PRESS PASS Newsletter

Volume 36, Issue 09, November 2018 

A Publication of the International Food, Wine & Travel Writers

Association distributed to IFWTWA Members Only

All Rights Reserved

Volume Number 36
Issue Number 09
November 2018

In this issue...

Q & A WITH WASHINGTON COUNTY VISITORS ASSOCIATION'S SYLKE NEAL-FINNEGAN, who represents the Tualatin Valley in Oregon: What are hosts looking for when hosting a writer?

By Cori Solomon

After meeting Sylke at Travmedia’s IMM International Media Market, I now have taken two trips to the Tualatin Valley, Oregon. One was a media trip on my own, and another was one I helped organize so I thought I would ask Sylke a group of questions to determine what she and perhaps other CVB hosts look for or require of the writers they choose to attend a media trip.

Cori Solomon: What do you look for when inviting travel writers to visit your destination?
Sylke Neal-Finnegan: First and foremost, I want to ensure the journalist will write about something we offer. For example, if it is a luxury travel writer, it is not a fit for the region.

Cori: Do your objectives in choosing a writer change depending on if you are meeting them at an event like IMM or if a writer contacts you directly?
Sylke: Yes. If a writer is a member of an organization such as IFWTWA or attending an event, they are already vetted, so I can assume they are not requesting a trip for free travel.

Cori: Looking at each writer when evaluating whether they will be accepted for a press trip, what percentage do you give to membership in groups they belong to, individual writing, social media, and ranking. 
Sylke: If you are a member of SATW you will rank high. For Washington County, the influencer is not as important. I want to know if someone writes online or in print, or if they write for themselves or for others.

Cori: Concerning membership, do you rank the group they belong to? 
Sylke: I rank SATW and IFWTWA high because we are a food and wine destination. With NATJA, I reach out to the writing competition award winners and go to their conference.

Cori: How closely do you look at a writer’s social media presence when considering them for a press trip?
Sylke: Not very closely. It is more important for the blog or magazine to have reach.

Cori: When you are pitched story angles and visits, what is something that stands out for you from the writer?
Sylke: I like to see that the writer knows the destination and has done their research.

Cori: Is there a topic that you wish more writers would pitch when it comes to the area/region you represent?
Sylke: Not really. Topics such as sustainability, diversity, wine, food, farms, and nature fit our destination.

Cori: Do you like to see a testimonial from a PR representative or would you like to see them in the future?
Sylke: It doesn’t hurt. Behind the scenes, I sometimes question other PR professionals about a writer.

Cori: What do you look for in a media kit?
Sylke: Actual readership.

Cori: When writers send examples of their work, what are you looking for when you peruse their articles?
Sylke: I am looking for the tone of the piece and typos. I look to see if the article is opinion or facts and does it make me want to go to the destination.

Cori: If you had your pick, what ideally would you be looking for in a writer?
Sylke: Someone who is upfront about what they expect of the trip. At the same time, I also look at what type of hosting each writer will need. Does the writer need a more hands-on tour or one that is self-guided?

Sylke Neal-Finnegan is the Vice President of Marketing & Communication for Washington County Visitors Association. To learn more about the Tualatin Valley visit


by Rossana Wyatt & Dana Freeman

1. Proper Contact - Always make sure you direct the email to the right person and personalize it. This takes a bit of investigation, but very valuable in the long run.

2. Research - Do you homework about the publication before you pitch. Make sure you have read or at least scanned the publications you are pitching. It is important to familiarize yourself with the topics they’re publishing, you also want to take note of the formatting and style.
3. Pitching to a PR agency or a Board - Make sure to follow the same steps above, i.e. right contact and research the destination.

4. Media Kit - Have a professional media kit that can be attached to your email that includes your blog and social media stats and update as necessary. Canva is a great tool for creating one. Consider making your media kit available to potential outlets on your blog.

5. Brevity - Keep the pitch brief, but to the point. Pitch reviewers simply don’t have time to read more than a paragraph or two. Focus on the angle you’re taking and summarize the key points you plan to make.

6. Unique - What is going to make your pitch stand out and why would they choose you vs. all the others they have? You need to think of an uncommon angle or hook to launch into the subject matter.

7. Email Subject LIne - Think of your subject line as your pitch so your email gets opened. Aim for six to eight words and less than 60 characters.

