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LOWELL THOMAS TRAVEL JOURNALISM COMPETITION

30 Years of Rewarding Journalists for Outstanding Work in the Field


The SATW Foundation sponsors the annual Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Competition. The first contest honored work done in 1984. Today the Foundation awards nearly $20,000 annually in prize money for outstanding print, online and multimedia works and for travel photography and both audio and video broadcast. It is the premier competition in North America in the field of travel journalism. It has gained its stature for several reasons, most notably:
* it does not promote any particular destination or travel product,
* it is open to all North American journalists, not just SATW members, and
* it is judged independently by the faculty at top U.S. schools of journalism.
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The sustainability of the annual SATW Foundation Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Competition is supported by generous contributions from CARNIVAL CORP. and our other Top Supporters listed below.

Left: David G. Molyneaux, SATW Foundation president and Right: Roger Frizzell, senior vice president of corporate communications and chief communications officer, Carnival Corporation.

CARNIVAL CORPORATION ENCOURAGES EXCELLENCE IN TRAVEL WRITING
AS GOLD SUPPORTER FOR SATW FOUNDATION
World’s largest cruise company donates $120,000 over three years for annual
Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Competition,
considered travel industry’s premier contest 

MILWAUKEE, WISC. (Nov. 19, 2014) – Carnival Corporation, the world’s largest cruise company, is teaming up with the Society of American Travel Writers (SATW) Foundation as the first Gold supporter of the annual Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Competition.

As a Gold supporter, Carnival Corporation will donate $40,000 a year for three years to help sustain the premier competition in North America in the field of travel journalism. The Foundation awards nearly $20,000 annually in prize money for outstanding print, online and multimedia works, for travel photography and audio and video broadcast. The Lowell Thomas contest has gained its stature for several reasons, most notably because it does not promote any particular destination or travel product, it is open to all North American journalists, and it is judged independently by the faculty at top U.S. schools of journalism who are paid for their efforts. (Pictured: David G. Molyneaux, SATW Foundation president and Roger Frizzell, senior vice president of corporate communications and chief communications officer, Carnival Corporation.)

“We are proud to work with the SATW Foundation to help continue the high standards of excellence among journalists with their ongoing coverage of the travel industry through the Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Competition,” said Roger Frizzell, senior vice president of corporate communications and chief communications officer, Carnival Corporation. “We have nine global cruise line brands and 101 ships sailing around the world, so we have much respect for, and highly value, journalistic story-telling of the Carnival experience. In fact, it is essential to helping us make the Carnival product the best option for cruise passengers.” (CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD WORD DOCUMENT OF COMPLETE PRESS RELEASE.)


2013-2014 SATW FOUNDATION
LOWELL THOMAS TRAVEL JOURNALISM COMPETITION

Four Magazines, NJ Writer Earn Top Honors in SATW Foundation
Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Competition

National Geographic Traveler, Islands, Travel + Leisure and Afar magazines are top media winners in the 2014 Society of American Travel Writers (SATW) Foundation 30th Annual Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Competition.

For the third time in the 30 years of the contest, Jill Schensul, senior writer for The Record of northern New Jersey, is the Lowell Thomas Travel Journalist of the Year. Since 1995, Schensul has won 29 Lowell Thomas awards for herself, and The Record travel section has taken 39 awards in total.


Also honored for Grand Award travel portfolios were Skye Mayring of TravelAge West, Brian J. Cantwell of The Seattle Times and Beth J. Harpaz of the Associated Press.

National Geographic Traveler and its Intelligent Travel Blog won nine awards. Outside magazine earned a total of five awards, while The New York Times and The Recordin New Jersey each tallied four awards.
 
Islands, Travel + Leisure and Afar won Gold, Silver and Bronze, respectively, as top travel magazines. Private Clubs took Gold for travel coverage in other magazines. In best newspaper travel sections, The Washington Post and The Seattle Times earned highest honors in their respective circulation categories. 
 
The Lowell Thomas competition is overseen by the SATW Foundation. The awards, recognized as the most prestigious in travel journalism, were announced Sept. 16 in Iceland at the annual conference of SATW, the premier professional organization of travel journalists and communicators.
 
This year, the SATW Foundation presented 90 awards in 25 categories and nearly $20,000 in prize money to journalists. Since the first competition for work in 1984, the SATW Foundation has presented more than 2,100 awards and $420,000-plus in recognition of outstanding travel journalism.
 

