Award Winners 2013

Seventh Annual Solas Awards Winners

Announced March 7, 2013

Grand Prize for Best Travel Story of the Year

Gold ($1,000)
Into the Hills by Matthew Crompton

Silver ($750)
Barren in the Andes by Laura Resau

Bronze ($500) Tie, 2 Awards
Storykeepers by Erin Byrne
Moving West, Writing East by Tom Miller


Category Award Winners

Adventure Travel : The best story of high adventure, danger, or physical challenge
Gold: Of Desert Nomads and Whales by James Dorsey
Silver: Walking the Roof of Africa by Laura Lee Huttenbach
Bronze: On the Trail of a Man Called Snake by Taylor Jennings

Animal Encounter : The best account of meeting snakes, elephants, rhinos, gorillas, birds, sharks, and other creatures in the wild
Gold: Before the Rain by Bunny McBride
Silver: The Wind Horses of Mustang by Molly Beer
Bronze: Trumpets of Warning by Lisa Alpine

Bad Trip : The best account of when things go wrong, or the shadow side of a culture or individual
Gold: Like Their Own by Saya Des Marais
Silver: Brazzaville Blues by Marie Javins
Bronze: Infectious Laughter by Bruce Berger

Cruise Story : The best account of a trip on the water in any vessel, from the smallest kayak to the largest ship
Gold: Flying Dutchman by Catherine Watson
Silver: Seven by Pamela Mandel
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: Decoding Lagom by Lola Akinmade Akerstrom
Silver: Cuba Libre by Jessica Dur Taylor
Bronze: Pricier than Prada by Peggy Jaffe

Destination : The best story about a place that captures its essence and reveals its attractions, making the reader want to go there
Gold: In Search of the Scream in Norway by Chris Epting
Silver: Gore Vidal’s Old House by Mary Jo McConahay
Bronze: Islands in Time by Catherine Watson

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: Misha and the Young Belarussians by Michelle McAlister
Silver: A Shared Indian Cake is Never Forgotten by Margaret Wagner
Bronze: A Saharan Love Story by Ted Beatie

Elder Travel : The best story from a traveler 65 years of age or older
Gold: The Tundra by Kathleen Spivack
Silver: The Pilgrim in Shangri la by Patricia Dreyfus
Bronze: The Dark Side of the Mountain by Mary Cantarutti

Family Travel : The best story about traveling with family of all generations grandparents, parents, children, cousins, siblings or journeying to discover roots
Gold: Piecing Together a Sleep Machine by Katie Quirk
Silver: The Place Where Time Began by Mary Jo McConahay
Bronze: Navel by Eleanor Stanford

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: Midnight Anniversary Guests by Daniela Petrova
Silver: Leg of Lamb by May Flowers
Bronze: The Night Bus Across Northern Spain by Beebe Bahrami

Love Story : The best account of love or romance on the road
Gold: The Remover of Obstacles by Amanda Mander
Silver: I No Hungry by Melanie Hamlett
Bronze: Brown-eyed Girl Meets Blue-Eyed Boy by Lola Akinmade Akerstrom

Men’s Travel : The best account by a man of a testosterone-fueled encounter or experience on the road
Gold: Natasha’s Scarecrow by Kevin McCaughey
Silver: Dancing with the Dead by James Dorsey
Bronze: Philip Meets Pistolero by Philip Henderson

Most Unforgettable Character : The story that best captures how one individual or group of people affected a traveler in a meaningful way
Gold: Holding Hands with Ray Bradbury by Catherine Watson
Silver: Spitting Distance in Jodhpur by Sarah Khan
Bronze: Vaqueros and Virgins by Jeff Greenwald

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: Waiting for Toast by Melissa Rancourt
Silver: Legend of the Betelnut Princess by Kristin Mock
Bronze: Independence Day by Eileen Cunniffe

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: The Place of Miracles by Amanda Summer
Silver: Do Widzenia by Helena Lipstadt
Bronze: There Is No One Story of Love Lost by Alice Driver

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: The Beast Within by Mohezin Tejani
Silver: Leaving Kishinev by Helen Rubinstein
Bronze: Following the Signs by Patrick Devine

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: Journey by Bottle by Darrin DuFord
Silver: The Drummer’s Heart by MJ Pramik
Bronze: Adaptor Plug Not So by Sarah Enelow

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: Taimen Fishing in Mongolia by Barnaby Conrad
Silver: Not Quite Lance by Heather Anderson
Bronze: My Two Weeks as a Fellini Extra by Jessica Levine

Travel and Transformation : The best story about the inner journey or pilgrimage, whether religious, mystical, psychological, or emotional
Gold: Sidecar Sally by Carrie Visintainer
Silver: The Revolution by Sarah Menkedick
Bronze: Mole by Greg Homer

Women’s Travel : The best account by a woman of an encounter or experience on the road
Gold: Burqa to the Loo by Nichole Reber
Silver: Exposure by Angelique Stevens
Bronze: The Woman’s Sitting Room by Angie Chuang

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: Icelanders Believe in Darwinism by Shian Liu
Silver: Paradise Lost by Kyle Bell
Bronze: Spring Forth by Gregory Livingston

Travelers' Tales