2018-19 SATW Foundation Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Competition

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The 2018-19 SATW Foundation Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Competition is using the BetterBNC media awards platform for all entries. The website is, which works best with the most recent versions of Google Chrome or Firefox browsers. If you are having trouble on another browser, switch to Chrome or Firefox.

Newcomers: You must create an account at the BetterBNC website and request to enter our competition, which is among a list of multiple contests. Requests are monitored and approval given within 24 hours.

If you’re an independent journalist, you must use the Open Call Login, at the top of the BetterBNC home page screen. If you land on our contest home page at BetterBNC and click on Enter the Contest Here, see the Open Call Login at bottom of that window.

If you’re with a media organization and/or entering for multiple authors, click on Contestant Login.

Use this handy index to click and go directly to section of Instructions that applies to you.

GETTING STARTED: Independent Journalists  

GETTING STARTED: Media Organizations Entering Work for Multiple Creators





GETTING STARTED: Open Call for Independent Journalists

A. Past Entrants

  1. Click Open Call Login. (See above notes if you don’t find it at top of the home page.) Enter the email address and password you used last year. If you land on a page with a Contestant Manager tab, click on Open Call Login at bottom. Contestant Managers are media entrants. Open Call entrants do not sign in there.
  2. After sign in, in drop-down menu under Open Call Contestant at top, click My Account. Update your information to include social media handles. This allows us to let you know if you’re a winner and to help promote your award.In drop-down menu, click on My Contests. The 2018-19 SATW Foundation Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Competition should show up automatically. Click it to go to information, or find it in the menu of contests and check the box, then click. Now you should be on your Welcome/Manage Entries page. The Contest Info tab at the top has a drop-down menu with details about our contest.
  3. See Submitting Entries below to proceed.

B. Newcomer Independent Journalists

  1. Click Open Call Login (see note above to help find login if not at top of the screen). Click Create Your Open Call Account.
  2. Fill out the form. Follow screen instructions.
  3. Once you fill out the form, the system will send an email to your address with a validation link. You must click that link to complete the registration. If you do not get/see a validation email, check your Spam folder and be sure you allow as a sender. If the validation does not work, click Help & Support at top of BetterBNC page. Check applicable information links there or click Start Trouble Ticket at top of that page.
  4. Once validated, log in to your account. Fill in the information fields.  
  5. Click on My Contests and scroll through the list (use scroll-down bar at right side of the box to see more contests). Click the box for 2018-19 SATW Foundation Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Competition.
  6. In the pop-up window, click OK to request approval to enter. We approve as quickly as possible, within 24 hours. You will get an email saying you’re approved, but you may start compiling entries even before this approval if desired. Under the Open Call Contestant tab at top of the page, see My Scrapbooks. Click on Create/Manage Scrapbooks and then Create/Save Entries to store work you’re considering entering. Enter a PDF or link to work for most categories.
  7. After your account is active, when you return to the website, click on Open Call Login at top of page. This should take you to your Welcome/Manage Entries page. Go to the Contest Info tab at top, which has a drop-down menu of details about our contest. The Open Call Contestant tab at top has a drop-down menu, which includes the logout.
  8. See Submitting Entries below to proceed.

GETTING STARTED: Media Organizations Submitting Work for Multiple  

     Authors/Creators (applicable to both first time and past entrants)

A. Contestant Login/Contestant Manager

  1. At, click on Contestant Login at top of page. If you are the main contact making entries for your organization, choose Contestant Manager tab. In the Select a Contest box, highlight the 2018-19 SATW Foundation Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Competition. Then under Select Media Organization, choose your company from among the drop-down list.
  2. If your organization does not show up, contact Mary Lu Abbott, at, and provide the following information: company name and primary contact email address. We will add you to the list and send sign-in instructions via email.
  3. If you did the entries last year, use the same password (click Forgot Password for help).
  4. If you are a new/different contact for your company this year, contact Mary Lu Abbott, at, to update the file. If your organization is listed but no one entered last year, enter satwf as the password and click Login. Fill in the information as needed on the media page. Change the primary email contact as needed and set a new password.
  5. Past entrants, once you’re signed in, in the drop-down menu under the Contestant tab, click on My Account. Update your information to include social media handles. This allows us to let you know if you’re a winner and to help promote your award.
  6. See Submitting Entries below to proceed.
  7. Note for newcomer media entrants: Once you do two entry forms, attach PDFs or put in URLs and hit Submit, you see a pop-up window about validating your account. A validation link goes to the email for your account. Follow those instructions to continue.

