LOWELL THOMAS TRAVEL JOURNALISM COMPETITION
Awards For Works Published in 2019 - 2020
OVERVIEW OF AWARDS
Outside Magazine Leads Field of Four Top Winners
In SATW Foundation Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Competition
Outside magazine earned seven awards, and National Geographic Traveler, The New York Times and Travel + Leisure each won six awards to become the top winners in the 2019-20 Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Competition.
National Geographic Traveler took three Gold awards, one as the Best Travel Magazine. Outside also won three Golds, all for individual articles. Among its two Golds, The New York Times earned highest honors in Newspaper Travel Coverage. Travel + Leisure won Gold in the Travel Journalism Websites category.
Kevin West, freelance writer from Monterey, Mass., is the Travel Journalist of the Year, earning the Grand Award for a portfolio of work.
The Lowell Thomas awards, recognized as the most prestigious in travel journalism, were announced Oct. 16 during the 2020 Virtual Convention of SATW, the premier professional organization of travel journalists and communicators.
The competition, for work from spring 2019 to spring 2020, drew 1,299 entries and was judged by faculty from the University of Missouri School of Journalism. For its 36th competition, the SATW Foundation is giving 99 awards in 26 categories.
The sustainability of the annual competition is made possible by a generous contribution from Gold Supporter Carnival Corp., the world’s largest cruise company
Freelance Writer Kevin West Earns Travel Journalist of the Year Award
The top Grand Award winner is Kevin West, a freelance writer from Monterey, Mass., who earns the title of Travel Journalist of the Year for his portfolio of work. He will receive $1,500 and a crystal award given by the SATW Foundation.
In citing the Grand Award winner, judges praised West for bringing “artistry to every assignment. … Words are not just tossed onto the page, but parboiled and plated with care to deliver a … result that is as much about style as it is about substance.” West also won Bronze awards for Culinary-Related Travel and Environmental and Sustainable Tourism.
Also honored for Grand Award travel portfolios were Stephanie Pearson, freelance writer and contributing editor for Outside (Silver); Sebastian Modak, freelance writer-photographer and author of “The 52 Places Traveler” for The New York Times in 2019 (Bronze); and Aaron Teasdale, freelance writer-photographer (Honorable Mention).
Pearson also won Gold awards in the Service-Oriented Consumer Work and Environmental and Sustainable Tourism categories. Modak also earned Bronze in Foreign Travel, and Teasdale took Silver in Environmental and Sustainable Tourism.
Freelance writer Fran Golden earned three awards, including Gold in Short Work on Travel.
The awards are named for Lowell Thomas, acclaimed broadcast journalist prolific author and world explorer during five decades in travel journalism. The competition is open to all North American journalists.
Winners Gallery: See All the Results, Judging Comments and Entries
For the first time, we present the Winners Gallery, showcasing all the winning entries.
Look under the contest heading on the left-side navigation panel of this page and click on “Winners Gallery” to go to a list of all categories. In each category, information is displayed about the winners, including comments by the judge. For each award, there are icons to click and see the winning entry or entries, either online or in a PDF. In a few cases in the magazine categories, links are not available.
BetterBNC, the online awards platform the Foundation uses for the contest, provides the Winners Gallery. From the page with the list of categories, you can click the SATW Foundation logo to return to the Foundation website.
We are happy to salute all our winners and showcase their entries. We hope you enjoy seeing their work.
This year, the SATW Foundation is giving 99 awards in 26 categories and $21,650 in prize money to journalists in recognition of outstanding travel journalism.
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 Coverage, Best Magazines and Best Travel Journalism Websites are not given monetary awards.
The sustainability of the annual competition is made possible by a generous contribution from Gold Supporter Carnival Corp., the world’s largest cruise company with a portfolio of brands in North America, Europe, Australia and Asia, including Carnival Cruise Line, Holland America Line, Cunard, Seabourn and Princess Cruises.