In the 25th annual competition, we added a category for Travel Blog and changed judges.

Faculty members of the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill School of Journalism and Mass Communication, coordinated by Monica Hill, judged the competition. There were 1,191 entries. In the following list of winners, numbers in parentheses denote number of entries in that category.

Awards For Works Published in 2008-2009


Category 1: Grand Award — Lowell Thomas Travel Journalist of the Year(35)
Gold: Joe Ray, freelance writer-photographer
Silver: Bob Howells, freelance writer
Bronze: Dave G. Houser, freelance writer-photographer

Category 2: Newspaper Travel Sections (24)
2A — Newspapers with 350,000 or more circulation
Gold: Los Angeles Times, Catharine Hamm, Travel Editor
Silver: Houston Chronicle, Harry Shattuck, Tracy L. Barnett, Travel Editors
Bronze (tie): The Boston Globe, Anne Fitzgerald, Travel Editor
The Seattle Times, Terry Tazioli, Travel Editor

2B — Newspapers with under 350,000 circulation
Gold: The Miami Herald, Jane Wooldridge, Travel Editor
Silver: The Ottawa Citizen, Laura Robin, Travel Editor
Bronze: The Orange County Register (Santa Ana, CA), Gary Warner, Travel Editor

Category 3: Magazines (23)
3A — Travel Magazines
Gold: National Geographic Traveler, Keith Bellows, Editor
Silver: Budget Travel, Nina Willdorf, Editor in Chief
Bronze: Virtuoso Life, Elaine G. Srnka, Editor

3B — Travel Coverage in Other Magazines
Gold: Departures, Richard David Story, Editor in Chief
Silver: SmartMoney, Missy Sullivan, Senior Editor/Kristen Bellstrom, Staff Writer
Bronze: Westways, Elizabeth Harryman, Travel Editor

Category 4: Newspaper Article on U.S./Canada Travel (81)
Gold: Jerry Soverinsky, “Vacation Home” (helping build a house), Chicago Sun-Times
Silver: Donna Tabbert Long, “Dancing Through Cajun Country,” Star Tribune, Minneapolis
Bronze: Chris Erskine, “Polar Express,” Los Angeles Times

Category 5: Magazine Article on U.S./Canada Travel (62
Gold: Bronwen Dickey, “The Last Wild River,” The Oxford American
Silver: Dana Vachon, “The Nantucket Chronicles,” Departures
Bronze: Julian Rubinstein, “Rocky Mountain High/Aspen,” Travel + Leisure

Category 6: Newspaper Article on Foreign Travel (66)
Gold: Bill Fink, “ Magic Realism, Realized,” San Francisco Chronicle
Silver: Margaret Wente, “Vietnam: Cool cocktails, country huts and capitalist dreams …,” The Globe and Mail, Toronto
Bronze: Cleo Paskal, “Searching for Ghosts of Grandpa’s Berlin,” Toronto Star

Category 7: Magazine Article on Foreign Travel (75)
Gold: Wells Tower, “ Meltdown,” Outside
Silver: Neil Shea, “The Revolution Is: Castro’s Cuba at Fifty,” The Virginia Quarterly Review
Bronze: Mark Schatzker, “Voyage of Discovery,” Condé Nast Traveler

Category 8: Newspaper Photo Illustration of Travel Article (34)
Gold: Alan Berner, “The Face of Modern China,” The Seattle Times
Silver: Jamie Francis, “You’re Getting Warmer,” The Oregonian
Bronze: Chris Welsch, “Down on the Farm,” Star Tribune, Minneapolis

Category 9: Magazine Photo Illustration of Travel Article (53)
Gold: George Steinmetz, “Best of Adventure/Africa’s Eye in the Sky,” National Geographic Adventure
Silver: Christian Pondella, “Last Look/Ice Climber,” National Geographic Adventure
Bronze: Sian Kennedy, “Meltdown,” Outside

Category 10: Special Package/Project (25)
Gold: Rick Steves, “Rick Steves’ Iran: Yesterday and Today,” multimedia
Silver: USA Today staff, “Analyzing Airlines’ Cutbacks,” USA Today print and online
Bronze: Budget Travel staff, 10th Anniversary Issue, Budget Travel print/online

Category 11: Article on Marine Travel (38)
Gold: Mim Swartz, “QE2: After 40 Years … Its Final Voyage,” The Denver Post
Silver: Linda Matchan, “Polar Attraction,” The Boston Globe
Bronze: Gary Warner, “Rebirth of a Bygone Era,” The Orange County Register

