Award Winners 2010

Fourth Annual Solas Awards Winners

Announced March 1, 2010

Grand Prize for Best Travel Story of the Year

Gold ($1,000)
Ashes of San Miguel by Tawni Vee Waters

Silver ($750)
We Wait for Spring, Moldova and Me by Kevin McCaughey

Bronze ($500)
The Train at Night by Gina Briefs-Elgin


Category Award Winners

Adventure Travel: The best story of high adventure, danger, or physical challenge
Gold: The Suffer Fest by Mary Caperton Morton
Silver: The Power of a Single Note on the Breeze by Stephan Morrow
Bronze: Surviving the Mystical Experience by Kevin Sebesky

Animal Encounter: The best account of meeting snakes, elephants, rhinos, gorillas, birds, sharks, and other creatures in the wild
Gold: Hulk and Me by Terri Hinte
Silver: Stella by Anne Merrigan
Bronze: Kee Rickee Rickee by Aimée Dowl

Bad Trip: The best account of when things go wrong, or the shadow side of a culture or individual
Gold: Siliguri by Megan Lyles
Silver: The Ride to Las Palmas by Margaret Ford Rogers
Bronze: Beirut in the Baltics by John Edwards

Cruise Story: The best account of a trip on the water in any vessel, from the smallest kayak to the largest ship
Gold: The Starlight Serenade by Megan Lyles
Silver: On Public Urination in Mixed Company by Kaitlyn Gentile
Bronze: No award

Culture and Ideas: The best story or essay about how art, history, currents events, fashion, or music affected a traveler or a trip
Gold: The Rarest of Editions by Erin Byrne
Silver: Rilke Was Miserable Here by Kathleen Spivack
Bronze: The Marvel of Seville by Jennifer Arin

Destination: The best story about a place that captures its essence and reveals its attractions, making the reader want to go there
Gold: A Border Rat in the Twilight Zone by Tom Miller
Silver: Unbalanced in the Sinking City by Tim Leffel
Bronze: Looking for Ernest Hemingway by James Michael Dorsey

Doing Good or the Kindness of Strangers: The most inspiring tale of aid, comfort, philanthropy, or caring for others in faraway places, or of being the recipient of a stranger’s largesse
Gold: Latin Carino by Mohezin Tejani
Silver: Tibetan Bargain with a Twist by April Orcutt
Bronze: The Collision by Tim Leffel

Elder Travel: The best story from a traveler 65 years of age or older
Gold: The Tiny Red Kettle by Jan Burak Schwert
Silver: No award
Bronze: No award

Family Travel: The best story about traveling with family of all generations grandparents, parents, children, cousins, siblings or journeying to discover roots
Gold: The Good Memory Page by Christina Ammon
Silver: Cleared for Takeoff in St. Petersburg by Nancy Middleton
Bronze: Lost and Found by Shelley Seale

Funny Travel: The funniest account of a misadventure or an essay about how the world can make us laugh at ourselves and those around us
Gold: Tres Cheap by Charles Kulander
Silver: Bored Japanese Housewives by Phil Goldman
Bronze: Hot and Cold Cans of God by Bonnie Morris

Love Story: The best account of love or romance on the road
Gold: Shadow Animals by Kevin McCaughey
Silver: Bosnian Blues by Landon Spencer
Bronze: My Dutch Explorer by Catherine Parker

Men’s Travel: The best account by a man of a testosterone-fueled encounter or experience on the road
Gold: Russian Girl Rules by Kevin McCaughey
Silver: Ditching Mom by Rick Steigelman
Bronze: Greetings from General Montgomery by John M. Edwards

Most Unforgettable Character: The story that best captures how one individual or group of people affected a traveler in a meaningful way
Gold: Fishing Under the Face of God by Charlie Levine
Silver: Afghans and Texans by Taylor Jennings
Bronze: Ho Chi Minh Slept Here by Craig Stevaux

Travel and Food: The best story where food or drink plays a role in introducing the traveler to a foreign culture or new friends
Gold: Fruits of Childhood by Mohezin Tejani
Silver: Showdown at the West Esplanade Canal by Darrin DuFord
Bronze: Everybody Plays the Fou by Tom Weller

Travel and Healing: The best story about visits with shamans, healers, holy men and women, or holy sites in search of a cure for illness or psychological malady
Gold: French Dolls by Catherine Watson
Silver: Spiritual Enlightenment for Modern Conquistadors by Eliot Stein
Bronze: The Secret Acts of Talent Show People by Kevin McCaughey

Travel Memoir: The best story that draws heavily on the writer’s past to make a point or reveal the lessons of a lifetime
Gold: Herat, Oh Herat by Stephan Morrow
Silver: True Stories by Kathleen Spivack
Bronze: Notes on an Andean Pilgrim by Tom Miller

Travel and Shopping: The best account of a shopping, bargaining, or haggling experience in a market, bazaar, outlet, or mall, anywhere in the world
Gold: Walkway to Nowhere by Lola Akinmade
Silver: Tengenenge, Village of Stone Sculptures by Barbara Cunliffe Singleton
Bronze: Traveling Companions by Bonnie Smetts

Travel and Sports: The best account of a sports activity while traveling, such as climbing, rafting, sailing, trekking, swimming, kayaking, canoeing, fishing, skiing, baseball, Frisbee, polo, basketball
Gold: Wisdom, from Defeat by Cheryn Flanagan
Silver: Running in Puglia by Mary Jean Pramik
Bronze: The Fun Run by Kathleen Kelly

Travel and Transformation: The best story about the inner journey or pilgrimage, whether religious, mystical, psychological, or emotional
Gold: Winged Victory by Erin Byrne
Silver: The Unexpected at Delphi by Nancy Middleton
Bronze: Where Have the “vieilles filles” Gone? by Kathy Comstock

Women’s Travel: The best account by a woman of an encounter or experience on the road
Gold : At Home in Afghanistan by Diane LeBow
Silver: The Moustache Brothers of Mandalay by Shauna Sweeney
Bronze: Design a Vagina by Johanna Gohmann

Young Traveler: The best story from a young person (aged 18-25) taking time off to travel between high school and college, or during breaks
Gold: Thank the Good Lord for Duct Tape by Brege Shinn
Silver: Identity Games by Pearl Chen
Bronze: Dance Cadaverous by Kevin Kaiser

Fourth Annual Solas Awards Honorable Mention

These stories deserve special mention. They didn’t win awards, but they came very close and are great reads.

Baba’s Blessing by Joshua Berman
Shopping in Paris by Terry Scott Bertling
Mlaoui: My Moroccan Breakfast Tradition by Anita Breland
Silvertown Blues by Nicole Clausing
Enchanted in Romagna by Francesca De Stefano
Every Picture Tells a Story by Chris Epting
Death Boat by Cheryn Flanagan
Airline and Hotel Charity by Janet Forman
Royal Roots by Janet Forman
Brown Substance Wrapped in Plastic by Phil Goldman
Keeper of the Keys by Jann Huizenga
Sicilian Sunday by Jann Huizenga
How to Navigate African Marriage Proposals by Laura Lee Huttenbach
Ukrainian Guy Clothes by Kevin McCaughey
Lucky by Lacar Musgrove
Hide and Seek by Judith Nolan
My Gambian Husband by Teresa O’Kane
Getting There by Sue Parman
Buenos Aires by Suan Pineda
Galaxy Street Basketball by Brian Spencer
Lost in Bahrain by Catherine Watson
Needles and Haystacks by Catherine Watson
Islands in Time by Catherine Watson
Carnival Queen by Nicole Zimmerman

Travelers' Tales