Meet Your Try Travel Writing Instructors

Kim Schneider photo

Kim Schneider

Kim Schneider is a pro at juggling notebook, camera and paddle (or reins or handlebars or dog sled team) while adventuring across the United States or abroad in search of a story waiting to be told. Her greatest reader compliment came from the woman who wrote, “When I read your work, I want to go to wherever you’re writing about—and with you as my guide!”


To our classes, Kim brings her experience as a university journalism and magazine writing instructor as well as more than a dozen years as a professional journalist, both as a full-time travel writer and blogger and now freelancer and contributing editor for several newspapers and magazines. While on story assignments, she’s had the chance to see polar bears in the wild, make chocolate with members of Ecuador’s Quechua tribe, pan for gold in Costa Rica—and much more. Her outlets include Parade Magazine, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, AAA Living, Midwest Living, Wine Country Magazine and other newspapers and magazines. Kim has won several awards for her travel, profile and news writing; and, in 2010, the Midwest Travel Writers Association named her the “Mark Twain Travel Writer of the Year.”


Kim writes from a home base amid the cherry orchards and wineries of Northern Michigan but loves the fact that the world is her office.

Janis Turk photo

Janis Turk

Janis Turk’s mother always says her middle name should have been “Go.” She was born to travel, and she’s still more at home on the open road than anywhere else. Since she first began working on a small town newspaper in high school, and through the years since of education, editing and writing for magazines and newspapers, Turk’s life has revolved around her goal to travel widely and write well.


After studying journalism and doing graduate work in Literature, Turk also spent years teaching university-level writing courses. It meant so much when a young student wrote, “You taught me to value my own voice and were the first one to tell me that I’m a good writer.”


To our workshop, Turk brings her experience as a professor as well as years as a professional journalist, food writer, photographer and contributing editor to several magazines. Turk’s bylines have appeared in United Airlines Hemispheres magazine, Southwest Airlines Spirit magazine, The Chicago-Tribune, AAA Traveler, The Dallas Morning News and more. In 2013, the New York Travel Fest honored her with a top award in travel writing.


Turk is at home with her loving supportive family in Texas but also keeps a toehold in New Orleans where she retreats, between travels, to feed her muse and dream of her next trip.

Michael Poehlman photo

Michael Poehlman

Michael Poehlman, our photography instructor, will help you see the world as an art director would, and also to capture your surroundings like a seasoned travel photographer. He’ll coach you on identifying a promising photographic subject, refining your perspective, dialing-in the best light for a particular scene and simplifying your compositions in order to elevate any given documentary moment to something more like docu-art. These skills will help you tell a visual story with your piece and help you to enhance your article, giving it a better chance of selling.


Michael divides his time between Brazil, Northern Michigan and New York City, producing photos and other digital media for commercial and news clients around the world. A former picture editor and art director at Getty Images in New York, Michael has had pictures appear in Time Magazine, US News & World Report, Men’s Health, Women’s Health, Yankee Magazine and more. He has also art-directed photographers on four continents.

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Upcoming Trips

New Orleans Culinary Classics

February 20-24, 2014


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