2019 - 2020 SATW Foundation Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Competition
You must enter through the contest website, www.betterbnc.com. All entries must be submitted electronically except for a few categories. If entries can be mailed, it’s noted within the category below. Also see Detailed Instructions on this website for help entering.
IMPORTANT: For the few categories that accept mail-in entries, be sure to use the address in this year’s Mailing Instructions.
Note changes: Category 112 Environmental Tourism has been expanded to include work on Sustainable Tourism; see category for explanations. Category 121 Travel Audio now has been split into 2 subcategories of competition, 121a for work on commercial and public radio and 121b for podcasts and audio guides.
This contest welcomes work in various media. For instance, entries in categories 101 and 104-117 can be online posts as well as work in print (including books). Travel Audio and Travel Video can be entered in their specific categories and as part of Category 101 Grand Award, Category 107 Special Packages/Projects and Category 124 Multimedia Single Work. The use of the word “article” in descriptions is meant to encompass more than print journalism.
Work must have been published/posted/produced between April 1, 2019 and March 31, 2020, except for Book categories. When giving a link to work, be sure the content will be accessible through the fall as we prepare winner announcements. Be sure the link is not password-protected, or if so, get permission from the publication for judges’ access and provide the access code/password in the Comments box on the entry form.
Fees are given with each category. Most are $20 per entry.
Category 101: Grand Award – Lowell Thomas Travel Journalist of the Year
Best portfolio of between 5 and 9 entries with the subjects from at least 4 different contest categories, such as domestic travel, adventure travel, etc. Entries should demonstrate diversity of skills in writing and reporting. Photography, video and audio may be included. Only 1 set of entries allowed per author. Fee: $50.
Category 102: Newspaper Travel Coverage
This category is for publications, not individuals. A portfolio of between 5 and 9 stories, features, articles and other formats of content that inspires, informs and engages travelers. This may include how-to articles, investigative stories, experiential features and news stories about traveling, the travel process and the business of travel as it affects consumers. Print entries may be supplemented by online and digital elements, including interactive tools, graphics, sidebars, video and audio. At least one of the collection should be a non-print submission, such as online-only work if possible. The portfolio should show diversity of coverage and include a representative sampling of the story examples noted above. The collection should not include any entry made in Category 107 Special Packages/Projects. The portfolio must include one selection from each quarter of the period April 2019 through March 2020. (There’s no division by circulation.) Fee: $50.
Category 103a and 103b: Travel Magazines/Travel Coverage in Other Magazines
These categories are for publications, not individuals. 103a is for Travel Magazines and 103b for Travel Coverage in Other Magazines, such as lifestyle, in-flight, activities-oriented and special interest. Three consecutive issues required. Websites may be included as supporting material. See more specifics in Detailed Instructions on this website and in Instructions under the Contest Info tab on the contest website. Mail the issues as instructed, though links to issues are allowed. Fee: $50.
Unless otherwise noted, an entry in most of the categories below is a single work.
Category 104: U.S./Canada Travel
Focused on destinations and travel experiences in these areas. Fee: $20 per entry.
Category 105: Foreign Travel
Focused on destinations and travel experiences outside the U.S. and Canada. Fee: $20 per entry.
Category 106: Photo Illustration of Travel
Can be single or multiple photos by the same photographer illustrating an article/post. Print entries may include supplementary online galleries for the piece. Online entries may be a gallery of work for one article. Submit a PDF copy (or other acceptable electronic file) of the article/post/work showing the photos and text and/or a link to the work or online gallery. Fee: $20 per entry.
Category 107: Special Packages/Projects
In-depth or expanded coverage or a series about a travel-related topic in print, audio, podcast, video, online or other digital media, or any combination of platforms. Emphasis is on a special, coordinated package, which may include text, graphics, photos, video, audio and consumer interaction. A series in a single format is eligible. Weight is given to packages that make the most effective use of multiple platforms to present the idea. A single work presented in print and online or simply on multiple websites does not qualify. Be sure URLs are accessible and valid through the fall. See Category 124 Multimedia Single Work for entries that are not special packages. Fee: $50.
Category 108: Cruise Travel
Can be experiential, news reporting, commentary, review, etc. Fee: $20 per entry.
Category 109: Adventure Travel
Focus on the experience — rafting, hiking, biking, trekking, etc. Fee: $20 per entry.
Category 110: Travel News/Investigative Reporting
Hard-hitting coverage and/or analysis of a travel issue. Fee: $20 per entry.
Category 111: Service-Oriented Consumer Work
Consumer tips, how-to’s, advice, etc. Fee: $20 per entry.