Individual Award Winners
 
For the third time in the 30 years of the contest, Jill Schensul, a prolific writer-blogger-photographer for The Record of northern New Jersey, earned the title of Lowell Thomas Travel Journalist of the Year. “From ‘wellness tourism’ to on-the-road toilets, Jill Schensul covers a diverse range of subjects,” judges at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill School of Journalism and Mass Communication said.

Of the Grand Award competition, judge Joe Bob Hester, said: “This was an outstanding selection of entries and the judging was quite difficult. There was so much good writing, reporting, storytelling here: news, adventure, romance, information and fun! Ultimately, the winners did share one thing in common: diversity. They all reported on a wide variety of subjects, and they all demonstrated the ability to tell stories in different styles for different audiences using multiple tools (words, photos, video). This diversity is the defining characteristic of today’s outstanding travel writers.”
 
Writer Tony Perrottet took two Gold awards: in the U.S./Canada travel article category for “Houston on the Verge” in Smithsonian magazine, and in the personal comment category for “Rich Tourist, Poor Tourist” in The New York Times.
 
Dave Bouskill also earned two Gold awards: in photo illustration of travel with his “23 Epic Photos of Remarkable Arctic Ice” on ThePlanetD.com, and in travel blog for ThePlanetD.com, produced with his wife Debra Corbeil. 
 

What the Judges Said
 
The competition, based on work published between spring 2013 and spring 2014, drew 1,177 entries and was judged by the faculty at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill School of Journalism and Mass Communication. For the first time, the competition was handled electronically with the BetterBNC Media Awards Platform.
 
Of the two newspaper travel sections earning Gold in their respective circulation categories, the judges said: The Washington Post “ranks high in curb appeal: compelling design, bright headlines, captions a cut above the rest” and of The Seattle Times, “From the moment you look at its headlines, the NWTraveler connects with readers.”
 
In travel magazines, Islands was the top winner, cited by judges as “one of the most practical and beautiful magazines out there. It realizes the power of good photography in storytelling…”
 
In the category of Special Projects, which recognizes expanded coverage in multiple platforms, Jeff Ritter writing in Golf Magazine won Gold for “The Mexican Golf Course That Survived the Drug War.”
 
“It is not often that travel stories include tales of murder and the drug cartel,” wrote one of the judges. “This complete package on the lone golf course in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, that never closed despite the violence surrounding its greens is a compelling and well-told story through multiple mediums. The article is quality journalism … The creative portrait photography shows seemingly ordinary workers like sports stars, and this juxtaposition challenges the viewer to see them in a different light. This fine piece of multimedia journalism is about more than a destination or a golf course. It is about the resolve of the people … in times of great difficulty.”
 

The Prizes for Winners

The SATW Foundation distributes nearly $20,000 in prize money to individual winners. The Grand Award earns the gold winner $1,500, the silver winner $750 and the bronze place $500. In individual categories, first-place gold winners each receive $500, with $250 going to silver and $150 to bronze winners. The categories for Best Newspaper Travel Sections, Best Magazines, Best Online Travel Journalism Sites and Best Travel Packages/Projects are not given monetary awards.

“We thank this year’s many supporters and the Tourist Office for Flanders - Brussels for their donations, helping us to recognize and reward excellence in travel journalism,” said David G. Molyneaux, SATW Foundation president.
 
The awards are named for Lowell Thomas, acclaimed broadcast journalist, prolific author and world explorer during five decades in travel journalism.

The sustainability of the annual SATW Foundation Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Competition is supported by generous contributions from CARNIVAL CORP. and other Top Supporters.
 
GOLD SUPPORTER Carnival Corporation is the largest cruise company in the world with a portfolio of cruise brands in North America, Europe, Australia and Asia, comprised of Carnival Cruise Lines, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, Seabourn, AIDA Cruises, Costa Cruises, Cunard,   P&O Cruises (Australia) and P&O Cruises (UK). Together, these brands operate 101 ships totaling 212,000 lower berths with eight new ships to be delivered through 2017.

Carnival Corporation also operates Holland America Princess Alaska Tours, the leading tour companies in Alaska and the Canadian Yukon.

CARNIVAL CORP.
 
BRONZE SUPPORTER
Brussels and the Flemish art cities beckon. From the quiet canals of Bruges and Ghent to the hip fashion city of Antwerp, Flanders fits you!
 
