Anietra Hamper is a trusted journalist having spent a professional career in television news working as an Anchor and investigative reporter. Now, she is an award-winning published travel writer, photographer, and owner of ThreeWordPress.
Anietra is the author of the award-winning book Secret Columbus (Reedy Press) and 100 Things To Do In Columbus Before You Die (Reedy Press). She is also a contributing author to the bi-lingual book Yangzhou Through American Eyes written in both English and Chinese.
Her travels take her around the world covering destinations, adventure travel and fishing for regional and national publications including Planetware.com, TakeMeFishing.org, KINUTE, AAA, USAToday, Columbus Monthly Magazine, CatfishNOW Magazine, Game & Fish Magazine, Columbus Parent Magazine, Ohio Outdoor News, FIDO Friendly magazine, TourismOhio, Women’s Outdoor News and official Visitor Guides for several counties in Ohio. Anietra is a vetted member of the Outdoor Writers Association of America and the Society of American Travel Writers and she is also the organization’s Internal Communication Manager.
Anietra and her partner Ian Henderson, an expert angler and international fishing guide, recently launched Reel-Ality, in which they are creating content and hosting adventurous fishing tours to international destinations.
As a Columbus, Ohio native and owner of ThreeWordPress, Anietra writes corporate marketing content for websites, digital books, blogs, videos and Apps. Anietra’s continued production work for corporate videos and commercial work has garnered clients including Honda and Purina. She has appeared in a variety of television shows including Gone and Manhunt and the major motion picture movie On Sacred Ground (2023).
Before starting her own business, Anietra spent nearly 20 years as a top-rated television news Anchor and Emmy nominated investigative journalist. Her stories ranged from investigations into the dangers of commercial popcorn flavoring and interviewing presidential candidates to pulling 9G’s in an F-16 fighter jet with the U.S. Thunderbirds.
Anietra has won numerous awards for travel writing and television news reporting. She is a recipient of the YWCA Women of Achievement Award, Jefferson Award, Congressional Award and the SATW Muster Award for outstanding photography. Anietra volunteers as a family liaison for the Make-A-Wish Foundation and she is based in Gahanna, Ohio.
What are your areas of outdoor communication?
I specialize in outdoor adventure and fishing — actually, extreme fishing in destinations around the world.
What drew you to the field?
I am a career journalist having spent nearly 20 years working as a television news Anchor and investigative reporter. I shifted out of the industry into freelance travel writing in 2011 and built my content company, ThreeWordPress, from the ground up. On every trip for an assignment, I’d stay additional days to fish, wondering “what’s in their waters?” Eventually, that passion for new and unusual species around the world, along with different techniques to catch them inspired me to dive into the male-dominated space of writing for fishing magazines and outlets.
I used to never get responses from editors for these outlets until I started sending photos of me fishing for, and catching 150-pound fish that were literally bigger than me. I felt I had to do that to be taken seriously, and it worked. I now write for several fishing outlets that are all male writers and some that have a 90% male readership. That was a big moment for me to begin getting respect and traction in this fishing space with outlets. This past February, not only did I have an article in one of these magazines, but they (CatfishNow) put me on the cover because the editor loved the story so much. THAT was an even bigger moment for me.
I am always a journalist first, only now I get to write about things that I have a passion for and not just the tragic news of the day.
What enticed you to join OWAA?
Chez! Ha. Truly, Chez and I know each other from another professional organization and for some time he would say, “Anietra, the OWAA people are your tribe,” with his knowledge of my hard-core outdoor experiences and writing. Networking with like-minded professionals in the outdoor field is also what drew me to join, and I am so glad that I did.
What is your favorite outdoor activity and how did you get into it?
Fishing — and the weirder and freakier the fish, the better. I travel the world from India and Spain to Nepal, Colombia, Ireland, and Guyana pulling up species out of waters that I’ve never heard of before and I get so enamored studying them.
I was recently in Guyana in a remote Iwokrama rainforest on the Essequibo River hoping to catch some of the prize catfish there like the Jau or Piraiba (Lau Lau), the top of the chain for size of Amazonian catfish. I started pulling up 5-pound black piranha chomping away with their jagged teeth and an unforgivable force of their jaws; weird looking vampire fish with fangs that fold into their skulls; adorable redtail catfish with squeaky, rubbery skin; shovelnose catfish with beautiful tiger stripes; drum fish that beat rock-like ear bones in their head that echo from beneath the water; an over 100-pound arapaima with armor-like scales that have knocked anglers unconscious; and my new favorite, the wolf fish that is the most ferocious, angry and violent freshwater fish that I have ever caught.
