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“Can’t repeat the past?” We'll see about that. Literary Traveler hits the road with The Great Gatsby in the pilot of a new travel show

Literary Traveler is excited to announce that we are turning our much-loved website into a series for web or television. 

Watch the above video to learn more about us and our vision for Literary Traveler!

We are passionate about the stories we tell, of authors’ lives and places that inspire them. We wish to shoot a 30-minute pilot episode of a literary travel show that will look at the places inextricably connected to writers and their work.

These fascinating stories are presented by visiting places important to the writer and by taking unique journeys related to that writer’s life and inspirations. 

Each episode will include interviews with a mix of regional experts and academic scholars on the writers profiled. We’ll highlight what the places meant for each particular writer and discuss how viewers can visit the locations featured in the program. 

With funding, our pilot episode will go inside F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. An iconic novel of the Jazz Age, with settings that range from Louisville, to Long Island, to NYC, we believe that Gatsby provides the perfect entry point for our literary series.  

What sets us apart?

We are a travel show with a literary and historical edge! Popular travel programs offer presentations of destinations, piquing an interest in exploring the unknown through travel. Documentaries and historical programs often delve into the history of a writer’s life and work, providing an overview. This series would bridge the gap between the two genres. Combining the two provides a more hands-on way to experience a work of literature, surrounded by the sights and sounds that our beloved authors experienced, seeing the world through their eyes, sharing in their journey and in turn seeing your own world and travel experiences in a new way.

This television series is a perfect match for an educated, engaged audience that loves history and literature, but is also excited by travel and exploring new ideas and places.

What makes this different than other Gatsby projects?

This May, Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby film adaptation hits theatres, and we can’t wait to see it. But, we feel that there is more to the experience of literature than the words on the page. We want to go deeper, to see what our favorite authors saw, to hear what they heard, to taste what they tasted. We believe that by fully immersing yourself in an experience of place you can better understand great literature. Fitzgerald is an icon of the 1920s, and The Great Gatsby is predominantly set in New York, where the Jazz Age was at its height. We wish to explore, not only the novel, but how its setting impacts the way we view an era through a literary lens.

F. Scott Fitzgerald in 1920
F. Scott Fitzgerald in 1920

Budget

The budget of our project includes filming, editing, bare-bones travel expenses and Kickstarter fees for our pilot episode. We are trying to remain as economical as possible and will be using the funds only to produce the best and most interesting pilot we can create. In the past, Literary Traveler has been able to operate on a lean budget, using paid staff members, volunteers, and promotional in-kind donations.  We are lucky to have a dedicated, passionate staff willing to work hard on this project for reasons beyond monetary gain. Our website has had much success with projects on a smaller scale and we are very excited to transition this success into a Literary Traveler series.  

Episode Features

While we are currently in pre-production and our finalized shooting schedule and itinerary will not be confirmed until we have solidified our budget, we hope to include many of the places that influenced Fitzgerald and his creation of Gatsby.  These will include, but not be limited to, New York City, The Plaza Hotel, Long Island's Gold Coast, The Seelbach Hotel in Louisville and Fitzgerald's Minnesota.

About Literary Traveler

The series is based on the critically acclaimed online community, LiteraryTraveler.com, which was established in 1998. Literary Traveler is dedicated to the exploration of the literary imagination and its goal is to produce inspiring, informative articles about writers, creative artists, and the places that they lived and traveled. 

Literary Traveler has been featured in The New York Times, USA Today, and The Wall Street Journal. Literary Traveler was launched by the husband and wife team of Francis and Linda McGovern. The McGoverns met while studying English at Suffolk University in Boston. Their love of literature and travel inspired them to create Literary Traveler. The team has grown to include a number of writers and editors who are passionate about literature. 

LiteraryTraveler.com
LiteraryTraveler.com

Rewards

Original Art Print by Jessica Monk
Original Art Print by Jessica Monk
Literary Traveler T-Shirts (two styles available)
Literary Traveler T-Shirts (two styles available)

*Rewards that include content published on LiteraryTraveler.com must be in good taste. We reserve the right to remove content that we feel is inappropriate.

**Advanced access to the finished episode will be provided as soon as it is completed and before it is available to public.

Stay Tuned...

For a sneak peek of our exploration of all things Gatsby, please check out the below teaser video shot at the speakeasy-style bar, Saloon, in Somerville, MA.

