Register to attend the 2017 S.B. Writers Conference

View the 2107 Schedule (7.5 Mb)

Find the distinctive voices of your characters and then allow them the freedom to lead you through your story.

- Walter Dallenbach

Opening night will be Sunday, June 17 2018. 

Workshop leader updates for 2018 are still in development.

Swirl2018 Conference Schedule


June 19 9:00 am - 11:30 am
June 20 9:00 am - 11:30 am
June 21 9:00 am - 11:30 am
June 22 9:00 am - 11:30 am
June 23 9:00 am - 11:30 am

Travel Writing (and Nonfiction)

If you're anything like me — and I know I am — before you walk into a workshop you like to know what you're getting into. My Travel Writing Workshop is basically a condensed course in nonfiction — but "on the hoof." You'll learn how to write an engaging, lively travel piece — and by extension any nonfiction story for publication — through a carefully structured series of lessons and exercises. (This is not a read-and-critique workshop.) We'll start broadly by examining the many categories of travel pieces, then narrow our focus. You'll learn how to organize your raw material into a story (with special attention to leads and conclusions), mine your memories to create scenes and descriptions, and come up with sentences and words that pop off the page. I'll also reveal how to snag tax write-offs and free travel, if that's of interest :) On another level, travel writing gives you a lifelong education in everything from architecture to zoology, and opens up a richer, deeper life for you — and your readers. Note: My workshop takes a systematic approach for maximum learning; I recommend you come on the first day, but you're welcome any time.

Workshop Leaders

Jerry Camarillo Dunn

Jerry Camarillo Dunn, Jr. is a nonfiction and travel writer whose credits include more than 600 articles and 11 books, among them travel guides for National Geographic and the Smithsonian. His popular book My Favorite Place on Earth (Nat Geo), features 75 remarkable people — from the Dalai Lama to Jane Goodall to Jerry Seinfeld — revealing the places they love most.

Jerry's work has won three Lowell Thomas Awards, the 'Oscars' of the field, from the Society of American Travel Writers. He has also been a staff editor-writer at National Geographic Traveler magazine, contributing editor at Islands, and editor-in-chief of Santa Barbara Magazine. He has taught Travel Writing workshops for 27 years.[More]