2016 Awards for Excellence Categories


The Australian Society of Travel Writers (ASTW) Travel Journalism Awards for Excellence is an annual celebration of outstanding travel writing, photography, and tourism communications.

Established in 1992, this is a closely contested competition among Australia's leading travel communicators, focusing on the very best published work of the year. Recognition of talent, a coveted trophy and prizes are the rewards for the winners.

There are 17 categories in the ASTW awards. Fourteen awards are open only to ASTW writer photographer and broadcaster members, and three awards are open to ASTW PR members.

  1. ASTW Travel Writer of the Year
  2. ASTW Travel Photographer of the Year
  3. Best Australian Travel Story
  4. Best International Travel Story under 1000 words
  5. Best International Travel Story over 1000 words
  6. Best Travel and Tourism News Story
  7. Best Adventure Travel Story
  8. Best Responsible Tourism Story
  9. Best Cruise Travel Story
  10. Best Family Travel Story
  11. Best Food Travel Story
  12. Best Travel Blog
  13. Best Travel Broadcaster
  14. Best Travel Story about the AGM host destination - Uluru

PR AWARDS

  1. Best Communicator or Communications Team of the Year
  2. Best PR Campaign of The Year – Digital or Traditional
  3. Best Tourism Organisation or Travel Product

JUDGING CRITERIA

Judging criteria includes creativity, flow, and originality of writing; information value, quality of research and reader enjoyment; and did this story inspire you and instil a desire for discovery?

1.  Travel Writer of the Year

Awarded to the member with the best portfolio of three (3) published travel stories for the judging period. Articles can be either to industry or consumers, but must have been published as part of paid editorial features, including magazines, books, newspapers or online media. Stories may be under or over 1000 words.

2.  Travel Photographer of the Year

Awarded to the member with the best portfolio of three (3) published travel images for the judging period. Images must have been published as part of paid editorial features, including magazines, books, newspapers or online media. The photographs can be from anywhere or of anyone as long as they illustrate an editorial travel feature. Additional judging criteria: Photographs will be judged on ability to communicate a sense of the place, people, and/or culture; ability to evoke interest and engage the viewer; use of lighting, composition, focus and other photographic techniques to produce an outstanding image illustrating a travel destination or experience.

3.  Best Australian Travel Story

This category is for destination articles published about travelling within Australia. Stories may describe travel destinations or products and may range from a single destination to several destinations, products or activities that are thematically linked. There is no word limit on entries.

4.  Best International Travel Story under 1000 words

This category is for destination articles about travel outside Australia. Stories may describe travel destinations or products and may range from a single destination to several destinations, products or activities that are thematically linked.

5.  Best International Travel Story over 1000 words

This category is for destination articles published about travelling within Australia. Stories may describe travel destinations or products and may range from a single destination to several destinations, products or activities that are thematically linked. There is no word limit on entries.

6.  Best Travel and Tourism News Story

This category is for articles reporting on the business of tourism. Articles may have appeared in either trade or consumer media, but must relate to industry issues or be an analysis of current trends affecting travel and tourism. Additional judging criteria: Newsworthiness; Analysis and evaluation of the topic.

7.  Best Adventure Story

This category is for destination articles that contain elements of adventure travel (soft, rugged, solo or group) and/or focus on a journey using any mode of transport such as walking or travelling by bike, car, train, ship, horse, camel or kayak.

8.  Best Responsible Tourism Story

Responsible tourism is travel that is environmentally, socially, culturally and/or economically sustainable. Stories may be about a low-impact experience or destination, or an organisation or individual committed to sustainable travel; or an analysis of responsible tourism issues. Additional judging criteria: Discussion and analysis of responsible tourism issues; Ability to inspire readers to travel and live in a more responsible way.

9.  Best Cruise Travel Story

This category is for articles published about all modes of cruising, including ocean, river, expedition, luxury, sailing, freighter or small ship. Stories may be about single or multi-day cruises in Australia or overseas.

10. Best Family Travel Story

This category is for articles published about families with children travelling together in Australia or overseas. Stories may describe travel destinations or experiences and may range from a single destination to several destinations, products or activities. Stories may also include tips and advice on travelling to or in that destination specific to the needs of families.

