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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, Sunset, Wine Enthusiast, Report on Business, Toronto Life, Via, Globe & Mail, Walrus, Daily Beast. (The Muckrack assembly of some of my pieces.)

RANGE: 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.

EDITORIAL WORK: 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.

WRITING CLASS: I recently taught a class at Stanford on travel writing — if you’re interested, here’s its syllabus.

PRIVACY: I have co-authored two texts on privacy law — an area of law shifting rapidly, as you’d expect in the era of social media. (A link to a review of one).

LOST HORIZON: This is a feature for Sunset magazine, about a trip David and I took to a wilderness lodge on Vancouver Island. The piece has earned a place in the anthology Travel Stories of Wonder and Change, just out (left). I recently spoke about the anthology and read from the piece in a short segment on NPR’s All Things Considered.

OLDEST SAN FRANCISCO: I’m working on a book (for Reedy Press) on San Francisco, a new addition to a series they’ve been publishing, starting with Oldest Chicago. These books look at the oldest bars and bookstores, at old orphanages, lending libraries and restaurants — remember them? — and aim to tell the story of the city through its longstanding institutions.


Cover Stories: I recently wrote two cover stories for magazine 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.” (Below is the magazine cover featuring him.) For Sunset magazine, a travel piece on a nostalgia-inducing vacation to a lake in Oregon. (That cover is further down.)

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

On Books: 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: Three 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. I contributed to the list the Globe did of the top 100 books of 2020.

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 shelter-in-place order was issued mid-March. For the Globe, a story on the way we’re socializing online, while locked-down, a think-piece on the emerging rituals of the virtual party in the time of COVID.

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

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-lockdown comfort, cheese fondue, on its history and how, in the 1970s, the dish moved from being an Alpine specialty to a global phenomenon.

Garden: For the Chronicle, a look at the resurgence of the Victory Garden during the Pandemic. One man said: “In a time of disease and some deaths, it feels good to be raising living things.”


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


13: National Magazine Award nominations for articles in categories including Profiles, Society, Arts & Entertainment, Columns and Business —  three silvers, ten honorable mentions, to date.

1:  North American Travel Journalists’ Association gold for a 2009 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 re: California in 2016, also for the Tenderloin article.

2: Writing awards from the Washington D.C.-based 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