8. Proposed Article Title - Create something catchy that could be used for the headline. Keep keywords and requested subjects in mind as you craft this section. You could include two titles, to show various directions the topic could go.

9. Suggest Keywords - Although most marketers will generate their own keywords after accepting a pitch, it cannot hurt to do a little leg work and make suggestions.
10. Pitch Templates and Advice - These are some great examples of how to pitch magazines like AFAR, AARP, BBC Travel and more. These are examples of how editors like to be pitched.

Other helpful links 


by Betsi Hill


LivItaly Tours offers small group tours and experiences throughout Italy. Their small groups are maximum 6 people and allow clients and guides to interact throughout the tour.

If you are planning on visiting Italy, get in touch and they can find the perfect experience for you and your readers.

More information at LivItaly Tours Bloggers and Influencers - Work with Us 


Innovation Norway welcomes journalists to Norway and regularly arranges press trips for groups and individuals in cooperation with our partners in Norway. The trips will vary depending on the media request and the focus of our campaigns. If you would like to join one of our press trips in the future, you have to fulfill the criteria listed below.

A confirmed assignment is required in most of our markets to participate in any of our press trips. The PR manager will liaise with the publication to ensure that target audiences, topics and expectations match those of our partners.

In those markets where a confirmed assignment is not needed the PR manager will consider each inquiry and evaluate whether the media, the target audience and the circulation are right for Innovation Norway.

Unless stated otherwise, press trips start and stop at one of the airports in the relevant market offering direct flights to Norway and participants are expected to make their own way to the departure point and back again on return to the relevant market.

Accommodation, meals and activities during the press trip are covered as detailed in the itinerary for each trip and agreed with the PR manager.

Travel insurance
All participants are responsible for their own travel insurance, including appropriate winter sports cover if necessary.

Please contact the PR manager in your market if you have any questions about joining one of our press trips.

Examples of itineraries
The examples below give you an idea of what an organized press trip might include. Please note that activities during the press trip are covered as detailed in the specific itinerary for each trip and will vary depending on the trip.

For more information: 


Interested in coming to Finland on a press trip? See below how we can help you and please fill in the media request form here.


  • Please contact us well in advance, preferably at least one month prior to the trip
  • You have an agreement with the invited media on publishing editorial content on Finland
  • The article/show will be published within 12 months of the visit, or at its earliest convenience
  • The circulation/readership/viewers and advertising value are measured by an official media survey
  • The readership/viewer profile matches the target group of Visit Finland – modern, open-minded people with a high sense of social responsibility
  • You represent media from our primary target markets: DE, FR, IT, ES, UK, US, CN, JP, KR, RU – other countries case by case
  • You are able to demonstrate that readers/viewers are more interested in travelling abroad or are more frequent travellers than the average population in the target country
  • You represent an outlet that focuses on
    • travel, lifestyle, food or design
    • daily/weekly newspaper, tv, film, radio or online platform


  • Accurate information on regions, destinations, activities, places to stay, people to meet, etc.
  • Itinerary based on the theme of your article/show
  • Assistance with travel bookings and costs (decided case-by-case)
  • High resolution images and videos along with other materials


  • Include a link and/or logo on your article/show
  • Mention the most important places and people related to the article/show
  • Send your article to us once it’s ready


  • Family travel
  • Finland as a summer destination
  • Finland as a stopover destination
  • Finnish culture
  • Finnish food culture
  • Outdoors and nature adventures
  • Wellbeing

For more information:


Visit Grand Junction hosts a limited number of group press trips every year, providing air, hotel, meals and a complete itinerary. If you would like to be considered for one of these trips, please let us know by emailing [email protected]

For media coming to Grand Junction on their own schedule, Visit Grand Junction can provide press kits, photos, b-roll video (limited), itinerary suggestions, and local contacts. When possible, Visit Grand Junction will assist with complimentary meals, guides and lodging (complimentary or media rates). Please note that this is based on availability and budget, therefore complete assistance is not guaranteed. Thank you for your understanding.

To assist in our planning, we do require that you please provide the following:

  1. A minimum of two-week notice.
  2. An assignment letter/email or a list of publications or websites where the story will be pitched.
  3. Fill out the below form.

Thank you for your interest in Grand Junction and surrounding region. We look forward to working with you on a story regarding the Grand Valley!


