Why Do a Writing Workshop in Japan With Global Hobo?
Do you have itchy feet? Are you having a mini quarter-life crisis, or feeling stuck in a rut trying to figure out what the hell to do with your life? Do you want to hone your writing skills and learn how to make money from them?
In our extremely professional opinion, a month in Japan doing one of our writing and language workshops tends to be the perfect antidote to such feelings! There, you’ll live in family-owned guesthouses with a bunch of other like-minded solo travellers (aka your future best mates); will attend daily classes on writing, pitching and starting a business; and will spend all your free time immersing yourself in the quaintness, chaos and beauty of Japanese culture.
If this sounds up your alley, you may just be the perfect candidate. And if you’re still not convinced, we’ve lined up a hoard of reasons to further tickle your fancy.
We support aspiring writers and promote diversity
At Global Hobo, we want to build an accessible community around storytelling, dismantle the hierarchies that exist within the media industry and showcase a diverse range of voices. As such, our writers and teachers come from a variety of backgrounds – culturally, socially and professionally – and our course material reflects this. Though we’re an Australian company, you don’t need to be Australian to do the program – we’ve had students from Hong Kong, Bolivia, India, Norway, Israel and more. If you come from somewhere where it’s difficult to get a travel visa, we’ll make every effort to help you, and if English is not your first language, that’s not a problem either.
During our programs (and also outside of them), we pour immense energy into helping new and emerging writers develop their writing. We’re always keen to take students with little to no experience, and firmly believe that institutionalised education is not necessarily for everyone. So don’t be afraid to apply if the only thing you’ve ever written is a scribble of graffiti on a toilet door or a spot of poetry in a secret diary somewhere.
Conversely, if you were born with a pen in your hand and have been writing stories since birth, or you’re in the midst of a degree, we’d love to have you too! Most universities in Australia have accredited our workshops as going towards journalism or communications degrees as part of the work-integrated learning program. Everyone is welcome and we cater to all levels and abilities.
We’re passionate about sustainable, conscious and meaningful travel
Wherever possible, we strive to travel sustainably. In Japan, this means living in family-owned guesthouses, trying to minimise our waste in a plastic-dominated society and supporting Japanese-owned businesses. It also means promoting sustainable travel practices, making people aware of the need to dismantle neo-colonialist attitudes to travel and sharing more than one narrative about a place. This is particularly important in Japan when the majority of Western-dominated media that comes out makes blanket generalisations about the perceived homogeneity of its society, its attitudes to sex and its culture.
An important part of this is learning and (at least having a solid crack at) speaking Japanese – an integral course component that will add so much to the way you interact with people! We’ll also be throwing a plastic-free picnic and clothes swap (open to the public), and are open to any other ideas you greenies want to throw at us.
We’re big on inclusivity and accessibility, and are confident we can adapt our accommodation, course structure and course delivery to suit your needs or abilities. In the past, we’ve had students who are wheelchair users, we’ve had students who are deaf, we’ve had students who have learning disabilities, and we’ve had students with very high levels of anxiety – so if you’d like more information, or would like to be put in touch with a former student to find out what they thought of the program, just swing us a message! We’d also love to have as much input from you as possible as to how we can make our programs as accessible as possible for everyone.
We get off the beaten track
There’s a bunch of touristy stuff in Japan – and in Tokyo especially – that’s popular for a reason, but there’s so much outside of that too! Some of our teaching staff are local, and others have been living in Tokyo for years as travel writers, so we’ll be encouraging you to get as off the beaten path as possible. In fact, this summer, we’ll be heading out to an alpine village in Nagano for two weeks to see the Japanese countryside. Its alpine lakes, carpets of wildflowers and emerald green forests are going to knock your socks off.
We’re independent and we self-monetise
No matter where in media you look, publications and newspapers and magazines are drowning in their attempts to stay afloat. Most glossies you read as a child have folded, and practically every publication you try to access online has either a pay wall, distracting pop-ups begging you to throw a few dollars their way, or a plethora of terrible advertorial. The Australian government has merged the arts department with the transport department too, so funding options have seriously shrunken, unless we’re keen to start trying to run workshops aboard a Sydney tram (lol).
It’s no small feat attempting to stay afloat in these times, but our writing workshops help us to do so. We reckon we’ve crafted a killer program, and we have an outstanding line-up of teaching staff. Not only are we heavily stimulating the local economies of the countries we travel in, but with the profits, we are also able to pay our writers and self-fund the website, which allows us to remain strictly independent – a fact that has never been more important with Murdoch owning more than 80 percent of Australia’s newspapers.
Applications for our next season of writing workshops are now open!