B. Contestant Login/Authorized Entrant

  1. The Authorized Entrant tab is for someone the Contestant Manager approves to help make entries. For instance, the Manager may approve another staffer to make entries. The Contestant Login page has information to help set up Authorized Entrants, or contact Mary Lu Abbott,


A.  Go to and log in to your account.

  • Open Call for individuals (if you see Authorized Entrant tab, that is not for you)
  • Contestant Login for companies/media entrants
  • Once you’ve followed applicable set-up instructions, you should land on your Welcome/Manage Entries page for our contest. (If you’re entering several contests at one time, then choose our contest to continue.)

B.  IMPORTANT, PLEASE READ BEFORE STARTING: Once you’re signed in, at the top of the BetterBNC page, see Contest Info and click on each item there in the drop-down menu for details about the competition. It is important to read Instructions, which includes rules and eligibility information. We also provide that information here on this website. See our contest home page for a click to Rules & Eligibility.

C.  Managing and uploading your entries

  1. On the Manage Entries page, click Submit Entry and go to an entry form. Open Call entrants may need to scroll down the Manage Entries page to see the form.
  2. On Division, highlight General. (You must do this before you can see categories.)
  3. Under Category, choose from the drop-down menu of categories. Read the Category Notes explaining requirements, in the pop-up window below the Category selection box. (You can see a list of all categories by clicking this link.)
  4. Fill out the remaining fields for the entry and upload applicable file(s) and/or provide web URL address/link. Allowed file types are PDF, DOC/DOCX, TXT, JPG, GIF, PNG. To upload files, click Browse, navigate to the desired file and click Open. If file sizes are really large, you may need to contact BetterBNC for help or use one of the sources noted by the URL fields on the entry form.
  5. Note on the Run Date: For entries that may be month-specific (rather than a day), such as magazines, books etc., enter 1 for the date, such as May 1, 2018. For March-April 2018 magazine issues, put April 1, 2018, and for March-April 2019, put March 1, 2019. 
  6. Entries must be filed electronically, with a few exceptions. For more information, see the following section, Submission Guidelines for Specified Categories.                                                                                                                                               
  7. It’s not necessary to do all entries at one time. Hitting the Submit button saves your entry and starts building a list. You can return to the page later and add more entries.
  8. To complete your submissions, you must go to the Calculate Entry Fee button, approve your list and pay the total fee shown. See Payment Instructions below.


Note: Our contest welcomes entries from a variety of media. For instance, online work/posts can be entered in many categories, such as Category 101 Grand Award and all the categories for individual work, such as Categories 104 (U.S/Canada travel) through 117 (Culinary-related travel) and the new Category 124 Multimedia Single Work. The audio category includes podcasts. Copy and paste the web address into the URL field on the entry form. Online content should be accessible through the fall and preferably not password-protected; if so, provide access code/password in the Comments box.

