Who Judged You: The 2010 Teen Travel Writing Scholarship - My Family Travels
Erin Boyle at Hilton event.
FTF staff and interns

The Family Travel Forum Teen Travel Writing Scholarship has recently announced its 2010 winners, but the process for selecting these award-winning travel blogs started back in May.

The Family Travel Forum Teen Travel Writing Scholarship has recently announced its 2010 winners, but the process for selecting these award-winning travel blogs started back in May. 

Between May 1 and August 1, 2010, over 4,500 teens ages 13-18 submitted their tales chronicling travel around the world. 

With so many applications, the merit scholarship required a dedicated team of judges to narrow down the finalists.  After months of reading the amazing stories submitted by teens, finalists’ work was sent to the Society of American Travel Writers (SATW).  This group of talented judges — all professional writers and photographrs — had to make the final decision on who would win this year’s scholarships.  In the end, the SATW judges picked the top 30 student travel blogs that became this year’s winners.

Before the SATW judges made their final decision, the essays were first read by interns and editors at FTF’s office in New York City.  Associate Editor Jillian Ryan, Senior Editor Fran Falkin and FTF’s Editor-In-Chief Kyle McCarthy finally chose the 60 writing finalists to be sent on to SATW. The editors enjoyed reading the travel experiences of the young writers and were inspired by the worldliness of their blogs. 

There were four New Media Interns involved with the 2010 scholarship. Lucy Tingey, a Brigham Young student who read teen submissions daily while updating FTF’s Mission Holidays blog, loved everyone’s community service stories and will, in fact, be doing her own mission trip to Japan in 2011. Colby senior and English major, Darcy Bullock, especially enjoyed the tales about European cultural immersion programs, since she had spent a semester in France. Mike Murray, a journalism graduate from St. Albans University, also read through hundreds of submissions and handled the applicants’ YouTube videos.  A senior communications major at Fordham University, Erin Boyle became involved with the scholarship around the time when the 60 finalists were named.  She enjoyed publishing the students’ stories and contacting the lucky finalists about their accomplishments.

This year the SATW judges panel included four prestigious travel writers.  Laurie D. Borman is a past president of SATW, former editorial director of Rand McNally and former editor-in-chief of Endless Vacation magazine.  She now works as a freelance travel editor and writer and has been featured in the Chicago Tribune, AOL travel, Dallas Morning News and Philadelphia Inquirer, as well as several other publications both print and online.

Julie Vosburgh Agnone is the Executive Editor at National Geographic Kids magazine.  Her work has primarily involved writing, editing and managing children’s magazines, educational media and CD-ROMS for ESL students.  Julie’s work at National Geographic Kids includes National Geographic Little Kids, an online site, international editions and strategic partnerships.

A 12-year member of SATW, Stan Wawer has 46 years of journalism experience and has won more than 85 journalism awards during his career.  He has worked as a sports editor, managing editor, executive editor, travel editor, special sections editor and magazine editor.  The publications he has been involved with include The San Gabriel Valley Tribune, LA Times, Los Angeles Daily News, Long Beach Press-Telegram and Pasadena Star-News

The Toronto-based Kate Pocock works as a travel writer and photographer specializing in family travel.  She regularly writes for publications such as Reader’s Digest and Today’s Parent and has contributed to National Geographic Guide to Family Adventure Travel.  Kate authored the book Fodor’s Around Toronto with Kids and has won several awards for writing and journalism.

This year included new awards sponsored by SATW for Best Photography and Best Video.  Some top-notch photographers were enlisted for judging these categories because more than 600 travel blogs’ photos and videos had to be reviewed.

Michael C. Snell is a photographer member of the SATW.  His work has been featured in several magazines, travel guides, books and brochures around the world. 

World-traveller and photographer Cosmo Condina has produced stock photography for commercial use since 1985.  He is an associate photographer for Getty Images, alamy.com and workbookstock.com.  Cosmo is a founding member of a professional organization for stock photographers called StockArtistsAlliance.

Chad Case is an award-winning professional photographer, travel writer and videographer who has been published in National Geographic Adventure, National Geographic Traveler, Holland America, Mountain Travel Sobek, National Wildlife, The New York Times, Outside, Sunset, Backpacker and numerous other publications. He also leads a variety of digital photography workshops and operates Idaho Stock Images in his hometown of Boise.


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