The 2022-23 Lowell Thomas Competition has concluded and winners will be announced in early September of 2023 at the SATW Convention in Puerto Rico.

2022-23 Lowell Thomas Competition

The 2022-23 Lowell Thomas Competition has concluded and winners will be announced in early September of 2023 at the SATW Convention in Puerto Rico.




Rewarding Journalists for Outstanding Work in the Field for Nearly 40 Years

The SATW Foundation sponsors the annual Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Competition. The first contest honored work done in 1984. Today the Foundation awards more than $25,000 annually in prize money for outstanding print, digital, multimedia and broadcast work. 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 does not have any membership requirements for journalists to enter, and
• it is judged independently by the faculty at a top U.S. school of journalism.

2022-23 Lowell Thomas Competition

The 2022-23 Lowell Thomas Competition has concluded and winners will be announced in early September of 2023 at the SATW Convention in Puerto Rico.

Who We Are

A board of directors from the travel journalism field governs the Foundation, serving as volunteers. Directors provide guidance for the annual competition to keep it up-to-date with the changing media scene.

Supporters and Donors

Through donations, the Foundation has awarded more than $575,000 in prizes to journalists over 38 years. A generous contribution by Gold Supporter Carnival Corp., the world’s largest cruise company, makes the sustainability of the annual competition possible.

2022 Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Awards

The 38th Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Competition presented more than 100 awards, chosen from a near-record 1,438 entries, led by Outside Magazine, which won 12 awards, The New York Times with 10 and nine for Travel + Leisure. 

The winners in the 30 categories of the competition, overseen by the SATW Foundation, receive the premier professional recognition for travel journalists and communicators. This year, the Foundation is awarding $25,000-plus in prize money. Results of the competition were announced Sept. 10 in Bogotá, Colombia, at the SATW annual conference.

“Travel is back in full force as evidenced by this year’s SATW winning entries,” said John Fennell, professor emeritus at the University of Missouri’s School of Journalism and coordinator of the 24 faculty members who evaluated articles, photography, videos, podcasts, and websites, among other works.

The contest this year included two new categories: For Coverage of Diverse Communities and Instagram Storytelling. 

The Grand Award — Lowell Thomas Travel Journalist of the year — went to Stephen Hiltner, an editor and photojournalist for The New York Times; judges called his writing “lyrical and frank.” The New York Times also won gold for Newspaper Travel Coverage that judges said provided “unique perspectives on typical and atypical story ideas.” 

Southbound magazine won gold in the Travel Magazines category and was cited for “capturing the personalities” of a range of destinations. 

The gold for Editorial Travel Website went to Fodors.com, which judges said did a “great job of putting exploration in the audience’s hands.”

The Society of American Travel Writers Foundation was founded in 1981 to honor outstanding work in travel journalism. Through its Lowell Thomas Competition, the Foundation supports and helps sustain high-quality travel media.
SATW (the Society of American Travel Writers) is the pre-eminent professional association of travel journalists and communicators. Learn more about SATW by visiting its website,  www.satw.org.

2020-21 Lowell Thomas Contest Opens

The 2020-21 SATW Foundation Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Competition is open for entries. The deadline is April 1. Work must have been published/posted/broadcast in English between April 1, 2020, and March 31, 2021, except as noted in book categories.

Yes, it has been a difficult year, with travel at a near full stop, but we are here again, stronger than ever and ready to celebrate your good work. We have even more awards and prize money for journalists this year. 

We’re excited to announce a new category, the Robert Haru Fisher Award for Travel Health/Safety Coverage — certainly a timely one. Fisher, a distinguished editor, writer and former president of the SATW Foundation, helped start the Lowell Thomas competition. He died in March 2020 at age 90 and left a bequest to fund this award. We are grateful for his generosity in continuing to contribute to the craft he loved.

The contest invites work in all types of media, including online, audio and video, 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 have not entered in the past, then you must sign up at the contest website and create an account. (It’s a simple process). 

Judges will be faculty at the University of Missouri School of Journalism with Emeritus Prof. John Fennell, 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.



Information on entering the 2021-22 Lowell Thomas Competition is available here

2021-22 Lowell Thomas Competition

You can now enter the Lowell Thomas Competition for 2021-22. Deadline for entries is April 1, 2022.

2022-23 Competition

The 2022-23 Lowell Thomas Competition will welcome your entries soon!

2022-23 Lowell Thomas Competition

Check back soon for information on preparing your entries.
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