My grandpa taught me to fish at his cottage in western Ohio growing up. After a good rain, he’d hand me a rusty coffee can filled with dirt and I’d go dig my nightcrawlers from beneath logs so that I could go fishing for crappie and bluegill with grandpa. From a very young age, I learned to love the outdoors and appreciate all the things about fishing that have nothing to do with catching fish, like seeing eagles flying overhead, listening to the sounds of the night that come alive when the sun sets, the smell of emerging spring or fall when nature is in transition. That was a lifelong gift that I have only learned to appreciate as an adult. One of my favorite photos (included for you) is me at grandpa’s cottage with my worm bucket, cane pole and bows in my hair. I was 4 years old, and I keep that photo displayed prominently in my office as it represents a core passion that has threaded my life.
What are you currently working on?
I have a couple of new projects underway in addition to my regular articles for publication. I’ve started a new venture called Reel-Ality, along with my partner (an expert angler and international fishing guide), in which we will be creating content and hosting tours for clients who want to take that leap to up their adventure and their skills to fish internationally.
Our first trip will be for women November 24-December 5 in Guyana in South America. For years I’ve traveled the world fishing, always with groups of men and while it’s been fine, I’ve always had to spend the first part of my time proving myself before everyone was comfortable and most female anglers won’t do that. I want to be the bridge for women to truly level-up their fishing skills with new knowledge and elevate their adventure by going into the remote rainforest to potentially catch dozens of species. On this trip no one has to prove themselves to anyone but themselves. I want to give women the tools to feel comfortable and confident taking international fishing trips and the satisfaction of knowing they can do it. There’s nothing available in the female fishing space that is this kind of fishing and this level of adventure. I am looking for like-minded, adventurous, outdoors women who would love this. I can offer more details and pricing with emails to email@example.com.
My second big project is co-hosting a fishing program being developed by a county visitor’s bureau in Ohio. We are just starting production and will be shooting throughout the year to invite people to a new fishing trail and showcase the species that anglers can catch. Since production is my background, this is an exciting project to pursue.
What have you gained from the organization?
Networking. I find that generally, OWAA professionals are tremendously accomplished and that is motivating for me to continue to up my own game professionally. There is room for everyone to win in whatever space they are pursuing, and I have found that OWAA members embrace that mindset of collaborating versus competing and it’s so refreshing.
What is one piece of advice you’d give to someone thinking of joining OWAA?
We live in a specialized world so if your niche is related to the outdoors, it is essential to grow your connections, professional development, and work in that direction. OWAA provides a fantastic platform for that, even beyond the yearly convention with networking opportunities throughout the year, like the women’s zoom calls that are returning. I’ve obtained several new outlets and opportunities with brands just from my affiliation with OWAA.
Anything else you’d like to add?
What I am doing to host women-focused tours at the end of the year is such a big leap into a new direction for me and it’s scary, but I have seen other OWAA colleagues jumping into big things and taking professional risks much like taking a running jump off a cliff, and that is empowering to me. Together, we elevate each other and as outdoors people, we know that even if the cliff jump into something new seems like a failure, there’s probably water at the bottom and we can raft our way onto something else exciting.
Links to Anietra Hamper’s work
- Destination Fishing in Guyana: Eyeing the Monster: https://catfishnow.com/MAG/2023/02/14/an-unforgettable-adventure-on-the-essequibo-river-in-guyana/
- Atlantic Bluefin Tuna and Coastal Fishing in Ireland: https://www.planetware.com/ireland/atlantic-bluefin-tuna-coastal-fishing-irl-1-36.htm
- Fisherman’s Tales: Anglers who try to cheat the system and the organizations fighting against it: https://kinute.com/stories/638837294-fisherman-s-tales-anglers-who-try-to-cheat-the-system-and-the-organizations-fighting-against-it
- (done at the OWAA conference last year!) Fish Finds: Uncovering the Origins of the Catfish Family Tree:https://catfishnow.com/MAG/2022/07/15/where-did-catfish-come-from/
Learn more about becoming an OWAA member!
OWAA provides resources to help our members flourish as outdoor communicators and establish themselves as industry leaders. We create opportunities to make valuable industry and personal connections, sharpen professional skills, showcase work and gain access to in-demand educational resources and mentorship opportunities. Individual member benefits include:
“I’ve been in a number of writer groups — travel writers, baseball writers, pro football writers, motorsports writers — and so far OWAA is far, far better than all of them in terms of welcoming, declaring and pursuing its mission, etc.”
– Matt Crossman