The world, firsthand.

Deca, writers, journalists, collective, writing, journalism, digital longform, Kindle, cooperative, global, international, stories, narrative, Rania Abouzeid, Elizabeth Dickinson, Sonia Faleiro, Stephan Faris, McKenzie Funk, Vanessa Gezari, Marc Herman, Mara Hvistendahl, Delphine Schrank, and Tom Zoellner.


Rania Abouzeid is an award-winning journalist covering the Middle East, with a focus on Syria. Her writing has appeared in Time, The New Yorker, Foreign Affairs, National Geographic, Politico, and many other outlets. She is also a television commentator on Mideast affairs and has given talks at Harvard, Princeton, the New America Foundation and a number of other institutions in the US and Europe. Her story on the roots of ISIS, "The Jihad Next Door," won the George Polk Award, the Michael Kelly Award, and the Frontline Club Award. A Lebanese-Australian, she lives in Beirut.

Elizabeth Dickinson is a Gulf-based American journalist whose writing has appeared in The New Yorker, Foreign Policy, The Economist, The Christian Science Monitor, and The National, among other publications. She is the author of the Kindle Single Who Shot Ahmed, an account of a young videographer shot in cold blood at the height of Bahrain’s Arab Spring. She is also co-editor of the recent book The Southern Tiger, a narrative memoir by Chilean President Ricardo Lagos. She has reported from five continents and speaks French, Spanish, and Krio (Sierra Leone), as well as basic Yoruba and Arabic.

Sonia Faleiro is the award-winning author of Beautiful Thing: Inside the Secret World of Bombay’s Dance Bars, named a Book of the Year by The Economist, The Guardian, the San Francisco Chronicle, Kirkus, The Observer, CNN, Time Out, and The Sunday Times. It has been published worldwide and translated into languages including Hindi, French, Polish, Swedish, and Dutch. Sonia’s writing and photos have appeared in The New York Times, The New York Times Book Review, Granta, and Vogue. She divides her time between London and India.

Stephan Faris is a contributor to Time, Bloomberg Businessweek, and The Atlantic. Based in Rome, he has lived in and written from Beijing, Nairobi, Istanbul, and Lagos and covered stories across Africa, Europe, and the Middle East, including the invasion of Iraq and the civil war in Liberia. His book, Forecast: The Consequences of Climate Change, from the Amazon to the Arctic, from Darfur to Napa Valley, has been translated into Chinese, Japanese, and Portuguese.

McKenzie Funk is the author of Windfall, named a book of the year by The New Yorker, Mother Jones, Salon, and A National Magazine Award finalist and former Knight-Wallace Fellow, he won the Oakes Prize for a story about the melting Arctic and was a finalist for the Livingston Award for his interview in Tajikistan with one of the first prisoners released from Guantanamo Bay. His writing appears in Harper's, National Geographic, Rolling Stone, Outside, and The New York Times Magazine. Mac speaks five languages and is a native of the Pacific Northwest, where he lives with his wife and sons.

Vanessa M. Gezari has reported from four continents for The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, Slate, The New Republic, Mother Jones, and others. Her book on the war in Afghanistan, The Tender Soldier: A True Story of War and Sacrifice, was published in 2013. A visiting professor at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in New York City, Vanessa is a former Knight-Wallace Fellow and a three-time Livingston Award finalist. She has received grants from the Pulitzer Center and the Fund for Investigative Journalism; an International Reporting Project fellowship; and a MacDowell Colony writing residency.

Marc Herman is the author of Searching for El Dorado, an account of his travels with gold prospectors in the Amazon forest, and The Shores of Tripoli, a Kindle Single based on his reporting from the Libyan civil war. His writing has appeared in The Atlantic, Pacific Standard, Slate, Politico, Matter, the Believer, and GQ. A freelance reporter since 1993, he has lived in worked in Oakland, California, Georgetown, Guyana, Jakarta, Indonesia, and Barcelona, Spain, where he now lives with his family.

Mara Hvistendahl is a contributing editor at Science magazine and the author of Unnatural Selection, named a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, as well as a Best Book of 2011 by The Wall Street Journal, Slate, and Discover. Mara has written for The Atlantic, Harper’s, Scientific American, Popular Science, The Wall Street Journal, and Foreign Policy. A longtime correspondent in China, she now lives with her family in Minnesota.

Richard Poplak is a senior contributor at South Africa’s Daily Maverick. His books include Ja, No, Man: Growing Up White in Apartheid-Era South Africa, which was longlisted for the Alan Paton Non-Fiction prize, shortlisted for the University of Johannesburg Literary Award, and voted one of the top 10 books of 2007 by Now Magazine. A Rockefeller Foundation Fellow, Richard has won South Africa’s Media-24 Best Feature Writing Award and a National Magazine Award in Canada, and he holds the 2015 Bookmark title for best journalist in South Africa.

Delphine Schrank is a contributing editor at the Virginia Quarterly Review and the author of The Rebel of Rangoon: A Tale of Defiance and Deliverance in Burma, a 2015 book based on four years of undercover reporting. She was a staff writer and editor for five years at The Washington Post, and her writing has also appeared in Mother Jones, The Atlantic, Time, and Foreign Policy. A Franco-American based in Washington, D.C., Delphine has previously lived and worked in England, France, Belgium, Germany, Burma, Thailand, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Tom Zoellner is the author of five nonfiction books, including The Heartless Stone, Train, A Safeway in Arizona, and Uranium. His writing has also appeared in The Atlantic, Harper’s, Time, Foreign Policy, The Daily Beast, Slate, the Los Angeles Times, and the San Francisco Chronicle, and he has reported from Rwanda, Angola, Bolivia, Peru, Brazil, Russia, China, Japan, India, South Africa, Israel, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo, the United Kingdom, France, Spain, and Serbia. An associate professor of English at Chapman University, Tom lives in downtown Los Angeles.