2020-21 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 or must be mailed, it’s noted within the category below. Also see Detailed Instructions on this website for help entering.
IMPORTANT: For mail-in entries, be sure to use the address in this year’s Mailing Instructions.
- We’re excited to introduce a new — and timely — addition to our awards for journalists: Category 102 Robert Haru Fisher Award for Travel Health/Safety Coverage.
- If you’re entering a series, check updated rules in Category 108 Special Packages/Series.
- Magazine entrants must mail hard copies of issues in Category 104a and 104b. (PDFs and flip-able e-issues are problematic for judges, and the same format for all is better for fairness.)
This contest welcomes work in various media. For instance, entries in categories 101, 102 and 105-118 can be online posts as well as work in print (including in books). Travel Audio and Travel Video can be entered in their specific categories and as part of Category 101 Grand Award, Category 108 Special Packages/Series and Category 125 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, 2020, and March 31, 2021, 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. If a link is password-protected, provide the access code/password in the Comments box on the entry form.
Fees are given with each category. Most are $20 per entry — and for this year, you can make 3 entries and get the 4th one free in the $20 categories.
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 foreign 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.
(NEW) Category 102: Robert Haru Fisher Award for Travel Health/Safety Coverage
Substantive reporting and writing on topics regarding health and safety for travelers. Example: Taking precautions before travel, encountering travel safety and health issues when away from home, transportation (plane, train, bus, car, ship, etc.) safety from perspective of consumer and industry, travel insurance, etc. An entry is a single work, which may include short consumer information boxes/sidebars. Fee: $20.
This new category honors Robert Haru Fisher, longtime award-winning travel guidebook author-editor and columnist, who helped start the SATW Foundation and the Lowell Thomas competition. He died in 2020 and left a major bequest for the award.
Category 103: 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 108 Special Packages/Series. The portfolio must include one selection from each quarter of the period April 2020 through March 2021. Fee: $50.
Category 104a and 104b: Travel Magazines/Travel Coverage in Other Magazines
These categories are for publications, not individuals. 104a is for Travel Magazines and 104b for Travel Coverage in Other Magazines, such as lifestyle, in-flight, activities-oriented and special interest. Three consecutive issues required. NEW THIS YEAR: Hard copies are required. Please do not send PDFs or e-issues. See more specifics in Detailed Instructions on this website and in Instructions under the Contest Info tab on the contest website. Send issues per mailing instructions. Fee: $50.
Unless otherwise noted, an entry in most of the categories below is a single work.
Note: For this year, we are providing a discount for entries in the $20 categories. Make 3 entries and get the 4th free; only for first 4 entries. The free one will show automatically on your Calculate Entry Fees page.
Category 105: U.S./Canada Travel
Focused on destinations and travel experiences in these areas. Fee: $20 per entry.
Category 106: Foreign Travel
Focused on destinations and travel experiences outside the U.S. and Canada. Fee: $20 per entry.
Category 107: 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 108: Special Packages/Series
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 125 Multimedia Single Work for entries that are not special packages. Note: If entering a series, do not enter a single component of it in another category. If you do not enter the work as a series, then you may enter a single component in an applicable category. Fee: $50.
Category 109: Cruise Travel
Can be experiential, news reporting, commentary, review, etc. Fee: $20 per entry.
Category 110: Adventure Travel
Focus on the experience — rafting, hiking, biking, trekking, etc. Fee: $20 per entry.
Category 111: Travel News/Investigative Reporting
Hard-hitting coverage and/or analysis of a travel issue. Fee: $20 per entry.
Category 112: Service-Oriented Consumer Work
Consumer tips, how-to’s, advice, etc. Fee: $20 per entry.
Category 113: 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 114: Cultural Tourism
Focus on cultural aspects of travel. Fee: $20 per entry.
Category 115: 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 116: 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 117: Short Work on Travel
Single-subject coverage in up to 800 words. Fee: $20 per entry.
Category 118: 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 119: Travel Book (other than guidebook)
Essay, photoessay, experiential and/or opinion. Books must be first-edition text and/or photos published since Jan. 1, 2019. 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: Guidebook
Emphasis on providing useful information as a reference tool to readers. Books must be first editions or major revisions published since Jan. 1, 2019. 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 121: 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 122a and 122b: Travel Audio-Radio/Travel Audio-Podcasts and Guides
This competition for consumer-oriented travel programs is split into subcategories. 122a is for work on commercial and public radio. 122b 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 123: 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 124: 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 as applicable. 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 125: Multimedia Single Work
Entry that uses multiple techniques to tell a story, integrating text, images, video, audio. This differs from Category 108 Special Packages/Series 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.
CLICK HERE TO RETURN TO 2021 CONTEST INFORMATION