Tag: Shameless Self Promotion

World Hum Writers Honored in ‘The Best American Travel Writing 2013’

It’s that time of year again. The 2013 edition of the annual Best American Travel Writing anthology hit bookstores last week, and we’re thrilled to learn that three World Hum stories were listed in the notable selections: Jessica Colley’s Catching the Gist, Translating Respect by Lenore Greiner, and Bali Belly and the Zombie Apocalypse, by Linda Watanabe McFerrin. Longtime World Hum contributor David Farley also had an AFAR magazine story included in the collection.

This year’s book was guest-edited by travel writing titan Elizabeth Gilbert. Check it out.


2013 Book Passage Travel Writers & Photographers Conference

Travel publishing has undergone a transformation in recent years. Countless newspaper travel sections have shut down. Venerable guidebook publishers such as Lonely Planet have wound up in the most unlikely hands. Magazines have come and gone, and the travel blogosphere continues to evolve.

Happily, through it all, the Book Passage Travel Writers & Photographers Conference endures. Now in its 22nd year, the four-day conference kicks off Thursday, Aug. 8 in Corte Madera, California, emphasizing the craft of storytelling—on blogs and in essays, in books and through photography.

I’ll be teaching travel writing for the web with blogger extraordinaire Pam Mandel in morning sessions. As always, I’m looking forward to it. The conference is one of the highlights of my year. Conference chair Don George infuses the four days with a lot of heart. After the seminars and panels each day, students and faculty mix over meals and drinks well into the night. At some point, you realize you really don’t want the weekend to end. Everyone leaves feeling inspired.

There’s still time to reserve a spot at the conference. You can check out the faculty and conference schedule here.


NATJA Announces 2011 Winners

The complete roster of North American Travel Journalists Association award winners was announced this week. National Geographic Traveler took the grand prize for top travel publication, while Andrew McCarthy and Jill Schensul were named the travel journalists of the year.

Several World Hum contributors were also among the winners. Larry Bleiberg took Gold in the Historical or Hobby Travel category, while Daisann McLane received a Gold award for Cultural, Educational or Self-Improvement Travel. Lola Akinmade Akerstrom received two Gold awards—one for Personality and Profiles and one for Culinary Travel—and Wayne Curtis also received a Silver award for Culinary Travel.

Congratulations to all the winners.


2011 Lowell Thomas Award Winners Announced

This year’s Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Award winners were announced this week. Rick Steves was named Travel Journalist of the Year; he also received awards for his video and audio work, as well as his blog. Budget Travel took the gold award for travel magazines. The Los Angeles Times won gold for best travel section in a newspaper with a circulation of 350,000 or more, and the San Francisco Chronicle was named the best newspaper travel section with a circulation under 350,000.

A number of other World Hum contributors were among the writers honored at the awards: Daisann McLane and Nathan Myers received gold awards for individual stories, while Wayne Curtis and Andrew Evans landed bronze awards. Congratulations to all.


World Hum Writers Honored in ‘The Best American Travel Writing 2011’

I picked up my copy of the latest in the “Best American Travel Writing” anthology series this week and was thrilled to see some familiar names listed. Four World Hum stories were included in this year’s notable selections: The Roads Between Us: A Journey Across Africa, by Frank Bures; A Pilgrimage to SkyMall, by Bill Donahue; Lover’s Moon, by Pico Iyer; and The Sexual Lives of Sri Lankans, by Hannah Tennant-Moore.

World Hum contributors Peter Hessler and Tom Swick were also included for stories published elsewhere. Congratulations to all.


World Hum Contribs Launch VelaMag

World Hum senior editor Eva Holland has teamed up with several other writers to launch VelaMag.

The site, whose masthead includes World Hum contributors Sarah Menkedick and Lauren Quinn, will feature writing “by six emerging writers who also happen to be women, and who frequently write about travel or use travel as a lens, frame or motif in their work.”

It launched with a story by Menkedick about Oaxaca called The Revolution.

It looks promising. We’ll be reading.


