highly-acclaimed travel writing workshops? Don’t worry – his correspondence course covers even more material and has twice the opportunities for feedback but can be done at your own pace from home.

Join students who’ve been published in newspapers and magazines all over the world.

“I found the handbook to be incredibly detailed and helpful. I like how it included tips on things that students wouldn’t even know they needed to know!” Allana C


Module 1 – Planning and writing – this module concentrates on writing: what is good travel writing, the writing process, how to grab the reader’s attention, how to structure your story, how to close a feature, how to edit your story and a comprehensive writing toolkit specifically geared to travel. It also covers the things you need to do before you travel and while you’re in a destination that will enable to you write a feature when you get home.

Module 1 – Q & A – an opportunity to get any questions about Module 1 answered via email, phone or Skype.

Writing exercise – a chance to put your newfound skills into practice by writing and submitting a travel story. You’ll get detailed feedback on the things that worked well plus suggestions for improvement.

Module 2 – Pitching and working – this module covers possible outlets for your story, how to pitch to editors, how to operate as a freelancer, how to market yourself plus tips on travel photography.

Module 2 – Q & A – a chance to get any questions about Module 2 answered.

Post-course writing exercise – once you’ve completed the course, you’ll have another opportunity to have a story critiqued. No time limit – whenever you’re ready.

Post-course support – you’ll join an alumni mailing list where you’ll be kept informed about writing opportunities and regular catch-ups. You can also join a dedicated Facebook group where you can network with other course participants and share in each other’s successes.

“I really appreciate your quick responses and positive, constructive feedback.” Cheryl R


Students have gone on to be published in National Geographic Traveller, Sydney Morning Herald, The Australian, Sun-Herald, Sunday Telegraph, Herald Sun, Courier Mail, International Traveller, Australian Geographic Outdoor, Get Lost, Get Up & Go, Out & About With Kids, Great Walks, OUTthere, Destinations, Signature, Backpacker Essentials, Wild and KarryOn.

Do I need writing experience?

The course assumes no prior writing experience. All you need is a passion for travel and a desire to communicate that with others.

“It’s amazing – you have really changed the way that I write!” Liliana B

Writing credentials

Rob is a regular contributor to the Sydney Morning Herald, Sunday Telegraph, The Australian, GQ, Qantas and Luxury Travel magazines among others.

He is a member of the Australian Society of Travel Writers (ASTW) and has been a judge for the Gourmet Traveller, Hotel Management and International Traveller Hotel awards.

He’s won six awards including ASTW Travel Writer of the Year. Click here for full bio.

Teaching credentials

Rob has lectured at Sydney University, taught at TAFE and worked as a corporate trainer for the learning and development specialist TP3.

He’s a qualified trainer with a Certificate IV in Training and Assessment and has extensive experience of developing and delivering training programs.

“Thank you! You’ve made me feel excited about writing and opened my eyes as to how I can do what I have a passion for.” Liliana B


Delivery: Modules are emailed as workbooks.
Duration: At your own pace – no deadline for completion.
Cost: $399

How to sign up

To register your interest, click here or email rob(at)robmcfarland(dot)org


“The course structure was great – the material was logical, informative and easy to put into practise.” Annabel U

“It was a really good course. It was thorough but still easy enough to follow for someone without any writing experience. It enabled me to remain working full-time and complete it at my own pace. ” Jacqueline D

“This course is invaluable as it is not only informative and practical, it actually makes me more aware of the direction I want to take. ” Karen T

“Thoroughly enjoyed the course and given I work and study full time, completing the course by correspondence suited me better.” Allana C

“The feedback provided was extremely thorough and useful, and your availability to speak over Skype greatly appreciated.” Annabel U

“I liked the format of the course, it was reader friendly. I found it encouraging and helpful to have the extracts from other stories too. The toolkit was a great help,” Kate B

“The first module included activities and ways to help kick-start the writing process, which were very helpful.” Joslyn E

“Module 2 provided me with the tips I needed to get my story read by the right people and that’s really valuable knowledge (and good of you to share with us!)” Allana C

“The course was easy to follow and comprehensive. It explained the step by step writing process that I feel I can use not only in travel writing but in blogs and other writing.” Karen T


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