K-KozaSo glad I came across this site, which offers trips especially for writers. “On each expedition you’ll journey with acclaimed writers and/or photographers, plus local travel experts who will immerse you in real culture and pamper you with hospitality. Writers’ Expeditions’ hosts write, edit, and photograph for National Geographic, Time, The Guardian UK, Yoga Journal, Outside, Sports Illustrated, The New Yorker, San Francisco Chronicle, Chatelaine, Random House, Travelers’ Tales, New York Times, Lonely Planet … and more.

“Each expedition will be themed and will be catered to suit the needs and desires of participants. Some trips will place stronger emphasis on workshop classes while others upon adventure.

viewbugThis site lists photo contests—the subjects vary from human lips to lighthouses.

August 19, 2014
5:30 pmto8:30 pm
September 16, 2014
5:30 pmto8:30 pm
October 21, 2014
5:30 pmto8:30 pm

AdventureDrinksAdventure Drinks is an informal monthly happy hour for San Francisco Bay Area & Northern California adventure travel industry folks. It’s part of the global AdventureDrinks movement. 5:30-8:30pm on the THIRD TUESDAY of the month. More info here.

SanMiguelWritersConfThanks to travel, golf, and culture writer Karen Misuraca for the link to this list from the San Miguel Writers Conference website: 12 Indie Presses Looking for Submissions “who will either accept query letters directly from writers or who will accept submissions of writing directly from writers.”

August 14, 2014toAugust 17, 2014

Book-passage-confIt’s just around the proverbial corner! The Book Passage Travel Writers & Photographers Conference has an extraordinary, international reputation among publishers, editors, and writers. Now in its 22nd year, this four-day Conference offers an array of writing and photography workshops in the morning, a full afternoon of panels and discussions, and evening faculty presentations. There are optional, working field trips to explore the resources of the Bay Area. The faculty includes publishers, magazine editors, photographers, travel essayists, food writers, restauranteurs, guidebook writers, and more. There are hours of informal interaction between faculty and participants during lunch and in discussions that often last late into the evening.

November 20, 2014toNovember 23, 2014

LK-SkyTowerI had a wonderful time at the recent Travel Classics travel writers conference in New Zealand. While I’ll be writing about nocturnal, flightless birds (which I hunted, optimistically) and the Marlborough Valley’s award-winning Sauvignon Blancs (which I tasted, diligently), this may be your only opportunity to see me (in the photo above) enjoying the thrill New Zealand is best known for: adventure sports.

May 27, 2014
7:00 pmto9:00 pm

May’s Weekday Wanderlust will be on Tuesday, May 27, at the Hotel Rex (562 Sutter Street in San Francisco). Readings start promptly at 7 p.m., but a group of thirsty travelers can always be found in the Hotel Rex’s Library Bar at 6. Readers are Janis Cooke Newman, Bob Bone, and Diana Kapp. As usual, the dashing Don George is emcee for the evening. Come early, snag a seat, and say hello.

Reader Bios:

May 1, 2014

Natures-BestEnter the 2014 Windland Smith Rice International Awards contest by May 1. Category winners and a selection of highly honored images are exhibited at the Smithsonian. Get all the details, rules, photo tips, and learn more at Nature’sBestPhotography.com. The $25 entry fee allows you to upload up to 20 images.

April 21, 2014
7:00 pmto9:00 pm

WeekdayWanderlustMark your calendar for Monday April 21 and bring your virtual passports to the Hotel Rex (562 Sutter Street, San Francisco). You’ll enjoy this month’s line-up of three talented writers: Lisa Alpine, Andy Murdock, and Angie Chuang.

Readings start promptly at 7 p.m., but a group of thirsty travelers can always be found at the Hotel Rex Library Bar at 6 p.m. Come early, snag a seat, and say hello. As usual, emcee for the evening is the legendary—and dashing—Don George. Feel free to RSVP on Facebook.

May 2, 2014toMay 4, 2014

hotel-legerJoin the ninth annual Gold Rush Writers Conference, May 2, 3, & 4, at the historic Leger Hotel in picturesque Mokelumne Hill, where writing professionals will guide you to a publishing bonanza through a series of panels, specialty talks, workshops and celebrity lectures.

Go one-on-one with successful poets, novelists, biographers, memoirists and short story writers. The conference includes a picnic supper in a Victorian garden Friday evening, Saturday dinner and Sunday brunch.

This year’s featured speaker and workshop leader is Christian Kiefer, a full-time professor at American River College. His first published novel has garnered rave reviews from Publishers Weekly and Booklist. Christian will conduct a workshop “Flaubert’s Barometer: On Setting In Fiction” on Sunday.

