2023-24 SATW Foundation
Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Competition

Welcome to the premier competition recognizing and rewarding excellence in travel journalism that serves the public with unbiased information and enhances understanding of the destination or experience. The competition is open to all journalists; there are no membership requirements to enter.

This is the 40th annual contest, offering 30 categories for print, digital and multimedia work, travel photography, audio, video and digital publishing. The contest is handled electronically, using the BetterBNC Media Awards Platform (https://betternewspapercontest.com/) The website works best with the most recent versions of Google Chrome. If you are on another browser and having trouble, switch to Chrome.  

Newcomers must create an account at the BetterBNC website and request to enter our competition, which you will find listed among multiple contests. Requests are monitored and approval given within 24 hours. 

If you’re an independent journalist, you must use the Open Call Login at the top of the BetterBNC home page screen. If you land on our contest home page at BetterBNC and click on Enter the Contest Here, see the Open Call Contestant Login at bottom left side (small type) of the pop-up window. 

If you’re with a media organization and/or entering for multiple authors, click on Contestant Login. 

See the basic contest information and full list of categories below. Use the side menu to go to the Instructions that apply to you, either as an Independent Journalist or a Media Organization. 

For questions, contact Foundation administrator, Victoria Larson, victoria@satwfoundation.org.

Entry deadline: March 31, 2024.

This link will open in a new browser page or tab so that you can keep it open or print it for reference as you go through the entry process. Note that there are separate instructions for independent journalists and media organizations submitting work for multiple authors/creators.

This link will open in a new browser page or tab so that you can keep it open or print it for reference as you go through the entry process. Note that there are separate instructions for independent journalists and media organizations submitting work for multiple authors/creators.

Click the button above to go to the BetterBNC website and the 2023-24 SATW Foundation Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Competition.

For questions and more information, contact us at victoria@satwfoundation.org.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are answers for some of the issues that may arise in completing electronic entries in the 2023-24 SATW Foundation Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Competition.

If you need more assistance, contact Victoria Larson, victoria@satwfoundation.org.

If you do not get a validation email, check your spam or junk folder and be sure you have allowed (or whitelisted) bnc@smalltownpapers.com as a sender. If the validation does not work, click Help & Support at top of the BetterBNC page. Check applicable information links there or click Start Trouble Ticket at top of that page. 

Media entering for the first time: Follow instructions for Contestant Login, fill in beginning info as requested, then click on “Submit Entry” and complete two of your planned entries. This activates an auto validation link to the email address you have listed. Check your email (or spam/junk mail if you don’t see it) and click the validation link. Log into your account and complete the information fields as requested. Then proceed with other entries.

We monitor requests daily and answer ASAP, usually within 24 hours if not faster.

The designations are for specific categories only. They don’t apply otherwise, but technically we must designate media entrants in one so-called “circ group.” Media entering the Travel Magazine category or Travel Coverage in Other Magazines need to specify which type of magazine they are. If we have designated your publication in wrong group, then send an email to Victoria Larson, Foundation administrator, victoria@satwfoundation.org. 

No, there are no membership requirements to enter the competition.

No. We are sorry, but we cannot accept mail-in articles. A few categories, such as Magazines and Books, do require print copies. See categories for information.

You may submit as many entries as you like, but a single work cannot be entered in more than two categories, as applicable. You also may include it as part of a multiple-submission category, such as the Grand Award. When a specific work is to be entered in more than one category, you must submit a copy for each category. An entry can win only one award, although it also may be part of a winning package, such as the Grand Award. For Grand Award, an entrant may submit only one portfolio. Likewise, for Newspaper Travel Coverage, only one portfolio is allowed, and for Magazine categories only one set of issues can be entered.

A series can be entered in the Special Packages/Series category. Otherwise, in most categories, an entry is a single work (supplemental info boxes allowed). If you enter a series in the specified category, do not enter a single component of the series in any other category. But if you prefer not to enter the series in the Special Packages/Series category, you may enter a single component in an applicable category. Also, the Personal Comment category has a note about short series, as in several posts/articles on a subject. Please read through that before completing your submission.

Yes, journalists outside North America are allowed to enter their work published in North American media and work on their own websites. All work must be in English.

For Grand Award, a portfolio of work, on the entry form in “Where Published/Performed,” leave first box Other… and in second box put Various. In Headline/Title of Entry, put Portfolio of work. In the date fields, put in the publish date of one work, such as earliest eligible one. Attach copies of work and/or give URL links. Also on a Word document, list your Grand Award entries with the publisher/website/broadcaster name, the headline/title and the date published/posted/aired and attach this document.

Newspaper entrants submit a portfolio of their best travel coverage within the eligible period. In the Headline/Title of Entry field, put publication name, such as the Cleveland Plain Dealer. In the publication/run date field, put date of one of the portfolio of entries, such as earliest in the eligible period. On a Word document, list the entries (headlines and dates) and attach this with the entry attachments/URLs. You do not need to list credits (bylines) for each entry in the portfolio. Portfolios may be a combination of electronic and mail-in entries as needed.

Entrants in the Travel Magazine category may enter their travel websites as part of their magazine entry. Likewise, Travel Coverage in Other Magazines and Newspaper Travel Coverage categories enter their websites with their publication entry. The Editorial Travel Website category is for websites whose primary product is digital.

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