In the 27th competition, we merged six categories of separate competitions for newspaper and magazine entries into three. Categories for U.S./Canada Travel Article, Foreign Travel Article and Photo Illustration of Travel now are open to all media.

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 1,209 entries. In the following list of winners, numbers in parentheses denote number of entries in the category.

Awards For Works Published in 2010-2011


Category 1: Grand Award — Lowell Thomas Travel Journalist of the Year (24)
Gold: Rick Steves,author and TV/radio travel show host
Silver: Andrew McCarthy, freelance writer, actor and director
Bronze: Kate Siber, freelance writer

Category 2: Newspaper Travel Sections (15)
2A — Newspapers with 350,000 or more circulation
Gold: Los Angeles Times, Catharine Hamm, Travel Editor
Silver: The Dallas Morning News, Mary Ellen Botter, Travel Editor
Bronze: The Washington Post, Joe Yonan, Travel Editor

2B — Newspapers under 350,000 circulation
Gold: San Francisco Chronicle, Spud Hilton, Travel Editor
Silver: The Oregonian, Alex Pulaski, Travel Editor
Bronze: The Orange County Register (Santa Ana, CA), Gary Warner, Travel Editor

Category 3: Magazines (16)
3A — Travel Magazines
Gold: Arthur Frommer’s Budget Travel, Nina Willdorf, Editor-in-chief
Silver: Afar, Greg Sullivan, Editorial Director
Bronze: National Geographic Traveler, Keith Bellows, Editor-in-chief

3B — Travel Coverage in Other Magazines
Gold: Southern Living, Rachel Hardage, Executive Editor
Silver: Westways, Elizabeth Harryman, Travel Editor; John Lehrer, Editor-in-chief
Bronze: Outside, Abraham Streep, Senior Editor

Category 4: U.S./Canada Travel Article (121)
Gold: John Flinn,“In Bay of Fundy, the Tides They Are a Changin’,” San Francisco Chronicle
Silver: Andrei Codrescu,“Ten Reasons to Visit New Orleans,” The Rotarian
Bronze: Wayne Curtis,“Main Street Takes a New Turn,” Via

Category 5: Foreign Travel Article (136)
Gold: Peter Gwin,“The Telltale Scribes of Timbuktu,” National Geographic Magazine
Silver: Steve Hendrix, “Austria’s Zillertal, an Alpine Valley of Great Skiing and Domestic Fun,” The Washington Post
Bronze: Robert Draper, “The Call of Crete,” Virtuoso Life

Category 6: Photo Illustration of Travel (74)
Gold: Karla Gachet and Ivan Kashinsky, “The Road Less Traveled in South America,” Afar
Silver: Carolyn Drake, “The Spirit of Istanbul,” Afar
Bronze: Andy Isaacson, “Amazon Awakening,” The New York Times

Category 7: Special Package/Project (42)
Gold: Christopher Reynolds,“Southern California Close-ups,” Los Angeles Times print/online
Silver: Mark Boster,“Yosemite in Four Seasons, Los Angeles Times print/online/other media
Bronze: Andrew Evans, “Bus2Antarctica,” National Geographic Traveler print/online/multimedia

Category 8: Cruise Travel (42)
Gold: Jill Schensul, “Back Channels of Eastern Europe,” The Record (Hackensack, NJ)
Silver: Jad Davenport, “Galapagos: Does Darwin’s Laboratory Still Hold a Lesson for the World?” Islands
Bronze: Craille Maguire Gillies,“In Praise of Slow,” Canadian Geographic

Category 9: Adventure Travel (65)
Gold: Rowan Jacobsen,“Heart of Dark Chocolate,” Outside
Silver: James R. Petersen, “The Long Road,” Playboy
Bronze: Michael McRae,“Rolling With Thunderbolt,” Outside

Category 10: Travel News/Investigative Reporting (22)
Gold: Joshua Hammer,“A Mountain of Trouble,” Outside
Silver: Gary Stoller,“Are These Batteries the Next Threat to Flier Safety?” USA Today
Bronze: Nancy Trejos and Andrea Sachs,“Amtrak Ridership Is Up, But Passenger Grouse About Frequent Delays,” The Washington Post

Category 11: Service-Oriented Consumer Article (87)
Gold: Dan Askin,“The Free Cruise Offer: Scam or Legit?”
Silver: Carol Pucci,“Travelers Lose as Airlines, Online Sites Square Off,” The Seattle Times
Bronze: Maria Lenhart,“Labor Pains: How Should Meeting Planners Deal With Hotel Union Disputes?”

