Working for a newspaper in a town of 30,000, Matt faced two deadlines each morning and was expected to produce a few articles daily. On a given morning, he could write investigative stories about spy satellites and the U.S. space program, a feature on an Elvis impersonator,
or an update on local hospital board elections. His geographic beat has expanded considerably since then but the fundamentals remain the same whether he is writing a magazine piece or a blog: Grab the reader and tell a good story.
Central Coast Wine Article Takes Top Honor
Matt’s story on Central Coast wine regions for Los Angeles magazine won a gold award in the 2019 Society of American Travel Writers Foundation’s Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Competition.
New Articles for Alta, The Journal of Alta California
As a regular contributor to this prestigious quarterly, Matt is writing features focused on the environment of California.
Pressed For Space. Article on the history and environmental issues at the Santa Susana Field Laboratory, a major U.S. space program landmark.
Mojave on My Mind. An essay about the Mojave Desert 25 years after the passage of the California Desert Protection Act of 1994.
Magazine Writer of the Year
A collection of articles for Arizona Highways magazine earned Matt honors as the 2017 Magazine Writer of the Year from the International Regional Magazine Association. He has won multiple honors from the organization, including golds in several categories.
Blazer Story for Arizona Highways
A story Matt wrote about exploring Navajo Country earned the silver award in the best US/Canada travel article category in the 2015 Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Competition, sponsored by the Society of American Travel Writers Foundation.
Cities and Towns
Matt loves the challenge of catching up on the local buzz when he arrives in a town. A morning walk can offer all sorts of insights and another good bet is to find a breakfast joint with a counter rather than a cafe with sofas: no laptops, more cops, and plenty of stories.
Matt was thirteen before he first visited a national park, until then his idea of open space was the outfield at Wrigley Field. It can be humbling to try and say something new about the world’s great places but then again, that’s the challenge. What can you write about the Grand Canyon that hasn’t been written already? You’ll never find out if you don’t ask the question.
The challenge of environmental writing is to take complicated subjects and make them relevant to readers by presenting scientific questions in an engaging manner. No issue is more important than the environment but readers can be easily overwhelmed unless they understand how the fate of places, both near and distant, directly relates to their own lives. Humor and personal experiences can break down that resistance, unglaze those glazed eyes, and help raise awareness.