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30+ Years of Rewarding Journalists for Outstanding Work in the Field

The SATW Foundation sponsors the annual Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Competition. The first contest honored work done in 1984. Today the Foundation awards nearly $20,000 annually in prize money for outstanding print, online and multimedia works and for travel photography and both audio and video broadcast. It is the premier competition in North America in the field of travel journalism. It has gained its stature for several reasons, most notably:
* it does not promote any particular destination or travel product,
* it is open to all North American journalists, not just SATW members, and
* it is judged independently by the faculty at top U.S. schools of journalism.
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CLICK HERE to learn more about the Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Competition.

Get Your Best Work Ready — Time to Enter
Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Competition
The 2017-18 SATW Foundation Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Competition is open for entries. The deadline is April 1, 2018.
The contest invites work in all types of media, including online and broadcast, not just print. All entries must be made through the BetterBNC Media Awards Platform. Electronic entries are required in all but a few categories.
If you did not enter last year, then you must sign up at the contest website and create an account (it’s a simple process).
Judges for 2018 will be faculty at the Missouri School of Journalism with Prof. John Fennell, Meredith Chair in Service Journalism, Prof. Jennifer Rowe and administrative assistant Kim Townlain coordinating.
Click here for details about the contest, including rules, eligibility, categories and how to enter.
Information also is at the BetterBNC website.
If you have questions and/or want more information, email us at awards@satwf.com.

The sustainability of the annual SATW Foundation Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Competition is supported by generous contributions from CARNIVAL CORP. and our other Top Supporters listed below.
2017 Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Awards
Announced at SATW Conference in Oregon
The New York Times took 12 awards, including Gold for best Newspaper Travel Coverage, in the 2017 Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Competition overseen by the Society of American Travel Writers Foundation.
Los Angeles Times travel writer Christopher Reynolds is Travel Journalist of the Year and will receive a crystal award and $1,500.
The competition drew 1,190 entries. Faculty at the University of Missouri School of Journalism did the judging.
The awards, recognized as the most prestigious in travel journalism, were announced Oct. 30 in Portland, Oregon, at the annual conference of the Society of American Travel Writers (SATW), the premier professional organization of travel journalists and communicators.

Click here for all the details about this year’s award winners.  

Some of the winners in attendance, shown below:

Among the 2017 Lowell Thomas winners, these were recognized in Portland, from left: Spud Hilton, San Francisco Chronicle, bronze newspaper travel coverage; Paul Lasley and Elizabeth Harryman, honorable mention audio travel; Larry Bleiberg, bronze, short travel article; Chris Reynolds, Los Angeles Times travel writer, Grand Award-Travel Journalist of 2017; Catharine Hamm, Los Angeles Times, silver special packages; Rosemary McClure, HM short travel article; and Cory Woodard, gold travel blogs.
Photo by: Matt Payne



Left: David G. Molyneaux, SATW Foundation president and Right: Roger Frizzell, senior vice president of corporate communications and chief communications officer, Carnival Corporation.


World’s largest cruise company donates $120,000 over three years (2018-2020) for annual Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Competition, considered travel industry’s premier contest 

The Society of American Travel Writers (SATW) Foundation is excited to announce that Carnival Corporation is making a major charitable contribution to support the annual Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Competition.
Carnival Corporation, a Gold supporter of the SATW Foundation since 2015, will extend its annual $40,000 contribution through 2020, helping the non-profit SATW Foundation in its quest toward making the Lowell Thomas contest a self-sustaining enterprise.
“Carnival Corporation’s contributions are evidence of its support for the health and future of quality travel journalism,” said David G. Molyneaux, president of the SATW Foundation. 
The SATW Foundation recognizes, rewards and encourages the best of travel journalism through its annual competition, celebrating its 34th year in 2018. The 24 categories for entries include foreign and domestic travel coverage, blogs, special projects, photo illustration of travel, investigative work, commentary, books, audio and video broadcasts, websites, magazines and newspapers. Top prizes are individual Gold, Silver and Bronze awards for Travel Journalists of the Year as judged from a portfolio of their work. 
“We are proud to support the SATW Foundation and its mission to recognize and honor high standards of excellence among journalists with their coverage of the travel and vacation industry through the Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Competition,” said Roger Frizzell, chief communications officer for Carnival Corporation, the world's largest leisure travel company with 10 of the world’s most well-known brands, including Carnival Cruise Line, Cunard, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises and Seabourn in the U.S.  
“Travel helps bring people together from around the world, and the media play an essential role in helping to inspire travel to experience new and interesting people, cultures and places,” said Frizzell. “It is an honor to support extraordinary travel journalism, and we applaud the SATW Foundation for continuing to recognize exceptional storytelling.”
The SATW Foundation distributes to winning journalists nearly $20,000 each year. In addition, the Foundation pays faculty at top U.S. schools of journalism for their work independently judging Lowell Thomas entries. (CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD WORD DOCUMENT OF COMPLETE PRESS RELEASE.)


Thank you for your interest in the SATW Foundation Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Competition, which has been honoring outstanding work in the field since 1984-85. Here’s basic information about entering.

  • The competition is open to all North American journalists, including ones working overseas. Work by foreign journalists is not eligible unless they are living/working some of the year in North America.
  • Entries must be work published/broadcast in English between the eligible dates stated with contest details. Dates generally are April 1 of the previous year through late March of the contest year, except as noted in specific categories. Books have a two-year window of eligibility.
  • The Newspaper Travel Coverage, Magazines and Travel Journalism Websites are for North American publishers. Work by journalists may be in either North American or foreign publications and is not restricted to travel publications only. More detail is provided in each year’s entry materials.
  • Fees are $20 for most individual work entered and $50 for categories such as Grand Award and books. Fees are noted with each category.
  • Categories include Grand Award, for a portfolio of diverse work by an entrant; Newspaper Travel Coverage, a portfolio of best travel coverage within the eligible period; Travel Magazines; Travel Coverage in Other Magazines; Travel Journalism Websites; Foreign Travel; U.S./Canada Travel and a variety of theme subjects, such as Cruise Coverage, Adventure Travel; Travel News/Investigative Reporting; Photography; Video and Audio Broadcast.

For a full list of categories, click here.

The sustainability of the annual SATW Foundation Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Competition is supported by generous contributions from CARNIVAL CORP.
and other Top Supporters.
GOLD SUPPORTER Carnival Corporation is the largest cruise company in the world with a portfolio of cruise brands in North America, Europe, Australia and Asia, comprised of Carnival Cruise Lines, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, Seabourn, AIDA Cruises, Costa Cruises, Cunard,   P&O Cruises (Australia) and P&O Cruises (UK). Together, these brands operate 101 ships totaling 212,000 lower berths with eight new ships to be delivered through 2017.

Carnival Corporation also operates Holland America Princess Alaska Tours, the leading tour companies in Alaska and the Canadian Yukon.

The Foundation

We are a nonprofit 501 (c) (3) foundation, started in the 1980s. Our mission is to recognize and reward outstanding work in travel journalism. The Foundation funds the competition through entry fees and donations, which are tax-deductible. 

 Society of American Travel Writers (SATW)

The Society of American Travel Writers is the pre-eminent professional association of travel journalists. Click here to learn more or visit the SATW Web site, www.satw.org. 

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