Award Winners 2008

Second Annual Solas Awards Winners

Announced February 29, 2008

Grand Prize for Best Travel Story of the Year

Gold ($1,000)
Red Lights and a Rose by Joel Carillet

Silver ($750)
Ghost on Ice by Cameron McPherson Smith

Bronze ($500)
Philomen and Baucis by Pamela Cordell Avis

Category Award Winners

Adventure Travel: The best story of high adventure, danger, or physical challenge
Gold Certificate: Escape from Darien by Cameron McPherson Smith
Silver Certificate: Along the Trail of Brotherhood by Erik Trinidad
Bronze Certificate: Into the Sahara by James Michael Dorsey

Animal Encounter: The best account of meeting snakes, elephants, rhinos, gorillas, birds, sharks, and other creatures in the wild
Gold Certificate: Follow the Calves by Simon Hodgson
Silver Certificate: Big Cats, No Guns by Laurie McAndish King
Bronze Certificate: The Night of the Owl by Jennifer Wells

Bad Trip: The best account of when things go wrong, or the shadow side of a culture or individual
Gold Certificate: Baja, or, The Thing You Learn in Foreign Police Stations by Chris LaRoche
Silver Certificate: Beijing Hostage by Michael Shapiro
Bronze Certificate: The Truth about Eco-Travel by Laurie McAndish King

Cruise Story: The best account of a trip on the water in any vessel, from the smallest kayak to the largest ship
Gold Certificate: Antarctica Concerto by Cecilia Worth
Silver Certificate: Dramamine: the Gateway Drug by Cristina Topham
Bronze Certificate: Pirates of the Mediterranean by Gayle Keck

Culture and Ideas: The best story or essay about how art, history, current events, fashion, or music affected a traveler or a trip
Gold Certificate: I Hold High My Beautiful Quran by David Grant
Silver Certificate: Red Beacon of Europe by Jann Huizenga
Bronze Certificate: The Light in Florence and the Golden Age of Man by Tuan Phan

Destination Story: The best story about a place that captures its essence and reveals its attractions, making the reader want to go there
Gold Certificate: Honey and Blood by Tracy L. Barnett
Silver Certificate: A Good Place by Pickett Porterfield
Bronze Certificate: Everybody Dance Now by James Sturz

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 Certificate: Cefalo by Eliot Stein
Silver Certificate: A Brie-f Moment by Cecilia Worth
Bronze Certificate: The Ones Who Were Turned Away by Tracy L. Barnett

Elder Travel: The best story from a traveler 65 years of age or older
Gold Certificate: Honeysuckle Rose by Jan Burak Schwert
Silver Certificate: Il Papa by Jan Burak Schwert
Bronze Certificate: A Visit to Brokeleg Mountain by John Dalton

Family Travel: The best story about traveling with family of all generations grandparents, parents, children, cousins, siblings or journeying to discover roots
Gold Certificate: Every Day Parisian Theatrics by Anna Brones
Silver Certificate: Sarajevo Souvenir by Ayun Halliday
Bronze Certificate: The Journey Home by Tracy L. Barnett

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 Certificate: Vampires from Venus by Zachary Kushner
Silver Certificate: Don’t Dread the Dread, Mon by Jennifer Wells
Bronze Certificate: Comb of Rebellion by Darrin DuFord

Love Story
: The best account of love or romance on the road
Gold Certificate: Los Muertos by Barbara Robertson
Silver Certificate: One Little Kiss by Nicole Zimmerman
Bronze Certificate: The Australian by Michelle McAlister

Men’s Travel: The best account by a man of a testosterone-fueled encounter or experience on the road
Gold Certificate: The Worst Motorcycle in Laos by Christopher Tharp
Silver Certificate: Eight Seconds by Peter Bronski
Bronze Certificate: It’s Hard Out Here for a Wimp by Dave Mondy

Most Unforgettable Character: The story that best captures how one individual or group of people affected a traveler in a meaningful way
Gold Certificate: The Streets of Paris by Adrian Cole
Silver Certificate: The Coffee King of Irapuato by Pickett Porterfield
Bronze Certificate: Politics on the Rails by Jeff Vize

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 Certificate: Breadstick Hydra by Matthew Frank
Silver Certificate: Billi Billi by Tom Weller
Bronze Certificate: Kimchi and Chrysanthemum by Bharti Kirchner

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 Certificate: My Mexican Housewife by Stacey Tuel
Silver Certificate: Resurrection in Poland by Lenny Karpman
Bronze Certificate: The Distance from Dachau to Darfur by Peter Delevett

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 Certificate: Crazy Diamond by Adrian Cole
Silver Certificate: Easter Island: Where the Roads Diverged by Catherine Watson
Bronze Certificate: A Bottle of Calvados by Tom Cheche

