“BATW’S 'Travel Stories From Around The Globe' Book Launch” — by Diane LeBow

“BATW’s Travel Stories From Around the Globe Book Launch”
by Diane LeBow, BATW President emerita
[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”]

Elisa Southard ©John Montgomery
Elisa Southard ©John Montgomery

“What a fun and lively group!” a Book Passage staff member remarked about our standing-room-only enthusiastic crowd that welcomed BATW’s beautiful and inspiring new publication. On Saturday, March 17, 2012, BATW launched a collection of Travel Stories from Around the Globe: Discoveries, Insights, and Adventures From the Members of Bay Area Travel Writers. This event marked the successful culmination of one of the many goals set at the 2007 BATW Board of Directors’ Retreat: an anthology of members’ travel narratives.
During the past year, Board members Elisa Southard, Erin Caslavka and former Program Chair Sandy Sims, with Board support, brought this dream to fruition by collecting and publishing some of the best of our members’ literary travel writing. These three stalwart women navigated through the hoops and twists of determining criteria for a collection, procedures for jurying the submissions and engaging top-level judges. They then worked with BATW members Jim Shubin and Laurie King, who generously donated their expertise and time to design, develop, and publish this premier anthology. Jim is a professional graphic designer and photographer Laurie, an experienced editor, award-winning writer and book producer—as well as our former Treasurer and VP during my tenure as President. Laurie’s story, “Silk from Ashes,” was one of the 23 selected for the anthology.
Three highly respected individuals in the world of travel writing agreed to be our judges: Julia Cosgrove, editor of the award-winning magazine Afar, John Flinn, former editor of the San Francisco Chronicle’s travel section for 15 years; and Janet Fullwood, editor of the Sacramento Bee’s travel section for 21 years.
[/fusion_builder_column][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”]
Ginny Prior and Diane LeBow ©John Montgomery
Ginny Prior and Diane LeBow ©John Montgomery

A process was set up in which members were invited to submit their entries through a “blind” system. Some 60 BATW members submitted stories. Our three judges, separately and without consulting each other, read through submissions, identified only numerically, that were received and prepared by the Anthology Committee: Elisa, Erin, and Sandy. Each story was rated on a scale of 1 to 3, the results tallied by the committee and the finalists chosen. The selections were based on specific criteria with regard to suitability for this anthology: originality, creativity, accuracy and appropriateness for general readership.
The owners of Book Passage, Bill, Elaine and Kathryn Petrocelli, hosted us in the main events area of their superb bookstore, which you probably know is the home of internationally acclaimed Travel Writers, Photographers, and Food Writers annual August Conference. Try and participate in this event if you have not yet done so. On Saturday, the day of our launch party, Book Passage set up a delicious buffet of breakfast pastries, tea and coffee.
[/fusion_builder_column][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”]
Erin Caslavka ©John Montgomery
Erin Caslavka ©John Montgomery

Our inventive Program Chair Erin Caslavka, in honor of St. Patrick’s Day, decorated herself and many of us in various forms of Wearing of The Green: Erin in emerald-green bobbing shamrock antennae; our capable and witty President Ginny Prior, decorated in a face-framing shamrock; and all book contributors in beribboned green award badges.
During the brief business meeting and introduction of new members and guests, Ginny introduced new Associate member Alan Humason, Executive Director of Yolo County Visitors Bureau, who invited BATW members to contact him for information about that area.
Don George, Editor-at-Large for National Geographic Traveler and former Editor of the San Francisco Chronicle’s Travel Section, wrote a stirring introduction for the anthology and led off our program with his usual witty and thoughtful remarks. He pointed out that his career as a travel writer in the Bay Area, beginning in the 1980s, parallels BATW’s own roots in the same period. Don honored Georgia Hesse, who was in the audience, who founded the San Francisco Examiner’s Travel Section in 1963, and in whose footsteps Don followed as Chronicle Travel Editor. We are all fortunate that Georgia is now BATW VP. Georgia has two beautifully crafted stories in the anthology.
One contributor from each section of the book–Europe and Great Britain; The Americas; Pacific Rim; Africa, Tibet, India; and About Travel–was invited to read a brief selection from their piece. They included Kimberly Lovato (“Lost and Liberated”), Inga Aksamit (“Bear Encounters on the Chilkoot Trail”), Lisa Alpine (“The Blue Eye”), Kristin Zibell (“Color Within the Lines”) and Diane LeBow (“The Infelicities of Travel: Gems among the Ruins”).
One of BATW’s newest members and an up-and-coming star in the travel writing community, Kristin Zibell, said to me: “Being chosen for the anthology was a dream come true. I have written about travel mostly for online on my blog takeyourbigtrip.com and other sites, but it’s seeing my story in print among the incredibly talented travel writers from this organization that makes me feel very proud.”
Munching on the delicious chocolate cake that Program Chair Erin provided as we chatted after the program, we once again realized how much we all relish the sense of professional camaraderie, community and encouragement that BATW provides all of us.
[/fusion_builder_column][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][Information on how to purchase Travel Stories from Around the Globe is available elsewhere on this website.]
 [/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

Share:

Share on facebook
Share on Facebook
Share on twitter
Share on Twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on Linkdin
Share on email
Email

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *