Thank you for submitting your work to the Family Travel Forum Teen Travel Writing Scholarship. We have enjoyed reading your stories and viewing pictures and videos of your adventures.
Between May 1 and July 14, our 11th annual competition attracted 2,145 applicants.
At this point in the judging process, each of your blogs has been read at least 3 times -- by our interns, members of the Journalism Education Association, and Family Travel Forum editors -- to select the best of the best.
Only the Quarter Finalists, Semi-Finalists and Finalists -- which totalled 15% of all submissions -- have been published. Congratulations if your travel tale has been selected. We hope you will share your blog with friends and family, and PDF it to include with your college applications. You should be very proud.
How did we make our picks?
Because we get so many great stories, the judging is a process of elimination. First, we disqualified a surprising number of applicants because they never fully completed their submissions. With completed entries, we didn't look for perfect grammar or perfect spelling, and we rarely found it :-). Instead, we listened to your stories and what your travels meant to you. The very best travel blogs gave us a strong sense of place, practical details of why this particular period in your life was special, and what your experience might mean to others.
How did my blog do?
Since the judges have reviewed everything, I am reaching out to you about your status:
- If you were selected as a Finalist, you should have received the notification e-mailed to you on September 11. It included a request for your high school transcript and a letter of permission from your parent or guardian (if you are under age 18).
- If you did not receive an email from me on September 11, here's how to check the site to see if your work attained Quarter Finalist or Semi Finalist status.
1. Type the title of your blog in the Search box to see if it has been published.
2. Go to the listing page to check on Quarter Finalists. The first 33 Quarter Finalists published are from this year's scholarship contest and you may be among this talented group.
3. Go to the listing page to check on Semi Finalists. The first 28 Semi Finalists are from this year's scholarship contest... Wow, that's 28 of you out of thousands!
What happens next in the Scholarship Judging?
As you know, we had generous sponsors (THANK YOU to ScholarTrips, Travel Media Showcase, TMS Family Travel, the Society of American Travel Writers, the Journalism Education Association, the Society of Professional Journalists, CityPASS, Allianz Global Assistance, Tourism Cares and Lonely Planet) who supported our merit competition this year!
The Finalist round will be judged by an esteemed panel of educators, seasoned travel writers and professional editors beginning on September 25.
Do I need to do anything now?
At this point, our Finalists have been contacted and need to be sure that their paperwork has been submitted. All applicants can read the work of the winners by visiting the site on October 5, 2017.
Again, thanks for sharing your stories with us, happy travels and please keep writing!