Mary Bergin

Mary Bergin in Jerusalem, 2012

I am an author and lifelong journalist whose specialties are travel and food writing, especially in the Midwest U.S.

Easily amused and properly impressed with all the little wonders of the world and back yard.

That’s my motto, and much of what I write begins with my native state of Wisconsin. I am proud to call Madison my home. Please contact me if you have questions about my part of the world or ideas about what to highlight in it.

I excel nationally among peers, most recently with a 2015 Lowell Thomas travel writing award for this Chicago Tribune feature, plus 2016 silver and 2015 gold Bill Muster photography awards.

Although food, travel, sustainability and rural gems are my forte in writing and photography, much more is well represented in my decades of professional experience for small to cosmopolitan newspapers and magazines.

I take great pride in getting it right and getting it first. Before switching to freelance writing in 2002, I tallied decades of the feisty Capital Times in Madison.

In my work history: smart and creative journalism project leadership, web site consulting and development, sharp and fast copy editing, concise and accurate news writing, intriguing and offbeat people profiles, commentary, analysis and advice.

Mary at home in Madison.

I also am the author of award-winning regional travel and food books:

Sidetracked in Wisconsin – A Guide for Thoughtful Travelers (2006)

Hungry for Wisconsin – A Guide for Hungry Travelers (2008)

Sidetracked in the Midwest – A Green Guide for Travelers (2011)

Eat Smart in Germany How to Decipher the Menu, Know the Market Foods & Embark on a Tasting Adventure (2013)

Wisconsin Supper Club Cookbook – Iconic Fare and Nostalgia From Landmark Eateries (2015)

USA Today and Media Bistro are among the media outlets that have sought my opinions about regional travel and freelance journalism. My freelance work is one of five case studies in the textbook Introduction to Travel Journalism: On the Road with Serious Intent by professor John Greenman.

This profile by Madison newspaper columnist Doug Moe explains more about me and my work.

I pay most of my bills by writing about people and places close to home, but travel also takes me to faraway destinations … an eco camp in Patagonia … Korea’s DMZ … camel riding in Sharm el-Sheikh … home stays in Japan … the Canadian Rockies in winter … Doubtful and Milford Sound as New Zealand’s summer arrives … Kruger National Park in South Africa, as the rainy season ends … Machu Picchu as the rainy season begins.

Wherever I am, I aim to do what I can to build bridges of cultural awareness and appreciation in this increasingly complex, misunderstood and troubled world.

My weekly and syndicated “Roads Traveled” columns began in 2002, and I have not skipped a week. The content – like much of my other work – is the result of anonymous travel, independent travel, conferences of travel writers and press trips.

I seek work projects instead of employment in a traditional work setting. I welcome your assignments and story ideas.

Contact me at:
Midwest Features Syndicate
PO Box 259623
Madison, WI 53725