Speaking Engagements
I love sharing my personal stories and images about my pelagic adventures and I love being a motivational speaker!


Please contact me at if you would like to discuss how I can engage people at your event. (in-person or a virtual visit)


As a professional speaker and storyteller, I offer inspiring, dynamic presentations on a variety of topics. 

Please join me! Booking now for 2022.

Story Time - Yay! 

My insanely talented illustrator Rebecca Rothman and I offer a fun and engaging 45-minute adventure-themed presentation geared for adventurous tykes and their adult peeps. Program includes coloring activities!

Click on the bears for more info on our story time events!

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Talks and Topics

  • A Journey of the Sea & Soul

    • Lessons learned while paddling the Inside Passage to Alaska​

  • Kid's StoryTime "Inside my Sea of Dreams"

  • Exploring Montana's Missouri River by kayak

  • Paddling Nootka Sound, British Columbia

  • Paddling BC waters

  • A Paddling Journey Through the Salish Sea

  • How to Gear up for a Plastic-free Adventure!

  • Grand Journey in a Small Boat: How to Plan and Execute an Inside Passage Expedition -- two-day workshop

  • Writing group presentation topics:

    • Turning Your Adventure into a Book

    • Crafting your DYNAMITE Book Tour

    • Advice From the Trenches: Adapting a Children's Book From a Real-life Memoir.

November 26, 12:30 pm - BC Marine Trails Via ZOOM

Inside Passage Take TWO! I'll be sharing all new fodder focusing on my 2022 sea kayak expedition at BCMT's annual meeting. Everyone is invited but must register in advance HERE to receive the Zoom link. 

November 29, 6-9 pm -  Millhouse, 2515 N. Proctor St, Tacoma
As part of the evening's festivities, I'll be giving a 20-minute presentation about my experience as a volunteer at the Cape Decision Lighthouse on Kuiu Island in SE Alaska and tieing it in with my 2022 expedition up the Inside Passage. This is the Ikkatsu Project's annual fundraising event & this year looks to be a fantastic evening. A great time with friends new & old, an excellent menu of food & drinks, live music, and a raffle filled with a variety of amazing prizes. See you there!


September 9 & 10, Wooden Boat Festival, Port Townsend, WA!

Yes, I'm a wee bit stoked to be speaking at the largest wooden boat festival in North America! There is SO MUCH to see and do at this 3-day event. You can read all about it, including this year's schedule, highlights, and opportunities to get on the water at

And you can learn more about my two topics here:

Sept 9 @ 11:30: How to Pack a Kayak for Multi-Day Trips

Sept 10 @ 10:30 A Journey of the Sea & Soul


March 27th, 2022, 11 am IN-PERSON Story Time at Kingfisher Bookstore on Whidbey Island. With the ocean literally at our backs and a cozy reading room, this is sure to be a fun event for all ages. No registration required—just mosey over to 16 Front St. NW in lovely downtown Coupeville, WA.

December 4th, 11 am / IN-PERSON Story Time at my favorite local bookstore, Village Books! Bring your adventurous little ones for this fun and frolicking good time. Come to the Readings Gallery at Village Books - 1200 11th Street, Bellingham, WA (lower level)
FREE. Registration required
Click here for tickets and more info

December 1st, 4pm Zoom Zoom on the deep ocean blue with me and the Southern Maine Sea Kayaking Network. I'll be sharing stories and images from my 2010 solo Inside Passage Journey. To attend, you'll need to join the MeetUp group in advance. Once you've joined you will receive the Zoom login info.

November 17th, 5:30 pm I'm teaming up with writer Abbe Rolnick to offer tips, tricks, advice, and inspiration from the trenches IN PERSON at Cascade Pizza in Bellingham, WA. We will share our unique approaches and respective journeys navigating the uncharted waters of the KidLit world as part of the Whatcom Writers and Publishers speaker series. All aspiring writers and illustrators welcome! Social starts at 5:30, presso at 6:15. Food and drink available for purchase. 2431 Meridian St., Bellingham, WA

May 5th, 7 pm Come Zoom with me —on a paddling journey through the Salish Sea! Last summer I dipped my paddle in the waters of the Nisqually Reach near Olympia, WA and spent 14 days meandering my way to Lummi Island, a stone's throw from the Canadian border. My journey, crafted in the ethos of the ultimate “staycation” gave me a better understanding of this “sea between the mountains” and a bigger appreciation for Washington State's Cascadia Marine Trail system. I will share stories and images in a 50-minute slideshow presentation and offer tips and tricks to planning and executing the journey yourself.

Hosted by Nanaimo Paddlers, Vancouver Island, BC.


March 18th, 7 pm Tune in via Zoom! I'll be sharing my solo two-week paddling journey from Olympia to Lummi Island — the "ultimate staycation." Learn about the Salish Sea and the Cascadia Marine Trail System. Hosted by (and a fundraiser for) Washington Water Trails


Just a sprinkling of my past speaking engagements:
The Explorers Club, New York, NY

Women's Day at the Seattle Boat Show, Seattle, WA

National Girls and Women in Sports Day, Bellingham, WA

McMenamins Theatre, Bend, OR

REI, multiple locations throughout the U.S.

