Michael Portillo in Conversation: Stanfords Travel Writers Festival 2020

Back by popular demand following his 2018 appearance, Michael Portillo returns to the Stanfords Travel Writers Festival. Since leaving politics we have watched him travel all around the world in his television documentaries. Championing the Bradshaw’s Handbook, Michael has looked in depth at the history of rail travel and how it opened up the world for people to travel. Hear him talk to Julia Wheeler about his vast travels and what he has learned along the way.

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Dr Jon Copley: Exploring the Ocean Depths: Stanfords Travel Writers Festival 2020

The wellbeing of our oceans has never been more important. But to truly understand the vital role they play, we need to first understand how the oceans work, how we explore them and learn about the mysteries they hold, and what our effect is on them. Combining untold history of ocean exploration and personal account of what it’s like to be a ‘bathynaut’ diving in a mini-submarine, Jonathan Copley brings to light weird and wonderful deep-sea creatures and how the oceans and their future is connected to our everyday lives.

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Ben Aitken: An Unlikely Year in Poland: Stanfords Travel Writers Festival 2020

In 2016 Ben Aitken moved to Poland to work in a fish and chip shop. He booked the cheapest flight he could find, to a place he had never heard of – Poznan. Between peeling potatoes and boning fish, Ben spent time on the road travelling the country and learning about its history. Talking to Julia Wheeler, Ben gives a bittersweet portrait of an unsung country, challenging stereotypes and revealing a diverse country, rightfully proud of its colourful identity.

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Lucy Richards: Where to Go When: Stanfords Travel Writing Festival 2020

Dreaming of your next adventure? Whether you’re looking for festivals and culture, an unforgettable journey, natural wonders, rest and relaxation, or active adventures, Lucy Richards talks to Paul Blezard about the most amazing places in the world and the best time of year to visit them. Discover when to explore Costa Rica’s rainforests, journey into the clouds in Nepal, sail between Croatia’s cypress-clad islands, or gaze at the saw-toothed crags of Canada’s Rocky Mountains.

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John Hudson: How to Survive: Stanfords Travel Writers Festival 2020

John Hudson talks to Paul Blezard about how strategies for life or death situations can help us excel in our everyday lives. Through gripping first-hand accounts of survival stories from across the extreme world you can develop the skills that allow you to make better decisions under pressure, which are as equally applicable to your interactions with colleagues or family, job interviews and public speaking, as to tackling Mount Everest.

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Sara Wheeler: Travels Through Russia: Stanfords Travel Writers Festival 2020

At a time of deteriorating relations between Russia and the West, Sara Wheeler talks to Julia Wheeler about a Russia not in the news – a Russia of humanity and daily struggles. Taking us across eight time zones, from rinsed north-western beetroot fields and far-eastern Arctic tundra to the cauldron of ethnic soup that is the Caucasus. She gives voice to the ‘ordinary’ people of Russia, and discovers how the writers of the Golden Age continue to represent their country today.

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Dom Joly: A Short Walk Across the Lebanon: Stanfords Travel Writers Festival 2020

Dom Joly talks to Julia Wheeler about his book The Hezbollah Hiking Club, in which he writes about hiking across Lebanon, from the Israeli border in the south, along the spine of the country’s mountain range, all the way to the Syrian border in the north. It is a big-hearted, witty and affectionate love letter to Lebanon and its rich history with a meditation on family and homeland at its heart. With Dom’s trademark humour, it is a paean to both the simple joys of friendship and to growing old disgracefully.

The Hezbollah Hiking Club by Dom Joly

The Hezbollah Hiking Club

Philip Parker: History of Maps in Britain: Stanfords Travel Writers Festival 2020

From Mappa Mundi to modern election maps, the United Kingdom has evolved rapidly, along with the ways in which it has been mapped. During this time, cartography has not only kept pace with these changes, but has often driven them. In his beautiful book, Philip Parker talks to Julia Wheeler about some of these maps that give a visual representation of the history of Britain.

History of Britain in Mapsby Philip Parker

History of Britain in Maps: Over 90 Maps of our Nation through Time

Matt Dickinson: The Death Zone: Stanfords Travel Writers Festival 2020

Matt Dickinson talks to Phoebe Smith about his first-hand experience of living through one of the most devastating storms ever to hit Mount Everest, a storm in which many lost their lives. Tackling issues at the very heart of mountaineering, Matt tells an extraordinary story of human triumph, folly and disaster.

The Death Zone by Matt Dickinson

The Death Zone

Develop your Travel Writing: Stanfords Travel Writers Festival 2020

Develop your travel writing with a panel of top writers and editors. Learn how to write travel articles and pitch to editors, set up and monetise a travel blog, or just write about your travels for your own pleasure. With Jonathan Lorie (author of The Travel Writer’s Way and director of Travellers’ Tales), Lyn Hughes (editor-in-chief and founder of Wanderlust) and Sarah Lee (award-winning blogger for LiveShareTravel). Suitable for all levels from beginner to semi-professional.