Award Winners 2011

Fifth Annual Solas Awards Winners

Announced February 28, 2011

Grand Prize for Best Travel Story of the Year

Gold ($1,000)
The Memory Bird by Carolyn Kraus

Silver ($750)
Masha by Marcia DeSanctis

Bronze ($500)
Beneath the Rim by Michael Shapiro


Category Award Winners

Adventure Travel: The best story of high adventure, danger, or physical challenge
Gold: Death Road by Sabine Bergmann
Silver:  Basking in the Shadow by Cheryn Flanagan
Bronze: Beyond Thunder by Jeffe Aronson

Animal Encounter: The best account of meeting snakes, elephants, rhinos, gorillas, birds, sharks, and other creatures in the wild
Gold: Elephant Driving 101 by Kate Crawford
Silver: Facing Down Harry by Angela Shupe
Bronze: The Bear Facts by Anne Pascale

Bad Trip: The best account of when things go wrong, or the shadow side of a culture or individual
Gold: Sinyala Fault by Jeffe Aronson
Silver: Bush Taxi by Tom Weller
Bronze: Long Night on Stewart Island by Scott Davis

Cruise Story: The best account of a trip on the water in any vessel, from the smallest kayak to the largest ship
Gold: Dolphin Messengers by Christie Gorsline
Silver: Moscow Doesn’t Believe in Puking by Marianne Ruane
Bronze: The (Almost) Final Frontier by Wendy Hinman

Culture and Ideas: The best story or essay about how art, history, currents events, fashion, or music affected a traveler or a trip
Gold: My Yakuza by Karen Van Alstine
Silver: Counting Stars by Sabine Bergmann
Bronze: No Neck Monster by Bruce Berger

Destination: The best story about a place that captures its essence and reveals its attractions, making the reader want to go there
Gold: On the Perils of Travel Writing by David Farley
Silver: Turkish Foreplay by Cheryn Flanagan
Bronze:  Wrecks and Pissers: The Bombay-Pune Road by Bill Zarchy

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: The Leap and the Landing Pad by Amy Field
Silver: Transport to Priene by Rebecca G. Morris
Bronze: Paper Dolls: Fragile Girls on a Train by April Orcutt

Elder Travel: The best story from a traveler 65 years of age or older
Gold: The Curse of Tilman Riemenschneider by Jeffrey Ridenour
Silver: Elephants, Camels, Monkeys and More by Sharon L. Morris
Bronze: Hiking to My Heart’s Desire by Leanne A. Grossman

Family Travel: The best story about traveling with family of all generations grandparents, parents, children, cousins, siblings or journeying to discover roots
Gold: Sun Valley with Dad by Colette O’Connor
Silver: Family Reunion Memory Quilt by Paula White
Bronze: The House of Strangers by Ariel Magnes

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: Day Use Only by Bonnie Smetts
Silver: Nailed by Bruce Berger
Bronze: Three and a Half Planes Later by Sandra Bass

Love Story: The best account of love or romance on the road
Gold: How I Promised Anusha the Smile by Kevin McCaughey
Silver: Carbonized by Kathleen Spivack
Bronze: Mr. Rio by Suzanne Attar

Men’s Travel: The best account by a man of a testosterone-fueled encounter or experience on the road
Gold: In the Shadows of the Tenth by Peter Bronski
Silver: The Last of Larry by Thomas Joseph
Bronze: Uncle Vanya in the Banya by Peter Delevett

Most Unforgettable Character: The story that best captures how one individual or group of people affected a traveler in a meaningful way
Gold: Camel College by Matthew Crompton
Silver: The Dancing Mirrors of Fez Medina by Barbara Winther
Bronze: Chapolinos at Dawn by Amy Field

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: The Taste of This Place by Erin Byrne
Silver: Sweet Pillows by Lola Akinmade
Bronze: Travel Jam by Caitlin Fitzsimmons

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: Across a Thousand Miles by Teresa Janssen
Silver: Las Vegas Divorce Party by Paula White
Bronze: La Paz: City of Gods by David Farley

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: Flyover Country by Johnna Kaplan
Silver: Into the Underworld by Amanda Slavin
Bronze: Birth of Venus by Karen Vaughan

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: The “Coondom” Conspiracy by Alex Cartwright
Silver: T-Shirt Tango by Mohezin Tejani
Bronze: Visit a Blue City by Jolly Sienda

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: The Ghost Coast: Labrador’s Torngat Mountains by Drew Pogge
Silver: Volcan Villarica by Amy Field
Bronze: Champagne Powder by Elizabeth Haynes

Travel and Transformation: The best story about the inner journey or pilgrimage, whether religious, mystical, psychological, or emotional
Gold: Just Like a Woman by Sylvia Spruck Wrigley
Silver: Returning by Jocelyn Edelstein
Bronze: The Secret of It by Erin Byrne

Women’s Travel: The best account by a woman of an encounter or experience on the road
Gold: Travels in the Water Trade by Karen Gardiner
Silver: My Dinner with Terrorists by Diane LeBow
Bronze: Behind the Veil by Caitlin Fitzsimmons

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: Icebreaking the Atomic Desert by Anthony Wai
Silver: Supporting Local Business in the South of France by Allison Marie Doyle
Bronze: It Must Have Been Residual by Bart Bergfeld

Travelers' Tales