Category 12: Environmental Tourism (44)
Gold: Melanie Radzicki McManus, “On the Backs of Giants,” Star Tribune (Minneapolis)
Silver: Kim Brown Seely, “Out of the Mist,” Virtuoso Life
Bronze: Gregory Dicum, “Peru’s Lovely Bones,” Afar

Category 13: Cultural Tourism (93)
Gold: Daisann McLane, “Ghosts of Hong Kong,” National Geographic Traveler
Silver: Edward Readicker-Henderson, “Acoustic Venice,” Islands
Bronze: Andy Isaacson, “Amazon Awakening,” The New York Times

Category 14: Personal Comment (114)
Gold: April Orcutt,“Loneliness the Same in Any Language,” San Francisco Chronicle
Silver: Gary Warner, “Stepping Behind Enemy lines at a Tiny Japanese Bar,” The Orange County Register (Santa Ana, CA)
Bronze: Don George, “Making Roof Tiles in Peru,” Reece: Literary Journey for the Discerning Traveler

Category 15: Special-Purpose Travel (110)
Gold: Margo Pfeiff, “The Last Hike With Philip,” Explore magazine
Silver: Lawrence Osborne, “Drinking in Islamabad,” Playboy
Bronze: Brian Mockenhaupt, “The Other Side of the Mountain,” Outside

Category 16: Short Article on Travel (79)
Gold: Nathan Myers, “Little Nibblers,” Islands
Silver: Don George, “The Aerogramme and the Email,”
Bronze: Jeannie Ralston, “The Dinner Hour,” National Geographic Traveler

Category 17: Travel Book (18)
Gold: Vanessa Woods,“Bonobo Handshake: A Memoir of Love and Adventure in the Congo,” Gotham Books
Silver: Ian McNulty, “Louisiana Rambles: Exploring America’s Cajun and Creole Heartland,” University Press of Mississippi
Bronze: Julian Smith,“Crossing the Heart of Africa: An Odyssey of Love and Adventure,” HarperCollins Publishers

Category 18: Guidebook (36)
Gold: Sara Benson, coordinating author, and team, “USA’s Best Trips: 99 Themed Itineraries Across America,” Lonely Planet
Silver: J.W. Ocker,“The New England Grimpendium: A Guide to Macabre and Ghastly Sites,” The Countryman Press
Bronze: Ayun Halliday,“Zinester’s Guide to NYC: The Last Wholly Analog Guide to NYC,” Microcosm Publishing

Category 19: Online Travel Journalism Sites (13)
Gold:, National Geographic Traveler, Keith Bellows, Editor-in-chief; Jerry Sealy, Art and Web Director; Kathie Gartrell, Managing Editor, e-Publishing
Silver:,Matador, David Miller, Senior Editor; Julie Schwietert Collazo, Managing Editor
Bronze:,Arthur Frommer’s Budget Travel, Nina Willdorf, Editor-in-chief; Lisa Schneider, General Manager digital; Laura Michonski, Deputy Editor online

Category 20: Travel Broadcast — Audio (15)
Gold: Rick Steves, “Travel with Rick Steves,” public radio
Silver: Willie Weir, Spain/Portugal Commentaries, “Weekday,” KUOW Public Radio, Seattle
Bronze: Joseph Rosendo, “Ireland — The West Is the Best,” podcast and radio

Category 21: Travel Broadcast — Video (18)
Gold: Susan McNally, Richard Bangs, John Givens, “Richard Bangs’ Adventures With Purpose/Hong Kong: Quest for the Dragon,” American Public Television
Silver: Joseph Rosendo and Julie Rosendo, “Thailand — From Golden Triangle to White Sands,” KQED/PBS stations
Bronze: Rick Steves, “Rick Steves’ Europe — Season Six,” American Public Television

Category 22: Travel Blog (25)
Gold: Rick Steves, Blog Gone Europe,
Silver: Brad A. Johnson, food and travel journalist, Brad A. Johnson, the blog,
Bronze: Ben Mutzabaugh, Today in the Sky,

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,
Scroll to Top