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Ken Ilgunas

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Contact: [email protected]
Local authority: East Lothian
Languages: English
Ken Ilgunas's headshot

I’m an author and journalist, and sometimes I work as a backcountry ranger in Alaska. I’ve written about a few of my journeys, such as 10,000 miles of hitchhiking across North America, 1,000 miles of paddling across Ontario, Canada in a birchbark canoe, and living in a van for two years while studying for my Masters.

I’ve written for the New York Times, Backpacker, and Smithsonian. My adventures and books have been featured on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, The New Yorker, and National Geographic.

I have a B.A. from the University at Buffalo in history and English, and a Master’s from Duke University in liberal studies.

I am the author of the travel memoirs Walden on Wheels (about my journey to pay off my student loans) and Trespassing Across America (about my 1,700-mile hike across the Great Plains following the proposed route of the Keystone XL pipeline). My latest book, This Land Is Our Land, advocates for the Scottish “right to roam” to be imported to the U.S.

I’ve given close to 100 talks to bookstores, book festivals, high schools, and universities. I grew up in Wheatfield, New York, and I presently live in Dunbar, Scotland.

Local authorities can visit

Aberdeen City; Aberdeenshire; Angus; Argyll and Bute; Clackmannanshire; Dumfries and Galloway; Dundee; East Ayrshire; East Dunbartonshire; East Lothian; East Renfrewshire; Edinburgh City; Falkirk; Fife; Glasgow City; Highland; Inverclyde; Midlothian; Moray; Na h-Eileanan Siar (Western Isles); North Ayrshire; North Lanarkshire; Orkney Islands; Perth and Kinross; Renfrewshire; Scottish Borders; Shetland; South Ayrshire; South Lanarkshire; Stirling; West Dunbartonshire; West Lothian

Events can deliver

Panel event; Reading; Residency; Talk; Workshop

Audience can work with

Adult learners; Outdoor learning; Young people in the community (e.g. Youth clubs, Guides, Scouts)

Topics of work

Activism & protest; Adventure; Animals; Biography & memoir; Comedy, humour & funny books; Editing & editing your own work; Environment & climate; History; Human rights; Nature; Publishing & getting published; Self-publishing & independent publishing; Travel writing

Age groups published for

Children; Teens; Adults

Age groups can work with

0-2; 3-5; 6-8; 9-11; 12-14; 15-18; 18+

Audience size

0-10; 11-30; 31-100; 100-500; 500+