Calling all budding travel writers

The Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) and the Australian Society of Travel Writers (ASTW) have collaborated to launch a new initiative, aimed at enticing a new era of travel writers in Australia.

In a first for the ASTW, the association will introduce the “Rising Star” award to their existing 2018 Awards for Excellence programme, designed to provide a boost for writers looking to expand their expertise into the often daunting but aspirational travel writing industry.

The award is open to writers and digital influencers who have had their first paid travel story published in the past two years.

Entries will be reviewed by three judges: HKTB Regional Director, Andrew Clark; author of the Hong Kong Precincts guidebook and ASTW committee member, Penny Watson; and award-winning freelance journalist and media industry academic, Lee Mylne. The travel editor for Australian media organisation, Fairfax Media, will review a shortlist of three finalists to select the final winner.

The winner will receive a trip to Hong Kong, including: return economy airfares; four nights’ accommodation; return Airport Express Line voucher; MTR pass with HK$200 credit; dinner at Ho Lee Fook; foodie tour of Sham Shui Po; tour of Tai Kwun – Hong Kong’s new centre for Heritage and Arts; traditional junk boat ride to view the nightly light and sound show – A Symphony of Lights. The winner’s subsequent Hong Kong story will also be published by Traveller.com.au and will be considered for Traveller’s print edition in the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.

The winner will also receive a one-year “Rising Star” membership to the ASTW valued at AU$400 and will be invited to attend an ASTW Christmas lunch where they will be presented with their award.

ASTW president, Danielle Lancaster said this is an exciting initiative for the ASTW that will give back to the writing community and ensure a healthy future for the society.

“The ASTW was founded in 1975 and today has more than 300 members. We want to share this wealth of knowledge and talent with those eager to also craft a career in the travel writing industry,” Ms Lancaster said.

“The committee are always looking for ways to mentor rising talent and educate the industry on the benefits of being a member, we were thrilled to be approached by HKTB with an idea to make this goal come to life.”

HKTB regional director – Australia, New Zealand and South Pacific, Andrew Clark said The HKTB are thrilled to be supporting grassroots development in the travel writing industry.

“It’s great to be a part of an initiative which supports up-coming talent and also the ASTW which we have long been associated with,” Mr Clark said.

“Hong Kong is also a fantastic destination to ‘cut your teeth’ as a travel writer, with so many experiences, neighbourhoods and environments to suit any style of writer. We look forward to working with the ASTW to grow this award and also the overall platform for Australian writing talent.”

Award criteria:

  • – Award entrants are writers or digital influencers who have had their first paid travel story published in the past two years and who are not existing ASTW members
  • – The award submission must be a travel related article under 1,000 words published between 31 October, 2016 – 31 October, 2018
  • – The article must have been a paid commission and judges will need to see evidence of story payment, upon request
  • – The article will have featured in a print publication with a minimum circulation of 20,000 or in an online publication with a minimum of 10,000 unique visitors per month

How to enter:

Entries are open from 1 August, 2018 to 31 October, 2018 via astw.org.au/rising-star
The winner will be announced on 30 November, 2018 on www.astw.org.au/news; www.facebook.com/australiansocietyoftravelwriters and will also be notified via phone.

For more information on the award visit www.astw.org.au or for information about Hong Kong, visit www.discoverhongkong.com/au

ASTW members collect awards

Australian Society of Travel Writers member Aleney de Winter has won the PATA (Pacific Asia Travel Association) Gold Award for Travel Journalism for her destination article entitled “Angkor Away”, which was published in Holidays With Kids.

Aleney de Winter, who will travel to Langkawi in September to collect the award, said she has had a decades long love affair with Cambodia and has seen first-hand how tourism has helped the country recover from its traumatic past. “To receive this award for celebrating the transformative power of travel and encouraging families to explore Cambodia’s many wonders is an incredible feeling.”

Photo: Aleney de Winter

Another accolade for the ASTW was received by member Jocelyn Pride who has been named “Best Travel Writer – Consumer” in the annual National Travel Industry Awards (NTIA), hosted by the Australian Federation of Travel Agents on Saturday, July 22.

