Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Just Go! To the BP Travel Writers Conference

Many thanks to the great people at the Book Passage Travel Writers and Photographers Conference!  This was my first year at the conference, and I had a wonderful experience.  To the kind people at Book Passage:  thank you for your hospitality!  And to the great faculty:  thank you for providing some fantastic guidance and inspiration.  

It is rare to attend a conference at which the faculty and the participants are so intermixed, and I think that was the most valuable part of the conference.  I had great conversations with people from Lonely Planet, Traveler's Tales, Fodors and Frommers (including Pauline Frommer).  Tim Cahill (one of my all-time faves) gave a fantastic talk, and I hung out in line for the bathroom with Eric Weiner (and it is "whiner" not "weener") talking about his next project, a book about religion.  Alison Wright brought me to tears with her photographs, many of which I recognized from the pages of National Geographic and other publications.  And Simon Winchester -- well, he is downright hysterical and a hell of a storyteller.  Even puffins call his name!  

I also had some heartbreaking conversations with newspaper people -- many of whom are faced with buyouts, layoffs, and an ever-changing publishing industry.  But the people who work at internet outlets had some encouraging words.  Clearly publishing has more growing and changing to do -- some of which will be very painful for the country's most talented writers.

Tom Swick, consummate newspaperman and lover of words, taught a great class on Narrative Non-Fiction.  And unlike at some conferences, my classmates were truly talented writers with stories to tell and evolving writing lives.  We had some tremendous conversations together.  

Looking for a good conference?  I recommend this one.  For more information visit Book Passage, one of the world's great bookstores.  



Nancy Brown WhataTrip said...

Book Passage was a fantastic conference. I would highly recommend it to any aspiring or published travel writer.

By the way, if you're looking for a fun blog, check out my What a Trip blog

Angela K. Nickerson said...

So true, Nancy! And I've added What a Trip to my blogroll, too!

Welcome back! If you haven't already, I hope you'll subscribe to my RSS feed so we can stay in touch. Ciao!


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