Our Founders

EmmaLucy Cole FRGS

Festival Co-Director

During more than twenty years researching Arabic culture, including two years living with a Bedouin tribe in Egypt, EmmaLucy has run cultural events, presented at conferences, and written for international journals. She was invited to speak at the Royal Geographical Society's 2019 MicroLectures, and regularly delivers talks across the UK about travel and 'downward exploration'. EmmaLucy teaches at INTO University of Exeter and is researching how female travel writers represent the Middle East.


"Great travel writing is an invitation into everyone else's ordinary."

Iain Harper

Festival Co-Director

Beyond his career in marketing, Iain is a co-founder of The Ted Simon Foundation, a regular contributor of words and pictures to Overland Magazine, and has been involved in organising major adventure travel events since 2007. He's travelled in Europe and North America, and once spent six months volunteering at Europe's oldest Tibetan Buddhist monastery in Scotland.

"Travel storytelling can be a beautiful kind of alchemy."