2016 Faculty (Travel Writers & Photographers Conference)

2016 Faculty

Mikkel Aaland
Award-winning photographer, popular workshop leader, and the author of ten books. Aaland's documentary photographs have been exhibited in major institutions around the world, including the Bibliotheque Nationale in Paris and the former Lenin Museum in Prague. In 1981 he received the National Art Directors award for photography. He has contributed both text and/or photography to Wired, Outside, Digital Creativity, American Photo, The Washington Post, and Newsweek, as well as several European publications. Aaland has been a pioneer in digital photography, an interest that dates back to a 1980 interview he conducted with Ansel Adams.
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.

Celeste Brash
A Lonely Planet author whose articles have appeared in major publications including Lonely Planet Magazine (UK), BBC Travel, and Islands Magazine. A contributor to around 50 Lonely Planet guidebooks and Travelers Tales anthologies The World is a Kitchen and 30 Days in the South Pacific.

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. Most recently, Cahill wrote the introduction for The Best Travel Writing, Volume 9: True Stories from Around the World


Amy Cloughley
Literary agent Amy Cloughley joined Kimberley Cameron & Associates in 2012 with a background in editing, writing, and marketing. She seeks authors with unique, clear voices who put forth smart, tightly-written prose. She is actively building her client list with both debut and veteran writers.

Jeffrey Davis
Produced exhibits at high profile public spaces and galleries. Recent shows at the San Francisco International Airport Museum, Mumm's Fine Art Photography Gallery, the Moat Gallery in Vancouver, SF City Hall, and Stanford University. Led photo cultural tours in Asia, Europe, Cuba, and South America. Executive Producer for award winning, 26-part PBS Series, Travels To The Edge, now broadcast in over one hundred countries. Jeff has traveled and worked in over fifty countries. He completed a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering and Product Design with honors from Stanford University and a MBA from Harvard University. He founded and directs the Lumen Production Company.

Suzi Eszterhas
An award-winning wildlife photographer that has published over 100 magazine covers and feature stories, including TIME, Smithsonian, BBC Wildlife and more. Having lived in a bush camp in Africa for three years and photographed wild animals on all seven continents, Suzi has accumulated scores of adventure stories during her prolific career. She has hugged a baby whale, swam with sloths, fended off curious grizzly bears, had hyenas chew on her engine, had insects lay eggs in her feet, was chased by a green mamba, and hand-raised and released an orphaned serval.

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.

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 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.

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.
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 videos 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 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 >>

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
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.

  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.
  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.

Andy Ross
A literary agent and former owner of Cody’s Books. He represents authors of narrative nonfiction, fiction, science, history, essays, and travel. You can read more about Andy at his website at www.andyrossagency.com and on his popular blog “Ask the Agent” at www.andyrossagency.wordpress.com
Nick Rowlands
Guides Editor at AFAR Media, Nick came down with The Travels early in his life, and has climbed the Mountains of the Moon in Uganda, stayed with a rickshaw driver in the slums of New Delhi, hitched around Syria, and hiked the Camino Francés to Santiago de Compostela. From 2006–2012 he lived in Egypt, working as a tour leader, travel writer, magazine editor, and online news video producer. He moved to San Francisco in summer 2012, and has been greedily assembling the trappings of a Settled Life. As well as traveling and writing, he enjoys green smoothies, aikido, and playing poker.
Jenna Scatena
Award-winning San Francisco-based writer and editor. She is a contributing editor at Sunset magazine and a correspondent for Travel + Leisure. Her writing has also appeared in AFAR, BBC Travel, San Francisco Chronicle, Marie Claire, O: The Oprah Magazine, Vogue, SELF, Delta Sky, Mr., Porter, Via, C: California Style, and her stories have been anthologized in The Best Women's Travel Writing Vol. 9 (Travelers' Tales) and An Innocent Abroad (Lonely Planet). She is a former editor at the National Magazine Award-winning publication, San Francisco Magazine. Jenna received her BA in Nonfiction Writing from Ithaca College.
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.