Family Travel Forum Announces Winners of 4th Annual Teen Travel Writing Scholarships - My Family Travels

(New York, November 15, 2010) – Family Travel Forum, the award-winning family vacation publisher, is proud to announce the winners of its 4th annual FTF Teen Travel Writing Scholarship competition. In less than 90 days of summer, more than 4,500 travel blogs were submitted by students ages 13 to 18 from around the world who were vying to win a merit scholarship.

The student travel blogs covered an enormous variety of topics, from irritating family road trips with pesky siblings to risky mountain climbs, spiritual retreats and exhilarating Alaska cruises. Destinations spanned the globe, from a schoolyard in Kentucky to the great museums of Europe and a tea plantation in Indonesia.

As in past years, volunteering was a popular theme, with students traveling for good in hotspots like Haiti, Nicaragua and New Orleans. Reflecting the overall diversity, top winners blogged about their cultural encounters in Italy, Minnesota, and Mali, while the Honorable Mention winners shared student travels abroad in Africa, the Arctic and Antarctica, Asia, Europe, South America and even the U.S. presidential inauguration.

Selected travel blogs first passed a rigorous screening by college journalism interns and Family Travel Forum editors, then final judging was done by members of the American Society of Travel Writers (SATW). New this year were prizes for Best Photograph and Best Video, given by SATW in recognition of the multimedia skills required of today’s professional travel journalists.

Congratulations to the Winners of 2010 Family Travel Forum Teen Travel Writing Scholarships, who will receive cash prizes as well as two “Be Our Guest” certificates good for a one-night family stay at any of the more than 300 Homewood Suites Hotels in the US, Canada and Mexico.

1st Place: Aspetta (Travels in Italy) by Madeleine Loney ($1,000 Scholarship)

2nd Place: My Journal on a Piece of Birch Bark by Nathan Exley ($500 Scholarship)

3rd Place: A “Thriller” Night in Biko, Mali by Lauren Horst ($200 Scholarship)

Congratulations to the 25 Honorable Mentions — in the top .5% of all applicants — who will receive two tickets to any of the Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! museums as well as a travel gift from SATW and National Geographic:

Writ in Water by Emma Badger

Cozumel Cruisin’ by Matthew Bailey

Ruby Beach, Washington by Caroline Barr

The Three C’s of Mount Kilimanjaro: Clear, Copious, and Constant by CJ Bernstein

A Peak of Sunshine in Winter by Carolina Cabrera

To Italy with Chocha by Alexi Calzadilla

Cliffs and Ladders by Britany Chamberlain

Sinhagad Mountaintop by Medha Chandorar

Living in Brussels by Andrew Daliere

My American Adventure! by Trevor Gitau

President Obama’s Inauguration in D.C. by Taylor Hayes

Home Is Nice, But There’s No Place Like Bethany by Lyla Lawless

Hiking Half Dome by Kelly Pantason

Oceans Away, But One in the Same by Justin Pennish

The Rainstorm in Kabala by Marisa Roggensack

Scuba Diving in Costa Rica by Maura Sands

East Meets West, Or Is It North Meets South? by Carolyn Shuford

The Shirt Off Her Back by Allison Skinner

My trip to Puerto Rico by Dustin Stackhouse

Segovia, Ice Cream, and a New Perspective by Melanie Stangl

A Song of Hope by Allison Starcher

Visit to Birkenau by Charlene Thrope

The Road and the Rwenzoris by Audrey Ward

A Dolly, Please? by Kathleen Wilson

Life Changing by Mandy Xu

The winners of the Best Photography and Best Video submitted to the 2010 FTF Teen Travel Writing Scholarship will receive an SATW Honorarium ($150 Photography Merchandise Certificate).

2010 Teen Travel Scholarship Best Photography:
The Gift of the Nile, My Spring Break Adventure by Jason van der Merwe

2010 Teen Travel Scholarship Best Video:
Last Full Day in Oahu by Kelsey Low

Learn more about Family Travel Forum and the scholarships we offer. The 2011 FTF Teen Travel Writing Scholarship will begin accepting applications on May 2, 2011.

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