Announcing the Winners of the 2014 ILNY Teen Travel Writing Scholarship
The I LOVE NEW YORK Teen Travel Writing Scholarship 2014

(New York, NY October 20, 2014) Family Travel Forum (FTF), the award-winning resource for family vacation planners, in association with Empire State Development’s Division of Tourism (I LOVE NEW YORK) congratulates the winners of the 2014 ILNY Teen Travel Writing Scholarship.  Designed to promote teen literacy, the merit competition challenged students to blog about what they love most about New York State, with college grants to be awarded for the top three teen writers.    

According to Gavin Landry, Executive Director of Tourism at Empire State Development, “We love the idea of young voices in the market promoting New York State Travel. There is so much to see and do in our amazing state, and so many life-long memories to be made for young people traveling with friends and their families.”

Judging was done by FTF and I LOVE NEW YORK staff, the Society of American Travel Writers, and Eileen Ogintz, author of “The Kids Guide to New York City.” Submissions ranged from tales of hiking the Adirondacks, to swimming in the Finger Lakes, to visiting grandparents along the Erie Canal, and to the excitement of Times Square. 

We congratulate the winners of the ILNY Teen Travel Writing Scholarship, one of three merit scholarships offered this year by Family Travel Forum that drew more than 2,000 applicants. We encourage the young authors to continue exploring New York State and sharing their great travel adventures and memorable experiences.

1st Place – $1,000 to Samantha Carney, Age 15, Gasport, New York
“Escape into Letchworth: Sehgahunda, ‘Vale of Three Falls’”

2nd Place – $500 to Mary Wester, Age 17, Beltsville, Maryland
“Relaxing to Roller Coasters: The Perfect Day in Sylvan Beach”

3rd Place – $250 to Austin Siegel, Age 18, Sarasota, Florida
“From the City to the Suburbs, Experiencing All New York Has To Offer”

About Family Travel Forum

Family Travel Forum has been the trusted vacation planning resource for global travel with kids and grandkids since 1996. FTF’s expert and community content has been seen on Disney’s and other sites, in “The Complete Idiots Guide to the Best Family Destinations,” “Amazing Places to Take Your Kids in North America” and by millions of traveling families. In addition to co-hosting the annual TMS Family Travel Summit and conferences, FTF ventures include an annual Teen Travel Writing Scholarship with SATW, currently in its eight year;  the “The Family Vacationist” blog and e-alert; and Family Travel Consulting to the trade in partnership with Taking the Kids.   


I LOVE NEW YORK is New York State’s iconic tourism campaign, providing resources for visitors from around the world to explore the state’s 11 beautiful vacation regions. From whitewater adventures on world-class rapids, to ski runs turned mountain biking trails, to guided rock climbing trips in the Adirondacks and the Gunks, New York is ready for action. Connect with New York State on social media at to begin planning your next family adventure.


Contact:  Fran Falkin, Senior Editor, Family Travel Forum:  FTFstaff@ 
Image for Media Use Only. Caption:  ILNY Scholarship Winner Samantha Carney and Family at Sehgahunda, New York

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