Eligibility: The competition is open to all journalists around the world whose work is published in North America or in English on their own websites. All entries must be in English. All entries must be in English. Note that our audience is the North American traveler.
Covered period: Work must have been published/produced in English between April 1, 2022, and March 31, 2023, except as noted in book categories.
Social media handles: In your account information, please fill in the social media fields. This helps us notify and tout award winners.
Emails for journalists: For Media Organizations entering work of freelancers, please provide the email address of the person(s) in the credit list for each entry. Place email address in Comments box. This helps us notify winners.
Mailing alert: Electronic submissions are required for most categories, but some entries must be mailed, such as books and print magazine issues. Be sure to update any stored shipping address with the 2023 one given in entry materials.
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.
GENERAL RULES AND ELIGIBILITY GUIDELINES
2022-23 SATW Foundation Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Competition
PRINT/SAVE this page for help when entering the competition.
When doing your entries, you also can see these guidelines on the entry website of Better BNC, betterbnc.com, and click on Instructions in the drop-down menu under the Contest Info heading.
RULES & ELIGIBILITY
Who’s eligible: The competition is open to all journalists. Foreign journalists are allowed to enter their work published in North American media and work on their own websites. All work must be in English.
What’s eligible: Work must have been published/posted/broadcast in English between April 1, 2022, and March 31, 2023, except in book categories. The Magazine categories, Newspaper Travel Coverage and Editorial Travel Website are for North American publishers. Advertorials and work produced under contract for commercial promotion Series are not eligible unless noted specifically in a category.
The rules: Enter as many submissions as desired. A specific work can be submitted in only two categories; it also can be part of a multiple-submission category, such as the Grand Award. If a work is going in two categories, you must enter and pay in each.
The fees: These are $25 or $75. Most individual work is $25 an entry; categories such as Grand Award and books are $75 an entry. Fees are noted in the Categories list and with each category in the summary of your entries on your contest entry form. You must pay to complete your entries.
- Most entries must be filed electronically, except as follows: In the Magazine categories, print publications must mail hard copies of the required issues. Entries in Special Packages/Series can be a combination of electronic and mail-in elements. For the Book categories, hard copies are required.
- Date of publication/post must be provided. Entries should show the name and date of publication/post, headline/title and byline(s) as possible.
- Articles/Posts: An entry usually is a single submission, unless otherwise specified in category listing. Usually there should be only one article/post, but short consumer information boxes and sidebars may be included. An article/post that tells the story in several short takes may be entered. But entries with multiple, longer stories/posts and series must go into the Special Packages/Series category. There is a category for Multimedia Single Work for storytelling that includes text, images, audio and video but is not part of a larger package.
- Series: These should be entered in Special Packages/Series. When entering the series, do not enter a single component of it in another category. If you prefer not to enter the work in the series category, you may enter a single component in an applicable category.
- Grand Award: This is for a portfolio of between 5 and 9 entries. See details with the Categories & Fees listing. Entries in Grand Award do not have to be entered in applicable categories but may be if you wish. If you want a Grand Award entry judged in a specific category, you must also submit it separately in the individual category.
- Newspaper Travel Coverage: This is for publications, not individuals. Publications enter a portfolio of their best travel coverage within the eligible period. See further details with the category.
- Editorial Travel Website: This category is for the overall website, not individual work. Entries should be consumer-oriented websites whose primary product is digital.
- Audio/video entries: Enter audio and video work in their categories only, although they may be part of the Grand Award entry and included among submissions for Magazines, Newspaper Travel Coverage, Special Packages/Series and Multimedia Single Work. Provide URL link to work at a hosting website. Note that Travel Video Story now has 2 subcategories, one for videos longer than two minutes and the other for videos of two minutes or less. Travel Audio also has 2 subcategories, one for radio work and one for podcasts and audio guides.
- Travel Blog: This category is for writers who own their own blog and for the entire blog, not a single posting.
2022-23 SATW Foundation Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Competition
You must enter through the contest website, betterbnc.com. All entries must be submitted electronically except for a few categories. If entries can or must be mailed, it’s noted within the category below. Also see Instructions on this contest home page for help entering.
IMPORTANT: For mail-in entries, be sure to use the address in this year’s Mailing Instructions.
This contest welcomes work in various media, including print, digital, multimedia and broadcast. The use of the word “article” in descriptions is meant to encompass work in varied media.
Work must have been published/posted/produced between April 1, 2022, and March 31, 2023, except for book categories. When giving a link to work, be sure the content will be accessible through the fall as we prepare winner announcements. If a link is password-protected, provide the access code/password in the Comments box on the entry form.
Fees are given with each category.
Category 101: Grand Award – Lowell Thomas Travel Journalist of the Year
Best portfolio of between 5 and 9 entries reflecting the types of coverage from at least 4 different contest categories, such as foreign travel, adventure travel, etc. Entries should demonstrate diversity of skills in reporting and storytelling via narrative, video, audio and/or photography. Photography, video and audio entries may be included. Only 1 set of entries allowed per author. The entries made in Grand Award do not have to be entered in applicable categories but may be if you wish. Fee: $75.
