Update your calendar with this list of travel writing awards


With so many talented writers in our ranks, we should be entering more competitions. Here is a list compiled by Mark Daffey to help you plan ahead and put these dates in your calendars. Good luck!


John Borthwick – ASTW Travel Writer of the Year 2016



Entries close April 30


AFTA NTIA Awards – Best Travel Writer (Consumer)


Entries open January 23, 2017


CLIA – Media Award



Kennedy Awards – Outstanding Travel Writing


Entries close July 1


NT Media Awards



PATA Gold Award – Travel Journalism (Destination Article, Industry Business Article, Travel Guide Book, Travel Photograph)


Entries close April 28 – *Rod Eime won this last year.


Queensland Clarion Awards


Entries open May


South Australian Media Awards


Entries close April


Tasmanian Media Awards


Entries close March


Walkley Awards



West Australian Media Awards


Entries open June

Update your calendar with this list of photography competitions

With so many excellent photographers within our ranks, here is a list of photography awards to mark in your diaries.

Compiled by Mark Daffey (photo also by Mark Daffey, who was a runner up in the ASTW Photographer of the Year award last year.

Rough Guides Travel Photography Competition

Entries for 2017 close  at 23.59 (BST) on Monday 24 April. Email a maximum of five images to competitions@roughguides.com

“We welcome everything from classic travel images taken oh-so-carefully using a tripod to shot-from-the-hip chance encounters snapped on your phone. And if you have any photos printed from film that you’d like to scan and submit (as JPEGs), go for it – the more variety the merrier. The most important thing is that the photograph has personality (which does not equal filters). We’re looking for images that are as unique to the person who took them as to the place they depict. And don’t forget that travel is all about human interaction – we’d love to see people in your images, but please make sure you have their permission.”


Australian Institute of Professional Photography (AIPP) Epson State Awards – Travel category


States open and close at different times during the year.

Expensive. And entries must be printed.


Australian Geographic ANZANG Nature Photographer of the Year


Entries opened January 13, 2017. Closed February 24, 2017 – keep checking websites for dates for 2018.

Entries must have been taken in the Aus/NZ/Pacific Islands region.

Up to 4 entries per category.

Images can’t be entered in more than one category.

Cost $38 first entry, $22 subsequent entries

Entries must have been taken within 7 years prior to the end of the competition period.


Proify – Travel Category


Entries open February 1, 2017. Close October 31, 2017

Can be taken any time.

Cost US$25 for first entry, then $22 (2 or more), $20 (3 or more), $18 (4 or more) per entry.


Smithsonian Magazine – Travel category


Entries opened March 22, 2016. Close November 30.


National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year


Entries open April 1

Categories – Nature, Cities, People.

Entries must have been taken within 2 years of the entry date.

Cost US$15 per entry.


Leica Oskar Barnack Award


Entries open March 1. Close April 10.


ASTW Travel Photographer of the Year


Entries close April 30


ASTW Travel Photograph of the Year


Entries close April 30


Travel Photographer of the Year (TPOTY)


Entries open May 12. Close October 1

3 Portfolio categories – 4 images entered

3 One Shot categories

No age limit on pics

Cost £15 per entry.


Australian Photography Awards


Entries open June 2017. Close September 2017


AMB Photography Awards (mountain biking)


Entries open June 1. Close August 25, 2017


Australian Professional Photography Awards – Travel Category


Entries open July 10, 2017. Close August 10, 2017-03-08 Cost $580 for up to 4 images.


World in Focus Travel Photography Contest


Entries close August 30, 2016

No timeframe for images.

Cost US$45




Entries close October 31


Travel Photographer Society Awards


Entries open November 16, 2016. Close March 10, 2017

4 categories

Cost US$12.50 per entry


Wanderlust Travel Photo of the Year – Portfolio Category


Entries close December


Siena International Photo Award (SIPA)


Entries open December 15, 2016. Close February 25, 2017. Earlybird discounts January 8, 2017

Cost €15 for 3 entries.


Sony World Photography Awards


Entries close January 5, 2017 for 2016 entries.

Entries in Open category – up to 3 in total

Entries in Professional category – minimum 5, maximum 10 per category.

Entries must have been taken during the competition calendar year.

Entries for Professional category can be taken prior to that year as long as they are first published during that year.