Help Make ‘The Quest for the Holy Foreskin’

Fourteen days remain in a fundraising campaign to make a documentary about World Hum contributor David Farley and his search for Jesus’ foreskin, which he chronicled in the book An Irreverent Curiosity.

Filmmakers want to raise $8,000 to create a professional trailer to pitch the BBC, PBS and others. They’ve raised $1,725 so far. You can pitch in here.


A World Hum Story is Novelized

David Raterman drew from his 2002 World Hum story Down by the Buskaschee Field about Tajikistan while writing “The River Panj,” described as “the first thriller to open in Afghanistan on 9/11.”

From a press release:

On Sept. 11, 2001, ex-Notre Dame football star Derek Braun is doing relief work in Afghanistan when his fiancée and elderly colleague are kidnapped along the border with Tajikistan. With no one to help, he goes in search. On this dangerous journey, he faces Islamic terrorists, heroin smugglers, corrupt Russian soldiers, Iranian spies and helpless CIA agents, witnessing an assortment of terrible acts that culminate in his own kidnapping.

The novel, which promises to be the first in a series, is available in paperback for $10.99 here and as an e-book for $2.99 on Amazon and iTunes.

By the way, you have to love a writer who devotes a section of his website to publishing rejections. They’re enough to give any aspiring novelist serious pause.


The Book Passage Travel & Food Writing & Photography Conference Turns 20

I’ll be back on the faculty at the Book Passage Travel & Food Writing & Photography Conference Aug. 11-14 in Corte Madera, California.

Amazingly, the conference turns 20 this year. It has evolved in the digital age, to be sure, but it continues to be a four-day celebration of storytelling—a summer camp of sorts for wanderlust-prone travel and food writers and adventuresome photographers. I’ve met alumni who insist those four days changed their lives. Many return year after year.

What I love most about the conference, besides the fact that it takes place at a great Bay area bookstore, is that it brings faculty and students together during days for instruction and during evenings for meals, wine and conversation. There’s karaoke on Saturday night. I’m convinced the formal and informal gatherings are equally valuable.

This year’s faculty members include conference chair and editor extraordinaire Don George; Outside magazine founding editor Tim Cahill; “An Irreverent Curiosity” author David Farley; San Francisco Chronicle Travel Editor Spud Hilton; Los Angeles Times Travel Editor Catherine Hamm; Afar magazine Executive Editor Julia Cosgrove; Travelers’ Tales co-founder Larry Habegger; veteran photographer Robert Holmes; photographer and World Hum contributor Jeff Pflueger; and many, many others.

I’ll be co-teaching an online writing and blogging track with writer and ukulele evangelist Pam Mandel. We’ll cover both narrative writing and not-so-narrative blogging. We’ll dip our toes into multimedia waters, too. It should be good fun.


World Hum Contributors in the World: The ‘What Did We Miss?’ Edition

While we went quiet over the last few months, World Hum’s many fine contributors stayed busy. Books were published, accolades were awarded. In no particular order, here’s a taste of what they’ve been up to:

What else did we miss? Send us an email or let us know in the comments and we’ll add it to the list. Congrats everyone!


Travels With Byliner

There’s been a lot of positive buzz around Byliner since it published Jon Krakauer’s takedown of Greg Mortenson, Three Cups of Deceit. It got another wave of adulation this week as it debuted its first curated batch of nonfiction features and a Pandora-style story-recommendation engine. Jennifer 8. Lee called it a “a beautiful IMDB for writers.” Nieman Journalism Lab called it a “nonfiction nerd’s fantasy.”

I call it the lovely monster that just ate half my morning.

I just took a dip and, wow, it was tough to extract myself to get some work done. I found many compelling stories, including a section with links to more than 1,500 travel stories.

Happy to see World Hum represented. Two stories from the archives are among those included: Karl Taro Greenfeld’s Hope and Squalor at Chungking Mansion and Rolf Potts’ Where no Travel Writer has Gone Before.


World Hum: The Journey Continues

It’s been a little quiet around here lately. Now we can tell you why, and share some good news.

