Family Travel Forum Announces Teen Travel Writing Scholarship Winners - My Family Travels

Congratulations to student travel bloggers who earned 2011 Scholarships from Family Travel Forum and Society of American Travel Writers for college or travels.

(New York, NY – November 1, 2011) Family Travel Forum (FTF), the award-winning publisher of family vacation information on the web, in association with the Society of American Travel Writers (SATW), is proud to announce the winners of its fifth annual Teen Travel Writing Scholarship competition.

Between May 1 and August 1, 2011, nearly 6,000 students ages 13 to 18 applied for this merit scholarship. They blogged about a range of experiences from service trips to journeys to re-connect with their own heritage; from exploring nature to those that focused on cultural immersion.  Senior Editor, Fran Falkin comments “It is very exciting for the judges to read the work of these young storytellers who write with earnestness, humor and passion about the world they are discovering and sharing with us. We are most encouraged about this new generation of travel writers.”

Judging the sheer volume of eloquent travel tales, photographs and videos required a team of college and graduate level journalism majors to assist FTF editors, and a team of senior members of SATW helped in honing the list down. These compelling blogs, 15% of the total submitted, can be seen on

The top Finalist essays, 4% of those submitted, were passed up to a panel of four travel journalists from the SATW who judged them on originality, eloquence and a sense of place. FTF was honored by the support and participation of this organization because of their commitment to responsible journalism, conservation and the preservation of travel resources worldwide.

The top three authors will receive cash prizes, and 25 additional Honorable Mention winners are rewarded with travel journals, and passes to any Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! museum.  Winners of the Best Photography and Best Video categories receive an SATW Honorarium of a $150 Photography Equipment Merchandise Gift Certificate.

Congratulations to the Winners of 2011 Family Travel Forum Teen Travel Writing Scholarships:

2011 Scholarship Winners:

1st Place ($1,000):
And So Our Circle Grew: My First African Morning” by A.S.; New Hampshire

2nd Place ($500):   
Trash Talk” by Lauren Pey; San Anselmo, California

3rd Place ($200):
Road to Lonavala” by Paroma Chakravarty; Atlanta, Georgia

2011 Scholarship Honorable Mentions:

– “A Slice of Literature” by Jacqueline Murray; Randolph, New Jersey
– “Blindfolded” by Erika Flickner; Folsom, California
– “Fly Away” by Shi Chan Meng; Fairfax, Virginia
– “Guardian Angels Guide a Lost Girl” by Delisa Williams; Roswell, Georgia
– “It Is No Longer Speaking, It Is Understanding” by Lawren Jaben, Rancho Santa Margarita, California
– “Language Barriers” by Michelle Hwang; Thousand Oaks, California
– “Limerick, Ireland: The Perfect Place for a Pair of Wellies” by Danielle Kelly Herbert; Lehi, Utah
– “My Heart’s in Honduras” by Abigail Shepard; Dayton, Ohio
– “My Hut Is Your Hut” by Ian Rofe; Santa Monica, California
– “My Internal Journey” by Patricia Leal; Mecca, California
– “Names and Faces” by Victoria Oliver; Raleigh; North Carolina
– “Nature’s Power” by Samantha Simma; Somerset, Wisconsin
– “New York With A South Asian Twist” by Saiema Alam; Vestal, New York
– “No Shoes But Big Dreams” by Duyminh Nguyen; Houston, Texas
– “Sin Cuenta” by Cynthia Marie Campos Costanzo; Los Angeles, California
– “South African Bush: An Untouched and Invisible World” by Stephanie Wenclawski; Cedar Rapids, Iowa
– “Spending Two Weeks With Mother Nature” by Justin Cook; Jacksonville, Florida
– “Taking a Shower” by Sabrina D’Souza; Allston, Massachusetts
– “The Joys of Muddy Paths” by Wesley Cornwell; Terre Haute, Indiana
– “The Secret Life of an Old Magazine: History Brought Life Central Florida” by Carly Gordon; Boca Raton, Florida
– “Through Her Eyes” by Alexandra McLaughlin; Minneapolis, Minnesota
– “Towards Reason’s Horizon” by Wahaj Chaudhry; Brooklyn, New York
– “Wealthy Orphans” by Noorsher Ahmed; San Jose, California
– “Who Can Get The Closest?” by Lauren Nicole Rogers; Tulsa, Oklahoma
– “You Can Kill The Dreamer, But Not The Dream” by Samantha Ann Hall; Waller, Texas

For the second year, prizes for Best Photograph and Best Video are given by SATW in recognition of the multimedia skills required of today’s professional travel journalists.

2011 Teen Travel Scholarship Best Photography:
– “Reconnecting with a Friend” by Christopher James Bennett; El Cerrito, California

2011 Teen Travel Scholarship Best Video:
– “The Roman Equation” by Allie Chandler; Clearwater, Florida

About Family Travel Forum
Family Travel Forum (FTF) – has served all who “Have Kids, Still Travel” with print and online guides since 1996. The award winning media company covers family vacations ranging from multi-generational cruises to the Top 10 Getaway survey of resort-based infant programs, with reviews of gear, travel advice for parents of kids of all ages, blogs and forums. FTF publishes e-newsletters and has partnered on guidebooks, “The Complete Idiots Guide to the Best Family Destinations” (Alpha Penguin, 2011) and “Amazing Places to Take Your Kids in North America;” content licensing for Disney’s and the Discovery Channel; and strategic consulting to Fairmont Hotels, Chrysler and Forbes among others.

About The Society of American Travel Writers
SATW’s membership includes writers, editors, photographers, journalists, filmmakers, and communications professionals who specialize in the travel industry.  SATW promotes responsible journalism, provides professional support and development for its members, and encourages the conservation and preservation of travel resources worldwide.  To learn more about the Society, please visit

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