About us

The Manual is simple – Showing men how to live a life that is more engaged. Whether it be fashion, food, drink, travel, grooming or culture, we are here to provide insight into it all. We also offer a forum for you to have an open dialogue and pose questions to our writers and to each other. We don’t boss you around, we are simply here to bring some authenticity and understanding to all that enriches our lives on a daily basis.

Cator Sparks is Editor in Chief of TheManual.com. Previously Cator was covering menswear, grooming, lifestyle and design for The New York Times, Details, Vanity Fair.com, Style.com and The Huffington Post to name a few. Mr. Sparks splits his time between his apartment in Harlem and his home in downtown Charleston where he escapes with his Scottish Terrier for Southern sojourns and excellent cuisine. Recently Cator was commissioned a Colonel of Kentucky by Governor Steven L. Beshear and has requested all friends and family to call him 'Colonel Cator' from now on.

Amanda Gabriele is Postings Editor at The Manual and a copywriter for JackThreads. She is the former Managing Editor of FashionIndie.com where she spent four years covering fashion, beauty and dogmatic red carpet commentary. She can’t live without the three Bs – bourbon, barbecue and beards – and loves to cook in platforms. Amanda resides in Fort Greene, Brooklyn with her collection of vintage furs, but you can find her 24/7 on Twitter @CrystlMeatballs.

Ann Binlot is a New York-based freelance writer who contributes to publications like The Economist, Wallpaper*, Monocle, Marie Claire, T, W, Travel + Leisure, The Daily Beast, Fast Company, The Business of Fashion, Al Jazeera America and more. She is currently working on a screenplay in her spare time. In addition she enjoys a nice cup of cold brew, sipping on whiskey and devouring a good steak.

Lifelong motorhead, velocity addict, wirehead, shutterbug and cinephile. Lets ride our electric motorcycles to the movies. Quickly.

Brad Bourque is the writer of the On Your Feet column, retired fantasy football commissioner, and dedicated beer drinker. On the weekends, you can find him checking out the local music scene, hollering and drinking at the Timber's game, or grooming his beard. His shoes are always colorful, and you can see them for yourself by checking out @CmmrBourque on Twitter and Instagram.

Brandon Widder is a journalist and a staff writer for the Manual and its brother site, Digital Trends, where he covers tech news, how-to guides, and more. In his free time, he moonlights as a freelance music writer for the Portland alt-weekly, Willamette Week, and enjoys venturing around the wilds of the Pacific Northwest when he's not putting together his weekly "Trekking" column for the Manual. Follow him @BrandonWidder.

Drew is our resident tech nerd. He’s spent most of his life trying to be James Bond, so naturally he’s developed an unhealthy obsession with cutting-edge gadgets, top-shelf liquor, and well-timed puns. When he’s not composing articles for TheManual and DigitalTrends, Drew prefers to spend his time on the outskirts of Portland, buried in neck-deep powder at Mt. Hood.

Erik Neilson is a professional freelance writer based in Portland, ME. With a broad background spanning print/online publications, copywriting, content creation & marketing/PR, Erik offers his services to clients across all industries, delivering a quality of work that is second to none. With over six years of industry experience, Neilson has covered a wide range of topics that includes business, energy efficiency, fashion, finance, food/drink, language translation, law, men's lifestyle, music/entertainment, real estate, software/technology and more. In addition to being a professional writer, Erik is a critically-acclaimed musician and has released multiple albums under a variety of different projects.

Evan Ross Katz is a contributing writer for The Manual as well as the managing editor for​ ​NewNowNext. He also contributes to Men's Health, Refinery29, Fucking Young!, Schön Magazine, and The Huffington Post. Previous: Essential Homme, Thrillist,​ ​and Wetpaint. Follow him​ ​anywhere one can follow:​ ​@evanrosskatz.

Jodie Kharas is a style, art and culture writer who lives in London. She has contributed to the online platforms of POP, Twin, The Plant Journal and Dossier Journal, as well as well-known brands including Whistles and Primark, and has written for print titles that include Glass magazine and Velour. Her creative expertise stretches to trend forecasting and global research, creating tailored trend analysis, city guides and exhibition reviews in her previous role as a Travel & Arts Editor for market-leading fashion information service WGSN.

Katie Dickens is a Manhattan-based beauty and grooming writer. She has held staff positions at Glamour, In Style, People StyleWatch, and Nylon/Nylon Guys magazines. As a freelancer, she has contributed to CNTraveler.com, Style.com, Maxim.com, plus Marie Claire, Town & Country Travel, and Self magazines. When she's not pounding away at her keyboard, she globe-trots, runs, and coaxes her husband into being her grooming human guinea pig.

