Writing

A selection of recent stories, along with some older favorites.


 U.S. soldiers drop over the Donnelly Training Area near Fort Greely, Alaska. photo by  Louie Palu .

U.S. soldiers drop over the Donnelly Training Area near Fort Greely, Alaska. photo by Louie Palu.

Scenes from the next Cold War

The polar sea that kept human ambition in check for hundreds of years is melting. Will military forces move in?
(This story is part of a large multi-year project at National Geographic.)

at National Geographic / October 2018

 
 After a firefight and mortar attack, U.S. soldiers regroup in remote Afghanistan. Photo by  Neil Shea

After a firefight and mortar attack, U.S. soldiers regroup in remote Afghanistan. Photo by Neil Shea

On Michael Herr

Remembering the reclusive author of "Dispatches."
In The American Scholar / July 2016 

 Running for cover in Ramadi, Iraq. Photo by  Andrea Bruce

Running for cover in Ramadi, Iraq. Photo by Andrea Bruce

Ramadi Nights

Winning the war in Iraq.
In The Virginia Quarterly Review / Winter 2008

 Leaping from trees onto homes, a wildfire chews through a California neighborhood. Photo by  Mark Thiessen .

Leaping from trees onto homes, a wildfire chews through a California neighborhood. Photo by Mark Thiessen.

Under Fire

Why west is burning.
In National Geographic / July 2008

 Yazidi womem, former ISIS slaves, at a refugee camp in Kurdistan. Photo by  Yuri Kozyrev .

Yazidi womem, former ISIS slaves, at a refugee camp in Kurdistan. Photo by Yuri Kozyrev.

The Other Iraq

The Kurds battle for survival against ISIS, and wonder when the next war will begin.
In National Geographic Magazine / February 2016

 A traditional healer near the village of Illeret in northern Kenya. Photo by  Neil Shea

A traditional healer near the village of Illeret in northern Kenya. Photo by Neil Shea

Last Rites for the Jade Sea

Lake Turkana sustains the tribes in Kenya’s remote north, but projects upstream threaten its lifeblood.
In National Geographic / August 2015

 An elder of the Kara tribe along a high bank of the Omo River. Photo by  Randy Olson .

An elder of the Kara tribe along a high bank of the Omo River. Photo by Randy Olson.

Africa's Last Frontier

Ethiopia's Omo River Valley.
In National Geographic / March 2010

 
 Expecting enemy fire, U.S. troops spread out during a patrol in Wardak Province, Afghanistan. Photo by  Neil Shea

Expecting enemy fire, U.S. troops spread out during a patrol in Wardak Province, Afghanistan. Photo by Neil Shea

A Gathering Menace

"We call this a Taliban recruiting drive."
In The American Scholar / Spring 2012

 Deep in the Cuban countryside, Fidel Castro keeps watch over a farmer’s household. Photo by  Neil Shea

Deep in the Cuban countryside, Fidel Castro keeps watch over a farmer’s household. Photo by Neil Shea

The Revolution Is

A cross-country journey through Castro’s Cuba as the Revolution turns 50.
In the Virginia Quarterly Review / Spring 2009

More

A Failure to Communicate
Foreign Policy / 2010

What the U.S. is Leaving Behind in the Pech Valley
Foreign Policy / 2011

Madagascar’s Stone Labyrinth
National Geographic / 2009

How to Tell Powerful Stories on Instagram
Nieman Reports / 2015

The Talking Season
The Virginia Quarterly Review / 2010

The War Down Below
Fighting underground in Belgium
National Geographic / 2017

Nowhere Girl
Letter from the Kakuma Refugee Camp
The American Scholar / 2015

A Tale of War and Forgetting
Rescuing the memory of a cataclysm
The American Scholar / 2014

Snapshots from a Fading War
The American Scholar / 2013

Under Paris
National Geographic / 2011