  • Category 101: Grand Award
  1. Enter a portfolio of work. See Category information for specifics.
  2. On the entry form in Where Published/Performed, leave first box Other… and in second box put Various as applicable for freelancers. Publication name applies for a staffer’s entry.
  3. In Headline/Title of Entry, put Portfolio of work.
  4. In the run date field, put in the publish date of any work.
  5. Attach copies of work and/or give URL links. If including books, they must be mailed.
  6. On a Word document, list your Grand Award entries with the publisher/website/broadcaster name, the headline and the date published/posted/aired. Attach this document with the entry attachments.
  • Category 102: Newspaper Travel Coverage
  1. In the Headline/Title of Entry field, put publication name, like Los Angeles Times Travel.
  2. In the publication/run date field, put date of one of the portfolio of entries.
  3. On a Word document, list the entries (headlines and dates) and attach this with the entry attachments.
  4. You do not need to list credits (bylines) for each entry in the portfolio.
  5. Portfolios may be a combination of electronic and mail-in entries as needed.
  • Categories 103a and 103b: Travel Magazines and Travel Coverage in Other Magazines
  1. Headline can be name of magazine.
  2. Put date of one issue in run date, using first of month for day, i.e. June 1, 2018. (If issues bridge eligible dates, do the following: For March-April 2018 issues, use April 1, 2018 as date; for March-April 2019, use March 1, 2019.)
  3. List dates of the required 3 issues in the Comments box. (If you were a winner last year and included the March-April 2018 issue among the 3 entries, do not use it again.)
  4. Links to URLs for supplementary material may be added.
  5. Issues should be mailed to address in Mailing Instructions below (be sure to use the 2019 address). Links are allowed.
  • Category 107: Special Packages and Projects
  1. Submissions may be a combination of electronic and mail-in elements. For instance, a themed magazine issue and/or newspaper travel section should be mailed, though links are allowed.
  2. On a Word document, list all the elements being submitted for the Special Packages entry with information such as publisher’s/website/broadcaster’s name, the date published/posted/aired and headlines/titles. Attach this document with other entry attachments.
  • Category 118: Travel Book and Category 119: Guidebook
  1. Books published since Jan. 1, 2017, are eligible.
  2. Books must be mailed. Send one copy only for this category, but a second copy if also entering as part of the Grand Award portfolio. Fill out the entry form, print it and include with the book. See following section with Mailing Instructions (use the 2019 address). 
  • Category 121: Audio/Podcasts and Category 122: Video

Provide a link to the entry at a hosting website. Online work should be accessible through the fall and preferably not password-protected; if so, provide access code/password in the Comments box.

  • Category 123: Travel Blogs
  1. This category is for the blog as a whole, not an individual posting.
  2. Put the name of the blog as the entry and give the URL.

MAILING INSTRUCTIONS (Be sure to use the 2019 address.)

  • Mail-in entries
  1. Entries must be filed electronically, except as follows:
  • Category 101 Grand Award can include mail-in items, such as books.
  • Category 102 Newspaper Travel Coverage can be electronic entries and mail-in items.
  • Category 103a Travel Magazines and Category 103b Travel Coverage in Other Magazines should mail the required issues, though links to work are allowed.
  • Category 107 Special Packages/Projects can be a combination of electronic and mail-in elements.
  • Categories 118 and 119 book entries must be mailed.
  • Broadcast entries should be links to work at a hosting website.
  1. For mail-in entries, complete content fields, print and attach the entry form/label to the entry.
  2. Use the following address. Note: Overnight shipments really don’t get here the next day, despite what the shipper may say, so plan ahead.

Address as follows. Do NOT use “P.O. Box.”

Mary Lu Abbott
SATW Foundation
412 S. Adams St., PMB #174
Fredericksburg, TX 78624


  • Determining Fees
  1. When you’ve done all submissions you want to enter, log in to your Manage Entries page, where entries are listed. Click on Calculate Entry Fee button and review your list of entries for accuracy. If you wish to delete any, do so at this point. Deadline: April 1.
  2. Scroll to bottom of the list to see your subtotal.
  3. Click the payment link and follow instructions.
  4. Print a copy of that page if you need a record of entries/payment.
  • Options for payment
  1. You may pay through PayPal with a credit card. Print the receipt if needed.
  2. Alternately, you may write a check to SATW Foundation. NOTE TO MEDIA: Be sure to give the 2019 address to accounting department so the check doesn’t go astray.

Mail check to:

Mary Lu Abbott
SATW Foundation
412 S. Adams St., PMB #174
Fredericksburg, TX 78624