Cost – FOC


International Photography Awards (IPA)



The Nature Conservancy Photo Contest



Walkley Awards



Wild magazine



World Press Photo


Entries open December 1


Australian Photography magazine



Get Lost magazine



Great Walks magazine



International Traveller & Australian Traveller ‘Your Shot’ competition



Photo Review magazine




Sunshine Coast – Pamela Wright takes a sneak peak at the host city for ASTW Convention 2017

Committee member, Pamela Wright, investigates the 2017 host destination for the 2017 ASTW Convention and Awards

To whet the appetite for members who’ll be attending the ASTW Convention, Awards and AGM on the Sunshine Coast in August this year, whale watching tours will definitely be on the agenda.

Departing from Mooloolaba, a 20-minute drive from the Sunshine Coast Airport, this coastal town will play a central role where members can participate by swimming with the humpback whales. Something I’d love to do.

On a visit, last December, I was too late for the whale migration but, because Mooloolaba is the centre of the Sunny Coast’s great fishing industry, you can go on deep sea fishing charters and guided kayak fishing tours. I chose a more demure water activity. A sunset, two-hour cruise with Sunshine Coast Afloat on the Mooloolah River and canals – on a jet boat no less but this time minus the thrills and spills.

For three days, I stayed at The Mantra in a one-bedroom apartment with a view to the ocean from the balcony and a view across the hinterland to the Glass House Mountains from outside the lift. Downstairs, as you leave this excellent property, is O’Malley’s Irish pub and just beyond is the beginning of a long stretch of beachfront esplanade, full of bars, al fresco restaurants, outdoor cafes and fashion boutiques finishing up at the surf club, a great place to dine looking directly down to the beach.

Hiring a car was an option I took, mainly to drive into and through the Hinterland. I drove via Landsborough to Maleney for a wander through the six kilometres of walking paths in the Botanic Gardens and a walk through the township loaded with bookshops and galleries. Eumundi Markets, open as they are every Wednesday and Saturday, was a perfect stop on the way back to Mooloolaba via a surf lesson with Merrick’s Learn to Surf in Noosa, The World’s Best Surf Lesson “If I may say so myself” says champion surfer Merrick.
Ah Mooloolaba – just a taste of what’s to come.

Sunshine Coast Tourism: www.visitsunshinecoast.com
Sunshine Coast Afloat: sunshinecoastafloat.com.au
Merrick’s Learn to Surf: www.learntosurf.com.au
Tourism Queensland: www.queensland.com


An update from Bud at Tinmugs

One of the highlights of the AGM in Cape Town, and the one that required the most tissues, was the visit by Bud Higgins and some of the children her charity, Tinmugs, looks after. Bud’s story is inspirational, with many of our members writing some excellent stories in magazines and on their blogs. The money we donated to Tinmugs, along with some extra donations by some members and by a collection on the day, went to a good cuase – building a kitchen so that little tummies could be fed on site, rather than being prepared in Bud’s kitchen and shuttled to Overcome in the back of her car.

Bud and the children are so grateful. She sends us this message:nd“The roofing guys held us up for a month longer than expected, but we have made progress and the leaking roof of the old shipping container is now

“The roofing guys held us up for a month longer than expected, but we have made progress and the leaking roof of the old shipping container is now water proofed and the new windows which provide necessary light are terrific. Next is a new bench. Thank you again for providing the much needed funding to enable us to be more efficient in our endeavour to feed the poor kids of Overcome .

Warm wishes
Bud Higgins and the Tinmugs Kids x”

Tinmugs was the ASTW charity beneficiary for 2016 at our Convention in Cape Town, South Africa. Bud, originally from Queensland, Australian feeds and nurtures many starving children in a poor suburb of Cape Town.


Hungry tummies are being fed

New pots in a new kitchen cook up another day’s lunch


Please remember to send anything your write about Tinmugs or your experiences in South Africa before, during or after the AGM, to the secretariat – secreatariat@astw.org.au and to upload to TravMedia.


Thomas E. King’s travel books to inspire travellers for decades to come

Williamsburg Travel Book Room. Pic by Yvette Avard

Williamsburg Travel Book Room. Pic by Yvette Avard

Northern NSW café opens Thomas E King “travel book room”

