Speakers Bring Media and Sustainability Expertise to Travel & Words Spring 2011 Writer's Conference


Travel & Words, the Pacific Northwest travel writer's event recommended by Writer's Digest, features a line-up of media and sustainable tourism specialists. The annual two-day event will be held May 1-2, 2011 at Willows Lodge, a sustainable boutique hotel located near Seattle in Woodinville, Washington.


The conference theme, Sustainable + Green + Responsible Travel and Tourism, will be woven into each speaker's presentation so that freelance writers and journalists can explore these key trends in travel in the Northwest and throughout the world.

Myrna Oakley and Allen Cox, co-planners of the Travel & Words conference, and the planning team have assembled key presenters whose careers focus on some aspect of sustainability, whether as a tourism provider, a member of the media, an educator or a conservationist.

Speakers include:

Entrepreneur Jake Haupert, co-owner of Evergreen Escapes and co-founder of the P.U.R.E. Travel Collaborative. Haupert is a leader in helping Northwest and global tourism companies embrace and implement sustainable practices. When asked what he believes travel will be like in 100 years, Haupert replies, “It won't exist if [the travel industry] continues with current practices.”

Travel photographer Roger Ward focuses on the nature, culture and people of the places he travels. His work has illustrated international guidebooks, such as Fodor's, and many magazine features. When asked about his approach to travel photography, Ward says: “Good travel photography defines our focus while it documents, illustrates and honors what is thought-provoking, poetic and most interesting about our world.”

Wildlife biologist Linda Saunders is Director of Conservation at Wolf Haven International. "When I was growing up, I was fascinated with Jane Goodall," Saunders says. "There was a woman who was fortunate enough to live among wildlife, observe them, and understand them through both science and a heart connection. She was a huge inspiration to me."

Nan Devlin, writer, tourism strategist and lecturer in sustainable tourism at The George Washington University in Washington, DC, thinks Kermit the Frog's song "It's Not Easy Being Green" can easily be applied to the tourism industry. "I believe writers and bloggers have helped pave the way for better standards in sustainable certification," says Nan. "It's also important for writers to shed light on claims that are merely greenwashing."

Prolific freelance writer and author of Maximum Marketing of Freelance Non-Fiction Articles, Roy Stevenson will share valuable insights about how to make a viable career out of travel writing. “I have published more than 380 feature stories worldwide in the past two years,” says Stevenson. “I show you all of my secrets for marketing freelance writing to magazines. I hold nothing back.”

Allen Cox, freelance writer, guidebook author and Editor of HARBORS magazine, focuses his writing on sustainable topics, whether in travel, food, recreation or culture. He is a board member of International Food, Wine & Travel Writers Association and has created that organization's global excellence awards program. “A travel writer has a lot of influence,” says Cox. “With a few well chosen words he can entertain, plant seeds and help raise readers' sustainability consciousness.”

Laurel Miller is a food writer and educator who focuses on sustainable agriculture. She joins Travel & Words to offer a glimpse at the 2012 conference theme of Sustainable Culinary and Agricultural Tourism. When asked about her Seattle freelance writing business, The Sustainable Kitchen, Miller says, “My mission is to promote sustainable agriculture, which employs ecologically-sound methods of farming and raising livestock.”

Like the event's key presenters, conference panelists and roundtable discussion leaders are members of the media whose careers focus on some aspect of sustainable tourism. The conference will follow green meeting practices by reducing paper use and encouraging attendees to arrive by train, shuttle or car-share.

Registration fee of $125 ($99 before March 31; $145 at the door) includes conference materials, writers' resource table, authors' book table, a wine tasting hosted by Woodinville Wine Country, access to presenters and exhibitors, and refreshments and meals. Willows Lodge is offering a special room rate to attendees who make reservations before April 11. For more information, visit: www.travelandwords.com.

About Pacific NW Travel Writers Conference: Travel & Words conferences are presented by Pacific NW Travel Writers Conference, an all-volunteer organization of regional freelance writers, travel bloggers and tourism professionals dedicated to providing a forum for freelance writers and photographers who want to explore emerging trends and expand their markets in new ways in a changing industry.

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