Wilderness Safaris will expand its ecotourism footprint in Rwanda with a new camp in Akagera National Park in December 2018. With the Rwanda Development Board and conservation group African Parks the six-tented camp, called Magashi, will be situated in the north-eastern part of Akagera overlooking Lake Rwanyakazinga. Guests will be able to view a range of wildlife on guided game drives, walks and boating trips, including buffalo, lion, leopard, elephant, giraffe, spotted hyaena, zebra, topi, roan and eland.

The park also has almost 500 species of birds including the shoebill with its implausibly massive bill and the near-endemic red-faced barbet.

• Contact Emma Clarke at [email protected] 


The German National Tourist Office (GNTO) has announced its campaigns for 2019.

German Summer Cities 
German Summer Cities will highlight the smaller alternatives to Germany’s more well know destinations including Hanseatic cities in the North and the cultural hotspots in the east. 
It will embrace Trier, Germany's oldest city the oldest city and Magdeburg, the birth-place of the first holy roman emperor.

Nature and Active Holidays
Away from its towns and cities, Germany offers over 100 nature parks, 16 national parks and 16 biosphere reserves.

These attract both the extreme sports enthusiast and rural nature lover alike.

There's the chance to walk barefoot across the Wadden Sea or cross the world’s longest swing bridge in the Harz.

In Winter, it can be storm hiking on Rugen Ancient forests, the largest lake region in Europe and mountain ranges such as the Harz Mountains, the Swabian Alps and Bavar-ian Alps.

25,000 reasons to visit Germany

This annual core campaign theme focusses on history lovers, arts and culture fans and suggest activities including Christmas markets - from the oldest (Meersburg on Lake Constance) to the longest (Burghausen in Bavaria).

The GNTO also offers scenic travel itineraries, such as the Beer and Castles Route and the Castle Road, which runs from East to West Hohenzollern Castle in Baden-Wurttemberg. 
• Victoria Kyme at [email protected]


St. Augustine, the USA's oldest city stages Nights of Lights, with the city’s historic district is lit by more than 3 million white lights. Historic buildings, museums, local businesses, the Bridge of Lions, the city’s bay front walkway, hotels, bed & breakfast inns and private residences all take part in the sparkly tradition.

Tracing its origins to the Spanish tradition of displaying a white candle in the window during the Christmas holidays, the display reflects the city’s 450-year history.

Tens of thousands of people take in the city-wide holiday display each year, which National Geographic has listed one of the ten best holiday lighting displays.

The St. Augustine Lighthouse and Maritime Museum is one of the most popular landmarks aglow with white lights and the Holiday Tour of Homes and the Tour of Bed and Breakfast Inns attract hundreds of merrymakers.

St. Augustine also has a holiday boat parade with decorated and lit sailboats, shrimp trawlers, schooners and private vessels float. Located between Daytona Beach and Jacksonville, Florida’s Historic Coast includes St. Augustine, Ponte Vedra Beach and 42 miles of Atlantic beaches.

Contact [email protected]


Tour de Forks cooking tours offer a Yucatán culinary break to Hacienda Petac.

In curated week of cooking classes and excursions, guests explore the complex cuisine of the Yucatán, as well as the cultural offerings of the region.

Complementing the daily cooking activities guests have the chance to tour the Mayan ruins at Uxmal, visit a hacienda museum, and one of the Yucatán’s many cenotes. 

Edible Destinations

In addition, Edible Destinations, offers a culinary adventure programme of Yucatecan cooking.  

Hacienda Petac

The 400-year-old Hacienda Petac itself is a restored Spanish colonial estate set on 250 protected acres.

The multi-building property hosts up to 14 guests, and can only be booked by one group at a time. Throughout the villa, walls have been painted in richly pigmented hues of ochre and cornflower blue using traditional methods. Handcrafted textiles and antiques mixed with modern furniture lend warmth and authentic charm.

For guests looking to explore the surrounding area, excursion options include Mayan archeological sites, the colonial city of Mérida, a wetlands reserve with a flamingo colony and Gulf Coast beaches.

• Contact Martha Morano at [email protected]


Consider yourself invited!

If the sea can shape an entire way of life, imagine what it can do for you. We invite you to immerse yourself in our spectacular landscape. Taste our incredible seafood. Listen to our world-renowned music. But most of all enjoy our legendary, down-home hospitality.