When Sydney travel writer and ASTW Life Member Thomas (Tom) E King passed away last year after a distinguished 40-year career in the travel industry, he left behind more than 750 treasured travel books.
This week, they found a new home: in sunny Lennox Head on the NSW north coast, where a local café has opened a “travel book room” to share Tom’s books with the public, a fitting legacy for one of the most generous souls of the travel world.
The idea is a collaboration between the café and local travel writer and ASTW member Louise Southerden, with assistance from Tom’s longtime friend and Sydney travel writer Graham Simmons who packed the books into 14 boxes and shipped them to Lennox.
Co-owner of Williamsburg Café Lucy Williams was delighted to have the books there because they would be a great resource for locals and visitors.
“The room is a work in progress, but we’re hoping it becomes a hub for travel writing workshops, talks by visiting travel writers and other travel-related events,” Lucy said.
Tom was born in Moscow, Idaho, but moved to Australia in 1974 and became an ASTW member in 1979 (not long after the ASTW was founded in 1975). He travelled to more than 100 countries during his 40-year career in travel writing and wrote more than 2000 stories, which earned him the honour of life membership of the Australian Society of Travel Writers in 2014.
The 750 books are arranged by region and cover almost every country from Armenia to Zambia. There’s a big section on India (Tom’s favourite destination), quirky titles such as The Children’s Guide to London, books that show how much (and how little) the world has changed and dozens of beautiful coffee table books to browse through over coffee.
“With so many Northern Rivers locals having come from somewhere else, Lennox seems a fitting place for the books of a professional nomad and will hopefully spark new journeys of all kinds,” Louise said.
If ASTW members would like to host a travel-related event at the Williamsburg Café, run a workshop or offer locals a few travel writing tips, please contact Louise Southerden at lousouth@hotmail.com

Williamsburg Café’s travel book room, at 50 Pacific Parade, Lennox Head, is open every day from 7am to 2pm and until 9pm on Fridays and Saturdays.


Winners of the 2016 ASTW Awards of Excellence

We are proud to announce the winners of the ASTW Awards for Excellence 2016

Travel Writer of the Year – Sponsored by South Africa Tourism
WINNER – John Borthwick
Where the Cold War Thawed – The Weekend Australian
Burmese Daze – Traveller – Fairfax Media
In the Wake of Cape Crusaders – Traveller – Fairfax Media

Other Finalists
Kerry van der Jagt
Where to Sing and Swim with Wild Dolphins – Traveller – Fairfax Media
Grin and Bear It – Traveller – Fairfax Media
Myanmar: Floating on a wave of hope for a new beginning – Traveller – Fairfax Media
Craig Tansley
Coming Up Trumps – Traveller – Fairfax Media
The Last Great Ski Town – Traveller – Fairfax Media
Maldives Luxury Adventure on a Budget – Traveller – Fairfax Media

Photographer of the Year – Sponsored by Tourism Authority of Thailand
WINNER – Dan Avila
Alone in the Universe – Luxe.com
Love on the Bosphorus – Vacations & Travel magazine
Heaven    – luxe.com

Other Finalists
Jocelyn Pride – Three Pillars of Travel: Protect/Respect/Reflect
Mark Daffey – Antiquity/Harmony/Destiny

Best Story about the AGM Host Destination  – Sponsored by Voyages Indigenous Tourism
WINNER – Marie Barbieri
The Red Beating Heart – Australia & New Zealand magazine

Other Finalists
Justine Costigan – Written in the Stars – Jetstar magazine
Angela Saurine – The Heart of the Rock – Best Weekend – News Ltd

Best Family Travel Story – Sponsored by Signature Media
WINNER – Mark Daffey
Are We There Yet? – Traveller – Fairfax Media

Other Finalists
Belinda Jackson    – Dolphin Island Fiji: Family Experience for a chosen few- Traveller – Fairfax Media
Helen Hayes – Salzburg – A Favourite Thing – Holidays with Kids magazine
Sheriden Rhodes – Island Life Revisited    – Five Star Kids Magazine

Best Travel Blog – Sponsored by TFE Hotels
WINNER – Rene Young
Together We Roam

Other Finalists
Jayne Gorman – Girl Tweets World
Aleney de Winter – Boy Eats World

Best Travel Broadcaster – Sponsored by Tourism and Events Queensland
WINNER – Greg Grainger – Greg Grainger TV

Other Finalists
Ben Groundwater – Beauty and the Backpacker travel web series – Traveller – Fairfax Media
Quentin Long – Mornings/Today Extra – Channel 9

Best Australian Story – Sponsored by Tourism Australia
WINNER – Kerry Van Der Jagt
Where to swim and sing with dolphins – Traveller – Fairfax Media

Other Finalists
Andrew Bain – Cape Crusaders – Traveller – Fairfax Media
Celeste Mitchell – Girls Just Wanna Have 4WD Fun – Escape – News Ltd

Best Food Story – Sponsored by Outrigger Hotels & Resorts
WINNER – Carla Grossetti
A Taste of History – Cuisine magazine

Other Finalists
Sue Wallace – Summer in Aspen – Delicious
Sue Gough Henly – Dining for the Greater Good – Australian Traveller magazine