Pride was one of five ASTW members to be named as finalists in the award category. Other nominees included Helen Hayes, Barry O’Brien, Christine Retschlag and Aleney de Winter.

The winning article “Poles apart” featured in Vacations & Travel magazine. It reviewed the nature and wildlife differences between the Arctic and Antarctic and touched on the Polar Code, which is being introduced to control tourism organisations to ensure stability in these vulnerable destinations.

“Being a part of the NTIA gala evening with the other finalists made me truly appreciate the scale and the positive vibe of the travel industry in general. I only recently joined the industry in 2014, after a long teaching career, so the award means a great deal to me because it validates my career change.” said Jocelyn Pride.

 

Photo: Jocelyn Pride-NITA winner with Tony Archbold – HAL Director of Sales, Australia

ASTW President, Danielle Lancaster said: “Congratulations to Aleney, Jocelyn and all the finalists on behalf of the ASTW community. We are thrilled at the recognition of talent within the Society and encourage members to take opportunities such as PATA and NTIA to profile their work”.

For more information about ASTW or to become a member, see How to apply or contact Secretariat, Justine White, on secretariat@astw.org.au.

About the ASTW

The ASTW is a 300-strong group of travel writers, editors, radio and television broadcasters, bloggers, guide book authors and photographers (as well as travel industry public relations and marketing professionals) whose work appears regularly in major newspapers, magazines, airwaves and websites across Australia and the world.

All ASTW members must satisfy strict criteria to join and are obligated to substantiate their membership annually by providing details of their published output or industry participation. They must also adhere to a Code of Ethics. By ensuring that only bona fide applicants are admitted, the ASTW maintains its integrity and the professionalism of the travel industry.

ASTW announces finalists for 2018 Awards for Excellence

The Australian Society of Travel Writers (ASTW) is proud to announce the finalists for the 2018 Awards of Excellence. We had a record breaking amount of entries this year, with some new categories introduced.

We would like to thank each and every one of our sponsors – without them, there are no awards.

The Society would also like to thank the judges. There are three independent judges for each category, all industry leaders hailing from the USA, UK, India, New Zealand, Canada, China and Australia.

The winners will be announced at the 2018 Awards for Excellence, to be held at Anantara Riverside, Bangkok, Thailand, on 19 August.

View the complete list of finalists

 

For media information, contact ASTW PR representatives:

Saskia Baker on 0407 752 813 or saskia@smbcommunications.com.au
Angela Thompson on 0481 368 018 or athompsonPR@gmail.com

For more information on the ASTW or to become a member see How to apply.

ASTW pleased to partner with Visit USA again in 2018

The Australian Society of Travel Writers is pleased to announce that Visit USA have come on board as the sponsor for this year’s coveted Travel Writer of the Year award. Visit USA sponsored the 2017 award, won by Catherine Marshall.

Visit USA is a voluntary body that promotes travel to the United States of America. It is funded by individual members from the Australian Travel Trade as well as from associate members in the USA. The Board Members of the organisation work vigorously to promote the US as a desirable destination of choice.

The Travel Writer of the Year is Awarded to the writer member with the best portfolio of three published travel stories for the judging period. It is the most coveted of the 20 awards presented at the ASTW’s Travel Journalism Awards for Excellence, an annual celebration of outstanding travel writing, photography, and tourism communications.

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

Visit USA will be sponsoring the award along with a prize, which will see the winner gain entry to the Brand USA visiting journalist program. The 2018 awards will be presented at the annual ASTW Convention in Thailand in August.

For more information about sponsoring awards, lunches or events; attending events as a member’s guest or for membership enquiries, please explore this website or contact secretariat Justine White on secretariat@astw.org.au

About the ASTW

The ASTW is a 300-strong group of travel writers, editors, radio and television broadcasters, bloggers, guidebook authors and photographers (as well as travel industry public relations and marketing professionals) whose work appears regularly in major newspapers, magazines, airwaves and websites across Australia and the world.

All ASTW members must satisfy strict criteria to join and are obligated to substantiate their membership annually by providing details of their published output or industry participation. They must also adhere to a Code of Ethics. By ensuring that only bona fide applicants are admitted, the ASTW maintains its integrity and the professionalism of the travel industry.

This news item originally appeared on ETB Travel News.