Eliza Reid runs a company specializing in event management and marketing communications. She is also a writer and editor, and has been published in numerous magazines and newspapers in the UK, U.S., Iceland, and her native Canada. Eliza holds an honours BA in international relations from Trinity College at the University of Toronto and an MSt in modern history from St. Antony’s College, Oxford University.
Eliza’s past projects include working as the editor for Icelandair’s inflight magazine, Icelandair Info; copy editor, writer, and marketing consultant for many of Iceland’s largest organizations; and project manager for successful international conferences in Reykjavik.
Eliza has lived in Reykjavik, Iceland since 2003. She has travelled extensively and published about experiences as varied as almost being stranded in Timbuktu and dining with strangers in Uzbekistan. She lives with her husband and their four energetic young children.
Erica Jacobs Green
Erica Jacobs Green has worked in book publishing for over twenty years. A graduate of UC Berkeley with a BA in English, past highlights of Erica’s publishing career include positions as a children’s book editor at Chronicle Books, founder of Ever After Studios (a book production company), and Director of Publishing at Discovery Channel (Discovery Communications). As a freelance writer and editor, her articles and short stories have appeared in anthologies, newspapers, and online. Erica has worked with award-winning authors and illustrators as well as an array of famed brands for children and adults: from Jane Goodall to Star Wars and Dr. Oz to Williams Sonoma.
Today, Erica is the Vice President, Editorial Director, at National Geographic in the children’s book group. She also is the Co-Founder of the Iceland Writers Retreat and is at work on a novel. Originally from California, Erica spent eight years abroad as an American expat, including two years in Iceland. She recently moved back to Washington, DC where she now lives with her husband and two small children in a house full of traveler’s artifacts.
Volunteer Coordinator & Social Media Manager
Lisa Gail Shannen
Lisa Gail Shannen hails from Manchester, England and loves creative writing and literature with a passion! Although she’s been fascinated with words from the age of seven (when all she wanted for Christmas was her very own dictionary) she didn’t fully appreciate the beauty of well-crafted text until she had already paved out a career as a sound engineer. Graduating with a BA in Sound Technology from LIPA—a dedicated performing arts university established by Sir Paul McCartney in Liverpool—she went on to work as a sound technician at RÚV—the National Radio of Iceland (where she also learnt Icelandic) and the National Theatre of Norway, where she was introduced to Ibsen, Shakespeare, Chekov and other great icons of literature, via her work with critically-acclaimed directors such as Terry Hands, Hilda Hellwig and Ellen Horn. Since then, she has studied for a BA in Language and Literature at the University of Iceland, taught English, authored copy text for various publications, including the main written content for the SVEF-nominated VisitReykjavík website, in addition to writing a number of travel guides, such as the Official Reykjavik City Guide, the Frommer’s Guide to Iceland and Travel Iceland: the latter two publications were co-authored with Jane Appleton.
Apart from her adventures in sound technology and writing, she is also a singer and songwriter and has co-authored (with Jean-Christophe Salaün) a number of songs, which have since been synchronised to film, including Icelandic film ‘City State’ and ‘Des Grenouilles Sur Le Toit’—a nature documentary by Lamoureux Maxence, commissioned for French national television.
Lisa currently resides in Iceland’s capital city with her husband and children; she appreciates the small things in life and could not be happier with her occupation as a freelance travel writer, translator and her new role as Volunteer Coordinator with the Iceland Writers Retreat.
Elizabeth Nunberg has been involved with IWR as a volunteer since its origins. A native of Minnesota with a degree in Journalism and Mass Communications, she is very active within education in Iceland as co-founder of the International School of Iceland, founder and co-chair of the English Department at Hjallastefnan schools and an English instructor.
Elizabeth has written alternative English curriculum for young learners in the Icelandic public schools. She continues to cultivate her interest and talents in writing for children and parents.
Having lived in Iceland as an expat since 2000, Elizabeth enjoys her time being in nature, cooking, traveling and playing with her family: Kristján her spouse, three children and Mark the Cat.
Social Media & Marketing Intern (2018 event)
Jessica Key is completing a Master of Publishing degree at Simon Fraser University. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing from Vancouver Island University, where she was the Managing Editor of the school’s literary magazine, Portal, and an Editorial Assistant for the Ralph Gustafson Distinguished Poet Lecture Series. Since moving to Vancouver, she has interned at Ronsdale Press, Anvil Press, and subTerrain Magazine, and has had her work published in some literary magazines.
In the autumn of 2012, on a pitch black winter’s night, we sat around a table inside a white house beside the sea with a bottle of wine and a handful of candles, and we talked about starting the Iceland Writers Retreat, a space for writers and those who enjoy the craft of writing to retreat and to foster their creative spirit. After all, we mused, this island out in the North Atlantic would be the ideal spot for a writing escape.
After thousands of emails, pages of budgets, meetings in a mash-up of languages, and speaking engagements in front of all kinds of would-be participants, the first event was held in April 2014. The event has improved and expanded every year since then, with participants from around the world coming together for five days of learning, exploring, writing, and creative inspiration.
We want participants to escape with us and find renewed interest and excitement in their writing while forging new friendships with like-minded people. We see these five days as just the beginning of new projects, new community, new adventures.
We hope Iceland inspires you like it has inspired us, and that you enjoy your time at the Iceland Writers Retreat as much as we enjoyed creating it.
— Erica & Eliza