The best thing to do in BRUSSELS is to sit on one of the terraces of the glorious Grand’Place, sip a beer and let the world float by. Then wander through one of our wonderful museums, rich churches or antique shops. Walk the cobbled stoned streets of BRUGES, where medieval bridges cross romantic canals. In ANTWERP, the city of Rubens, shopping for the latest designer clothes and hunting for diamonds can be both exciting and rewarding. In GHENT view what experts call simply one of the most important paintings in the world, “The polyptic of the Holy Lamb” by the brothers Van Eyck. Only twenty minutes away from Brussels is the city of MECHELEN. It’s Grand Beguinage with its lovely gardens is cited by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. LEUVEN, only sixteen miles outside of Brussels is home to one of Europe’s oldest universities, and history is ever present. 

Enjoy art, fashion, shopping, a warm hospitality and some of the world’s most acclaimed chocolates and beers! For more information www.visitflanders.us.

THE TOURIST OFFICE FOR FLANDERS - BRUSSELS
 

Len Barnes

 
 
The SATW Foundation has lost a dear friend and supporter, Len Barnes. He died at Munson Medical Center in Traverse City, MI, on May 12 at the age of 94. A longtime member of the Society of American Travel Writers, he was the driving force in starting the Foundation and its mission to recognize outstanding travel journalism.  Click here to read more about him and tributes from friends and colleagues.
 
 
 

                                  Click Here ---For  2013 Lowell Thomas Winners
 
The results of the 29th Annual Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Competition were announced by the Society of American Travel Writers Foundation in a video presentation October 21 in Biloxi, MS, at the annual SATW convention.  

Winners were notified by email. Here on www.satwf.com, you can view the news release giving details about the competition, a complete
list of winners and the judges’ comments.

The competition for work from spring 2012 to spring 2013 drew 1,257 entries in 25 categories and was judged by the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill School of Journalism and Mass Communication, with Monica Hill as coordinator.

The Foundation awarded nearly $20,000 in prize money in honoring more than 70 journalists and publication.

Preview
At the SATW Conference in Biloxi, Mississippi, winners Toby Saltzman and Spud Hilton, holding awards, are shown with SATW Foundation president David Molyneaux and secretary Liliane Opsomer. Beth Ann Fennelly, right, accepts her 2013 Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Award from SATW Foundation administrator Mary Lu Abbott at Square Books in Oxford, MS, where Fennelly directs the MFA program at University of Mississippi. Her winning article appeared in Southern Living. She contributes to varied publications and is co-author with her husband, Tom Franklin, of the newly published novel “The Tilted World.” Photo courtesy of SATW member Tim O'Keefe of Longwood, Florida.

Winners Honored by BATW in San Francisco


SF-LT_Event_(1).jpg
From left, Ginny Prior, president of the Bay Area Travel Writers (BATW), congratulates BATW members Laurie McAndish King and Mary Jo McConahay on their awards in the SATW Foundation Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Competition.
San Francisco area winners in the 2013 SATW Foundation Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Competition were honored at the December luncheon meeting of the Bay Area Travel Writers in San Francisco.

Five BATW members were among winners, including the top honoree, Mary Jo McConahay, whose portfolio of work earned her the title of Lowell Thomas Travel Journalist of the Year. She was presented her crystal Grand Award by Lee Foster, who is a BATW member, a director of the SATW Foundation and past recipient of multiple Lowell Thomas Awards, including Travel Journalist of the Year.

Laurie McAndish King received a plaque for her Gold place in the cultural tourism category for an article in “Travel Stories From Around the Globe,” an anthology of pieces by BATW members.

Silver awards were given to Thomas C. Wilmer for a public radio broadcast and John Flinn for a San Francisco Chronicle article. Unable to attend, honorary member Spud Hilton, travel editor of the San Francisco Chronicle, was cited for his section’s silver place. Others presented awards were Gregory Dicum, silver for an article in Afar; Julia Cosgrove, bronze for Afar in best travel magazines; and Davina Baum, silver for Afar.com in the websites category.

Other area winners who could not be present are Robert Holmes, bronze in guidebooks, and Chris J. Hook, silver in travel apps. The SATW Foundation thanks leaders of BATW for helping recognize these winners and put the spotlight on excellence in travel journalism
.
 Click HERE to see who has made contributions to the SATW Foundation and how YOU can become a contributor.


Who was Lowell Thomas?


The Foundation

We are a nonprofit 501 (c) (3) foundation, started in the 1980s. Our mission is to recognize and reward outstanding work in travel journalism. The Foundation funds the competition through entry fees and donations, which are tax-deductible. 


 

 

Society of American Travel Writers (SATW)

The Society of American Travel Writers is the pre-eminent professional association of travel journalists. Click here to learn more or visit the SATW Web site, www.satw.org. 

 
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