Nova Scotia has a well-earned reputation for outstanding hospitality; it's in this rich tradition that we offer our assistance. We invite you to contact us and allow us to provide you with inspired media tour opportunities that will help you to get to know all regions of our province.

  • Individual press trips - Nova Scotia can help to develop an itinerary for qualified media. We can coordinate accommodation, attraction admission, outdoor activities, interviews, partner introductions, ground transportation, meals.
  • Group press trips - please inquire as we have several impressive itineraries to choose from. 

Nova Scotia Press Trips

Nova Scotia has a well earned reputation for outstanding hospitality; it's in this rich tradition that we offer our assistance. We invite you to contact us and allow us to provide you with inspired media tour opportunities that will help you to get to know all regions of our province. If you are interested visiting Nova Scotia for media opportunities, please download our Media Assistance Request Form and submit to us.

Please note: Tourism Nova Scotia has adopted Destination Canada’s segmentation tool, EQ (Explore Quotient), to help form our development and marketing initiatives. EQ moves beyond the traditional demographic market segmentation (age, gender, income, etc.) and segments the market based on travel values.

Our content marketing is targeted to our 3 core EQ segments: Authentic Experiences, Cultural Explorers, and Free Spirits. Geographically, we focus our efforts on Ontario/Quebec, New England, UK and Germany. So the more you can help us to develop and push out content to target and align with these segments, the better!

Click here for more information on EQ Segments
For sample itineraries, and to learn more, click here


by Debbra Dunning Brouillette

Long Weekends Magazine

Produced twice a year, Long Weekends Magazine comes out every Fall/Winter and Spring/Summer to readers throughout the coverage area. The magazine promotes fun weekend getaways in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, western New York, Ohio, Ontario, western Pennsylvania, Tennessee and West Virginia. (Note: northern Ontario, eastern New York or eastern Pennsylvania are outside of the coverage area.) Stories are themed Nature & Outdoors, Family Fun, History & Culture, Culinary tours and Girlfriend Getaways. Stories should be 250 words each; the pay is $125 per write-up and includes a short Facebook post and the address, phone and website information for the index. LongWeekends looks for writers to pitch ideas that you have some experience with. Our goal is authenticity, not a rewrite of information found online. When submitting ideas, please identify the categories to which they correspond and label each of the pitches with the city and state. The call for the Spring/Summer issue will go out in late November. Email Claudia Plumley at [email protected]


Saveur welcomes pitches from writers who want to tell amazing stories about food and travel. Your query should include a brief summary of the proposed article and provide some indication of how you plan to execute the reporting. Links to your past work might also be helpful. Every query is read but responses are only sent to those under serious consideration. Writers should submit queries to [email protected].

Hawaii Magazine

Hawaii Magazine is an award-winning bimonthly regional travel publication, with a national paid circulation of 68,000 and per issue readership of more than 289,000. The magazine is written for people who love Hawaii and visit often, but who primarily reside outside of Hawaii. It is the only nationally-distributed magazine about Hawaii.

Freelance writers interested in writing for HAWAII Magazine are encouraged to submit samples of their published work (print and/or online) along with a letter of interest to editor Christine Hitt  by email at: [email protected]. Samples should showcase travel writing experience. 

Writer’s Guidelines:

Wine Enthusiast

Wine Enthusiast Magazine welcomes proposals from freelance writers on subjects that pertain to wine, fine food and travel. Full manuscripts on spec are discouraged. Proposals can be submitted via email. A proposal only needs to be one or two paragraphs, but it should be accompanied by a resume, CV or clips intended to convince the editors of the submitter’s qualifications to write that particular piece. Wine Enthusiast Magazine receives hundreds of proposals a year, and employs contributing editors in wine regions around the world who also propose story concepts. There is often a discernible overlap in specific proposals and general subject matter. At the same time, be assured that the editors will assign a story to the first qualified writer who proposes it.

