2017 Faculty (Travel Writers & Photographers Conference)

2017 Faculty (Many More To Be Announced!)

Jim Benning

Jim Benning
Cofounder of the online travel magazine and blog, World Hum, which he oversaw it at Travel Channel. His writing has appeared in National Geographic Adventure, Men’s Journal, Playboy, The Washington Post, and the Boston Globe. His essay "Lust in Translation" was shortlisted in The Best American Travel Writing Anthology. "World Hum" won the gold Lowell Thomas Award for best internet travel site, and was named a Webby Honoree in the writing category. Benning is the former deputy travel editor of BBC.com and former editor-in-chief of SKYE on AOL.

Tim Cahill
Author of many travel books, including A Wolverine Is Eating My LegJaguars Ripped My Flesh, and Pass the Butterworms. He is an editor at large for Outside magazine, and his work appears in National Geographic Adventure, the New York Times Book Review, and other national publications. Cahill also wrote the introduction for The Best Travel Writing, Volume 9: True Stories from Around the World

Phil Cousineau
For the past 25 years he has enjoyed his life-long dream of being a full-time freelance writer, filmmaker, and sports coach. An expert on mythology and film and the "hero journey" structure of screenplays, Cousineau consults on writing projects of all kinds. His latest book is The Book of Roads.
Karen Joy Fowler
New York Times bestselling author of six novels and three short story collections including The Jane Austen Book Club and Sister Noon, a finalist for the 2001 PEN/Faulkner Award for fiction. She is the co-founder of the James Tiptree, Jr. Award and the current president of the Clarion Foundation.

Shannon Leone Fowler
A marine biologist, Fowler has taught marine ecology in the Bahamas and Galapagos, led a university course on killer whales in the San Juan islands, spent a number of seasons as marine mammal biologist onboard ships in both the Arctic and Antarctic, taught graduate students field techniques while studying Weddell seals on the Ross Ice Shelf, and worked as a science writer at National Public Radio in Washington, DC. Traveling with Ghosts is her first book.

Pauline Frommer
Fomer Travel Editor for MSNBC.com for several years, before working with John Wiley and Sons to create the award-winning Pauline Frommer Guidebooks, a 14-book series that won the coveted "Best Guidebook of the Year" title three years in a row from the North American Travel Journalists Association and once from the Society of American Travel Writers. Her writings have been widely published in everything from Budget Travel Magazine to the Dallas Morning News to Nick, Jr. magazine.
Don George

Don George
Travel Writers & Photographers Conference Chair
Author of The Way of Wanderlust: The Best Travel Writing of Don George and of Lonely Planet's Guide to Travel Writing and the editor of ten anthologies, including A Moveable Feast, The Kindness of Strangers, Better Than Fiction, and An Innocent Abroad. George is Editor at Large for National Geographic Traveler, where he writes feature articles and the monthly Trip Lit column. He is also Editor of BBC Travel's literary travel column, Chance Encounters.

Larry Habegger
Larry Habegger
Travel writer, editor, journalist, and teacher, who has been covering the world since the 1970s. As a freelance writer for more than 30 years and syndicated columnist since 1985, Habegger's work has appeared in many major newspapers and magazines, including the Los Angeles TimesChicago Tribune, Travel & Leisure, and Outside. In 1993, he cofounded the award-winning Travelers' Tales books with James and Tim O'Reilly, and is currently executive editor. His latest book (with Phil Cousineau) is The Book of Roads.

Catharine Hamm
Travel editor for the Los Angeles Times, Hamm's career in journalism has been highly decorated, having twice received individual Lowell Thomas Awards; the Travel section has also been recognized eight times during her tenure as editor.

Elizabeth Harryman
Travel Editor of Westways and travel coverage coordinator for six other AAA magazines for the Auto Club. She co-hosts radio shows with her husband, Paul Lasley, on the American Forces Radio Network and a podcast at OnTravel.com. Her tavel writing has appeared in major U.S. newspapers including the Los Angeles Times and the Miami Herald. She is a former travel correspondent for NBC’s Today Show.

