Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Guest Post: Book Passage 2008 Review by Nancy Brown.

Nancy Brown from What a Trip Blog was lucky enough to attend the recent Book Passages Travel Writers & Photographers Conference. Here's her review of the four day event.

"What's on your bucket list?" I asked Tim Cahill as we dined over California cuisine at the 2008 Book Passage Travel Writers and Photographers Conference. "My own backyard," replied Cahill.

The 65-year-old Founding Editor of Outside Magazine and author of books including Hold the Enlightenment and Lost in My Own Backyard said he'd be happy to stay home and explore Montana. When asked about what makes a story standout, Cahill said that research is important. "Tell us some interesting historic facts and something special about the people," added Cahill.

Cahill, along with the who's who of travel writers, editors and photographer's shared their insider tips with students of the 17th annual Book Passage Travel Writers & Photographers Conference held August 14-17, 2008 in Corte Madera, California. The four day conference focused on newspaper, magazine and guidebook writing, as well as travel photography. Portolios were critiqued by Robert Holmes, Andrea Johnson, George Olson, Jeff Pflueger and Alison Wright.

In the evening, Wright earned a standing ovation for her slide show and tales from her latest book, Learning to Breathe. Author Eric Weiner, The Geography of Bliss, shared that "travel writing is writing about place and ultimately writing about people." While Author Phil Cousineau, Art of Pilgrimage, noted that "the value of travel is that you give yourself permission to be a different person."

Speaking of different people, Simon Winchester, in conversation with Conference Chair Don George, discussed his relationship with his mentor Jan Morris. Winchester, a wonderful story teller, shared some fascinating aspects of his friendship over the years with Morris.

Blogger rock stars Jim Benning, Jen Leo and David Lytle twittered and blogged their way to alltop.com where the best travel blogs are listed on the web. Pauline Frommer discussed writing for the on-line travel industry with David Lytle and Michael Shapiro, while Larry Bleiberg, Catharine Hamm and John Flinn explained how to work with an editor.

"It's about relationships," stated Hamm. "The people who are the best writers are easy to work with," offered Bleiberg. "I treasure people who are good and solid," added Flinn. "Deliver a good story with no drama."

Yet drama is expected from Author Isabel Allende. "I think the hardest part of writing is sitting down," laughed Allende. "I'm not organized. I don't have an outline. That's like making love with a manual!"

I know I have missed including some faculty members in this review. Please accept my apologies, as I hope to see you at next year's conference August 13-16, 2009. Early birds can register until October 1 for a rate of $575, after that date the cost moves to $635.

(Guest blogger Nancy Brown of Northern California writes What a Trip for the Contra Costa Times Lamorinda Sun.)

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Angela K. Nickerson said...

Nancy, so great to read your reflections! It was nice to meet you at the conference, too. I had email from another friend from the conference earlier this week who wrote, "If we're smart enough to apply everything we learned at the conference this year, I'm pretty sure we'll both be insanely rich next year." LOL

It was a great time!

Angela K. Nickerson
Just Go!: http://aknickerson.blogspot.com/


Hi Angela, look forward to hearing how you and Nancy end up 'insanely rich' next year...sounds like the conference was a hit!!!

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