Edible Seattle

Edible Seattle is a member of Edible Communities, a growing, James Beard award-winning, international series of community-based food publications whose mission is to transform the way communities shop for, cook, eat, and relate to the food that is grown and produced in their area. Please read the guidelines thoroughly and familiarize yourself with issues of other Edible Communities publications, at

Edible Seattle relies on freelancers for the majority of its stories and departments, and generally, writers generate their own topics. On occasion, the editor makes specific assignments based on writers’ interests and knowledge. Cooking Fresh, Urban Foraging, and Modern Pantry are handled by assignment. The editorial calendar is planned as much as a year in advance.
Previous issues are available to read on the website. Rates vary according to department and experience, and typically fall in the range of .15-.30 per word. Payment is sent upon publication; contributors receive a copy of the issue with their story. At this time, they do not pay expenses of writers on assignment.

Submit a written query before sending a finished piece along with writing samples, preferably work that has been published. Queries accepted via email. Expect a response within three months.
Original, carefully tested recipes to accompany articles are highly desirable. If not original, permission for reprint must be obtained by the submitter; Edible SEATTLE and Edible Communities will not pay associated permission fees.

WineMaker magazine and Brew Your Own magazine

WineMaker is designed to meet the needs of the more than one million home winemakers in the United States and Canada. Its mission is to provide practical information in an entertaining format. Its content aims to capture the spirit and challenge of winemaking while helping readers make the best wine they can. Writer’s guidelines outline categories fo article pitches:

Brew Your Own is dedicated to providing practical information on the challenges of brewing, while helping home brewers brew their own beer. Queries for features and interviews are welcomed. Writer’s guidelines are currently missing from the site but can be sent by the editor.

Contact person for both magazines is Dawson Raspuzzi, Editor. His email is [email protected] Phone: 802-362-3981 ext. 105. Articles between 1,500 and 3,000 words in length are published and both pay up to $300 upon publication.

World Nomads

World Nomads is a travel insurer and lifestyle brand based in Australia seeking professional travel writers who have a unique story to tell about destinations, and who can write in the first-person about their experiences. Instead of restaurant or hotel reviews, World Nomads content is about experiences, making connections with local people and culture, with a desire to ignite a sense of curiosity about travel so readers can plan and execute their own adventures. They want to hear about places you can’t read about in the guides. Send pitches outlining the places you want to write about — where you went, what you did, what you learned, and what is different about what you’re suggesting. No listcicles. If your pitch ignites their curiosity, they’ll be in touch. Payment: U.S. $0.50 per word. Payment for photos discussed separately.

Contact: Kate Duthie, Editorial Manager, [email protected]

Destinations of Interest:

  • The Stans, including Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Tajikistan or Kazakhstan (no deadline); 
  • Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia (pitch by 12-04-18)
  • Malaysia (pitch by 01-08-19)
  • Portugal (pitch by 02-05-19) 
  • Rwanda (pitch by 02-19-19)
  • Malta (pitch by 03-05-19)
Zambia (pitch by 04-02-19)
  • Bhutan (pitch by 04-16-19)
  • Tonga (pitch by 05-07-19)
  • Namibia (pitch by 05-21-19) 

TRAVEL INDUSTRY EVENTS: A Look Inside Travel Media Showcase

By Kathleen Walls

What's it like at TMS (Travel Media Showcase)? A lot of newer travel journalists have never been to a marketplace so here's an insider look at a typical event. First, some background on TMS and how it works. It's the brainchild of Joanne Vero. She has more energy than any two people I know. She can cuss enough to make a sailor blush and speak eloquently enough to make a nun cry. This year was her 19th TMS; it was in Niagara Falls from September 11-14, 2018 hosted at the Double Tree by Hilton. The basic premise is similar but each year is very different because of the venue. It's a three-day program with two days of pre-scheduled journalist/exhibitor appointments, local fam tours, pre-event tours, post-event tours and it's all about the networking opportunities. From a journalist's viewpoint, it's perfect since almost all expenses are covered. TMS covers all hotel and meals and transportation including your pre- or post- tour. After your appointments, you report to the TMS personnel at the end of the scheduled appointments and receive up to a $150 rebate for your transportation to and from the event.

Things begin rolling early each year. This year, in early February, I filled out my pre-qualification on their website. In mid-March, I got approval to register. Remember, this is a two-tier system. The first time, you are only pre-qualifying to see if they want you to register. This tells you two things. One, do it early to beat the crowd. Two, be on your best journalistic behavior. Send clips of you best articles at the most popular outlets you have. If you don’t know the stats for the publication, email the editor and ask. Be sure spelling and punctuation is correct. At this point, you also pick which local tours and pre- or post-tours you want. In the beginning of April, I got approval. Shortly after approval, you pick who you want to meet with. The DMOs also pick who they want to meet with.
I chose Maid of the Mist and Cave of the Winds for my local tour. Other choices were a ride on the rapids and visit to Fort Niagara, a wine and beer tour, a chocolate factory tour, experiencing the locks, or fishing. For my post tour, I picked Cattaraugus County. There were eight good choices of tours. More about both tours later.

