International Food, Wine and Travel Writers Association sponsors an annual writing contest for the best writer in the Professional Journalism category among the non-member community. The writing subjects must be travel, food or wine.
Lola Akinmade Åkerström, of Stockholm, Sweden, won the IFWTWA 2012 Professional Journalism Scholarship Award for her story “Slow Food from Sapmi,” a window into the culinary traditions of the indigenous Sami people of Arctic Sweden.
The inspiration for Åkerström’s story was her belief that exploring cultures that may seem polar opposites of our own produce some of the most compelling stories. Her keen interest in cultural traditions and relationships has been a long journey that began in her native Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation with 250 unique tribes and languages.
“I’ve always been intrigued by cultural nuances in terms of food, place, and traditions that separate yet unite us all,” Åkerström says. “Even after becoming a US citizen and moving to Sweden for personal reasons, I’ve always had my nose to the ground looking for untold place-based cultural stories.”
Åkerström’s award includes a one-year membership in IFWTWA with all regular member benefits and complimentary attendance at IFWTWA’s 2013 Annual Conference in Hawaii.
“Ms. Åkerström is very deserving of this award,” says Maralyn Hill, IFWTWA President. “I am excited to welcome her to IFWTWA.”
The Professional Journalism second place winner was Sandra MacGregor of South Africa, and Maida Pineda of Philippines took third place.
Watch for “Slow Food from Sapmi” by Lola Akinmade Åkerström on IFWTWA’s online publication Global Writes in January 2013. For more information about Åkerström and her work, visit her website at http://akinmade.com.
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