These are a few travel writing and generic writing terms for those who are interested. This is an excerpt from my book, “The Definitive Guide to Travel Writing”. If there are terms you feel should be added, please feel free to leave them in the comment section to help others.
Assignment – An article or story assigned to you by an editor.
Byline – Your name. Not all publications assign bylined articles. You really want a bylined article.
Clip – A published sample of your work. It can be a photocopy or a scanned digital copy. This is also called a “tear sheet.”
Comp – Sometimes writers on assignment get compensated or reduced rates on lodging, attractions, and meals. Be sure to check with your publication’s guidelines before accepting comps. Some newspapers and magazines will not accept “comped” trips. Also referred to as a press trip, media trip, or junket.
Copyright – A copyright is your right of ownership for anything you write. It can be formally copyrighted at the US Copyright Office. See www.copyright.gov
Credits – A list of your published articles or works.
CVB – Convention and Visitor’s Bureau. It is a great source of official information for a destination, city, or town. Not all towns have a CVB, but will have a Chamber of Commerce that may assist with tourism information.
Deadline – This is the last possible moment you are allowed to turn in an article.
Kill fee – This is a pre-negotiated fee paid if you are assigned an article and the editor doesn’t use it. It can be 25-100% or a set amount. Be sure to have this in your contract.
On Spec – This is short for “on speculation.” An editor may respond to a query accepting the article on spec. This means you write the article with no guarantee that it will be printed.
Payment – Contracts state the monetary terms usually as payment on publication or as payment on acceptance. It is preferable to receive payment on acceptance. You will be paid sooner, if at all.
Press trip – This is a research or familiarization(fam) trip sponsored by a tourism board or public relations company. There are group and individual trips. Most group trips include transportation, accommodations, meals, and activities. Individual trips usually do not include transportation. Be advised: Not all publications accept articles generated from press trips. Check writer’s guidelines. Press trips are not free vacations and include very little free time.
PR – This stands for public relations. A PR company may represent various clients in the travel and tourism industry.
Query – Your pitch of an article to an editor. This is how you get assignments. If a publication states that it wants postal queries only, then do not send an email query. Although, I don’t know who is still accepting snail mail, but larger publications will use this method as a filter.
Reprint – Selling an article over and over. You can sell the same article to non-competing publications if you retain your copyrights.
Rights – This should be negotiated in your contract. Never sell all rights unless the money is significant. Even then, I do not recommend this route. This term in itself could be an entire post, as there are rights that determine just print, they designate certain countries, electronic rights, etc.
SASE – Self-addressed stamped envelope.
Sidebar – An addition to an article containing tips or bulleted items (Ex. If You Go).
Simultaneous Submission – The act of submitting the same article pitch to more than one editor.
Word count – An editor may assign a 1,500 word article. This is your word count and should be closely followed because editors leave specific room in publications for certain article lengths.
Writer’s guidelines – These are rules of submission a publication wants writers to follow. Each publication has its own writer’s guidelines. It is advisable to adhere to these rules if you remotely want a chance of getting a response.
Know some other terms that may be helpful to someone? Please leave them in the comment section to ensure good writer Karma.