2017 Faculty (Travel Writers & Photographers Conference)

2017 Faculty (Many More To Be Announced!)

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
Editor in chief of Texas Journey and a features editor at Westways and six other AAA magazines. In addition, he cofounded the online travel magazine World Hum (http://www.worldhum.com), which he oversaw at Travel Channel, and has served as deputy travel editor of BBC.com and editor-in-chief of SKYE on AOL. His writing has appeared many newspapers and magazines, and has been shortlisted in The Best American Travel Writing anthology. His website is jimbenning.net.

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
Co-President of Frommer Media LLC, with her father Arthur Frommer, the company that publishes the Frommer guidebooks and Frommers.com. She’s the author of the bestselling travel guide to New York City (Frommer’s EasyGuide to New York City), and Editorial Director for Frommer’s, overseeing a passionate staff of journalists, editors, photo editors, cartographers, compositors, designers and developers. She’s the co-host of the Frommer Travel Show, a popular radio show and podcast on WABC, and is the award-winning author of 8 books, and countless articles for such outlets as MSNBC.com, Newsweek, Marie Claire and others.
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
Author of six travel books, including Shopping for Buddhas (now in its 25th Anniversary edition), The Size of the World (for which he created the first international travel blog), and Snake Lake, set in Nepal during the 1990 democracy revolution. He is also the Executive Director of Ethical Traveler, a global alliance of travelers dedicated to human rights and environmental protection (www.ethicaltraveler.org). Jeff's work has appeared in many publications including Smithsonian, Afar, Outside, The New York Times and the BBC. His acclaimed one-man show, “Strange Travel Suggestions,” premiered in San Francisco in 2003.  Jeff lives in Oakland, California, where he hosts and produces the Ethical Traveler podcast

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
Worked in travel journalism at the Los Angeles Times since 1999. In previous rich, full lives, she was editor of the newspaper in Salinas, Calif., city editor and managing editor at the San Bernardino County Sun and deputy managing editor at The Kansas City Star.  Hamm and the Times have been recognized with several Lowell Thomas Awards, including one for  her article about tracking down her wedding scammer, who later spent time as a guest of the state of Texas.

Elizabeth Harryman
Travel Editor of Westways, a Lowell Thomas Award-winning magazine, and six other AAA magazines that reach markets from Hawai’i to Northern New England. She co-hosts radio shows with her husband, Paul Lasley, on the American Forces Radio Network and a podcast at OnTravel.com. Her travel 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 radio program about all aspects of travel that airs daily for 1 million listeners in 145 countries on the American Forces 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. He is travel columnist for Westways.

  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, sketch artist, and illustrator whose stories have appeared on National Geographic’s Intelligent Travel site, World Hum, BBC Travel, and in Lonely Planet travel anthologies, among others. In addition, her travel blog “Moment Catchers” 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
Author of A Sense of Place, a collection of interviews with the world’s top travel authors including Bill Bryson, Frances Mayes, Peter Matthiessen, Jeff Greenwald and Pico Iyer. His cover story for National Geographic Traveler, about Jan Morris’ corner of Wales, won the Bedford Pace grand award. His recent feature about sustainable seafood in Vancouver won the 2016 Explore Canada Award of Excellence. He’s written about cycling in Mongolia for the Washington Post, tasted tequila in Jalisco for American Way, and tracked pumas in Patagonia for a custom publication. And he writes a weekly column about gambling for the San Francisco Chronicle. On the web: www.michaelshapiro.net
 Conference Alum.

Lavinia Spalding
Series editor of The Best Women’s Travel Writing. She is the author of Writing Away and co-author of With a Measure of Grace and the forthcoming This Immeasurable Place, and she wrote the introduction for the e-book edition of Edith Wharton’s classic travelogue, A Motor-Flight Through France. Her work appears in such publications as Yoga Journal, Sunset, San Francisco magazine, the San Francisco Chronicle, The Guardian UK, Every Day with Rachael Ray, AirBnB Magazine, Tin House, Post Road, World Hum, Overnight Buses, Off Assignment,  Lonely Planet's An Innocent Abroad, and two volumes of The Best Travel Writing. Her website is www.laviniaspalding.com. Conference Alum.