Category 102: Travel Magazine
This category is not for individuals but for publications. Qualifying magazines may be print only, digital only, or a combination of both. For print magazines, hard copies of three consecutive issues are required; a link to any accompanying website should be included with an explanation of no more than 200 words on how the online components augment the print product and serve readers differently. For digital-only magazines, PDFs of three consecutive issues are required; provide a link to the PDFs as there may be too many to attach. Fee: $75.
Category 103: Travel Coverage in Other Magazines
This category is not for individuals but for scheduled publications, such as lifestyle, in-flight, activities-oriented, and special-interest magazines. Such magazines may be print or digital. Three consecutive issues are required. For print magazines, hard copies are required; a link to any accompanying website should be included with an explanation of no more than 200 words on how the online components augment the print product and serve readers differently. For digital-only magazines, PDFs of three consecutive issues are required; provide a link to the PDFs as there may be too many to attach. Fee: $75.
Category 104: Editorial Travel Website
This category is for an entire website, not individual work. It’s open to consumer-oriented, editorial websites whose primary product is digital. Sites may have advertising; however, sites that primarily sell travel components or promotional sites from a travel supplier are not eligible. Sites may have a print component provided that it is occasional or clearly secondary. Put name of site/publication in the Headline field on entry form. Newspapers and magazines may NOT enter their travel websites in this category; links to their websites may be provided with their entries as noted in their applicable categories. Fee: $75.
Category 105: Newspaper Travel Coverage
This category is for publications, not individuals. A portfolio of between 5 and 9 stories, features, articles and other formats of content that inspires, informs and engages travelers. This may include how-to articles, investigative stories, experiential features and news stories about traveling, the travel process and the business of travel as it affects consumers. Print entries may be supplemented by online and digital elements, including interactive tools, graphics, sidebars, video and audio. At least two elements of the collection must be a non-print submission, such as video, slideshows, audio and online-only work. The portfolio should show diversity of coverage. The collection should not include any entry made in the Special Packages/Series category. The portfolio must include one selection from each quarter of the period April 2022 through March 2023. A link to any accompanying website should be included with an explanation of no more than 200 words on how the online components augment the print product and serve readers differently. Publications with digital-only content are eligible. Fee: $75.
Unless otherwise noted, these categories may involve one or more media formats within a single story or article.
Category 106: Robert Haru Fisher Award for Travel Health/Safety Coverage
Substantive reporting and writing on topics regarding health and safety for travelers. Example: Taking precautions before travel, encountering travel safety and health issues when away from home, transportation (plane, train, bus, car, ship, etc.) safety from perspective of consumer and industry, travel insurance, etc. An entry is a single work, which may include short consumer information boxes/sidebars. Fee: $25.
This category honors Robert Haru Fisher, award-winning travel guidebook author-editor and columnist, who helped start the SATW Foundation and the Lowell Thomas competition. He died in 2020 and left a major bequest for the award.
Category 107: U.S./Canada Travel
Focused on destinations and travel experiences in these geographic areas. Fee: $25.
Category 108: Foreign Travel
Focused on destinations and travel experiences outside the U.S. and Canada. Fee: $25.
Category 109: Cruise Travel
Can be experiential, news reporting, commentary, investigative, review, etc. Fee: $25.
Category 110: Adventure Travel
Focused on the experience — rafting, hiking, biking, trekking, etc. Fee: $25.
Category 111: Travel News/Investigative Reporting
Hard-hitting coverage and/or analysis of a travel issue. Fee: $25.
Category 112: Service-Oriented Consumer Work
Consumer tips, how-to’s, advice, etc. Fee: $25.
Category 113: Environmental and Sustainable Tourism
Focused on sustainable tourism and/or the ecological and environmental aspects of travel and tourism. Sustainable tourism encompasses responsible, respectful travel that seeks positive interaction with the environment, the culture and the economy, helping assure the future integrity of a destination rather than changing or damaging it. Work may be from the perspective of both destinations and travelers, considering the impact of how we travel and ways/programs to promote sustainable actions. Fee: $25.
Category 114: Cultural Tourism
Focused on cultural aspects of travel. Fee: $25.
Category 115: Culinary-Related Travel
Focused on food, beverages, restaurants and other eating experiences, along with articles/posts on chefs and wineries. Intent is to help explain a destination by allowing readers to view it through a culinary prism. Fee: $25.
Category 116: Special-Purpose Travel
Coverage on travel from a special perspective or to pursue personal interests. Examples: Family travel or travel in pursuit of a specific interest such as noncompetitive sports, wellness, history, birding, self-improvement. Note: Interests that might generally be considered “adventure” travel, such as trekking, mountain-climbing, hiking and wilderness travel, should be entered in the Adventure Travel category. Fee: $25.
Category 117: Coverage of Diverse Communities
Coverage of travel experiences, issues and advice for minority or diverse communities, including those with disabilities, indigenous peoples, women and Black, Hispanic or Latino/Latina and Asian travelers. Fee: $25.
