HamletHub's own Gina Zammit, the editor of Norwalk HamletHub, is a winner in the 2016-2017 Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Competition, taking the gold in the Service Oriented Consumer Work category for A Very Comprehensive Guide to Getting Drunk at Disney in Roads and Kingdoms. The annual competition is sponsored by the Society of American Travel Writers Foundation.
Winners of the awards, the most prestigious in the field of travel journalism, were announced Oct. 30 at the SATW convention, held in Portland, Oregon, this year.
The competition drew 1,190 entries and was judged by members of the faculty at the University of Missouri School of Journalism. This year, the SATW Foundation presented 89 awards in 24 categories and nearly $20,000 in prize money to journalists. The awards are named for Lowell Thomas, acclaimed broadcast journalist, prolific author and world explorer during five decades in journalism.
In honoring Gina Zammit’s work, the judges said: What an original concept and sparkling voice! Funny and engagingly written, this guide to drinking in Orlando’s family-oriented parks — Magic Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, the Animal Kingdom, and Epcot — surprises with its irreverence and solid, well-researched service. Laying out her premise that screaming kids, annoying parents and overzealous Disney freaks can be too much, writer and self-proclaimed “intoxicant informant” Gina Zammit, proclaims: “This reign of terror can only be endured with the help of some strong hooch.” Then she goes on to advise readers where to get the best drinks in this alcohol wasteland. This story isn’t for everyone, but readers don’t have to be drinkers to appreciate a great idea executed with charm, flair and shoe-leather research.
Among other winners, Christopher Reynolds, travel writer with the Los Angeles Times, earned the title of Lowell Thomas Travel Journalist of the Year for a portfolio of his work in the past year. The New York Times took 12 awards, including Gold for best Newspaper Travel Coverage and two other gold places.
The Foundation distributes nearly $20,000 annually in prize money to individual winners. Contributions by Gold Supporter Carnival Corp. and other donors help sustain the competition and make prizes possible to recognize outstanding work in travel journalism.