2015 Faculty (Travel Writers & Photographers Conference)

2015 Faculty (More to Be Announced)


Isabel Allende
Bestselling author of eleven works of fiction, including her latest, Ripper, four memoirs, and three young adult novels, which have been translated into more than twenty-seven languages with more than fiftyseven million copies sold. In 2004, she was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters. She received the Hans Christian Andersen Literature Award in 2012. In 2014 she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Born in Peru and raised in Chile, she lives in California.

 Jim Benning  

Jim Benning
Deputy editor at BBC Travel. He cofounded the online travel magazine and blog, World Hum, and 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 editor-in-chief of SKYE on AOL. Read more >>


Tim Cahill
Author of many travel books, including A Wolverine Is Eating My Leg, Jaguars 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. Most recently, Cahill wrote the "Introduction" for The Best Travel Writing, Volume 9: True Stories from Around the World

Kimberley Cameron
Literary agent and President of Kimberley Cameron and Associates. She has been successful with many different genres, and especially loves the thrill of securing representation for debut authors. Cameron represents both fiction and nonfiction manuscripts. Read more >>

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 (with Larry Habegger), The Book of Roads, comes out in August.

David Farley
Author of An Irreverent Curiosity: In Search of the Church's Strangest Relic in Italy's Oddest Town, which was recently made into a documentary by National Geographic, Farley also edited the collection of essays, Travelers' Tales Prague and the Czech Republic: True Stories. He's a Contributing Writer at AFAR magazine and his work appears in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Bon Appetit, and National Geographic Traveler. He has been anthologized in The Best American Travel Writing 2013 and The Best Travel Writing, Vol. 9, among other books. He teaches writing at New York University. 

Don George Don George
Conference Chair

Author of Lonely Planet’s Guide to Travel Writing and 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 site, Words and Wanderlust.

Jeff Greenwald
Photojournalist, author and stage performer. His six books include the best-selling Shopping for Buddhas, The Size of the World (for which he created the first international travel blog) and Snake Lake, a travel memoir set in Kathmandu, Nepal. Greenwald’s travel stories have appeared in print and online publications worldwide, including Smithsonian, Afar, Outside, Islands, National Geographic Adventure, and Salon.

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 Times, Chicago 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), The Book of Roads, comes out in August.


Elizabeth Harryman
Travel editor of Westways and ACE Publications and Editor-in-Chief for Northern New England Journey and Tidewater Traveler

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.

  Spud Hilton
Travel editor at San Francisco Chronicle, where he has written about, reported on, and been hopelessly lost in destinations on five continents. He produces the weekly Sunday Travel section’s print edition, as well as travels, writes, and takes photos and video for the section, and for his Bad Latitude travel blog at SFGate.com. Hilton's attempts to divine, describe and defy the expectations of places--from Havana's back alleys to Genoa's cathedrals--have earned seven Lowell Thomas Awards. Read from his blog here >>.
  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 three times, most recently in 2010. 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 >>

  Catherine Karnow
Catherine's work appears in National Geographic, National Geographic Traveler, Smithsonian, French & German GEO and other international publications. She has also participated in several Day in the Life series, Passage to Vietnam, and Women in the Material World. Catherine has been teaching photography since 1995; and has taught at Maine Photo Workshops; Santa Fe Photo Workshops; and many others. For National Geographic, she currently teaches Weekend Workshops in San Francisco, at Miraval in Tucson; and the National Geographic Traveler Seminar in cities all over the US.
Abbie Kozolchyk
Beauty and Travel Director at Every Day with Rachael Ray, where she's overseen award-winning features in both departments. She's also 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.
  Pam Mandel
Freelance writer and photographer. She has written travel stories for Conde Nast Traveler online, Afar, World Hum, Gadling, Perceptive Travel, and a handful of food, travel, and in-flight magazines. Additionally, Mandel has worked on two guidebooks--British Columbia and Hawaii--for Thomas Cook.
Andrew McCarthy
Writer, actor, and director. McCarthy is an editor-at-large with National Geographic Traveler and has written for the New York Times, The Atlantic, and the Wall Street Journal. He was named Travel Journalist of the Year in 2010. McCarthy served as editor for Lights, Camera... Travel!, along with fellow Travel Writing Conference faculty member Don George, and authored his memoir The Longest Way Home. His work is featured most recently in Journeys Home. He made his acting debut at nineteen, and has appeared in dozens of films, including Pretty in Pink, and The Joy Luck Club. Read more >>
  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.

Janis Cooke Newman
Janis is the author of the novel Mary: Mrs. A. Lincoln. She is a member of the San Francisco Writers’ Grotto, on the board of Litquake, and a founder and organizer of the Lit Camp writers conference. Her latest novel, A Master Plan for Rescue, comes out in July. Conference Alum.

Candace Rardon
Candace Rose Rardon is a travel writer and sketch artist originally from the state of Virginia, although she has called the UK, New Zealand and India home. Five years ago, she fell in love…but with the world, not “the one.” This journey has taken her from a pearl farm in the South Pacific to a rickshaw run across India. Candace’s travel blog, The Great Affair, was recently featured in the New York Times, and her writing has appeared in AOL Travel, Gadling, the Huffington Post, the Guardian Weekly, and TNT Magazine, among other publications. Her first book is Beneath the Lantern’s Glow: Sketches and Stories from Southeast Asia and Japan.

Jill K. Robinson
Award-winning writer and photographer, Jill K. Robinson writes about travel, adventure, food, and drink for the San Francisco Chronicle, AFARNational Geographic Traveler, Every Day With Rachael Ray, Saturday Evening PostRobb Report, Celebrated Living, IslandsCoastal Living, Outside, American WayDelta Sky, Westways, San Francisco magazine, and more. She has stories in the most recent volumes of Travelers' Tales Best Travel Writing and Best Women's Travel Writing books. Conference Alum.

Andy Ross
Literary agent and former owner of Cody’s Books. He represents authors of narrative nonfiction, science, history, essays, and travel.
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 Maya. Conference Alum.

Martin Cruz Smith
Martin Cruz Smith’s novels include Tatiana, Stalin’s Ghost, and Gorky Park. A two-time winner of the Hammett Prize from the International Association of Crime Writers and a recipient of Britain’s Golden Dagger Award, he lives in California.


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.