Faculty members of the Missouri School of Journalism judged the competition, with Prof. John Fennell, Prof. Jennifer Rowe and administrative assistant Kim Townlain coordinating. There were 1,307 entries.

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

The 2015-2016 Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Competition Awards Presentation Video

Watch the video that was first shown at the 2016 SATW Annual Convention in Wenzhou, China. 

Awards For Works Published in 2015-2016


Category 101: Grand Award — Lowell Thomas Travel Journalist of the Year (32)
Gold: Aaron Teasdale, freelance writer-photographer
Silver: Kim Brown Seely, freelance writer (“A World Away,” “Cowboy Quarters,” “Powder Rooms,” “River Dance,” “Skiing The West”)
Bronze: Peter Guttman, freelance photographer, writer and author (“Extreme Adventure Photographic Exploration Experiences,” “Sea Photographic Voyage Around Planet,” “Children Around World Photographic Generation,”

Category 102: Newspaper Travel Coverage (5)
Gold: Los Angeles Times, Catharine Hamm, Travel Editor
Silver: The New York Times, Monica Drake, Travel Editor
Bronze: San Francisco Chronicle, Spud Hilton, Travel Editor

Category 103: Magazines (14)
103A — Travel Magazines
Gold: National Geographic Traveler, Maggie Zackowitz, Editor-in-Chief
Silver: Afar, Julia Cosgrove, Editor-in-Chief
Bronze: Southbound, Kevin Benefield, Editor-in-Chief

103B — Travel Coverage in Other Magazines
Gold: Coastal Living, Steele Thomas Marcoux, Editor-in-Chief
Silver: Departures, Richard David Story, Editor-in-Chief
Bronze: Private Clubs, Don Nichols, Editor-in Chief

Category 104: U.S./Canada Travel (110)
Gold: Michael Callahan, “Small Town, Big Story: Monroeville, Alabama,” Departures
Silver: Susan Nerberg, “In Your Wildest Streams,” Air Canada enRoute
Bronze: Sandy Lang, “Chebeague: Island Town So Near,” Maine magazine

Category 105: Foreign Travel (134)
Gold: Sarah Khan, “7 Days, 1,500 Miles in Namibia,” The New York Times
Silver: Ellen Himelfarb, “On Holiday With the Mob,” The Sunday Times Travel Magazine, UK
Bronze: Catherine Watson, “A Return Visitor to Cuba is Drawn to its Contradictions,” Los Angeles Times
Honorable Mention: Edward Readicker-Henderson, “Dream Weavers,” Afar

Category 106: Photo Illustration of Travel (69)
Gold: Catherine Karnow, “The Glow of Vietnam,” National Geographic Traveler
Silver: Dave Bouskill, “Meteora Magic in Photos: Sacred Monasteries on Monoliths,”
Bronze: Susan Portnoy, “15 Incredible Photos of a Tribe You’ve Probably Never Heard Of,” TakePart

Category 107: Special Packages/Projects (25)
Gold: Ryan Bell, “Comrade Cowboys,” a Fulbright-National Geographic Digital Storytelling Fellowship, National Geographic
Silver: Dave Seminara and Ellie Cobb, “Announcing 2015’s Travel Pioneers,” BBC Travel
Bronze: Leslie Mieko Yap, Elizabeth Harryman and Eric Van Eyke, “We Salute the National Park Service Centennial,” Westways
Honorable Mention: The New York Times staff, “52 Places to Go in 2016,” The New York Times

Category 108: Cruise Travel (57)
Gold: Tara Isabella Burton, “Gently Down the Stream,” National Geographic Traveler
Silver: Aaron Gulley, “Uncharted Territory,” Virtuoso Life
Bronze: Kim Brown Seely, “A World Away,” Virtuoso Life

Category 109: Adventure Travel (70)
Gold: Bill Donahue, “Kindergarten Can Wait,” Backpacker
Silver: Tim Neville, “Skiing Kosovo, Abandoned Lifts and All,” The New York Times
Bronze: Joyce Maynard, “Peak Experience,” National Geographic Traveler
Honorable Mention: David Noyes, “The Everest Highway,” TravelPlus

Category 110: Travel News/Investigative Reporting (30)
Gold: Bill Fink, “To Hunt or Not to Hunt, That Is the Question,” Yahoo Travel
Silver: Jeff Greenwald, “Nepal: We Shall Rise Again,” Travel Weekly
Bronze: David Koenig and Scott Mayerowitz, “Airlines Carve U.S. Into Markets Dominated by 1 or 2 Carriers,” The Associated Press

Category 111: Service-Oriented Consumer Work (71)
Gold: Kari Bodnarchuk, “Separation Adaptation: With Planning (and Socks), Kids Will Be All Right When You Travel Without Them,” The Boston Globe
Silver: Kate Siber, “This Is How You Do It,” Outside
Bronze: Millie Ball, “Tips to Ease the Journey When Traveling With Portable Medical Devices Needing Power,” Los Angeles Times

