Travel Writers & Photographers Conference

August 10 - 13, 2017 - Corte Madera, CA

The Premier Conference in the World for Travel Writers and Photographers!

Registration: $650 ($550 for Alumni)


2017 Pre-Conference Classes

Don George - Travel Writing in Point Reyes
Wed., August 9, 2017, 9:00 am - 6:00 pm

Robert Holmes - Travel Photography in Point Reyes
Wed., August 9, 2017, 9:00 am - 6:00 pm


2017 Faculty


A Letter from Conference Chair Don George

Dear travel writers and photographers,

Every summer some magic happens at Book Passage. For four days in August, some of the best travel writers, editors, photographers, publishers, and agents in the world convene in Corte Madera to share the art and heart of the work they love at the Book Passage Travel Writers & Photographers Conference. 

Through workshops, panels, and evening events, with ample free time for informal conversation on the piazza, the conference offers participants a rich mix of information and inspiration; we cover how to shape a compelling travel story, how to shoot a transporting travel photo, how to successfully pitch an editor, how to maximize social media, how to jumpstart your writing and photography, how to leap to the next level, and much, much more.

For me this conference is a dream come true, where some of the most talented professionals in the world generously share everything they’ve learned with equally impassioned writers and photographers at all levels of their craft, from beginning to advanced. And every year this collaboration changes lives. I know because every year at least half a dozen people tell me so on the final day of the conference, and another half dozen tell me so by email over the ensuing months. 

This summer marks the 25th anniversary of the conference, and some potent magic is in store. I warmly invite you to join us for four exhilarating days this summer. They may just change your life.

Don George
Conference Co-Founder and Chair


Take a Look Back at Our 2016 Conference

2016 Conference Information

2016 Schedule
Conference Contests!
Conference Days
Private Consultations

The Book Passage Travel Writers & Photographers Conference has an extraordinary, international reputation among publishers, editors, and writers. Now in its 25th year, this four-day Conference offers an array of writing and photography workshops in the morning, a full afternoon of panels and discussions, and evening faculty presentations. The faculty includes publishers, magazine editors, photographers, travel essayists, and more. There are hours of informal interaction between faculty and participants during lunch and in discussions that often last late into the evening.

Questions or concerns? Contact Kathryn Petrocelli at 800-999-7909, ext. 239, or email 


2016 Featured Sponsors

Author and documentary photographer Paola Gianturco on Book Passage:

"I owe a huge karmic debt to Book Passage! Without Book Passage, I'd be sitting in my house twiddling my thumbs instead of preparing to introduce my fifth book, Grandmother Power! Here are just some of the ways Book Passage has helped me in my writing career over the past 15 years:

Books and maps: All of the materials that helped me find my way to document women's lives in 55 countries

Workshops: How to find an agent, how to write a book proposal, how to understand social media

Travel Writers & Photographers Conference: As a participant: Nevada Wier helped edit images for my first book submission; As a faculty member: New insights about reporting and responsibility

Speaking platform and signings: I've introduced all of my books at Book Passage!"
Visit Paola's website >>

Press Coverage of the Conference

Success Stories
  • Faculty member Larry Habegger reports: "We’ve just published a student’s “first published article.” Also, with our August 2015 issue of Tales To Go, we're promoting it this way: "Travel writers are made, not born. This issue features four great stories fresh from the latest Book Passage Travel Writers’ Conference, held every August in Corte Madera, CA."
  • Alumnus (and subsequnt faculty member) Michael Shapiro's article "Discovering Dylan Thomas's Wales" was recently published in the Washington Post.
  • Alumna Laurie McAndish King writes: "

    The Book Passage Travel Writers and Photographers Conferences I’ve attended continue to pay big dividends! My travel writing and photography have both improved because I participated in the conferences; here are the latest results:

