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Westways Receives Travel Writers Special Project Honor

Corporate Information, Travel
Westways National Parks cover 2016

Add another award for the Automobile Club of Southern California’s Westways magazine.  The magazine received a Society of American Travel Writers (SATW) Foundation award – this time for its January/February 2016 “We Salute the National Park Service Centennial” issue.  Writers consider these awards as the most prestigious in the country for travel journalism


The Society’s Foundation honored Westways with a Bronze Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Award for the Special Packages/Project category.  The “We Salute the National Park Service Centennial” issue included stories about  the origins and history of the park service with informative items for readers like best spots for stargazing, a parks’ bucket list from an expert and wildlife conservation. 


Leslie Mieko Yap is Editor-in-Chief of Westways, Elizabeth Harryman is Travel Editor and Eric Van Eyke is Creative Director.  The “We Salute the National Park Service Centennial” issue was written by Michael Duchemin, Chris Epting, Robin Jones, Ilima Loomis and Matthew Roth.   Roth is the Auto Club’s historian. 


BBC Travel took Silver and National Geographic took Gold in the Special Packages/Special Project category.  


Three years ago, Westways received the SATW bronze award for its “Mission Space” issue which included stories about space-related travel in New Mexico. The magazine also has received several other SATW awards.


The Society’s awards announcement and judges’ comments praised Westways, stating that: “The print package is extensive, and the online stories with great photos, background about many of the parks and travel tips is worth bragging about.  This ambitious, well-edited package is a must-consult guide for any traveler heading to a U.S. national park.”    


This year marks the 32nd anniversary of the competition.  The awards, recognized as the Pulitzer Prize in this field, were announced earlier this month at the annual conference of the Society. 


The competition, which recognizes work from spring 2015 to spring 2016, drew more than 1,307 entries.  Judging was done by faculty at the prestigious University of Missouri School of Journalism. The SATW Foundation travel journalism awards are named for the late Lowell Thomas, acclaimed broadcast journalist, author and world explorer.  The late author James Michener is the Society’s founding honorary chairman.


Published by the Auto Club, Westways serves nearly seven million members covering travel, lifestyle, shopping discounts, insurance and automotive relevant topics, as well as local and regional affairs as well as benefits of AAA membership. 


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The Automobile Club of Southern California is a member club affiliated with the American Automobile Association (AAA) national federation and serves members in the following California counties: Inyo, Imperial, Kern, Los Angeles, Mono, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Tulare, and Ventura.