Category 118: Personal Comment
Column, essay, editorial, humorous article or similar type of narrative work with personal approach. An entry should be a single work. A short series of single pieces/posts on a specific subject is acceptable, but a collection of work on different subjects is not eligible. Fee: $25.
Category 119: Multimedia Single Work
Entry that uses multiple techniques to tell a story, integrating text, images, video, audio and/or social media. This differs from the Special Packages/Series category in that it is not a series or in-depth coverage but more a single work that presents a subject in varying ways to complement each other. Fee: $25.
Category 120: Special Packages/Series
In-depth or expanded coverage or a series about a travel-related topic in written, audio, podcast, video, social or other digital media, or any combination of platforms. Emphasis is on a special, coordinated package, which may include text, graphics, photos, video, audio and consumer interaction. A series in a single format is eligible. Weight is given to packages that make the most effective use of multiple platforms to present the idea. A single work presented in print and online or simply on multiple websites does not qualify. Be sure URLs are accessible and valid through the fall. See the Multimedia Single Work category for entries that are not special packages. Note: If entering a series, do not enter a single component of it in another category. If you do not enter the work as a series, then you may enter a single component in an applicable category. Fee: $75.
Category 121: Still Photography on Travel
Can be single or multiple photos by the same photographer illustrating a written or digital article/post. Print entries may include supplementary online galleries for the piece. Online entries may be a gallery of work for one article. Submit a PDF copy (or other acceptable electronic file) of the article/post/work showing the photos and text and/or a link to the work or online gallery. Fee: $25.
Category 122: Travel Book (other than guidebook)
Essay, photoessay, experiential and/or opinion in printed format. Books must be first-edition text and/or photos published since Jan. 1, 2021. Mail 1 copy of the book. (If also entering as part of Grand Award, mail another copy for that category.) Fee: $75.
Category 123: Guidebook
Emphasis on providing useful information as a reference tool to readers. Books must be first editions or major revisions published since Jan. 1, 2020, and must be in a printed format, though it may also be available digitally. Mail 1 copy of the book. (If also entering as part of Grand Award, mail another copy for that category.) Fee: $75.
Category 124a and 124b: Travel Audio-Radio/Travel Audio-Podcast and Guide
This competition for consumer-oriented travel programs is split into subcategories. 124a is for work on commercial and public radio. 124b is for travel podcasts and guides, commonly independent productions by individuals. Entry in each should be a single work, either a stand-alone piece or one selection from a regularly occurring feature. A short series is eligible if a continuing story. Work done by contract for commercial promotion is not eligible. Provide URL link to the entry at a hosting website. Fee: $25.
Category 125a and 125b: Travel Video Story
Consumer-oriented, live-action program on various types of video, including network or cable TV, online videocasts, travelogs and other digital platforms. 125a is for video longer than two minutes; 125b is for video two minutes or less. Entry should be a single work, either a stand-alone piece or one selection from a regularly occurring feature. A short series is eligible if a continuing story. Work done by contract for commercial promotion is not eligible. Provide URL link to the entry at a hosting website. Fee: $25.
Category 126: Travel Blog
Ongoing online journal that contributes fact-filled, accurate travel information, encouraging a sense of community and/or offering useful, actionable advice. It should show knowledge of the subject, reflect the distinctive personality of the author, be visually appealing and easy to read/navigate and invite interaction. This category is for writers who own their own blog and is for the entire blog, not a single posting, from April 1, 2022, to March 21, 2023. On entry form, put name of blog as Headline and provide URL to access blog. While category is for the ongoing blog, if you wish to cite particular posts, do so in Comments on the Entry Form. Fee: $25.
Category 127: Instagram Storytelling
This is for use of Instagram as a specific medium (not the Instagram Stories feature) to inspire, convey useful advice and/or present accurate travel information. An entry is one story or theme consisting of up to five images/posts. Weight is given to posts depicting less-known places or less-recognized aspects of well-known places. Each post must combine appealing visuals with narrative that is factual and timely, incorporating news or less-known facts. Posts may be a mix of static images and reels but may not be exclusively video. (Video-only storytelling should be entered in the video or series categories.) Fee: $25.
Category 128: Short Narrative
Single-subject coverage in up to 800 words published in print or online. Fee: $25.
Winners of the 2022-23 SATW Foundation Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Competition will be announced in early September at the SATW Convention in Puerto Rico, and via email and on the Foundation website, satwf.com.
Each year, the SATW Foundation awards over $25,000 in prize money to individual winners. The Grand Award earns the gold winner $1,500, the silver winner $750 and the bronze place $500. In individual categories, first-place gold winners each receive $500, with $250 going to silver and $150 to bronze winners. The categories for Best Newspaper Travel Coverage, Best Magazines and Best Editorial Travel Website are not given monetary awards.
The sustainability of the annual SATW Foundation Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Competition is made possible by a generous contribution from Gold Supporter CARNIVAL CORP., the world’s largest cruise company with a portfolio of brands in North America, Europe, Australia and Asia. Its contribution helps make the prizes possible and supports the future of high-quality travel media.
The SATW Foundation thanks all donors for their support in recognizing and rewarding excellence in travel journalism.