Writers Residency

Your diverse experiences and personal stories are the foundation of this community. Applications have now closed. The residency will run from July 1 through December 31st.

What is it?

Our Writers Residency for Underrepresented Storytellers is an initiative we put into action in 2020 to foster representation and support past-due conversations throughout the outdoor industry. We're prioritizing featuring the work of our industry's underrepresented communities because we need to do a better job of elevating and amplifying their voices.


Compensation (per person): $4,000 cash and gear package from partners.

Each resident will be profiled on the Outbound Collective's website, email, social channels to 15M+ users
Weekly featured work on the Outbound Collective's website, email, and social channels
Introductions & networking with our industry partners
Access to exclusive discounts from top industry brands
Work directly with the Outbound Collective's founders

2022 Residents

Erica Zazo

Hey, I'm Erica (she/her)! I'm a queer, Chicago-based, Midwest-loving freelance outdoor + travel writer. I am an outdoor generalist who loves dabbling in all types of activities like car camping, hiking, mountain biking, backpacking, kayaking, indoor climbing, SUPing, and log running (yup, log running – ask me about it). This writers residency means so much to me for a few reasons: 1) my identity is being celebrated, 2) my words will help inspire even more people to get outside, 3) this is an amazing opportunity to collab with outdoor brands I love and the Outbound Collective team.

InstagramRead their work

Clarice Henry

As an outdoor and travel enthusiast, Clarice spends her time hiking, backpacking, snapping photos, camping and swimming throughout the Sierras and beyond. She considers herself a global citizen who cares about preserving and taking care of mama Earth. She is a co-founder of Her Narrative Collective, sharing women’s stories to empower, inspire and cultivate community. Clarice works for the National Park Service and lives in Yosemite National Park with her boyfriend and two Namibian doggos, all of which she brought back with her after her service in the Peace Corps.

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Bree Salazar

Bree (she/her/hers) is passionate about contributing to the ongoing awakening, healing, and mobilizing of our communities byway of a connection to land and waters. She is almost always singing aloud a tune, even on a mountain top, but mostly behind the wheel of her van. Through this residency, Bree is preparing to deepen her understanding of and relationship with nature, her craft(s), and herself.

InstagramRead their work

Past Residents

Our Fall 2020/Spring 2021 residents are now alums. We're grateful for the experiences each of them shared during their residency, and we're staying connected as our outdoor adventures continue.

Angie Vasquez

(she/her) Angie is a photographer, writer and outdoor enthusiast who lives full-time in her van, Peter Parker. The founder of Girls Who Hike Florida, Angie created the hiking community to teach women how to safely recreate in the outdoors. She loves being in the outdoors and believes nature is a way to create deeper connections to herself and the world around her. Her ultimate goal is to continue exploring and teaching other women about all the benefits of the outdoors while discovering new adventures traveling in Parker.Get to know Angie on Instagram: @angels_excursions

Visit their Outbound profile

Francis Mendoza

(he/him/sila) Naturalist, environmental educator, interpreter and JEDAI (Justice, Equity, Diversity, Accessibility and Inclusion) consultant working with Black, Indigenous and people of color, along with other marginalized communities to ensure equitable access to nature for all.You can get to know Francis on Instagram: @roving_ranger

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Samara Almonte

she/her) Samara Almonte is part of the Michoacan diaspora, raised between the lakes and tierra caliente regions of Michoacan and occupied Coast Salish territory or the Pacific Northwest Coast. Samara identifies as a P’urhepecha descendant reconnecting with her ancestors, which has greatly influenced her work as storyteller and urban planner. She grounds her work in a decolonial framework that uplifts Indigenous self-determination. Samara is the producer and host of Raíces Verdes. Raíces Verdes is an environmental justice storytelling platform, centering the healing and experiences of Black, Indigenous, people of color. You can get to know Samara on Instagram: @nuestrasraicesverdes

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Amanda Machado

Based in Oakland, California, Amanda Machado writes essays and facilitates workshops on justice and anti-oppression for organizations around the world. She said, “In many ways, I don’t see it as a “day job” separate from my writing work, because the conversations I facilitate in these workshops are also a means of sharing stories about power and privilege, and creating space for exploring these topics together.

