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Travel Writing

"They say that travel broadens the mind 'til you can't get your head out the door".  -  Elvis Costello.

Tourism, traveling, adventure, these have all been tremendous influences in both nonfiction and fiction alike since the (often tall) tales of explorers centuries ago to the earliest of novels such as Moby Dick and Robinson Crusoe. Traveling today has become significantly easier over time, but the motivation and experience of traveling remain as varied today as ever. Tourism is a huge industry, and luxury ocean liners and plush resorts can make traveling to exotic locales as safe and about as intellectually stimulating as a visit to a local playground, but not everyone craves the safety, convenience and comforts of home while traveling the world.

Panel discussion at the Waterwheel Bar, Saturday September 16th, 2pm-3.30pm.

This event is free

 Vera Moret Frendak, Panel Moderator

Vera Moret Frendak, Panel Moderator

Vera Moret Frendak is the organizer and moderator of the travel panel. A writer and journalist Vera is also a mother and grandmother.  After a variety of careers and experiences, Vera answered an ad in a local paper to work as a stringer, covering township and municipal meetings and over time she gained the confidence to call herself a freelance writer. Link to Vera's work. 

Vera is also an activist for mental health care as well as smooth rehabilitation into society of nonviolent drug offenders.  A long distance runner of some forty years, she lives with her husband, Eric, and 4 cats to whom they give unconditional love and, in turn, are rewarded with random acts of malicious intent.  

Vera lives in Shohola.

 Michael Pearson, Author

Michael Pearson, Author

Michael Pearson teaches creative writing and American literature at Old Dominion University.  He has published essays and stories in The Boston GlobeThe Baltimore SunThe Atlanta Journal and ConstitutionThe New York Times, The Washington Post, The Southern Literary Journal, Shenandoah Review, ChautauquaThe Morning NewsCreative Nonfiction, and many others.  He is the author of seven books – among them Imagined Places: Journeys into Literary America (1991 -- listed as a notable book by The New York Times Book Review), Dreaming of Columbus: A Boyhood in the Bronx (1999), Innocents Abroad Too (2008 -- a narrative about two journeys around the world by ship), and, most recently, Reading Life -- On Books, Memory, and Travel (2015).  Pearson has also written Shohola Falls (2003 -- a coming-of-age novel that imagines the hidden life of Mark Twain and the journal of Thomas Blankenship, the real-life Huck Finn).  Willie Morris, the former editor of Harper’s, said, “Michael Pearson is one of our nation’s finest memoirists.”

Michael lives in New York and Virginia.


Ed Wetschler is the Caribbean editor of Recommend, one of the premier magazines for the travel trade. In June he won the Caribbean Tourism Organization Inner Circle Media award for his coverage of travel trends. 

Ed also owns a share of the travel social network Tripatini, and in his spare time he freelances for consumer publications, chairs the Society of American Travel Writers (SATW) Ethics Committee, and performs pro bono public relations for a nonprofit. None of this impresses his dog. 

From 1984 to 2004 he worked at Diversion, Hearst's travel-and-leisure monthly for physicians, where he was promoted to editor-in-chief. He also created editions of SmartMoney magazine for physicians. Since resigning from Hearst he has contributed to The New York Times, Delta Sky, Caribbean Travel & Life, Budget Travel, Caribbean Escapes, and various online media. In 2007 he worked as acting editor of Milford Magazine. Ed has also served as chair of the Northeast Chapter of SATW.

 Sherry Amatenstein, Author

Sherry Amatenstein, Author

Sherry Amatenstein is a journalist, author and  psychotherapist. Her latest book is the anthology, How Does That Make You Feel: True Confessions From Both Sides of the Therapy Couch . She also wrote, The Q & A Dating Book, Love Lessons From Bad Breakups, and The Complete Marriage Counselor. Her great love is travel journalism, and she has travelled the globe from Kenya and Alaska to Finland, Costa Rica, Belize, Hawaii and Australia, as well as many fabulous spots closer to her New York City home. More importantly travel writing opened the door for her to write about human interest issues such as the street kids of Rio de Janeiro and ‘witches camps’ in Ghana. She has authored travel-related stories for numerous publications like Hemispheres, Pace, New York Daily News, Toronto Star, and New Jersey Star LedgerRedbook, Woman’s Day and For the Bride.