Sunset over Slemani, Iraqi Kurdistan.

Sunset over Slemani, Iraqi Kurdistan.

Nat Geo Live

March 28, 2019

I’ll be on stage in Washington, D.C., with photographer David Guttenfelder to talk about how we explored Tokyo—the world’s largest city—on foot for a special issue of Nat Geo magazine.

More soon …

Borneo’s Lost World

March 2019

This month in National Geographic magazine — Exploring the world’s largest and wildest caves beneath the rainforests of Malaysia’s Mulu National Park.

Fieldwork / Norway

November 2018

I’ll be in the Barents Sea this month aboard the icebreaker KV Svalbard to see how Norway manages, and monitors, its vast Arctic territory.

Fieldwork / Wolves

August - September

Heading to the high Arctic this month to study the white wolves of Ellesmere Island and to try to “embed” with a wolf pack…

Podcast deal with Stitcher!


Taylor and I will create a 10-part podcast that investigates an unsolved murder and dives deep into the unfinished business of race in America. Release in autumn 2019 on Stitcher

Fieldwork / Tokyo

May - June 2018

Cities are humanity’s greatest invention, says Harvard Prof. Edward Glaeser. This month I’m going to walk across humanity’s largest invention —Tokyo—for Nat Geo’s upcoming issue on cities.

Profile at

April 10, 2018

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

TEDx at Emory U.

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 / TV Series

December 2017

Just got the green light to write a 3-part television series on Arctic wolves for 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

Truth in the Age of Trump: 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

I’ll be joining journalists & professors a Sewanee, The University of the South, for public panels and 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

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

February 14 - 29, 2016

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

The Power of Narrative / Boston

March 27 - 29, 2015

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