Lee Heidel is the managing editor of Brew / Drink / Run, a website and podcast that promotes brewing your own beer, consuming the best craft beer in the world and then running off the calories. Based in beautiful Savannah, GA, he's documenting his town's growing beer scene at SAVCraftBeer.com. Follow him on Instagram and Twitter @brewdrinkrun.

Marla Hardee Milling is a full-time freelance writer living in a place often called the Paris of the South, Sante Fe of the East and Beer City U.S.A., but she just calls Asheville, N.C. home. Her first book, "Only in Asheville: An Eclectic History," is due out in summer 2015, published by The History Press in Charleston, S.C. She is a former news producer at WLOS-TV in Asheville and former Director of Communications at Mars Hill College in Mars Hill, N.C. More than 700 of her articles and essays have appeared in such publications as Luxury Living, American Style, NICHE, Charleston, Denver, WNC, Blue Ridge Country, Health, Smart Computing, PC Today, New Orleans Gourmet, and many others. Follow her on Twitter @marlamilling

Matt Domino is a writer living in Brooklyn. His fiction has appeared in Slice and The Montreal Review, while his non-fiction has been featured on The Paris Review Daily, Splitsider, SLAM Online, The Nervous Breakdown, Cool Hunting, Bleacher Report and The Montreal Review. Matt also runs his own general interest blog called Puddles of Myself. He is a basketball aficionado and will never turn down a beer or a conversation about Gram Parsons or James Joyce.

Mike Richard is a Rhode Island native, professional web designer and travel junkie. Since 2006, he has edited, written for, and kept the gears running behind the scenes at Vagabondish.com. His travel advice has appeared on the websites of industry leading publications for Forbes, Travel + Leisure, USA Today, VanityFair.it, CNET, and National Geographic. He enjoys speaking in the third person.

Nick Jaynes is the automotive editor of The Manual. When Nick isn't behind the wheel on the open road, he can be found traipsing around the woods with his coonhound, Ruger. Despite what anyone else thinks, Nick considers himself a younger, handsomer, shoutier version of Jeremy Clarkson. Find him on Twitter @NickJaynes

Shandana A. Durrani has been a magazine editor and travel writer for more than two decades. Her work has appeared in numerous publications and websites including Condé Nast Traveler, Glamour, Cigar Aficionado, Wine Spectator, Silverkris, Haute Living, SO/HO, Metro London, NYMag.com, Justluxe.com and Pursuitist.com. She is the author of "Day Trips from New York City" and the co-author of "Insiders' Guide to New York City." When she is not writing, she is gallivanting across the globe, finding choice spots to eat, drink and be merry. You can follow her on Instagram at missadvnture and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/missadvnture.

Sam Slaughter is the Spirits Writer and also the author of When You Cross That Line, God in Neon (Fall 2015), and Dogs (January 2016). His work has appeared in a variety of other places including McSweeney's Internet Tendency and Midwestern Gothic. He's worked as a winery intern, craft bartender, and helped start a brewery among other service industry jobs over the past decade. He once drank whiskey out of a muskrat skull. He believes firmly that Bloody Marys should be consumed on Sundays and he frequently brings his own mini bottles of bourbon on flights. He can be found online at www.samslaughterthewriter.com or on Twitter & Instagram @slaughterwrites.

Stefan Doyno is a native New Yorker who grew up on the Upper East Side before moving to Westchester. He is a graduate of the University at Buffalo and is currently studying Broadcast Journalism at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. He was a news producer and producer at his undergrad television station and has interned at ABC Eyewitness News in New York City, WKBW, and MTV where he wrote for the Newsroom Blog and Movies Blog. Stefan had a business column with AOL Patch and enjoys fine restaurants, 90\'s music and dry-humor. You can follow him on Twitter @thewritestefan

Steven John is a writer and humorist living in Los Angeles, California. He can occasionally be found climbing mountains, and can quite often be found home with his wife and young son. His writing can be found spread across much of the internet, and his novels can be found here: www.StevenJohnBooks.com

TJ Carter wears many hats, both figuratively and literally. He graduated from the University of Oregon in 2011 with a degree in English and a Creative Writing minor. TJ has written and edited thousands of blog articles for businesses of all sizes, and has dabbled in podcasting, poetry, fiction, cartooning, and news satire. He now focuses on writing “how to” guides and other lifestyle articles for The Manual. TJ is a native to the Portland area, and it shows—he loves biking, drinking craft beer, and growing facial hair. Follow TJ on Twitter: @TJudsonCarter

Tom Handley is a contributor for TheManual. As a professor of public relations and social media strategy at Parsons The New School for Design, Tom practices what to professes. An early adopter to social media, Tom consults for various photographers, restaurants, digital media companies and women's and menswear designers. Tom pairs his academic tenure, his 20+ years in the fashion industry with his focus for developing and mentoring the next generation of the fashion marketers and publicists. Connect with Tom via Twitter @PRProfessor