Neil Shea

writer | photographer | story consultant


Middle Passage

April 21, 2016

My latest Instagram-only series, in collaboration with photographer Lynsey Addario and National Geographic, is out now—appearing daily on National Geographic’s feed. The six-part project explores the journey of African refugees and migrants as they cross the Mediterranean Sea, hoping to remake their lives in Europe. Check in each day for a new installment, or find them all on Instagram under the hashtag #middlepassageNG.

Harvard’s Nieman Foundation

April 07, 2016

This Saturday I’ll be at Harvard’s Nieman Foundation, speaking about Instagram writing with a group of college journalists at the Christoper J. Georges Conference. Looking forward to it—and especially to hearing my co-panelist, Anastasia Taylor-Lind, talk about her amazing work...

True Story: experimental non-fiction at VQR

December 07, 2015

Thrilled to see a project finally come to life: This month, the Virginia Quarterly Review launches a non-fiction series on Instagram. Each week a new writer will take over the feed and deliver beautiful stories told briefly. We’ll gather the best of them into essays that will be published in the magazine—and the writer gets paid, too. Been working on this for a while with colleague Jeff Sharlet and editor Paul Reyes. Far as we know, it’s the first ever project of its kind.

Prose Poetry

September 12, 2015

Big thanks to The American Scholar for publishing in their fall issue some of my works-in-progress that combine photography, true stories, and prose poetry. I’ve been working in this form for a while, mostly with Instagram, but it’s exciting to see a pair of these non-fiction prose pieces turned out in print. I’m learning, slowly, that poetry is much more able than journalism to capture certain kinds of truth.

Short stories from a Dry Country

July 20, 2015

Excited about a new Instagram storytelling collaboration with my friend Randy Olson. We think it’s the first word+picture project of its kind on the platform. Please join us across three accounts, @natgeo, @randyolson, and @neilshea13 as we tell short, true stories from Ethiopia’s Omo River.

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