Category 112: Environmental Tourism (49)
Gold: Joel Clement, “Kio-Kio Economy: Can Bonefishing Help Anaa Atoll?” The Flyfish Journal
Silver: Christopher Solomon, “Can Montana’s Smith River Survive a Nearby Mine?” The New York Times
Bronze: Beth Ann Fennelly, “Flight Pattern,” Garden & Gun magazine

Category 113: Cultural Tourism (89)
Gold: Thomas Chatterton Williams, “In Another Country,” Smithsonian Journeys
Silver: Tara Isabella Burton, “Cafe Society,” National Geographic Traveler
Bronze: Michael Gross, “Mexico City … is One of the World’s Greatest Cultural Destinations. So What Are You Waiting For?” Departures
Honorable Mention: Elisabeth Eaves, “A Hundred Cities Within Seoul,” The New York Times

Category 114: Personal Comment (112)
Gold: Kim Cross, “The King of Tides,” Southwest: The Magazine
Silver: Marcia DeSanctis, “Time or the Sahara Wind,” Tales To Go
Bronze: Joseph Berger, “In Poland, Searching for Jewish Heritage,” The New York Times

Category 115: Special-Purpose Travel (93)
Gold: Peter Frick-Wright, “Cache Money,” Outside
Silver: JK Nickell, “Freedom Riders,” Southwest: The Magazine
Bronze: Michele Bigley, “Nurturing Romance in California’s Carmel Valley,” The Boston Globe
Honorable Mention: Maureen Orth, “How the Virgin Mary Became the World’s Most Powerful Woman,” National Geographic

Category 116: Short Work on Travel (53)
Gold: Melanie Radzicki McManus, “Island Disputes,” Islands
Silver: Don George, “Finding Peace in 21st-Century Kyoto,” National Geographic Intelligent Travel blog
Bronze: Christopher P. Baker, “My City: Cuba on the Cusp,” National Geographic Traveler

Category 117: Culinary-Related Travel (130)
Gold: Tienlon Ho, “Winter Worm, Summer Grass,” Lucky Peach magazine
Silver: Tim Neville, “Rites of the Caquelon,” Ski Magazine
Bronze: Shira Rubin, “Land of Pork and Honey,” Roads & Kingdoms

Category 118: Travel Book (17)
Gold: Matt Goulding, “Rice, Noodle, Fish: Deep Travels Through Japan’s Food Culture,” Roads & Kingdoms/HarperCollins Publishers
Silver: George Steinmetz, “New York Air: The View From Above,” Abrams books
Bronze: David Noyes, “The Photographing Tourist: A Storyteller’s Guide to Travel and Photography,” D.F. Noyes Studios

Category 119: Guidebook (19)
Gold: Charles W. Mitchell, “Travels Through American History in the Mid-Atlantic: A Guide for All Ages,” Johns Hopkins University Press
Silver: Fodor’s Travel Staff, “Fodor’s Brooklyn,” Fodor’s Travel
Bronze: Candy B. Harrington, with photography by Charles Pannell, “Resting Easy in the US: Unique Lodging Options for Wheelers and Slow Walkers,” Candy & Charles Creative Concepts

Category 120: Travel Journalism Websites (15)
Gold:, BBC Travel, Allison Busacca, Editor, and Anne Banas, Deputy Editor
Silver:, Outside, Scott Rosenfield, Editor
Bronze:, Map Happy, Erica Ho, Publisher, and David Lytle, Editor

Category 121: Audio Travel Broadcast (26)
Gold: Aaron Teasdale, “Just Ahead: Yellowstone National Park,” Just Ahead
Silver: Tonya Fitzpatrick and Ian Fitzpatrick, “In the Footsteps of Birmingham’s Civil Rights Movement,” World Footprints Media
Bronze: Thomas Wilmer, “Ann Arbor — Arts, Culture and History,” National Public Radio Podcast
Honorable Mention: Bob Howells, “Just Ahead: Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks,” Just Ahead

Category 122: Video Travel Broadcast (50)
Gold: Lee Cowan, Dustin Stephens, David Bhagat and Mike Hernandez, “CBS Sunday Morning: Northern Exposure,” CBS Sunday Morning
Silver: Bob Krist, “Gombeys: Behind the Mask,” National Geographic Traveler
Bronze: Lee Cowan, Dustin Stephens, Lauren Barnello and Mike Hernandez, “CBS Sunday Morning: Aurora Borealis,” CBS Sunday Morning
Honorable Mention: Scott Mayerowitz, “Labor Day Flying: Behind the Scenes at a Busy Airport,” The Associated Press

Category 123: Travel Blogs (37)
Gold:, Jodi Ettenberg
Silver:, Sharon Boston
Bronze:, Lola Akinmade Akerstrom
Honorable Mention:, Liz Carlson

The sustainability of the annual SATW Foundation Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Competition is supported by a generous contribution from Gold Supporter CARNIVAL CORP., the world’s largest cruise company.
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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