Lets give a friendly hello to all the new writers coming to Written Road from the Book Passage Travel Writers & Photographers Conference. If you want to get straight to submissions guidelines, head on over to the Categories on the right side of the page and click Market Leads. There’s also some practical info in the Resources for Writers section.

Let me tell you, it’s GREAT to be back at Book Passage. I don’t know how many students there are this year, but enough to fill the event room. There seem to be a lot of writers and photographers who’ve been previously published, too. I was on the panel for how to make the most of the conference, and the students seem both excited to learn, and somewhat intimidated by the star cast of faculty. But hopefully that was dispelled at dinner time when the meal was broken into several tables, each having a faculty member or two.

Thanks to Dave Prine, we’ve got some great pictures of Tim Cahill and Peter Stark in conversation with Don George from the evening event.

Tim Cahill, as you know, is my favorite and the reason I wanted to be a part of this wonderful travel writing world. His most recent book is, Lost in My Own Backyard, but the trip he begins next week is a walking journey in Ireland.

Here are some of the conference attendees enjoying the presentation.

When I first saw Peter Stark’s name attached to Tim’s event, I thought…Who’s this guy? I was a bit put off that they would combine someone with Tim. But shame on me for doubting Don. Peter was hilarious! And because of this one event where he entertained us with stories of how he got his first assignment, to the current experience he’s having with his latest book, I’m ready to buy it this weekend! Peter, you have a new fan. He is the author of several books including his latest, At the Mercy of the River: An Exploration of the Last African Wilderness.

This is my first year on the faculty side of the conference, and you better believe I’m loving every minute of it. Even though I’m friends with several members of the staff, it’s great to see them in teaching mode. This conference was already recognized as the best travel writing conference in the country, but I respect what Don George and Elaine Petrocelli have built even more now. Everyone puts the students first, above themselves, and I love that. I made a conscious effort to do the same, and gave my non-attending friends the back seat. This IS the best time of year for travel writing. Oh hey, I met a woman last night that came in all the way from Hong Kong! Sorry, Dave, that beats your Santa Barbara drive, and even Kelly Watton’s flight in from Atlanta.

See you all this afternoon! I swear, for beginning to intemediate travel writers, this conference will cut your learning curve in half!


  1. Jen – Hi!

    I’m so glad you postedthis! I was just thinking that the Book Passage needs a weekend web cam but an update from staff is even better. Have a blast, and please, keep up the updates.

  2. Hey Jen,

    I’m actually surprised that there weren’t more out-of-towners/out-of-staters (most folks I met there were SF locals). I was impressed that someone allegedly drove from Georgia with her dogs. Amazing. (Actually, it would have been more amazing if she had driven from the Republic of Georgia, but still, I was impressed.)

    Yes, Janna, the Hong-Konger, was an inspiration. And a wonderful person, too. And so many other people were there with great travel stories to tell. Kind of makes me feel like a slacker. In a good, motivational way. I’m seriously plotting a mutiny, and I hope to quit my job and become homeless in December. Wish me luck!

    Hey, I took a picture of you that you forgot to post. I’m sure it was an unintentional oversight. 😉

    Great job at the conference! See you at the next one!


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