DMU Journalism student becomes international travel writer.


Persistent journalism student Emma Guy broke her way into the travel industry after 43 rejections in seven days.

On a placement at independent television company ZIGZAG Productions, at the end of her first year at De Montfort University, Emma did something utterly reckless. She booked a plane ticket to Australia.

She spent all her savings from part time jobs since the age of 16 on the flight – without telling anyone.

Later that day, she drew up drew up travel feature proposals and hit ‘send’, to over 60 publications. Seven days later she had 43 rejections, 16 unanswered replies and one response. That response would crush her. The editor of Timeless Travel Magazine didn’t like her proposal.

“MELBOURNE’S: MUSTS” was not good enough…and the editor was absolutely right.

Emma said: “The proposal that I sent off was OK, but that’s all it was, it didn’t fit the style of Timeless, it was then that I realised how important it is to study the brief of these publications before going freelance’ she said.

But then she read the bottom of the email from Timeless Travel: ” Would you be willing to investigate the Art scene in Melbourne instead?”

There was only one catch. She had never written a feature before.

With her determined attitude and self-belief that she could fulfil her dream, Emma replied, saying she would begin setting up interviews ready for her departure.

During her trip she interviewed four renowned artists such as Sonia Payes and the various talents from Blender Studios, but after four months she found out that her article had been dropped.

‘I was crushed, but that’s just the industry, “ said Emma.

Finishing her second year, she returned to the part time job that had made her adventure possible, feeling like an utter failure.

Little did she know that exactly a year after she booked her ticket to OZ she received another email from Timeless Travel. Not only would her Melbourne piece be featured in Timeless Travel’s Autumn 2017 edition, she got a 4-page spread in the international magazine.

“When I finally saw it, it felt real, and suddenly everything that I did was worth it, all the sacrifices, being laughed at for being too young, being rejected 43 times, it was worth it. Keep rejecting me. Please.”

Emma is currently in her final year at DMU, aiming to refine her investigative journalist skills, but will take time off in early 2018 for her latest adventure: freelancing through Thailand. This time, telling her loved ones, who have come to accept her pursuit of living life at full throttle.


  1. Well done Emma. Persistence pays off. Never doubt your abilities!

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