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Adam Edwards

Adam Edwards is an outdoorsman and writer based in Portland Oregon. You can find him trying to share the experiences of his day-to-day life as an arborist, writer, whitewater kayaker, and his lived experience as a person of color who is deeply invested in outdoor activities. 

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Erin McGrady

Erin McGrady is a freelance photographer, writer, content creator, and Squarespace web designer based in Asheville, North Carolina. Her first formal introduction to the National Park system was when she was eight. Her grandparents took her and her siblings on an RV trip to Shenandoah National Park for her first taste of true adventure, trails, and hiking. She's been addicted to exploring ever since. She said, “The outdoors have had such a positive impact on my life. Some of my most treasured memories are from time spent outside. Those experiences have helped me develop self-confidence, meet new people, deepen existing relationships, and boost my overall happiness. I think it should be a right to access the outdoors, not just a privilege.”

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Industry Partners

We thank HOKA, Coleman, Darn Tough, and KOA for complementing our residents’ cash compensation with substantial gear packages.


Q. Do I need to be a writing professional to become a resident?

A. No. This is an awesome opportunity to work on writing abilities - you don’t need to be a professional writer or photographer to be a resident.

Q. What are you looking for in a writer?

A. We want to work with people who are excited to share their experience in the outdoors. We love individuals who write like they speak, are honest and genuine in their experiences, and are open to communicate with us! 

Q. What do you want writers to write?

A. You can write just about anything. We’re asking for two stories per month: One listicle (like “My five top hikes near *insert place you love*) and one additional. The second piece can be another list or something totally different like a how-to, a trip agenda for an adventure you’ve taken or a personal essay on why you love making camping food that reminds you of home. We are also accepting poetry, gear reviews, and other forms of writing. Got ideas? Let’s talk! We love local insight, personal stories, and anything that will relate to and help readers!

Q. Where do residents get photos for their pieces?

We’d love a mix of personal and stock photos. You don’t need to be a photography professional. We’re ok with phone shots so long as they are clear and have a high resolution! We do occasionally use stock images and can help with sourcing. 

Q. Do I have to share intense personal stories? Does every story center around race, gender, sexuality, or other deep topics?

A. No. You can write about whatever you’d like! We do not want you to share pieces you’re uncomfortable with or to feel like we want you to dig deep into your soul and past trauma to write for us. If you want to do a listicle of favorite hikes in your area, we love it. If you want to share how it felt to meet people who look like you at a crag for the first time, we love it. Our editor Hatie is always here to help with story ideas, angles, and anything you need during the writing process. 

Q. Do we accept ESL writers? 

A. Yes! 

Q. Do writers have to live in the U.S.?

A. No. 

Q. When and how do residents get paid?

A. We pay $1000 at the start, $2000 three months in, and $1000 at the end of the term. We connect writers with our accountant who can pay directly to your bank account or send paper checks.

Q. What does story editing look like?

A. Great question! Hi! I’m Hatie - the Editor of the Outbound Collective. I’ll be working with you on anything from theming pieces for different times of the year to making grammar edits and story suggestions. You upload your story and photos to the website. I'll edit the draft for clarity and grammar and let you know it's good to go. If I have more feedback or suggestions, we'll chat via email! Pieces rarely go through two rounds of edits, and my goal is to help you improve your storytelling skills which will reduce edits over time.

Q. How do writers turn in stories?

A. Writers will have contributor accounts on our website. They upload their stories and photos there, and our website alerts editor Hatie when a new draft is available. It’s easy and fast and we’re here to help if anyone has trouble learning the system.

Q. Where do the stories live?

A. On your writer profile on the site! (Check out some past residents and their work here.) Some stories will also be published to our main website or shared in our weekly Field Guide email or on social media. By joining the residency, you’re sharing story and image rights with the Outbound Collective. We will always credit you and sing your praises!

Q. What brands are supporting the 2022 residency?

A. The 2022 Writers Residency for Underrepresented Storytellers would not be possible without support from Eddie Bauer, HOKA, Coleman, and KOA for providing monetary support and gear packages.