Award Winners 2016

Tenth Annual Solas Awards Winners

Announced February 29, 2016

Grand Prize for Best Travel Story of the Year

Gold ($1,000)
Flight Behavior by Amy Butcher

Silver ($750)
Love and Lies in Iran by Mario Kaiser

Bronze (tie, $250 each)
The Good Captain by Glenda Reed
The Train to Harare by Lance Mason


Category Award Winners

Adventure Travel : The best story of high adventure, danger, or physical challenge
Gold: Swimming for Sure by Steven Law
Silver: The Way by Felice Neals
Bronze: Off the Deep End in Captain Karl’s Yellow Submarine by Darrin DuFord

Animal Encounter : The best account of meeting snakes, elephants, rhinos, gorillas, birds, sharks, and other creatures in the wild
Gold: The Battle of Waterkloof by Gerald Yeung
Silver: If Cats Could Type in Key West by Shelly Rivoli
Bronze: Lost and Found in the Uncanny Valley by Angie Chuang

Bad Trip : The best account of when things go wrong, or the shadow side of a culture or individual
Gold: In Vincent’s Footsteps by Erin Byrne
Silver: The Wild, Wild West Bank by Erik Trinidad
Bronze: Turkish Lessons by Kaitlin Barker Davis

Cruise Story : The best account of a trip on the water in any vessel, from the smallest kayak to the largest ship
Gold: No Polish Jokes by Lance Mason
Silver: Ghost Ship by MJ Pramik
Bronze: The Slot by Lenore Greiner

Culture and Ideas : The best story or essay about how art, history, current events, fashion, or music affected a traveler or a trip
Gold: Honey Colored Lies by Michael Sano
Silver: Cezanne’s Salon Des Refuses by Erin Byrne
Bronze: Café Tables by Amy Marcott

Destination Story : The best story about a place that captures its essence and reveals its attractions, making the reader want to go there
Gold: Paul Theroux’s Cape Cod by Michael Shapiro
Silver: On the Trail of Jack London by Nicholas Fox
Bronze: King Cotton by Rosemary Davis

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: A Stranger in Jerusalem by Sasha Vasilyuk
Silver: Alsace’s Unique Character, Through the Eyes of a Local by James Ullrich
Bronze: Ali’s Heritage Garden by Rosie Cohan

Elder Travel : The best story from a traveler 65 years of age or older
Gold: Burmese Tea by James Michael Dorsey
Silver: To Live or Die in Danakil by James Michael Dorsey
Bronze: Driving with Gods by Carol Arnold

Family Travel : The best story about traveling with family of all generations grandparents, parents, children, cousins, siblings or journeying to discover roots
Gold: We Will Always Have Paris by Mara Gorman
Silver: My Train Home by Sarah Enelow
Bronze: Bellagio People by Suzanne Roberts

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: Free Willy by Tina Koenig
Silver: Birds Don’t Fly in Dubai by Eric Weiss
Bronze: Somewhere Under the Florentine Moon by Pamela Wright

Love Story : The best account of love or romance on the road
Gold: Chiara by Michael Shapiro
Silver: Sister by Kimberley Lovato
Bronze: The Great God Bes by Gabrielle Leblanc

Men’s Travel : The best account by a man of a testosterone-fueled encounter or experience on the road
Gold: The Physics of Regret by Lance Mason
Silver: California: The Native Son Tour by Robert Anderson
Bronze: Common Ground in the Casbah by James Michael Dorsey

Most Unforgettable Character : The story that best captures how one individual or group of people affected a traveler in a meaningful way
Gold: The Spinster of Atrani by Amber Paulen
Silver: The Getaway Man by Lance Mason
Bronze: A Different Kind of Invisible by Lenore Greiner

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: French Cassoulet: An Obsession Boils Over by Sylvie Bigar
Silver: Progressive Supper by Jacqueline Harmon Butler
Bronze: Youth Hostel Cuisine by Bonnie Morris

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: Passing Through by Carol Smith
Silver: Moorstones by Anne Sigmon
Bronze: Gift Along the Way by Rosemary Hanrahan

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: Speaking in Hats by Darrin DuFord
Silver: The World’s Most Dangerous Shopping Trip by Lenore Greiner
Bronze: A Village Under the Sky by Donna Lawrence

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: A Day in the Sun by Bill Grant
Silver: The Tour du Mont Blanc by Marianne Bohr
Bronze: Parahawking in Nepal: Seeing the World Anew by MJ Pramik

Travel and Transformation : The best story about the inner journey or pilgrimage, whether religious, mystical, psychological, or emotional
Gold: Rejuvenation by James Michael Dorsey
Silver: A Wide-Eyed Schoolgirl by Marianne Bohr
Bronze: A Jagged Edge in Fez by Erin Byrne

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: Time or the Sahara Wind by Marcia DeSanctis
Silver: My Mexican Bus by James Michael Dorsey
Bronze: The Singing Lesson by Megan McNamer

Women’s Travel : The best account by a woman of an encounter or experience on the road
Gold: A Love Song by K.M. Churchill
Silver: Eating Ali’s Mother by Adriana Paramo
Bronze: In the Footsteps of Annie Peck by Siffy Torkildson

Young Traveler : The best story from a young person (aged 18-25 at the time of writing) taking time off to travel between high school and college, or during breaks
Gold: On Being Human by Matthew Manning
Silver: There Was a Great Big Moose by Andrew Schwartz
Bronze: Snapping, Hissing and Swarming by Jessica Allen

Honorable Mention

The Terracotta Life by Lola Akinmade Akerstrom
Kri-Kri By Three by Christine Alderman
Two Nomads, Three Camels by Tania Amochaev
Crecer: Growing in Buenos Aires by Michele Bigley
The Marrakesh Express by Marianne Bohr
When Your Hostel Days Are Over by Christi Clancy
Gun Wounds Again and Brave Dogs by Michael Coolen
Burrowing Beneath Budapest by James Michael Dorsey
A Kiss for the Condemned by James Michael Dorsey
From Morocco, with Love by Anna Elkins
Red Ferry Blue Ferry by Michael Fallon
The Seagulls and the Noise by Rachel K. Fauth
Just Ride! by May Gee
From Mill Valley with Love by Lenore Greiner
Ashram Dharma by Lenore Greiner
Where Waterfalls Outnumber People by Katie Hammel
Bayou Bound by Kimberley Lovato
Have a Seat California, We Need to Talk by Amy Marcott
Borneo Outside the Envelope by Lance Mason
Thunder God’s Forest by Inger Meyer
Pas de Deux in Paris by Jayme Moye
Rat Patrol by Amanda Noble
The Time Will Come by Heather Poole
Black to Gray and Back by MJ Pramik
Shoe Money by MJ Pramik
Maggots in My Scrotum by David Robinson
War Memories in Vietnam by Jill K. Robinson
The Night of Wind and Dominoes by Jill K. Robinson
On the Coast of West Africa, an Island of Saved Lives by Clay Shivers
New Zealand by Camper Van by Clay Shivers
A Dance of Life by Keith Skinner
The Hook Up by Amy Torgeson
A Strange Encounter by Rob Torkildson
Someone to Be Alone With by Rachel Worrall
Sweet Home Shenyang by Bill Zarchy
Uganda: A World Together by Bill Zarchy

Travelers' Tales