2021 November Featured Journalist of the Month: Victor Block

Victor chaired the Freelance Council and served on the Board of Directors, was Co-editor of The Travel Writer for 10 years (when it was a monthly print publication mailed to members), and won a President’s Cup in 1990 “For meritorious service to SATW.”

Victor’s travel features are distributed by two national syndicates to about 100 newspapers throughout the United States and printed in a number of other individual newspapers, and posters on several popular travel websites. These outlets distribute them via social media (Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn, Substack, Pinterest, FourSquare, etc.) and he has his own presence on major social media platforms.

His stories have won numerous awards from SATW, NATJA, and the North American Mature Publishers Association. Victor was named Travel Writer of the Year by the Maryland Office of Tourism and the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism.

1. What got you into travel writing?
Living in Washington, DC, I covered the White House, Executive Government agencies, and Congress for a number of publications for years. When I grew tired of that, I decided to do something much more fun. And I love to travel.

2. What’s the most challenging part of being a travel journalist for you?
At this time of shrinking newspapers, finding outlets for stories.

3. What is one thing [equipment or personal item] you can’t go without on the road?
My wife Fyllis Hockman, also a member of NATJA. Also, two cameras.

4. What’s your most unusual and/or memorable travel experience?
Hard to pin down. The unusual things I’ve eaten around the world. Memorable: Meeting people in other countries (I’ve been to nearly 80), learning about their cultures, and realizing that despite all of the strife taking place, the vast majority of people on Earth have much more in common than their differences.

5. How did you learn about NATJA and why did you join?
I learned about NATJA from travel writer friends who became members. They touted the benefits of membership.

6. What is the best piece of advice you could give to a rookie travel journalist?
1. Marry someone rich. 2. Always write the truth. 3. Be imaginative in seeking outlets for your stories, as things are changing constantly.

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