Good news: I've been named 2016 Travel Writer of the Year by the Society of American Travel Writers Foundation. Which is pretty cool. Actually, they call it Travel Journalist of the Year, but even though I sometimes do journalist-y things, I like to imagine I'm more writer than reporter. Humor me, okay?
The judges, professors from the esteemed Missouri School of Journalism, said this about my work: "His stories are expertly crafted to capture the tension and the scenes. His readers ride with him. His stories are narratives with character, tension and resolution."
Thanks guys. I work hard on my stories to do just that. And publishers take note — readers want stories with personality and verve. They want to hear the writer's voice. They want to be transported and be in the story as they read.
Big thanks to Sierra, National Geographic Adventure, National Geographic Traveler, Adventure Cyclist, SUP, and The Clymb for giving me the platforms to tell the stories that won this award. A special shout-out to Sierra for their partnership the last few years and for the great editors I work with there, with a special nod to Reed McManus, who skillfully edited my stories on dancing with wolves in Glacier Park and climate change's affect on skiing shortly before passing away of a heart attack in early January. His untimely departure is a reminder for all of us to enjoy our lives while we're here. Let's get out there, have fun, help people whenever possible, and explore this amazing world while we're able.
Here are some of the stories that won me travel writing's highest honor.
"The Wildest Valley," Sierra magazine, Nov/Dec 2015
"Circling the Volcanoes, One Family Circumnavigates Nicaragua's Ometepe by Bike," Adventure Cyclist, May 2015
"North of the Border, A Family Explore Alberta by SUP," SUP the Mag, Summer 2015
"How to Become an Outdoor Writer and Photographer," The Clymb blog
Lastly, you may have noticed, or maybe you didn't, ahem, that this blog has gone fallow. With the uninspiring Blogger design and fact that I'm busy with paying work, I wouldn't expect it to come alive with new posts anytime soon. If I do get inspired to write something without a paycheck (seriously, I spend enough time sweating blood at my desk as it is, and I'm also working on a book, which pays squat for the time being), it will probably be at Medium where I can make things more engaging and prettier.
In the meantime, feel free to follow my professional page on Facebook and turn notifications on so you don't miss it when I post images like this, from my upcoming story on grizzly bears. And, yeah, my camera now has teeth marks on it.