“Thank you is the best prayer that anyone could say. I say that one a lot.”
— Alice Walker
Hello, friends! Yesterday, I received an exciting bit of news that I can’t wait to share with you — but first, a bit of backstory…
A little while after I started pursuing travel writing in 2010 and 2011, I learned about something called the Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Competition, which was founded in 1984 and is sponsored by the Society of American Travel Writers Foundation. I also learned they are considered some of the most prestigious awards given in the fields of travel writing and travel photography, and cover quite a range of categories — from travel journalist of the year, to best travel book and guidebook, to best travel blog.
In the past, I’d entered a few of my own travel stories into the competition, but as I’ve come to focus more and more on sketching and illustration, I hadn’t entered for a couple of years. But earlier this year, right around the deadline to enter the 2017 Lowell Thomas Awards on April 1st, I decided it just might be time again — but not for the categories on travel articles…
I had just decided to change the name of this blog to Moment Sketchers, which reflected an even deeper change going on in my professional focus — watching our incredible global community of artists grow and committing to help everyone on their creative journeys any way I could, be it through how-to posts or eBooks. I could feel a sea change happening as I slowly shifted courses and changed the focus of this site, and it felt right to take a chance and finally enter the Lowell Thomas competition again.
* * *
Nearly six months later, I am delighted to share some news with you that I just found out yesterday: Moment Sketchers received bronze in the category for best travel blog! I truly couldn’t believe the email when it arrived in my inbox — and I was just as moved to read the judges’ comments, explaining their decision:
“If part of travel is to stop and see the world, Candace Rose Rardon is doing that with her blog, Moment Sketchers. The sketches of the people and places encountered during her travels are as stunning as — if not more so than — the photos that accompany each post. And, if that’s not enough? She offers suggestions to other travelers on how they can start sketching in seconds so they, too, can really see the world through fresh eyes.”
As honored and excited as I was to receive the news yesterday, the reason I feel most compelled to share it with you here is because I have all of you to thank for the path Moment Sketchers has taken this year!
I have felt such a sense of synergy with you all, as your questions, suggestions, and ideas have continually influenced and inspired me. I’ve thought harder than ever about what I share here and how it can serve you better on your own journeys as sketch artists, and yesterday’s news was a humbling moment of affirmation for me — as though the universe was assuring me that the path Moment Sketchers is on right now is indeed a good one 🙂
And so, with a heart full of gratitude and joy, I wanted to take a moment to celebrate with you all — and even more importantly, to say thank you for being part of our community…we got bronze!
* * *
Thank you again to the Society of American Travel Writers for this honor,
and for sponsoring the Lowell Thomas Awards each year.
And huge congratulations to the amazing array of winners this year, especially to my dear friend
Lola Akinmade Åkerström, who was awarded Travel Photographer of the Year!
* * *