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 Certificate: The Barbershop Butcher of Delhi by Jeff Vize
Silver Certificate: Souveniraholic by Anke Snow
Bronze Certificate: A San Francisco Treat by Craig Wilkins

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 Certificate: The Ringer by Jennifer Williams
Silver Certificate: Going to (and Away from) the Dogs by Tom Bentley
Bronze Certificate: Somewhere Along the Way by Rebecca L. Dougher

Travel and Transformation: The best story about the inner journey or pilgrimage, whether religious, mystical, psychological, or emotional
Gold Certificate: Gods Who Smell Like Goats by Mary Erdmans
Silver Certificate: Out of India by Elizabeth Galewski
Bronze Certificate: Becoming Coco by Ginny Horton

Women’s Travel: The best account by a woman of an encounter or experience on the road
Gold Certificate: The Secret of the World Sleeps in a Calabash by Kelley Calvert
Silver Certificate: Courting Maximon in Guatemala by Juliette de Campos
Bronze Certificate: Alive in Lisbon by Marianne Rogoff

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 Certificate: The Road from Ruhengeri by Haifa Mahabir
Silver Certificate: Finding My Matador’s Flair by Jennifer Hare
Bronze Certificate: Why I Beat a Girl with a PVC Pipe by Kristin Repsher

Honorable Mention

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

Casa Chepito: When Spider Monkeys Go Bad by Joshua Berman
The Jetlag Monologues by Chen Bing
Send in the Clowns by Jamie Bradish
A Station on the Way by Bonnie Bruinsslot
The Widow Dines Alone by Susan Butterworth
Giving up the Guidebook by Jennifer Coates
Tale of a Love-Struck Con Man by Eric Dawson
Pain and Pleasure in Liguria by Francesca De Stefano
Search by Peter Delevett
The Raj Is Dead by Peter Delevett
Of Temples and Landmines by James Michael Dorsey
The Peanut Fiends of Guayaquil by Darrin Duford
Unremembered by (Karen) Gregg Elliott
Starry Hopes Amidst Afgani Sunsets by Tiffany Fisher
Los Feliz and Silver Lake by Janet Forman
Catskills Cooking by Janet Forman
La Zisa, La Cuba and La Cubana by Natalie Galli
Trapped in the Spotlight by Phil Goldman
Stumbling Along the Way by Phil Goldman
Taste the Tuna Fish Ice Cream by Phil Goldman
Scorpions by Melanie Griot
No Dagger? Big Disgrace! by Betsy Hiel
Forza! by Jann Huizenga
Amrita’s Trees by Lenny Karpman
Punning on the Nile by Lenny Karpman
Another Trinity: Exploring the Dark Side of Irish Cuisine by Laurie McAndish King
Magic Lessons by Miriam Levine Lane
Vital Signs by Judith Levin
The Big, Boring Cathedral Got Better When I Saw the Ice Cream Truck Outside by Peter Mandel
How Much for the Plastic Rat? by Peter Mandel
Crashing in Dar Es Salaam by Daniel Masterson
The Least Expected Isle of Scotland by Michelle McAlister
The End of the Tail by Michelle McAlister
Altered States by Andrew McCarthy
The Best Meal I Ever Had by Andrew McCarthy
On Down the Road by Nancy Michaels
Oh! This Is My Graceland by Dave Mondy
The Airplane by Anne Merrigan Pascale
Perfect Sitting by Marisa Pereira
The Bakers of Seville by Carol Pucci
Cool Hand Luke by Joseph Ridgewell
I Will Take You Half Way by Janet Grace Riehl
Bargain Medicine by Barbara Robertson
Just Us Chickens by Barbara Robertson
Poor Antonio by Emilie Rohrbach
Semana Santa by Jan Burak Schwert
Salad Man by Jan Burak Schwert
Connecting the Dots by Bonnie Smetts
Warming Up in Montreal by Bonnie Smetts
Chronic Spinsters in India by Cheryl Smith
River Ride by Elizabeth Striebel
Fat Guys Kick Ass by Robert Torkildson
Mountain of Ghosts by Brian Trent
Weathernerds by Erik Trinidad
On Down the Road by Nancy Vala
Forza Roma by Kathryn Welsh
Midnight Desert and a Long Way to Go by Jenny Williams
Out of the Ash by Jenny Williams
Coffee: A Universal Language by Jenny Williams
For Everything Else, There’s MasterCard by Megan Williams
The Happiest Country by Cynthia Wolterding
Bear in Mind by Cecilia Worth
The Night the Stars Fell by Cecilia Worth
Jaisalmer: A Desert Kingdom by Jacqueline Yau
Marking Territory by Jacqueline Yau
Googling David by Bill Zarchy
Showdown at Shinagowa: Bowling for Budget in Tokyo by Bill Zarchy
Wrecks and Pissers by Bill Zarchy
India: It Takes a Village by Bill Zarchy
Iran on Two Wheels by Patrick Zeller

Travelers' Tales