Archive for the ‘Updates’ Category

This month sees two of my reported features hitting the newsstand!

In the April/May issue of Up Here, I wrote about the Yukon’s world-beating team of cross-country skiers: The Bigger They Come. And my second story, The New Gold Rush Kings, is on the cover of April’s Up Here Business – it’s not online (yet, anyhow) but you can see the cover here.

I’ve got lots more in the works for upcoming issues. Stay tuned.

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I leave tomorrow morning, and will be working at the Up Here office there for at least a couple of months before I make it back to Whitehorse. I’m really excited to get to know a second northern city.

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Big news! On Thursday I start a new, full-time job as an associate editor at Up Here and Up Here Business magazines.

It’s a temporary position, a ten-month maternity leave fill-in, and I’ll be spending part of that time at the head office in Yellowknife, NWT. (The rest of the time I’ll be working here in Whitehorse.) I’m excited to get to know a second northern Canadian city, and to work on a pair of magazines that I really admire. I also think it’s going to be kind of cool to work in actual office, with actual people, for a little while at least.

I’ll still be doing some limited freelancing on the side, and of course I’ll be continuing to chime in at World Hum. The job itself is going to be writing-intensive, so keep an eye out for my byline in both mags. (And you can get a head start with the latest issue of Up Here Business, which includes my profile of local mushing legend Frank Turner of Muktuk Adventures.)

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Hello from Dawson City, where I’m a week into a gig on the communications team for the Yukon Quest 1000-Mile International Sled Dog Race. I’ve been following the race from checkpoint to checkpoint (it started in Fairbanks and will end in Whitehorse), tweeting, updating Facebook, and writing news releases and short race updates for the Quest site.

Having trouble envisioning a 1000-mile dogsledding event? Here’s a fantastic video that my colleagues on the photo/video crew made at the start line:

I’ve written about the Quest before: I had a short essay in the October/November issue of Up Here magazine about my time at the Slaven’s Roadhouse dog drop station last year (unfortunately the piece is not online), and I also wrote my last Vela story about mushing and the Quest.

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My Year in Writing and Reading

It’s been a mixed bag of a year for me, writing-wise. Though I did manage to keep my resolution to write more in 2011, I started out on a low note, fresh off the World Hum layoffs at Travel Channel last November. The American road trip blogging gig that fell apart in May was another pretty tough hit.

From June on, though, things started to look up. Jim, Mike and I announced that World Hum was back on its feet. I published an essay I’m still really happy with, Stilettos in Paris, and I attended the inaugural Oxford American Summit for Ambitious Writers (look, ma, I’m ambitious!), and spent an inspiring few days in Arkansas, meeting other writers, eating bacon and plotting world literary domination.

In the fall, my friend Sarah Menkedick invited me to write for her new site, Vela. My first essay there, In the Bush, is my first real stab at a longer narrative, and I’m pleased with the result. I also landed my first assignments with Up Here, one of my most-desired bylines. My first story for the magazine appeared in the October/November issue, and there’s lots more to come in 2012 – one of many reasons why I’m looking forward to the new year.

My year in reading was more uniformly successful. Maybe (probably) because there were long stretches where I didn’t have a ton of paying work to do, I read a lot in 2011. I wrote about some of my favorite travel-related reading in a year-end post at World Hum, but I also read a lot of non-travel nonfiction this year, and even some fiction. The best history book I read this year, Battle Cry of Freedom, was worth all the time it took — it’s a monster tome, a single-volume history of the American Civil War that manages to be remarkably readable, considering the ground it has to cover.

But my most memorable reads this year were essays, not books. Here are four that stuck with me, in some cases even months after I first read them:

I’ve started playing around with Byliner, and if you’re interested you can find lots more of my favorite essays and journalism on this “Recommends” page.

Happy New Year! And bring on 2012.

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Vela: Written by Women

I’m thrilled to announce the launch of a new project: Vela, an online magazine featuring “travel-inspired creative nonfiction, written by women.”

I’ll be contributing alongside five other writers — Sarah Menkedick and Lauren Quinn, both of whom I’ve worked with before at World Hum and Matador, as well as Simone Gorrindo, Molly Beer and Amanda Giracca. Sarah is the one who brought us all together; here’s an excerpt from her explanation of the project (and specifically, why it’s “written by women”):

The point here is not that this is a women’s site, by women for women, somehow female, feminine, or feminist in style. The fact that all of the writers are women is almost, almost incidental: it would be completely incidental if the publishing world did not create a situation in which women’s voices represent only a small fraction of the conversation. As it stands, this is the case, and as long as it continues to be the case than I believe in creating a separate space in which women can write what they want to write, with the same intellectual freedom as men; without a major overhaul of self and world views; without having to label themselves as “women writers” with the insinuation that they’ll come to inspiring conclusions about yoga and use laundry as a metaphor for despair; and without having to try and out-male the men, writing in the very male styles and with the very male intelligences so predominant in the literary world.

The alternative to these male styles and intelligences is not some sort of touchy-feeling wishy-washy lovey-dovey female emotional abstraction. I’m not sure what it is. It doesn’t even have to be “female”. It is what happens in the absence of the pressure to “make it” in an industry that is not only physically but intellectually dominated by men. That is what this site is: a space to maneuver freely without having to either set one’s work apart as distinctly female or suck it up trying to prove that women can do what men do and that what men do is the best and the norm.

I’m really excited to see what my fellow writers come up with. A new piece will be posted on Vela each week; my first story will be up at the end of the month.

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Out of the Bush

I’m home safe in Whitehorse after spending a month deep in the central Yukon wilderness. Lots more news and updates to come soon, meantime here’s a photo (taken from the helicopter) of the area where we were working.

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Into the Bush

Just a short note to say I’m disappearing for the next three-plus weeks – I’ll be flying into a remote bush camp to work as a laborer, and will be incommunicado until mid-September. When I get back, I’ll catch up on the last days of my big road trip, my latest writing news, and of course my experience in the bush.

Enjoy the last of the summer!

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After a long delay, we’re happy to be reading submissions again. Check out our submissions guidelines here.

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I’m headed home after two months on the road — I’m in Prince Rupert, BC, now, and will be back in Whitehorse by Sunday. Looking forward to settling back in to Yukon life.

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