Best Responsible Tourism story – Intrepid Travel
WINNER – Jocelyn Pride
Alaska Untouched – Wellbeing

Other Finalists
Kerry van der Jagt – Monaco’s Prince Albert is on a Mission to protect the environment – Traveller – Fairfax Media
Andrew Bain – Nature’s treasure trove – Traveller – Fairfax Media

Best Adventure Story – G Adventures
WINNER – Lee Atkinson
Driving Across the Simpson Desert – Traveller – Fairfax Media

Other Finalists
Andrew Bain – Back to Peak Performance – Traveller – Fairfax Media
Catherine Marshall – Drums of the Jungle God – Traveller – Fairfax Media
Roderick Eime – Southern Exposure – MINDFOOD magazine

Best Cruise Story – Sponsored by Hawaii Tourism Oceania
WINNER – Craig Tansley
Maldives Luxury Adventure – Traveller – Fairfax Media

John Borthwick – Burmese Daze – Traveller – Fairfax Media
Jocelyn Pride – It’s (not) all Akademik – International Traveller magazine

Best Story Over 1000 words – Sponsored by AccorHotels
WINNER – John Borthwick
Where the Cold War Thawed – Weekend Australian

Other Finalists
Craig Tansley – Where Cross Country Skiing is a Religion – Traveller – Fairfax Media
Marian McGuinness – Scents and Sensibility – Weekend Australian

Best Story Under 1000 words – Sponsored by Macau Government Tourist Office
WINNER – Tim Richards
A Boy and A Coin – Traveller – Fairfax Media

Other Finalists
Rob McFarland – Cowboy in Training – Escape – News Ltd
Kerry van der Jagt – In Wake of Van Gogh – Traveller – Fairfax Media

Best Tourism and Travel Trade Story
WINNER – Lee Mylne
Traversing the Long, Open Road – Travel Bulletin

Other Finalists
Kristine Madden – The Wheel of Fortune – Travel Bulletin
Sheriden Rhodes – Well, well, well – Traveller – Fairfax Media

Communicator or Communications Team of the Year – Sponsored by Travmedia
WINNER – Klick Communications

Other Finalists
Karena Noble

PR Campaign of the Year – Sponsored by Travmedia
WINNER – Karena Noble
Launch of Field of Light Uluru

Other Finalists
Kim McKay – Positively Wellington Tourism
Natalie Schofield – Westin – World Sleep Day

Best Tourism Organisation or Travel Product – Sponsored by ZOIK
WINNER – Caroline Davidson
Rocky Mountain International – The Real America

Other Finalists
Karena Noble – Ayers Rock Resort Indigenous Tourism
Leigh Maloney – The Little Nell

ATE 2017, Sydney

The Australian Tourism Exchange (ATE) is Australia’s largest annual travel and tourism business-to-business event.

ATE brings together Australian tourism businesses and tourism wholesalers and retailers from around the world through a combination of scheduled business appointments and networking events. It also provides international travel buyers with the opportunity to experience Australia’s tourism offering first-hand through pre and post event familiarisations.

Around 1,500 Australian seller delegates from approximately 500 companies, 700 key buyer delegates from over 30 countries, and over 80 international and Australian media attend this global event.

ATE17 will take place at the International Convention Centre Sydney (ICC) from 14 to 18 May 2017.


Watch the ATE 2017 video


Visit the ATE website

2UE’s Talking Travel with Pamela Wright Expands Time Slot

Talking Travel with Pamela Wright on Sunday afternoons has expanded to one and a half hours from 2 until 3.30 on Macquarie Radio Network. 

There’ll now be a weekly trivia quiz and extra travel news and they’ll also be talking about cuisine and restaurants in different destinations around the world. Please keep in touch with travel information that would be of interest to a general travel-oriented audience. 

Although it’s newsy and informative, Pamela wants it to be fun and will open the program to talk back callers. Hope you can tune in on Sunday afternoons on 2UE 954 or online on 2ue.com.au

TravMedia’s International Media Marketplace 2017

TravMedia’s highly successful International Media Marketplace (IMM) program returns to Sydney on 24 February, 2017.

IMM is the industry’s leading networking event for global travel and tourism brands to meet the media. More than 110 media and 108 exhibitors participated in IMM Australia 2016.

Exhibitors enjoy a table to brief leading travel and food journalists, editors, broadcasters and digital influencers on news hooks and feature angles. Attendees can pre-schedule 22, 15-minute appointments throughout the day.

For details and to register, visit: http://travmedia.com/immaus/