Teen Travel Writing Scholarship Winners of 2007

Compelling stories earn scholarships for writers ages 13-18 in Family Travel Forum’s 2007 Teen Travel Writing contest.

(New York) – Family Travel Forum, the award-winning publisher of family vacation information on the web, announces the extraordinarily successful results of its first Teen Travel Essay Scholarship competition. More than 5,000 essays were received from students ages 13 to 18 attending public and private schools, U.S. Department of Defense schools, International-American programs, and homeschools around the world.

Contrary to the common stereotype of America’s illiterate teens, more than 95% of the essays deserved an A, and the outpouring of personal expression was remarkable in its diversity.

“Topics ranged from daycations at the beach with best friends to dragging an enormous pink suitcase throughout Europe; from close encounters with a beloved grandparent to mishaps with foreign toilets,” notes judge Laura Sutherland.”We read stories of kids’ homesickness and the misunderstandings that arose when visiting a parent’s native culture; of physical and mental abuse, pesky little siblings, favorite pets, and church-sponsored mission trips. In the end, the judges were most impressed by the personal revelations made away from home, because that’s the essence of travel.”

Congratulations to recipients of Family Travel Forum’s 2007 Teen Travel Writing Scholarships.

2007 Scholarship Winners

1st Place ($500):
The Experiment in International Living: Turkey, 2007” by Amanda Labora, Miami, Florida

2nd Place ($250):
“The Halfburger Trip” by Nate Fisher, Lewisville, Texas

3rd Place ($100):
“Relating to the Other” by Rachelle Grossman, Spokane, Washington

2007 Scholarship Honorable Mentions ($25 Gift Certificate to Barnes & Noble):

– “A Climb Up Mount Tai During Our Summer Vacation in China” by Eva Dou, Grosse Pointe City, Michigan
“Amazon” by Tyler Brandon, Washington, DC
An Unexpected Opportunity by Nigel Knieser, Olean, New York
– “Auschwitz” by Taylor Hamilton, Victoria, Minnesota
– “Bright Angel Trail” by Daway Chou-Ren, Holmdel, New Jersey
“Chile” by Shir Livne, White Plains, New York
– “Discovering the Roots of My Personality” by Lauren Bacans, Grand Rapids, Michigan
– “Giving Ha” by Molly M., Coon Rapids, Minnesota
Glaring Incorrectness by Sara Sadat-Hossieny, Cincinnati, Ohio
– “Luvianos” by Magnolia Flores, Glenn Dale, Maryland
– “My Eye-Opening Cab Ride in Israel” by Edie Joseph, Newberry, Florida
– “My Not So Audrey-Hepburn-Wind-Blowing-in-Your-Hair-Roman-Holiday Kind of Experience” by Alicia Sanhueza, Litchfield Park, Arizona
– “New Orleans” by Stephen Settles, Louisville, Kentucky
– “N.O.L.A. and Me” by Adriana Hart-Schmidt, Webster Groves, Missouri
– “New York City by Amanda Fisch, Sugarloaf, California
– “7,000 Miles Away But Right Next Door” by Elisabeth Moore, Richmond, Virginia
– “The Alluring Mystique of Ohio Woodcarving Museums” by Lynette Score, Ann Arbor, Michigan
– “The Eternal City” by Angela D’Alonzo, Ashton, Pennsylvania
– “The Forbidden Island of Kaho’olawe” by Daniel Kamakanaola Ho, Kahului, Hawaii
– “The River Captain” by Ryan Kelly, Cayce, South Carolina
– “Tennessee Perspective” by Molly Bonham, Nampa, Idaho
Travels in France: Immersionby Rachel Ravina, Rochdale, Massachusetts
– “Unbreakable in New Orleans” by Megan Mulrine, Easton, Pennsylvania
“Why College? ‘Cause I Would Die as a Roofer” by Matthew Atha, Carsbad, California
– “Yup, I Brought My Calculator” by Peter Reinhardt, Seattle, Washington

Selecting finalists from such an excellent body of work required a process of elimination. FTF assistant editors screened essays, then passed them on to a team of judges who looked for originality, eloquence and the sense of place found in all successful travel writing. (You can read more about the 2007 Scholarship Judges here.)

After the six judges (professional writers, editors, and teens studying writing) chose their finalists, they turned to Writers Guild of America Lifetime Achievement Award-winner Marshall Brickman to make the final selection. For his authorship of classic entertainment ranging from the Dick Cavett Show to “Sleeper,” “Annie Hall,” “Manhattan” and the Tony-winning musical “Jersey Boys,” Mr. Brickman – also the father of two writers – has received an Academy Award, a British Academy Award and two Emmys.

All 28 of our winners as well as Semi-finalists and quarter-finalists will have their essays published on Family Travel Forum’s website. Following the overwhelming success of its first competition, the 2008 Family Travel Forum Teen Travel Writing Scholarship will begin accepting applications on May 15, 2008 at http://scholarship.familytravelforum.com.

About FTF

Family Travel Forum (FTF), whose motto is “Have Kids, Still Travel!”, is dedicated to the ideals, promotion and support of travel with children. The company’s family of vacation websites – www.kidtravels.com, www.familytravelforum.com, www.familytravelboards.com, and www.tinytravelers.net — contain vast libraries of destination research, including first-hand reviews of tropical and ski resorts, reunion destinations, attractions, holiday weekends, family festivals, cruises, and all kinds of vacation ideas. Family Travel Forum also offers trip-planning consultation and discounts from preferred vendors to individual families, and family travel consulting services to the travel industry.


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