    My travel memoir, Lost, Kidnapped, Eaten Alive! True Stories from a Curious Traveler, won the gold award for Best Travel Book in the BATW Best Travel Writing and Photography Awards. (The awards ceremony was at Book Passage in February.) Judge Christine Delsol, a former travel editor at the San Francisco Chronicle, said, “Presented with wry humor, these stories are so much fun… And yet there is a lesson in each story, never forced but always felt… King gets it right." And I’m delighted that two of my photos won awards in the same contest—a silver and an honorable mention. The honorable Robert Holmes was judge. I’m also thrilled to have won the Planet Earth Gold Award for 2017, for best article or essay for planet earth! Judges Jeff Burnside (Society of Environmental Journalists) and Natalie Lefevre (Ethical Traveler) said, “Laurie McAndish King opens her piece with a heartbreaking moment that clearly struck her deeply and, in turn, deeply struck the judges as well. It was her first glance at a ‘sad' elephant leaning against a fence in a sanctuary after a land mine years earlier had profoundly deformed a leg… King’s powerful piece on saving wild elephants is a moment you should not miss—even if it hurts.” I’m especially proud of the Planet Earth award, because the silver place winner is a Lowell Thomas Travel Journalist of the Year and the bronze place winner’s credits include articles for The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times. In other words, you’ve helped me produce world-class work. Here’s a big Thank You to you and the rest of the conference organizers, staff and instructors—you’ve made a difference in my life, and I appreciate it!"

  • Alumna Diane Susan Petty recently had four articles published in the San Francisco Chronicle, one of the latest being 5 Places: Hideouts for mobster madness
  • Alumna Kristin Zibell recently had success with two stories that she workshopped at the 2011 conference:  "Color within the Lines," a story about finding compassion through volunteering in Kolkata will be published in the Bay Area Travel Writer's Anthology. Her other story "Letting Go on the Ganges" won a SOLAS award from Traveler's Tales in the Travel and Healing category.
  • Conference alumna Janis Cooke Newman recently had a piece on Sicily published in the New York Times! In Sicily, a Step Back in Time (The New York Times, September 26, 2010)
  • Conference alumna April Orcutt wrote to us to let us know about her recent publications. Her stories have won three prestigious awards including: Lowell Thomas Award (personal comment), Visit California Eureka! Travel Writing Award (best newspaper feature), and U.S. Travel's IPW Travel Writing Award (best U.S. travel destination article). 
Photo Highlights from the Conference

Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

What People Are Saying

"Last night was about more than books to me. It was a about life, inspiration, a dream that began in 2006, when I attended my first event (the Travel Writers' and Photographers' Confence) at Book Passage, met Linda, and hoped, one day, that I would be able to write a book of my own. Thank you for the opportunity to celebrate this dream-come-true. You have given a great gift to me and my family during a very special time in our lives — something we will always remember." - author Elaine Bond 

"The owners of Book Passage, Elaine and Bill Petrocelli, and events coordinator Kathryn Petrocelli, hosted us [Bay Area Travel Writers (BATW)] in the main events area of their superb bookstore, which you probably know is the home of internationally acclaimed Travel Writers and Photographers annual August Conference. Try and participate in this event if you have not yet done so."
- Diane LeBow, President emerita, Bay Area Travel Writers, Inc.

"I attended the Book Passage Travel Writers & Photographers Conference back in 2001. I placed second in the photographer's contest. Since then I have released an adventure book which Book Passage has carried, Bulldust in my Bra: An American Couple's Working Season in the Outback. I'm about to release the second children's book in a series of ag educational books. It is being promoted nationwide."
Rebecca Long Chaney

"Thank you so much for putting together such a special conference. It was educational, enriching and fortifying to my mind and spirit. I hope to make it again next year."
Lila Martin 

"Coming to the Conference for the first time this year [2005] I was struck not just by the talent and passion (which are the norm at writing workshops) but by the friendliness and lack of pretentiousness (which aren't). Everyone—students as well as faculty—seemed well-read, well-travelled, curious, engaged, open. If good Americans go to Paris when they die, good American travel writers go to Corte Madera."
Thomas Swick, Travel Editor, South Florida Sun-Sentinel

"Before signing up for the Book Passage Travel Writers & Photographers Conference, I had never published a travel article. After soaking up information from the conference faculty, I went home and applied what I'd learned. Thanks to Book Passage, I've written more than 100 articles and 2 travel memoirs, one of which became a bestseller."
Elliot Hester, Syndicated Columnist, Author of Plane Insanity and Adventures of a Continental Drifter

"Don George, John Flinn, Larry Habegger, Linda Watanabe McFerrin, Lynn Ferrin, Robert Holmes and other instructors at the Conference taught me skills I used in my stories and photographs which have been published in the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, San Francisco Chronicle Magazine, Denver Post, Montreal Gazette, other newspapers and three anthologies (including the cover photos of one book). But even if I had never sold a story, the Conference was great fun, and I made friendships that will last a lifetime."
April Orcutt, Travel Writer