Stay updated on this project by following our blog.  We will be providing frequent updates on our progress, different aspects of the project, news, ideas and developments throughout the process!

For more information on Literary Traveler, join our mailing list or check out the following links:

Website  Blog  Twitter  Facebook  Instagram  YouTube

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

The budget of our project includes filming, editing, travel expenses and Kickstarter fees for our pilot episode. In staying on budget, we may have to tailor our shooting locations and may not get to include every location that we would ideally like to, but this will not impact the integrity of the project.

Scheduling problems with sites may impact our plans for the summer shoot, but we will work hard to remain on schedule. Locations of shoots may change and the team members who participate in each location may vary due to scheduling and travel budget, but this will not impact the quality of the project. We are incredibly dedicated to remaining true to Fitzgerald and Gatsby, ultimately producing a pilot that does justice to the classic work.

FAQ

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    GREEN LIGHT - We appreciate your support! As a thank you for helping us to "green light" this project, your name will appear on our Literary Traveler Supporters page.

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    WEST EGG - Receive access to a digital copy of the finished episode before it is available to the general public.**

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    EAST EGG - Just like Gatsby, we have an affinity for shirts and we want to share it with you. Show your support for this project with a Literary Traveler t-shirt. Shirts come in two styles!

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    MYRTLE - One reward just not enough? If you're looking for that something extra, this reward offers the Literary Traveler t-shirt AND access to a digital copy of the finished episode before it is available to the general public.**

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    ZELDA - Many of our supporters are writers themselves. With this reward, your name and a link to your personal blog, website or one social media account (with short description) can appear on a page of LiteraryTraveler.com for one year.*

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    PROGRAM PITCH INCENTIVE - Get ready for your close up -- we want you on the show! We are rallying as we raise funds to bring our concept for a TV show to life. Our first episode focuses on The Great Gatsby, but as you can see from the website, there are so many more stories to be told. This is where you come in. We want your best ideas for episodes. Is there a writer or book that has inspired you? Do you have a connection to a place or great work that you want to share? Do you want to star in an episode of Literary Traveler. If you give $100 or more in the next 5 days, you will be eligible for our "Program Pitch" incentive. The "Program Pitch" incentive enables you to submit a pitch for an episode in 500 words or less. If you have a great pitch, we will invite you to submit a short video pitch of your ideas. At least 5 episodes based on these pitches will be featured in our first two seasons. You will then have the opportunity to help write, produce, and star in the episode based upon your pitch!

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    DAISY - Adorn your home with a limited edition 5x7 original art print by Literary Traveler's own Jessica Monk. The beautiful pen and ink 1920s-style drawing is printed on etching rag and comes displayed in an 8x10 mat.

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    JORDAN - Like Ms. Baker's golf game, does your writing need a leg up? Receive a 45-minute editorial phone consultation with Literary Traveler founder and Francis McGovern, who will personally review your submission and can advise on ways to improve your writing and possible inclusion on literarytraveler.com .

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    NICK - We got a little carried away (Carraway-ed?) with this incentive. Receive a combination of items, including a Literary Traveler T-Shirt, a copy of the 1920s-style art print AND an advance digital copy of the finished episode.**

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    F. SCOTT FITZGERALD - Everyone has a story to tell. Let Literary Traveler will tell yours with a feature interview focusing on your travel or literary passion, hobby or career. In this feature, we will also link to your website, blog, and social media accounts.* (Also includes your choice of t-shirt or print AND access to digital copy of finished episode**)

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    THE GREAT GATSBY - Associate Producer credit (Also includes your choice of t-shirt OR print AND access to digital copy of finished episode**)

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    THE CANON - For passionate Gatsby enthusiasts, we are offering an opportunity to spend the day on location with Literary Traveler during one day of shooting at your choice of one of our shooting locations. For a generous donation of $3,000, accompany us on a day of filming in Louisville, Long Island, New York City, or perhaps St. Paul, Minnesota.* Spend the day with the Literary Traveler team, listening in as we talk to literary and regional experts, exploring a variety of sites of importance to Fitzgerald, and being a part of our creative process. Join us on our literary explorations, making it a travel experience all your own. End the day at dinner with the Literary Traveler team, talking about literature and the future of the television series. With this generous donation, you will also receive an Associate Producer credit on the pilot episode, advanced access to a digital copy of the finished episode, and a Literary Traveler t-shirt. *You will have your choice from a finalized list of shooting locations. Transportation to and from location is not provided.

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Funding period

- (30 days)