I’m Hal Espen, a writer based in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
I’ve written feature articles, profiles, and criticism for The Hollywood Reporter, The New York Times Magazine, The New Yorker, the Atlantic, Outside, Interview, the New York Times Book Review, Men’s Journal, Details, People, the Los Angeles Times, Santa Fean magazine, and other publications.
From 1999 to 2006, I was the editor of Outside magazine, based in Santa Fe. The magazine’s 25th anniversary issue, published in October 20o2, won a National Magazine Award for Personal Service journalism, and in 2003 the magazine was a NMA finalist for Feature Writing and Profiles and was the recipient of Adweek‘s Editorial Creative Team of the Year award. I also edited and wrote the introduction to Outside 25: Classic Tales and New Voices from the Frontier of Adventure, an anthology published by W.W. Norton in 2003. Before becoming Outside’s editor, I was the magazine’s features editor when it won its third consecutive National Magazine Award for General Excellence.
Before joining Outside I worked on the editorial staff of The New Yorker for 13 years, rising from the position of fact checker to senior editor. In 1996, a series of Art World essays by Simon Schama that I edited won the National Magazine Award for Essays and Criticism. I was served (briefly) as a fiction editor and as editor of the Goings On About Town events section.
I was born in San Francisco, and grew up in Redwood City, California, where I attended Sequoia High School. I graduated from the University of California at Berkeley with a B.A. in English Literature in 1979.
My wife, Caroline Fraser, is the author of Prairie Fires: The American Dream of Laura Ingall Wilder (forthcoming, 2017), Rewilding the World: Dispatches from the Conservation Revolution and God’s Perfect Child: Living and Dying in the Christian Science Church. She also edited the Library of America’s two-volume edition of the Little House novels of Laura Ingalls Wilder.