. about barbara benham .

Barbara Benham grew up in Norwalk, Connecticut, a charmingly dysfunctional municipality one hour outside of New York City. She has a B.A. in French Language and Literature from George Washington University and a Graduate Certificate in Historical Documentary Filmmaking from the same. She received her M.F.A. in Creative Nonfiction from Goucher College in 2007. She lives in Washington, D.C. -- a much less charmingly dysfunctional locale, but that's a story for another day -- with her fourteen-year-old son and a fluctuating number of household pets. Last count: One cat, one parakeet, one Russian tortoise, one corn snake. Barbara is currently researching several nonfiction books.

Her writing credentials -- notches on her belt as it were -- include Travel + Leisure, Executive Travel, HotelChatter, The Washington Post Magazine, Men’s Journal, Pages, MORE, People, Consumer Reports Magazine, FamilyFun, Cooking Light, America Online, Consumer Reports Money Adviser, Working Woman, The Discovery Channel Online, washingtonpost.com, Parenting, Travel + Leisure Family, Preservation Magazine Online, Outside Family Vacations, Arthur Frommer’s Budget Travel, New England Travel & Life, Regardie’s Power, Boston Magazine’s Concierge, Crain’s Chicago Business.

Barbara started blogging about trying to win a trip, and the passion of possibility that comes with it, in March 2006. That year, inspired by a friend, one of her New Year's resolutions had been to try and win a trip. This March 7, 2006 post, her first as a travel sweepstress, explains the genesis. Later that same year, she changed the name to Travel Sweeps, not because she was SEO-savvy at this stage, but because she 'd decided not to enter contests as a rule when she realized that most require entrants to relinquish rights to their submissions -- photos, videos, recipes, label designs -- even if they do not win.

Here's Barbara's original Travel Contests blog, dots and all. For a sense of one design incarnation, here's the About Travel Sweeps from, let's see, the second revamp of Travel Sweeps. Barbara thanks her son Isaac, her mother, her siblings, her friends and her editors for their support. She also thanks Blogger from the bottom of her heart for finally, finally, finally introducing templates with three columns.