Society of American Travel Writers Foundation
Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Competition
Top Winners Among Journalists and Media Over 30 Years

In posting the lists of winners year by year, we tallied the number of awards for some multiple winners. It might be wise for each listed to verify the numbers in case we missed any. We have some additional tallies beyond what we compiled here. You may email to see if you are on the extended list.

Note: The number of awards credited to a media company includes awards won by the publication/website/etc. itself, such as for Best Newspaper Travel Section, and awards for work appearing in/on the media, by staff and freelancers.

National Geographic Traveler: 122 awards, dating back to the first year, 1985, when it won first place in Travel Magazines. Numerous times the publication has won multiple awards in one competition, such as 9 in 2003 and again in 2014 and 8 in 2001 and 2002.

The Seattle Times: 86 awards, dating back to the first year when an article in the section took a first place. The newspaper earned 7 awards in 1988 and again in 1999. Staff member-at-the-time Jim Molnar won the title of Travel Journalist of the Year title 3 times in a row, 1991-92-93.

In personal awards, two journalists have tied with 29 awards each:
Catherine Watson: She has earned awards back to the first year, 1985, and was Travel Journalist of the Year in 1990. She was the founding editor of the Minneapolis Star Tribune’s Travel section and now teaches workshops in travel writing and memoir in the U.S. and abroad.

Jill Schensul: As a travel editor and writer at The Record/North Jersey Media Group, she has tallied awards steadily since 1995. In 2014 she earned the Travel Journalist of the Year title for the third time (previously in 1999 and 2012).

Alan Solomon was a close contender, with 25 awards won as a travel writer for the Chicago Tribune.

Other media and personal award tallies over the 30 years:
Minneapolis Star Tribune 62
Chicago Tribune 59
Islands magazine 59
Los Angeles Times 52
Outside magazine 47
San Francisco Chronicle 40
(20 as Examiner-Chronicle)
The Boston Globe 39
The Record (NJ) 39
Travel + Leisure 38
National Geographic Adventure 37
The Oregonian 36
Frommer’s (varying media) 36
The Washington Post 35
The Orange County Register 35
USA Today 28
The New York Times 27
The Miami Herald 22
The Dallas Morning News 21
Lonely Planet 19
Chicago Sun-Times 18
Afar 17 (since 2010)
New Orleans Times-Picayune 16
Southern Living magazine 16

Personal awards (besides ones noted above)
Chris Welsch, Minneapolis Star Tribune 19
Gary Stoller, Conde Nast Traveler and USA Today 12
Christopher Reynolds, Los Angeles Times 11
Don George, various media 10