2017 Awards for Excellence

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 19 categories in the ASTW awards. Sixteen awards are open only to ASTW writer, photographer and broadcaster members, and three awards are open to ASTW PR members. 

WRITER AWARDS

  1. ASTW Travel Writer of the Year
  2. ASTW Travel Photographer of the Year
  3. ASTW Travel Photograph of the Year
  4. Best Australian Travel Story over 1000 words
  5. Best Australian Travel Story under 1000 words
  6. Best International Travel Story under 1000 words
  7. Best International Travel Story over 1000 words
  8. Best Adventure Travel Story
  9. Best Responsible Tourism Story
  10. Best Cruise Travel Story
  11. Best Family Travel Story
  12. Best Food Travel Story
  13. Best Travel Blog
  14. Best Travel Broadcaster
  15. Best Travel Story about the AGM host destination – Cape Town, South Africa
  16. Best Travel Trade Story

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

CRITERIA FOR ENTRY

Travel Writer of the Year

Awarded to the writer 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.

Travel Photographer of the Year

Awarded to the writer member with the best portfolio of five (5) published travel images for the year. 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 editorial travel features.
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; and use of lighting, composition, focus and other photographic techniques to produce an outstanding image illustrating a travel destination or experience.  Images that have been entered in previous years cannot be entered again. Images do not have to follow a theme, or be connected. Images should have been published for the first time during the membership year. Please take your name off the metadata.

 ASTW Travel Photograph of the Year

Awarded to the writer member with the best published travel image for the year. The image must have been published as part of a paid editorial feature including magazines, books, newspapers or online media. The image can be from anywhere or of anyone as long as it illustrates 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; and use of lighting, composition, focus and other photographic techniques to produce an outstanding image illustrating a travel destination or experience.

Best Australian Travel Story under 1000 words

This category is for destination articles about travel 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. The published story must be under 1000 words.

 Best Australian Travel Story over 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. The published story must be over 1000 words, not including fact boxes or breakout boxes.

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.

 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. The published story must be over 1000 words, not including fact boxes or breakout boxes.

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.

 

  1. 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; Quality of writing; Ability to inspire readers to travel and live in a more responsible way.

 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.

 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.

 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 be an analysis of food and beverage related trends or issues.

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 google analytics for 12 months.  Judging criteria: Blogs will be judged on the quality of writing first and foremost, content, layout, quality of information given and navigation.

Best Travel Broadcaster

Open to ASTW members who present or are interviewed on a regular travel segment on radio or television, or present a travel show or documentary on radio or television.

Entries should be accompanied by three samples of their work – not more than 3 minutes long – 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. Broadcasters should have a high degree of knowledge about the subject matter.

 Best Travel Story about the AGM host destination (Cape Town, South Africa)

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 Cape Town, South Africa or emanating from famils organised pre- or post-AGM. Stories may be either trade or consumer.  NB. Stories entered into this category can also be entered in another category.

Best Travel Trade Story

Trade/industry articles report and comment on current developments in domestic or international tourism. Articles may be published in trade or consumer media. Additional judging criteria: Newsworthiness; Calibre of writing; Analysis and evaluation of the topic.

PR AWARDS

Best Communicator or Communications Team of the Year 

criteria to enter to be updated

Best PR Campaign of The Year – Digital or Traditional

This award category is open to all campaigns delivered by either traditional or digital media by ASTW PR members in the past 12 months that achieves the members’ organisation/client objective and involves the ASTW in some way. The campaign can consist of a familiarisation program, social media, traditional media or consumer event, or a wider-reaching campaign. Entries will be judged on evidence of research, insight, strategy and creativity used in a travel-related PR campaign in the past 12 months. Nominations should describe in 250 words why this campaign deserves the award, as well as, campaign results and collected statistics.

Best Tourism Organisation or Travel Product 

This award is presented to the most effective one-off or ongoing liaison during the year for current clients that inspires the industry to write about the destination/or product. It is open to international, domestic/state and regional tourism organisations, tour operators, airlines, attractions, cruises, hotels, rail companies and other travel-related products represented by an ASTW PR member. Nominations should describe in 250 words why this tourism organisation or product deserves the award. Examples of coverage should be included.

GENERAL POINTS

  • The Awards can only be entered via the online entry form.
  • The deadline for all entries is 30 April 2017.
  • For further information or answers to questions contact the ASTW Secretariat at secretariat@astw.org.au

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 May 2016 and 30 April 2017.
  • 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/breakout boxes.
  • 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 and the Best Story About the AGM Host Destination. Photos entered in the Travel Photograph of the Year can be entered in Photographer of the Year.
  • For photography entries, images that have been entered in previous years cannot be entered again. Images should have been published for the first time during the membership year but may have been taken in previous years. Any metadata on the images that could give away the name of the photographer must be deleted.
  • 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 Visa or Mastercard via the ASTW website at time of entry.
  • Entries must be received no later than 23:59 (11.59pm) on 30 April 2017.
  • Please keep a copy of all material submitted. Entries will not be returned. Screenshots are recommended.
  • Finalists and winners will be announced at the Convention awards dinner (xx August 2017).
  • 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 — that the winners of destination prizes should they be awarded — should 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.

More details will be loaded as we prepare to open entries for the 2017 awards.