11. Best Food Travel Story

This category is for articles published about food in Australia or overseas. Stories may describe destinations, experiences, people, technology or products; or there may be an analysis of food and beverage related trends or issues.

12. Best Travel Blog

Open to blogs written by ASTW members where the majority of the content (> 80%) is created by ASTW members. Entries should be accompanied by a brief (100 word) background on the blog which includes the author's goals, audience, and content; links to three blog posts from the judging period; and analytics for 12 months. All blogs entered will be eligible for inclusion in the list of Top ASTW Travel Blogs 2016. Additional judging criteria: Blogs will be judged on content, layout, visitation, ethics, and accessibility. Judges will be looking for the highest standards.

13. Best Travel Broadcaster

Open to ASTW members who present or are interviewed on a regular travel segment on radio, television or online, or present a travel show or documentary on radio, television or online.  Entries should be accompanied by three samples of their work and a brief (100 word) background which includes the broadcaster’s outlet, audience, and content. Additional judging criteria: Broadcaster should provide an informative and entertaining show/segment on a destination or experience. Broadcaster’s work should be consistent and of the highest quality. Broadcaster should have a high degree of knowledge about the subject matter.

Applicants should enter and pay online. Audio files can be uploaded on the ASTW Awards entry form if they are under 3mb. For audio files over 3mb contact the Secretariat. Links to online or television segments should be uploaded with the entry.

 

14. Best Travel Story about the AGM host destination (Uluru)

This award is for articles and blogs published on the previous year's ASTW AGM destination, whether in Australia or overseas. The award this year is for stories published on Uluru. Stories may be either trade or consumer stories. There is no word limit on stories.

GENERAL POINTS

  • The Awards can only be entered via the online entry form.
  • The deadline for all entries is 30 April 2016.
  • For further information or answers to questions contact the ASTW Secretariat at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

2016 Awards for Excellence
Terms and Conditions of Entry


The ASTW Travel Journalism Awards for Excellence are only open to financial Full Writer members; Associate Writer members; and PR Members of the Australian Society of Travel Writers.

  • All entries must have been published in print or online, in Australia or overseas, between 1 July 2015 and 30 April 2016.
  • All entries must have been published for monetary reward.
  • All entries must be anonymous. Submissions will be sent to the judges without any reference to the author's or submitter's name. The format of the submission text will be standardised as well. Please remove subheads/pull quotes
  • Submissions must be in English.
  • A single article comprises one entry. With the exception of the Travel Writer of the Year and Travel Photographer of the Year awards, you may enter as many articles as you like in each category as long as each is accompanied by an entry form and is covered by the entry fee. Should a publisher wish to pay for a writer's submission, this transaction must take place outside the administration of ASTW. All entries must be accompanied by payment details at the time of entry.
  • You cannot enter the same article in more than one category, with the exception of articles entered in the Travel Writer of the Year award.
  • Tear sheets, presented as PDF files or URL weblinks, must accompany writing and photography entries as proof of publication.
  • The text of articles submitted must correspond to the final published article and photographs must not have been substantially enhanced or altered for publication. Finalists must be prepared to allow the judges to approach the editor(s) of published stories and photographs to verify that they were not substantially changed before publication.
  • The entry fee for writing and photography awards is $25:00 per entry.
  • Payment must be made with a credit card via the ASTW website at time of entry.
  • Entries must be received no later than 23:59 (11.59pm) on 30 April 2016.
  • Please keep a copy of all material submitted. Entries will not be returned.
  • Finalists and winners will be announced at the Convention awards dinner (18 August 2016).
  • Prizes are valid for 12 months and are subject to conditions. All prize inclusions and the terms and conditions will be confirmed by the sponsors and prize donors in writing to the winner on the announcement.
  • There is acceptance - on the winners of destination prizes - to write stories about the country/city/region they visited, partaking of the hospitality and have it published as soon as possible.
  • A panel of three independent judges will score each category.
  • Names of the winners in each category will be kept in strict confidence until they are announced at the awards night.
  • The scores given and the names of the judges will be kept in confidence. The judges will be named after the awards night.
  • The decisions of the judges are final, and no correspondence will be entered into.
  • Winning entries may be displayed at the awards night and published on the ASTW website.