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DSC00613I am a writer and editor based in the San Francisco Bay Area. At the right are links to a selection of articles for leading magazines, online publications and newspapers.

SELECTED OUTLETS: San Francisco Chronicle (and its magazine), The Guardian, Smithsonian Magazine, Los Angeles Times, San Francisco magazine, Sierra, Sunset, Reader’s Digest, Wine Enthusiast, Diablo, Report on Business, enRoute, Toronto Life, Via, Globe & Mail, Walrus, Daily Beast. (The Muckrack assembly of some of my pieces.)

As a journalist, I’ve ranged over a wide territory, writing long-form stories on business and tech, on travel, the arts and the law — the last, because I’m a former lawyer. After leaving the practice, I worked as an editor and columnist at Toronto Life magazine and a producer at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation — together a decade in these in-house roles. I left the CBC when we moved from Toronto to the Bay Area, and now contribute to a variety of publications. I’ve studied literature at Dartmouth College (A.B.) and Trinity College (Dublin) (M.Phil.) and law at the University of Toronto (J.D.).

FICTION: A novel, Until It Shimmers, is due out from Ace of Swords in 2022, with a second, The Freshman Book, to follow in 2023.

WRITING CLASS: This is the syllabus of a travel writing class I recently taught at Stanford.

LOST HORIZON: A feature I pulled together for Sunset magazine, told the story of a trip we took to a wilderness lodge on Vancouver Island. The piece has earned a place in the new anthology Travel Stories of Wonder and Change (left) and won a Lowell Thomas Gold (in the adventure travel category) from the Society for American Travel Writers. I recently read from the piece in a short segment on NPR’s All Things Considered.

TALES OF THE CITY: I’m currently working on Oldest San Francisco for Reedy Press, a book that will look at the city’s oldest bars and bookstores, its first orphanage and lending library, its longest-serving restaurants and cinemas. It aims to tell aspects of the city’s story through its longstanding institutions.


Cover Stories: I recently wrote two cover stories for magazines I’ve contributed to for some time: For Report on Business magazine, a profile of Netflix CMO Kelly Bennett, the ad man who helped the streaming service hit its current heights and then walked away — viz, “Netflix then Chill.” And, for Sunset magazine, a travel piece on a nostalgia-inducing vacation to a lake in Oregon. (Those covers feature below.)

On Nature: A feature for Sierra magazine on the crash of the monarch butterfly population in the West — a lament and a whodunnit.

El Capitan’s Army: A piece on the history of climbing in Yosemite and a new museum devoted to the subject (for the Los Angeles Times).

Broadway, Baby: A profile (for Reader’s Digest) of a young performer, Andrea Macasaet, getting her big break, playing Anne Boleyn in the Broadway production of Six. (This musical re-imagines Henry VIII’s wives as a girl group.)

On Statues Tumbling: A think-piece written in the wake of the statues of former slave-owners, explorers, presidents past and missionaries coming off their perches, in San Francisco and beyond.

On Books: Early on, in the lockdown, I wrote a piece on fiction and non-fiction about plagues past — how some of us weathered (and others didn’t) the mass illnesses that have afflicted us over the years. Also: Four columns on young-adult fiction: one on graphic novels dealing with trauma; another on those with LGBT protagonists; a third on books about the lives of girls and young women; a fourth on young people looking for love. I contributed to the list the Globe did of the top 100 books of 2021.

On Tech: For Report on Business magazine, an overview of developments in the Internet of Things. For the San Francisco Chronicle, a piece on a YMCA boot-camp group that took their workouts virtual after the first shelter-in-place orders were issued. For the Globe, a story on the emerging rituals of the virtual party.

On Politics: For San Francisco magazine, a short profile of California’s newish Lieutenant-Governor Eleni Kounalakis.

On Food and Drink: A piece for Wine Enthusiast magazine on a historic Oakland dive bar, Merchant’s Saloon, trying to weather this storm. And one on a Covid-lock-down comfort, cheese fondue, on its history and how, in the 1970s, the dish moved from being an Alpine specialty to a global phenomenon.


Two pieces have lately resurfaced: a profile of Stewart Butterfield which came back when he sold his office communications software company Slack to Salesforce for a whopping $27.7 billion, and one of the actor Christopher Plummer, who just died. It was written when he was about to play Prospero, a decade ago. Not his swan song, he said then, and he was right — he had an Oscar yet to win, playing against his usual imperious type in Mike Mills’s sweet Beginners.


13: National Magazine Award nominations for articles in categories including Profiles, Society, Arts & Entertainment, Columns and Business —  three silvers, ten honorable mentions. Never yet, a gold, but I live in hope.

1:  North American Travel Journalists’ Association gold for a piece for enRoute on Germany’s car city.

1: Bay Area Travel Writers’ Best of 2016 award for a piece in the Globe & Mail on San Francisco’s tough, historic Tenderloin district.

1: Eureka! Award for Best Newspaper Travel Piece of 2016 re: California, also for the Tenderloin article.

1: A Lowell Thomas Gold in Adventure Travel for a feature, written for Sunset, on a trip to Clayoquot Sound.

2: Writing awards from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education for pieces in the University of Toronto magazine, a gold for a story on an early aviation pioneer and a silver for one on an influential literary critic.

1: A gold for the aviation-pioneer piece from the Canadian Council for the Advancement of Education.

SOCIAL MEDIA: My instagram handle is @only_connect. Twitter is @Alec_Scott.

* Winners of writing awards

** Anthologized pieces