Category 112: Environmental and Sustainable Tourism
This category is expanded to include work focused on sustainable tourism as well as on ecological and environmental aspects of travel and tourism. Sustainable tourism encompasses responsible, respectful travel that seeks positive interaction with the environment, the culture and the economy, helping assure the future integrity of a destination rather than changing or damaging it. Work may be from the perspective of both destinations and travelers, considering the impact of how we travel and ways/programs to promote sustainable actions. Fee: $20 per entry.
Category 113: Cultural Tourism
Focus on cultural aspects of travel. Fee: $20 per entry.
Category 114: Personal Comment
Column, essay, editorial, humorous article/post or similar type of work with personal approach. An entry should be a single work. A short series of single pieces/posts on a specific subject is acceptable, but a collection of work on different subjects is not eligible. Fee: $20 per entry.
Category 115: Special-Purpose Travel
Coverage on travel from a special perspective or to pursue personal interests. Examples: Work on accessible travel or issues regarding such travel and work on noncompetitive sports, recreation, history and self-improvement. Fee: $20 per entry.
Category 116: Short Work on Travel
Single-subject coverage in up to 800 words. Fee: $20 per entry.
Category 117: Culinary-Related Travel
Focus on food, beverages, restaurants and other eating experiences, along with articles/posts on chefs and wineries. Intent is to help explain a destination by allowing readers to view it through a culinary prism. Fee: $20 per entry.
Category 118: Travel Book (other than guidebook)
Essay, photoessay, experiential and/or opinion. Books must be first-edition text and/or photos published since Jan. 1, 2018. Mail 1 copy of the book. (If also entering as part of Grand Award, mail another copy for that category.) See more specifics in Detailed Instructions on this website and in Instructions under the Contest Info tab on the contest website. Fee: $50 per entry.
Category 119: Guidebook
Emphasis on providing useful information as a reference tool to readers. Books must be first editions or major revisions published since Jan. 1, 2018. Mail 1 copy of the book. (If also entering as part of Grand Award, mail another copy for that category.) See more specifics in Detailed Instructions on this website and in Instructions under the Contest Info tab on the contest website. Fee: $50 per entry.
Category 120: Travel Journalism Websites
This category is for the entire website, not individual work. Consumer-oriented editorial website, including web-only and web version of a print medium, with special emphasis on the most effective use of multimedia. Sites may have advertising; however, sites that primarily sell travel components or promotional sites from a travel supplier are not eligible. Put name of site/publication in the Headline field on entry form. Note: Newspapers and magazines may enter their travel websites. Fee: $50.
Category 121a and 121b: Travel Audio-Radio/Travel Audio-Podcasts and Guides
This competition for consumer-oriented travel programs is now split into subcategories. 121a is for work on commercial and public radio. 121b is for travel podcasts and guides, commonly independent productions by individuals. Entry in each should be a single work, either a stand-alone piece or one selection from a regularly occurring feature. A short series is eligible if a continuing story. Work done by contract for commercial promotion is not eligible. Provide URL link to the entry at a hosting website. See more specifics in Detailed Instructions on this website and in Instructions under the Contest Info tab on the contest website. Fee: $20 per entry.
Category 122: Video Travel
Consumer-oriented, live-action program on various types of video, including network or cable TV, online videocasts, travelogs and Internet Travel Channels. Entry should be a single work, either a stand-alone piece or one selection from a regularly occurring feature. A short series is eligible if a continuing story. Work done by contract for commercial promotion is not eligible. Provide URL link to the entry at a hosting website. See more specifics in Detailed Instructions on this website and in Instructions under the Contest Info tab on the contest website. Fee: $20 per entry.
Category 123: Travel Blogs
Ongoing online journal that contributes fact-filled, accurate travel information, encouraging a sense of community and/or offering useful, actionable advice. It should show knowledge of the subject, reflect the distinctive personality of the author, be visually appealing and easy to read/navigate and invite interaction. This category is for the entire blog, not a single posting. On entry form, put name of blog as Headline and provide URL to access blog. Run date can be anything in eligible time period for contest. Be sure to put name of blog so that it’s not confused with the whole website. While category is for the ongoing blog, if you wish to cite particular posts, do so in Comments on the Entry Form. Fee: $20.
Category 124: Multimedia Single Work
Entry that uses multiple techniques to tell a story, integrating text, images, video, audio. This differs from Category 107 Special Packages/Projects in that it is not a series or in-depth coverage but more a single work that presents a subject in varying ways to complement each other. Fee: $20 per entry.