Category 12: Article on Adventure Travel (55)
Gold: Kira Salak, “Trekking Bhutan’s Higher Planes,” National Geographic Adventure
Silver: Bella English, “Going Into the Mist,” The Boston Globe
Bronze: Rosemary McClure, “Offshore Eden,” Los Angeles Times

Category 13: Travel News/Investigative Reporting (17)
Gold: Patrick Symmes, “The Generals in Their Labyrinth,” Outside
Silver: Alex Halperin, “Gorillas in Their Midst,”
Bronze: Michael Luongo, “Carrying Several Passports? It’s Not Just for Spies,” The New York Times

Category 14: Service-Oriented Consumer Article (78)
Gold: Sascha Segan, “Pick a Card, But Not Any Card: How to Choose the Best Hotel Credit Cards,”
Silver: Carol Pucci, “Look Beyond U.S. for Travel Advice,” The Seattle Times
Bronze: Kari Bodnarchuk, “A Woman Traveling Alone? The World Can Be Your Oyster, Too,” The Boston Globe

Category 15: Environmental Tourism Article (53)
Gold: Fred Gebhart, “The Industry Takes Action,” Travel Professional
Silver: Mark Sundeen, “Namibia’s Magnificent Beast,” National Geographic Adventure
Bronze: Jason Daley, “How I Lost 5,400 Lbs While Packing for the Trip of a Lifetime,” Backpacker

Category 16: Cultural Tourism Article (71)
Gold: Tim Wu, “The Mongolia Obsession,” Slate
Silver: Matthew Polly, “From Russia with Blood, Beauty, and Beasts,” Slate
Bronze: Joshuah Bearman, “Stuffu Happens,” Culture + Travel

Category 17: Personal Comment (114)
Gold: Peter Jon Lindberg, “Opinion: In Defense of Tourism,” Travel + Leisure
Silver: Cathy Stapells, “A Journey of Remembrance,” Canadian Living
Bronze: Don George, “California Dreaming,” VIA

Category 18: Special-Purpose Travel (89)
Gold: Tony Perrottet, “The Pervert’s Grand Tour,” Slate
Silver: Marie Brenner, “Finding Marie,” Departures
Bronze: Lloyd Cole, “Melbourne, MacKenzie, and Me,” Travel + Leisure Golf

Category 19: Short Travel Article (52)
Gold: Katy Muldoon, “Marionberry Shake, Extra Thick with History,” The Oregonian
Silver: Sara Blask, “The Man Who Cried Fowl,” Outside’s Go
Bronze: Laura Daily, “Blast From the Past,” AAA World Online

Category 20: Travel Book (26)
Gold: Brandon Wilson, “Along the Templar Trail, Seven Million Steps for Peace,” Pilgrim’s Tales Inc.
Silver: Kimberly Lisagor and Heather Hansen, “Disappearing Destinations,” Vintage Books
Bronze: Rolf Potts, “Marco Polo Didn’t Go There,” Travelers’ Tales

Category 21: Guidebook (52)
Gold: Jason Cochran, “Pauline Frommer’s London,” Wiley Publishing
Silver: Sheryl Kayne, “Immersion Travel USA,” The Countryman Press
Bronze: David T. Page, “Great Destinations: Yosemite & the Southern Sierra Nevada

Category 22: Online Travel Journalism Site (16)
Gold:, National Geographic Traveler, Jerry Sealy, Web director
Silver:, The Boston Globe, Christine Makris, Senior Producer; Eric Wilbur, Producer; Ron Agrella, Features Editor
Bronze:, Budget Travel, Stephen Merrill, Online General Manager

Category 23: Travel Broadcast — Audio (15)
Gold: Joseph Rosendo, “Zambia, Africa, Audio Documentary,” KRLA Los Angeles/other stations/Internet
Silver: Sasha Aslanian, “Retracing a Wartime Bike Ride,” Weekend America/American Public Media
Bronze: No award

Category 24: Travel Broadcast — Video (12)
Gold: Richard Bangs, Timothy Lorang and John Givens, “Richard Bangs’ Adventures With Purpose/Norway: Quest for the Viking Spirit,” American Public Television
Silver: Joseph Rosendo, “Zambia River Adventure,” KLRN/300 more PBS TV stations
Bronze: No award

Category 25: Travel Blog (25)
Gold: Amy Ziff, The Window Seat,
Silver: Kitty Bean Yancey, Hotel Hotsheet,
Bronze: Tanner Latham and Taylor Bruce, Tales From the Road,,” The Countryman Press

The Society of American Travel Writers Foundation was begun in 1981 by a group of SATW writers, editors and public relations professionals who were concerned about the future of travel journalism.
SATW (the Society of American Travel Writers) is the pre-eminent professional association of travel journalists and communicators. Learn more about this premier networking organization by visiting its website,
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