Sunset over Slemani, Iraqi Kurdistan.

Sunset over Slemani, Iraqi Kurdistan.


Profile at

April 10, 2018

Writer James Shackell takes a look at my Instagram work over at

TEDx at Emory University

February 24, 2018

I joined a fascinating group of speakers at the TEDx conference at Emory U., in Atlanta, this weekend. My talk kicked off the day, "Standing Still in the Stream: Empathy, Wonder, and the Power of Short Stories." 

Nat Geo Wild / writing a TV Series

December 2017

My treatment for a 4-part series on wolves just got the green light from NatGeo Wild. Thrilled to be heading into wolf territory soon. 

Fieldwork / The Arctic

November 15

It's been a decade since my last project in Arctic. Now I'm heading for King William Island to begin working on a magazine piece.

Fieldwork / Back to Kenya

October 14

Back to a tense Nairobi to continue work on a project with Fork Films. I'll be covering second round of elections, and what comes after.

New IG Series w/ Randy Olson

August 1

New series premiering this week with Randy. We've been looking lately at water—and how it runs through our work, sometimes obviously and sometimes by its absence leaving a mark. Join us for the journey @natgeo and on our personal feeds.

Remembering the Great War

Fieldwork / Kenya

July 25

Heading to Kenya this week for a new film project with Abby Disney and Fork Films. Happy to get back to Nairobi.

June 7

New story up at National Geographic, remembering one of the Great War's most unusual battles.

New Stories / VQR

Dispatches from Borneo

May 8

Just home from a few weeks' work in and beneath the rainforest of Borneo with photographer Carsten Peter. We're working on a story for Nat Geo about some of the largest and most spectacular caves in the world. I'll be posting short stories from the journey to Instagram. Join us @neilshea13

Spring 2017

I've got a new series of short essays appearing in The Virginia Quarterly Review called "Subway Rorschach." First story appears in the print issue; the series will also appear on VQR's Instagram feed, @vqreview. These pieces are a bit of a shift for me; more personal.

Fieldwork / Malaysia

Sewanee: The University of the South

April - May

Heading for Borneo to work on a story for National Geographic. My first visit to a rainforest!

March 28 - 30

Joining a group of journalists & professors for public discussions and classroom workshops on truth, facts + storytelling in the era of Trump.

AWP Conference / Washington, D.C

February 11, 2017

I'll be part of a panel called "Translating Iraq," with writers, poets and novelists who've worked in the country. 

March 23 | 7pm

I'll be talking National Geographic,  Instagram + storytelling at one of NYC's premier creative agencies.

Join us!

The Dreyfoos School for the Arts: West Palm Beach

Writing from the World's Most Challenging Places: NYC

January 11 - 13, 2017

I'll be giving classes and workshops on writing, storytelling, and creativity

December 13, 2016

Talking conflict journalism @ Passion Passport's HQ

Nieman Foundation / Harvard University

Seoul Digital Forum / South Korea

October 21, 2016

I'll be at Harvard this week giving a lecture + workshop on social media and journalism

May 19 - 20, 2016

Presenting a talk on Instagram storytelling to South Korea's premier digital conference. 

Passion Passport: Hong Kong + Cambodia

The Power of Narrative / Boston

February 14 - 29, 2016

Travel writing workshop and social media campaign in partnership with Passion Passport + Cathay Pacific Airways.

March 27 - 29, 2015

I'll be giving presentations on conflict reporting, journalism + memory, and social media storytelling at this conference.