As you may know, we started World Hum as a labor of love in May 2001. While working full-time, we built the site during early mornings, late nights and on weekends, publishing travel stories and blog posts. In 2007, the site was acquired by Travel Channel, which employed us full-time to edit it. We did that until last November, when we were laid off.

Since then, we’ve been working on our own writing projects and enjoying a little time off, and even traveling a bit. We’ve also been in talks with Travel Channel about the future of World Hum.

The good news is that we’ll be partnering with the company, which still owns the website. We’re going to edit the site on our own, however, and experiment with running it as an independent business. We’ll continue to publish great stories, and we hope to do some experimenting, too. In a way, it’s taking the site back to its roots.

Thanks to everyone who reached out to us as we’ve gone through this transition. Over the years, a thriving community of readers and writers has developed around World Hum: people who love to travel, are curious about the world and appreciate high-quality storytelling. It’s this community of engaged readers that keeps us going.

We’re happy to report that Eva Holland will continue to work as the site’s senior editor.

We hope you’ll join us for this next phase of World Hum. We’ll begin updating the site more often this week. As always, we welcome your feedback.

—Jim and Michael


Travelers’ Tales Announces 2011 Solas Award Winners

The complete list of this year’s winners is out, and pieces by several World Hum contributors are among the honored travel stories. Michael Shapiro’s “Beneath the Rim” took the Bronze award for Best Travel Story of the Year. David Farley’s World Hum story On the Perils of Travel Writing received a category award, along with stories by Peter Delevett, Erin Byrne and Lola Akinmade. Congratulations to all the winners.


What We Loved This Year: Our Favorite World Hum Stories

What We Loved This Year: Our Favorite World Hum Stories iStockPhoto

In which we pick a few stand-outs from the pieces we published in 2010

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What We Loved This Week: Echo Mountain, Book Passage and ‘Big Red Son’

Eva Holland
I picked up Consider the Lobster, a collection of David Foster Wallace essays, over the weekend, and each one has been better than the last. I think my favorite so far is “Big Red Son,” a 50-page look back at DFW’s time in Las Vegas at the Annual Adult Video News Awards. It’s probably the oddest combination of intelligence, insight, humor and crude double-entendres I’ve ever encountered.

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What We Loved This Week: Rory Stewart, New York City and ‘How to Eat at Chipotle’

Eva Holland
I’m in New York City this week, and my visit coincides with a handful of travel-themed readings, including two events for the new anthology, A Moveable Feast. The timing is perfect—I always love the chance to immerse myself in the city’s writing community.

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What We Loved This Week: Antarctica, San Diego Sunsets and the Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear

Chris Epting
I’ve loved reviewing some of the 3,000-plus penguin/iceberg/landscape photos I shot in Antarctica last week while on a glorious Quark Expeditions trip with my teenage daughter. Here’s one:

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What We Loved This Week: Bourdain’s L.A., Haruki Murakami and the Airport-Only Lane

Eva Holland
I loved reading Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami. For whatever reason, I’ve never felt particularly drawn to Japan, but Murakami’s re-creation of 1960s student life in Tokyo had my interest piqued for the first time.

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What We Loved This Week: The Texas Rangers, Willian Finnegan, and Lunch at Singapore’s Embassy

Eva Holland
I’ve been sifting through old travel photos this week, and I came across a snapshot that I’d completely forgotten about, from the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville. I still love this quote:

Photo by Eva Holland

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What We Loved This Week: The Dead Sea, Diving the Azores and ‘I Want to be a Travel Writer’

What We Loved This Week: The Dead Sea, Diving the Azores and ‘I Want to be a Travel Writer’ Photo by Nuno Sá

Terry Ward
Diving through lava formations under the shadow of Pico’s volcano in the central islands group of the Azores. On many a Transatlantic crossing, I’ve wondered what the Azores (about two hours’ flying time from Lisbon and just a five-hour flight from Boston) were like. “A mini New Zealand in the Atlantic,” a Portuguese friend had told me before my visit. From the rolling green hills, rocky windswept beaches and towering volcanoes to the fine local cheeses, shellfish and wine, I agree.

Photo by Nuno Sá

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