MokuleiaCamp Mokule`ia on O`ahu’s North Shore

Here’s an incredibly inexpensive way to experience the best of Hawaii—a room with a view, all lodging and meals, presentations by Hawaiian cultural legends, excursions to sacred sites led by local experts, awesome private beach, far away from the tourist scene, live music, yoga … plus writing workshops and readings

The retreat is led by North Shore native Constance Hale, the author of Sin and Syntax, the editor of more than two dozen books, and a journalist whose stories about Hawai`i appear on CD liner notes, as well as in publications like The Los Angeles Times and Smithsonian magazine.


What could be better than creating literature from your own experience—in Italy? Join instructor Kathryn Abajian to experience a step back in centuries and a step forward in awareness as she returns for a fifth year to the medieval hill town of Santo Stefano di Sessanio, an enchanting and unspoiled gem located in the Abruzzo region of Italy. Enjoy daily instruction, a private room, regional Abruzzese cuisine, local wines and cultural excursions with ItalyinOtherWords Memoir Writing and Cultural Retreat, June 15—21, 2014. Click the link for details, photos, endorsements and enrollment information.

February 18, 2014
5:30 pmto8:30 pm

adventuredrinksAdventure Drinks is an informal monthly happy hour for San Francisco Bay Area & Northern California adventure travel industry folks. Part of the global AdventureDrinks movement. 5:30-8:30 p.m. on the third Tuesday of the month, which means the next event is on February 18th. Check the Adventure Drinks San Francisco Facebook page for the venue, which changes each month.

February 24, 2014
6:00 pmto9:00 pm

WeekdayWanderlustFebruary’s Weekday Wanderlust will be on the 24th, as usual at the Hotel Rex in San Francisco. Readings start promptly at 7 p.m., but you’ll find revelers in the Library Bar by 6 p.m.

Weekday Wanderlust has already posted info about one of the readers, “the charming and talented Dr. Marianne Rogoff. She is the author of the memoir “Silvie’s Life” and numerous travel stories, short fictions, essays, and book reviews. She teaches Writing & Literature at California College of the Arts and Dominican University. During winter and summer, Marianne leads weeklong Studio-Workshop trips for writers to exotic locales, including two awesome collaborations with Lavinia Spalding, co -founder of WW and the series editor of Best Women’s Travel Writing, in which many of Marianne’s stories have appeared. Please come give Marianne a warm Weekday Wanderlust welcome.”

January 31, 2014
12:00 am

PottsFrom Rolf Potts: As the dawn of another year begins, we here at Vagablogging are seeking out new contributors to join our ranks, sharing our vagabonding wisdom with a growing worldwide community of long-term travelers.

We’re looking for dedicated weekly contributors to post on vagabonding-related topics of their choice — from travel tips to destination suggestions to reviews of travel media.

The ideal writer should be familiar with Vagabonding and the philosophy behind it. To get an idea what we’re looking for in terms of content and style, take a look at our recent posts and archives. The best posts are informative in nature and conversational in tone. The deadline for submitting is January 31st. We’ll announce our new contributors on February 15th. More information here.

March 1, 2014
12:00 am

travelerstalesFrom Lavinia Spalding: I’m excited to announce that I’ll be editing the next edition of The Best Women’s Travel Writing.This is the tenth collection in this award-winning series by Travelers’ Tales, and the fourth I’ve edited. I’m looking forward to reading this year’s submissions! Please send me your best true travel tales for consideration. Stories can already be published, provided you retain the rights.

Details here.  The deadline is March 1, 2014.

January 29, 2014
6:30 pmto9:00 pm
Lavinia Spalding

Lavinia Spalding

Lavinia Spalding teaches travel writing at the San Francisco Grotto: “In this six-session workshop, you’ll write and revise a personal travel essay, then take steps to get it published. Along the way, we’ll cover the basics of narrative travel writing, from beginning to end, including structure, dialogue, setting, characterization, and story arc. You’ll develop and strengthen your writing voice, awaken your senses, and come to recognize your juiciest, most compelling material. In addition to writing and revising your own story, we’ll study published pieces and discuss what made these essays shine. This is a great opportunity to learn from a professional travel editor not only what an editor looks for in story submissions, but also the invaluable skill of viewing your own writing with an editor’s eye so you can make difficult but essential revisions.”

grottoThe Grotto’s Winter Session begins the week of January 19, 2014. No travel-specific classes, but doesn’t this list look good?

To be the first to hear about the Grotto’s frequently sold-out classes, subscribe to Grotto Class Notes, a monthly e-newsletter that includes writing tips from Grotto teachers.

