Workshop on Narrative Journalism and Travel Writing: Reading and writing tools with the legacy of Michael Jacobs

In the context of Hay Festival Arequipa 2022, we offer this Journalism Workshop to explore the concepts and tools of travel writing and its connection to other ways of approaching the world, led by journalists Federico Bianchini and Ernesto Picco, both winners of the Michael Jacobs Travel Chronicle Fellowship. The workshop seeks to strengthen interest in travel writing, creating a new space for reflection and work on the subject for journalists who are interested in this topic, and enhancing the legacy of Michael Jacobs and his narrative heritage. The workshop will be held with a select group of journalists and/or writers with or without previous experience who are developing a chronicle or travel book project. This training is for people from all backgrounds (the festival covers workshop expenses, not accommodation or transportation).

Call for application now closed

1. Basis
For seven consecutive years, the Michael Jacobs Travel Writing Grant has not only resulted in the appearance of new books of the genre produced by the winning chroniclers, but has also set in motion a remarkable number of journalists from Ibero-America who, year after year, apply with projects of interest and potential. The characteristics of the applications have opened questions not only about the quality of the proposals, about their virtues and about what they still lack to become more solid projects, but also about the limitations and possibilities of travel writing, and its link with literary journalism and with the anthropological, sociological and historical look that many projects propose.

The creation of a workshop to discuss the concepts and tools of travel writing and its link with other ways of approaching the world and telling it, can be a plus that raises the quality of the proposals, strengthens the interest in travel writing, promotes a new space for reflection and work on the subject, and enhances the legacy of Michael Jacobs and his narrative heritage. 

2. Target audience

Journalists and/or writers from Ibero-America interested in travel writing, with or without experience, who are developing a chronicle or travel book project. 

3. Modality of work

The workshop will be held at Hay Festival Arequipa with a group of up to fifteen participants. The development will take place in three face-to-face meetings of three hours each, on consecutive days. 

3.1. Contents

Day 1: Reading tools

First part: Narrative journalism and travel chronicle. Genres, characteristics and essential texts.

Second part: The work of Michael Jacobs. Analysis of "The Factory of Light" and contributions to the genre.

Day 2: Writing tools

First part: Narrating the Other and breaking with common sense, reporting and writing tools based on the experience of "Soñar con las islas", by Ernesto Picco.

Second part: Reporting and writing tools based on the experience of "Antarctica, 25 días cerrado en el hielo", by Federico Bianchini.

Day 3: Proposal workshop

We will work on the students' topics: we will talk about the approaches and decisions to carry them forward. 
About the teachers of the workshop:

Federico Bianchini (Buenos Aires, 1982) has a degree in Audiovisual Communication and is a journalist. He worked as an editor at the newspapers Clarín and La Razón and as an editor at Anfibia magazine. Winner of the Las Nuevas Plumas and Don Quijote/Rey de España (EFE/Spain) awards, he published the chronicle books Desafiar al cuerpo and Cuerpos al límite (Aguilar). After spending a month in Antarctica, he wrote Antártida: 25 días encerrado en el hielo (Tusquets), which won him the Michael Jacobs Scholarship from the Gabriel García Márquez Foundation (FNPI). Later, for her theatrical adaptation of the text he received the Premio estímulo a la creación y la producción de artes escénicas del Banco Ciudad and the Complejo Teatral de Buenos Aires, and acted in the play that was staged in different theaters in Buenos Aires. He coordinates the Diplomas of fiction and non-fiction of the Universidad Portátil, and collaborates with national and international media.

Ernesto Picco (Santiago del Estero, 1982) has a PhD in Social Sciences from the UBA and in Communication from the UNLP. He is a teacher, journalist and researcher at the UNSE. As a columnist he has published in media outlets such as Anfibia, Crisis, Angular, Subida de Línea, Frontera Digital, El DiarioAr, among others. Winner of the Michael Jacobs Traveling Chronicle grant in 2019, with which he published the book Soñar con las Islas: una crónica de Malvinas más allá de la guerra (Prohistoria 2020). He is also the author of the books Crónicas de tierra y asfalto (Edunse, 2019) and Crónicas del litio: Sudamérica en disputa por el futuro de la energía global (Futurock, 2022). 

Partner for Latin America


Principal Sponsors

Fundación BBVA Continental

Government Partner

Arequipa Gobierno Regional

Institutional Partner

Ford Foundation