MEC, multiple locations throughout Canada

Chanticleer Authors Conference, Bellingham, WA

Delmarva Paddler's Retreat, Lewes, DE

Wright State University / Adventure Summit Expo, Dayton, OH

Southern Oregon University Student Union, Ashland, OR

 Robinson’s Outdoor Store, Victoria, BC

Pacific Lutheran University, Tacoma, WA

Guest Lecturer onboard Princess Cruises, as part of their award-winning "North to Alaska" program. I'm honored to meet people from all corners of the USA, as well as an average of 30 different countries on each cruise. What an INCREDIBLE opportunity for me to share my stories and images with a captive audience. These beautiful ships hold up to 4,200 passengers (including crew), are nearly 1,000 feet in length and almost 200 feet tall—a radically different way to experience the Inside Passage and a mind-blowing way to engage and connect with people from all walks of life. 


EXPED is a proud sponsor of my book tours! 
Visit their website to get the “inside scoop” on expedition equipment that’s made for the long haul.





Thank you EXPED 
for supporting my journey!

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Feedback from event hosts:

Susan shared her presentation with the Obsidians, an outdoor club in Eugene, Oregon which hosts monthly programs. She attracted a record-setting crowd and did not disappoint. She is so articulate, the slides are beautiful, the pace was excellent, and the stories are inspiring. For weeks afterwards, I heard "that was the best presentation ever!" We will invite her back!    

~ Lana Lindstrom, Entertainment Chair, Obsidians

Susan’s intriguing and compelling tale of determination, courage and introspection was indeed riveting, and the standing room only crowd was thoroughly engaged throughout her presentation. Following her slide presentation, she eagerly entertained  many questions from the audience.

~ Alan M. Fisher, M.D., President, Oregon Ocean Paddling Society (OOPS)


Susan was one of the best presenters we have had in the nine years of the Olympia Mountaineers Speaker Series. She was well prepared, had fabulous maps/photos and was very entertaining.

~  Carolyn Burreson, Coordinator of the Olympia Mountaineer's Speaker Series 


We are big fans of Susan Conrad’s book Inside and were thrilled to bring her to our community. We had a large turnout and sold out of stock at the event. The audience loved her presentation and the Q&A after, with one reader comparing Conrad’s journey to Cheryl Strayed’s, ‘only better!’

~ Eagle Harbor Books, Bainbridge Island, WA


Susan Conrad’s presentation is fun and engaging. Her knowledge of the Inside Passage is impressive and her enthusiasm is infectious. The addition of a Keynote presentation to her book reading & story telling makes for an exciting, interactive author event.

~ Grass Roots Bookstore, Corvallis, OR


Your gift for story telling blended seamlessly with the beautiful photos of your incredible adventure. The entire room was thoroughly entertained and connected from the opening slide to the last question of the night. I am still getting compliments for your presentation.

~ Mike Hammond, Calusa Blueway Coordinator, Lee County Parks and Recreation, Fort Myers, Florida


The slideshow itself was an absolute success in every sense. Because of Susan’s hard work, the venue filled beyond seating capacity and attendees stood around the perimeter and sat on the floor around her transfixed by this amazing woman’s epic and inspirational journey. Susan’s background in photojournalism was evident in the picture quality and selection as they related to her story. She created a sense of intimacy with the audience, and as we shared her highs and lows and successes and struggles, nobody wanted the show to end. And while the show eventually had to end, the audience lingered around long after, wanting to continue the shared experience.

~ Dallas Betz, Education Coordinator, Community Boating Center, Bellingham, WA

Feedback from audience members:

Your open inclusion of your human experiences of taking the challenge, your equal representation of your inspiration, determination, personal pride, and vulnerabilities is a very wholesome balance and a wonderful model for those who hear your story.

~ Phyllis Woolwine, President & Director of Education, Shearwater University, Anacortes, WA


Susan Conrad mesmerized us with her narrative talk. Every sentence she created came across as beautiful poetry. Awesome to learn first hand of her adventurous journey.

~ Chris and Walter


I went to Susan Conrad’s presentation of her new book "Inside: One Woman's Journey Through the Inside Passage“ in Bellingham last night. If you have not seen Susan talk about her journey, it is well worth the time. Her talk is riveting — great pictures and an overview of her epic solo kayaking journey up the Inside Passage to Alaska. She shared short stories about good times and not-so-good times with bears, weather and people. You get a clear sense of Susan’s passion for the sea, the unique challenges on such a trip, and the quality of her writing. I highly recommend her book and seeing her talk about it. 

~ Mac Carter


I am grateful that your book tour brought you to Silverdale, WA giving me the opportunity to meet you & hear your inspirational presentation. I enjoyed the way you were able to weave the stories regarding your fears and challenging times with those uplifting & amazing moments you also experienced. Your book is wonderful & I am soaking up the content, immersing myself in your journey as your words continue to inspire.

~ Judith L.


You appeared confident and calm and shared your story in a very enthusiastic, knowledgeable and courageous manner. It was incredibly inspiring.

~ Patia


Thank you, Susan, for sharing the gift of your slide show and presentation last night. I thoroughly enjoyed it and I have a newfound respect for the depth and breadth of your accomplishment! I was not alone in my admiration. At one point I looked around and saw a sea of faces in spellbound reverence. 

~ Mark



Supercalifragilisticexpialidociously Fantastic -----------Really


~ Kenneth


Susan! It was such a gift in my week to see you and hear what you had to say... You came across really beautifully as you shared your story... I am embracing that whole idea that perhaps outer movement can create some inner movement....

~ Cathy 



We enjoyed your presentation. You had a lot of great moments when the audience really connected with where you were taking them, and you moved through the story smoothly.

~ David


I applaud you for your courage. Your journey was remarkable. I was especially taken by how you shared your fears and horrific moments, and how you contrasted those with your magical moments.

~ John