Georgia Hesse Georgia Hesse
Founding Travel Editor of the San Francisco Examiner, a position she held on the San Francisco Examiner-Chronicle for 20 years. Hesse has contributed to several anthologies, is a co-author of travel guides to France and California, and teaches travel writing and related courses.
Robert Holmes
Photography Chair
One of the world’s most successful and prolific travel photographers, whose career has extended over 30 years. He has been honored by the Society of American Travel Writers with their Travel Photographer of the Year Award four times, and in 2016 was voted the Wine Photographer of The Year by an international panel of judges sponsored by Errazuriz in Chile. Holmes has worked for National Geographic, Geo, Saveur, Wine Spectator, Life, Time, and hundreds of other major magazines and international companies. He has illustrated over 40 books and has regularly been one of the world’s best photojournalists invited to participate in the acclaimed “Day in the Life” series. Read more >>

Andrea Johnson
Award-winning photographer and video producer serving the wine, food, adventure, and travel industries. Over the last decade, Johnson has created a compelling body of work for corporate, advertising, editorial, and fine art clients around the globe. Her photographs regularly appear in  publications including Wine Spectator, Food and Wine, Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, and the San Francisco Chronicle. Additionally, she has photographed three books: Passion for Pinot (2008), Essential Wines and Wineries of the Pacific Northwest (2010), and most recently, Spectacular Wineries of Washington (2012). Read more >>


Abbie Kozolchyk
Abbie has written and/or edited for National Geographic Traveler, Forbes Traveler, Travel + Leisure, Conde Nast Traveler, Travelers' Tales Best Women's Travel Writing Series, Allure, W, In Style, Glamour, Martha Stewart Living and many others. Having served as Rachael Ray Every Day's travel editor for the last four years, Abbie is now wrapping up at the magazine to focus on a travel book for National Geographic that's due out in early 2017.

Paul Lasley 
Co-host and executive producer of “Traveling,” a 25-minute podcast about all aspects of travel that airs daily to some 3 million listeners in 180 countries on the American Forces Radio Network. He has won two Gold Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Broadcast Awards, and his website, www.OnTravel.com, is a 24/7 source of podcasting about travel. He has produced and hosted travel shows and segments for radio and television on NBC, CBS, NPR affiliate KPCC, and ABC radio.

  Linda Watanabe McFerrin
Poet, travel writer, novelist, and contributor to numerous newspapers, magazines and anthologies and the Founder of Left Coast Writers. A winner of the Katherine Anne Porter Prize for Fiction, her first novel, Namako: Sea Cucumber, was named Best Book for the Teen Age by the New York Public Library. Her most recent novel, Dead Love, the tale of a love that just won’t die, was a Bram Stoker finalist. Conference Alum.

Candace Rardon
Writer, artist, and illustrator whose stories and sketches have appeared on BBC Travel, Yahoo Travel, AOL Travel, and National Geographic's Intelligent Travel site, as well as in Lonely Planet's literary anthology An Innocent Abroad and the most recent volume of Travelers' Tales Best Women's Travel Writing. In addition, her travel blog "The Great Affair" has been featured in the New York Times, and she earned an MA in Travel Writing from Kingston University in London.

Chris Reynolds
Born and raised in California, he has written about travel, the outdoors, arts and culture for the Los Angeles Times since 1990.

Michael Shapiro Michael Shapiro
Writer, photographer and interviewer, Shapiro has written features for National Geographic Traveler, American Way, Islands, The Sun and the Washington Post. He is the author of A Sense of Place: Great Travel Writers Talk About Their Craft, Lives, and Inspiration, an essential text for aspiring travel writers. Shapiro’s story about rafting through the Grand Canyon is in The Best Travel Writing 2011. He has also contributed text and photos to the pictorial book, Guatemala: A Journey Through the Land of the MayaConference Alum.
Wendy Simmons
Despite her hatred for packing, she’s managed to explore more than eighty-five countries so far including territories and colonies and chronicles her adventures on her blog, wendysimmons.com.

Lavinia Spalding
Editor of the 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014 editions of The Best Women's Travel Writing. She is the author of Writing Away: A Creative Guide to Awakening the Journal-Writing Traveler and With a Measure of Grace: the Story and Recipes of a Small Town Restaurant. Conference Alum.