January 13, 2014
6:00 pmto9:00 pm
WeekdayWanderlustFrom Weekday Wanderlust: Cannonball!! Time to dive into 2014 with some more great travel tales from Bay Area writers. We can’t think of a better way to set sail into a new Weekday Wanderlust year than with Michael Shapiro, Erin Byrne, and Derk Richardson at the mic.
As usual, Don George will be our gracious and smiling emcee for the evening. Readings start promptly at 7 p.m., but you will always find a thicket of thirsty travelers in the Library Bar at 6. Please stop by and raise a glass and celebrate Weekday Wanderlust and our great Bay Area travel writing community. Thank you for your continued support. We couldn’t do it without you!
  • Michael Shapiro, award winning writer; author of A Sense of Place: Great Travel Writers Talk About Their Craft, Lives, and Inspiration; wrote the text for the pictorial book, Guatemala: A Journey Through the Land of the Maya. Michael’s work also appears in Islands, American Way, and the Washington Post.
January 15, 2014
12:00 am

litcampThe deadline is January 15 to get your submission into the Lit Camp writers conference, co-sponsored by Litquake. This year’s faculty includes authors Andrew Sean Greer, Susan Straight, Karen Joy Fowler, Tom Barbash, Peter Orner, Janis Cooke Newman, and Emily Rapp, as well as agents Amy Williams, Danielle Svetcov, and Mollie Glick. This year’s editors include Ben George of Little Brown, Ethan Nosowsky of Gray Wolf, Casey Jarman of McSweeney’s, Oscar Villalon of Zyzzyva, and Zoe Ruiz of The Rumpus. Lit Camp 2014 runs May 15-18.

January 19, 2014
12:00 am

NYTThanks to Eva Schlesinger for this tip: Free essay contest for college and graduate students ages 18+ offers the opportunity to take a reporting trip to the developing world with NY Times reporter Nick Kristof. Prize includes a round-trip airplane ticket, all trip-related meals, lodging and transportation and other out-of-pocket expenses. The approximate value of the award is $4,500 (but it may not be redeemed for cash value). The winner also receives the opportunity to submit a regular column for publication in the TimesSelect section of the New York Times website.

Deadline for entries is January 19, 2014.

January 15, 2014
12:00 am

transitionsabroadThanks to Eva Schlesinger for this tip: Transitions Abroad sponsors a free contest for travel narratives. The top prize is $500; there are also cash prizes for the 2nd and 3rd places and runners-up. Entry deadline is January 15th, 2014. Length 1,000 to 5,000 words. Previously unpublished work only.

Contest guidelines are here, along with links to previous winning essays.

December 22, 2013
12:00 am

myanmarThanks to Sheila O’Connor for this tip: San Francisco world travelers heading for Myanmar (formerly Burma) should be sure to check out a new prize draw giving away free vacations to the country, one of Asia’s most exciting emerging travel destinations.

Entry deadline is December 22. Contest entry form and terms & conditions are here.

“Sweepstakes/Giveaways are open only to legal residents of any country in the world who are at least eighteen {18} years old at the time of entry with a valid passport.”

November 25, 2013
6:00 pmto8:00 pm

Wanderlust1The last Weekday Wanderlust of 2013 will be on Monday, November 25. Location, as always, is the Hotel Rex in San Francisco (562 Sutter Street, near Union Square).

“We know it’s the week of Thanksgiving but we figured you might be home, dreaming of far away places and adventurous journeys. If you can’t get away then at least escape at the Hotel Rex with a glass of French wine or Spanish Cava along with some intrepid tales from three great writers: Jill Robinson, Jenna Scatena and Colleen Kinder. Bring along your out of town guests, family, in-laws, and significant others too—the more the merrier! We look forward to seeing you and to another great Weekday Wanderlust event. Thanks for your continued support. We couldn’t do it without you! Readings begin promptly at 7 pm but we’ll be spiking the eggnog at 6 pm.”

November 19, 2013
5:30 pmto8:30 pm

adventuredrinksSave the date: Third Tuesday is Nov 19th, and per tradition, AdventureDrinkers will be gathering for happy hour. Venue TBA, but it will be in the East Bay, and BART-friendly. More info soon—check the SF Adventure Drinks Facebook page.

« go backkeep looking »
  • Receive Travel Writers News updates via email

  • Upcoming Events

    February 2019
    M T W T F S S
  • Available in August, 2017

    I'm thrilled that it's getting rave reviews! Order your copy of Your Crocodile has Arrived from Book Passage, and I'll be happy to sign it.  
  • Winner of 4 Literary Awards in 2017

    Lost Kidnapped Eaten Alive!Order your copy of Lost, Kidnapped, Eaten Alive from Book Passage, and I'll be happy to sign it.
  • Get Occasional Updates

    You can also sign up for my personal Laurie McAndish King mailing list for occasional updates about readings and events.