On Travel Writing: Announcement of 2012 North American Travel Journalists Association Awards

Published on: January 31, 2013 | Last Updated on April 1, 2016
North American Travel Journalists Association Awards

North American Travel Journalists Association Awards

Yesterday, the winners of the 21st North American Travel Journalists Association Awards competition were announced, celebrating “the best of the best” among travel writers, photographers, video journalists, and bloggers from the United States, Canada, Mexico and other countries.

While I feel blessed to have found my next career after the age of 50, travel writing is less glamorous than it appears on surface. First, because it’s so highly competitive, any travel writer is bound to encounter big heaps of rejection.

The working conditions aren’t always the best either. I’ve had to master the art of taking notes while walking, taking photos while eating, and foraging for Wi-Fi connections in foreign cities. The biggest challenge is that travel time is a thief and competitor to desk time and personal time, demanding balance and discipline.

When an editor accepts a story it makes it all worthwhile. But no pat on the back has as much meaning as being acknowledged by your fellow journalists. So I was delighted to learn I was the recipient of three major NATJA awards as well as two honorable mentions.

In case you would like read my award-winning stories from 2012, here are the links:

Gold Award

The first all-inclusive vacations: Reminiscences of Club Med (Published on the NBC Universal website, Life Goes Strong) 

Silver Award

Carrying on an ancient tradition with a Seder at sea (Published in the Philadelphia Inquirer) 

Bronze Award

The history and culture of Peru through its foods (Published in the Boston Globe) 


Solo cruising: A refreshing alternative to singles cruises (Published in the Boston Globe) 


Rich getting richer, even at 30,000 feet) (Published in the Boston Globe) 

My appreciation to all my colleagues, editors, and readers who have supported my travel writing—and my favorite photographer and cheerleader, too (my husband)!

  • Reply
    January 31, 2013 at 8:50 pm

    Wow! Irene, that is a load of awards. Congratulations!!!!

  • Reply
    January 31, 2013 at 8:52 pm

    And as I’m reading through the articles, they are beautifully written.

  • Reply
    Margie Goldsmith
    January 31, 2013 at 8:53 pm

    Congratulations, Irene! That is GREAT news!

  • Reply
    January 31, 2013 at 9:01 pm

    VERY impressive! I need to sit down and read all of these this weekend. Congratulations!

  • Reply
    January 31, 2013 at 11:53 pm

    Just terrific! Congrats to you, Irene!

  • Reply
    February 1, 2013 at 12:48 am

    You have proven that you have endless talents and a great spirit. Kudos to you!

  • Reply
    February 1, 2013 at 12:57 am

    So, so very happy for you. So well deserved – I know how hard you work and how much time you spend polishing your craft. Congratulations!!

  • Reply
    Donna Hull
    February 1, 2013 at 3:10 am

    Congratulations, Irene. It’s good to see your hard work rewarded. Well-deserved recognition for you.

  • Reply
    Jennifer Margulis
    February 1, 2013 at 5:10 am

    Congratulations. Excellent stories. Well-deserved awards! A lot of people don’t realize how much WORK travel writing is. It’s fun and fascinating, but it’s still work.

  • Reply
    Irene S. Levine
    February 1, 2013 at 12:36 pm

    Thanks so much for all your good wishes. They were as nice as getting the awards!

  • Reply
    Jane Boursaw
    February 6, 2013 at 3:12 am

    Very cool! Love hearing this.

  • Reply
    Doreen Pendgracs
    February 9, 2013 at 4:08 am

    Wowza, Irene! My hat goes off to you. That is some list of achievements. Well done!

  • Reply
    Irene S. Levine
    February 13, 2013 at 5:33 am

    Thanks again to everyone for your good wishes!

  • Reply
    Pat Katepoo
    February 13, 2013 at 4:39 am

    Three?! That’s remarkable! Congratulations, Irene.

  • Reply
    March 4, 2013 at 11:20 am

    I don’t know how you do what you do…and you do it so well! Mazel-tov on all these accolades! xox

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