When you pack, remember you will get lots of swag to return home with so keep that in mind. Also pack the amount of business cards you plan on using, then double it and maybe you won’t run out of cards. Maybe!

When I arrived, I quickly put up my luggage and went over to the convention center via continuous shuttles to register and eat a light buffet lunch. Then, back to the room to change for the opening reception. The reception was held in a huge open-air tent at the visitor's center located on the Niagara River near the falls. I spotted several old friends and we grabbed a table, then began visiting the various food and wine tables set up around the tent. Joanne introduced those of us who didn't know John Percy, Niagara's CVB person and his staff, with her usual ribald and emotional mix. The evening ended with fireworks over the falls.

Next morning it's down to business. Breakfast was 8 to 9am and then appointments are every 15 minutes. You will have a schedule of who you are meeting and the time. Promptly at 9, you are expected to be at the table of your first appointment with your business card in hand. Some journalists print out information sheets with their recent clips and other pertinent information to give the DMO. The DMO already has the information about your interests, past clips and if they are really ambitious, they may have looked up more about you. Hopefully, you know a little about their destination. You have 12 minutes to exchange information and then a bell goes off telling you you now have two minutes to rush to your next destination. There will be a 15-minute break to grab a drink and snack and possibly do a bit of networking at the midpoint. At the end of the event, you will be asked to pick the three most prepared DMOs and they likewise will vote on most prepared journalists.

At noon, we break and grab a box lunch. (This differs from year to year - sometimes it is a more formal sit-down affair.) At 1pm, I boarded the bus for Maid of the Mist and Cave of the Winds. After the local tour, we re-boarded the bus to go to Becker Farms & Vizcarra Vineyards for a farm-style dinner

Next morning, we repeat the process, but today, it's all day appointments with a one-hour lunch break. By 4:15, I have met with about 43 DMOs officially and a few on the bus and at breaks. All of us are keyed up and guessing where next year's TMS will be. The most common guesses were Clearwater, FL or Gallup, NM. We pick up our $150 transportation check and head for our rooms to clean up. The closing dinner is the most formal event. Some bring really dressy clothes for it.

By 6:30, we are all drinking wine and nibbling cheese in front of the closed meeting room where the dinner will be held. Right at 7, the doors to the dining area swing open and we see the screen featuring DeKalb County, Georgia. Georgia-style music is playing. We swarm in and grab seats. Most of us, including me, are surprised. I had met with Michael Lee, the DeKalb rep, and not gotten a clue. Of course, Joanne would kill anyone who gave away the secret until those doors opened.

We wine, dine, and dance away the evening and then head back to our rooms. Since I picked a post tour, I need to be ready to meet my Cattaraugus County DMOs to be ready to depart at 11am.

Remember early next year check the TMS website at


by Linda Milks

IFWTWA has some exciting new videos to help members learn everything there is to know about growing your Twitter followers. Chef Dennis Littley has prepared six new videos on how he has engaged a massive Twitter following.

These videos are each very short and easy to follow. You will find the six videos cover the topics of Lists, Meet Edgar,, Buffer, and Share Groups. I’m sure you are going to love them as much as we do.


by Linda Milks 

Man in aqua shirt enjoying pizzaChef Dennis Littley has been chosen as the IFWTWA Volunteer of the Month. Dennis has provided our organization with some great short videos on Twitter, a valuable resource for all of our members, and for that we want to thank him. 

Chef Dennis is a retired chef and culinary instructor, now living in sunshine in Florida and working on his second career as a food 

and travel blogger, private chef, content creator and digital strategist. He has also been described as a pioneer in the live streaming arena as a participant and speaker. 

Over the years he has kept current on new developments by learning as much as he can about what he considers the future of social media and the best way to connect with an audience. This seems to have worked well for him because he has been in the top 1% of reviewers in the Orlando area on TripAdvisor with a Klout score of 80. He is also listed in the Top 100 of online influencers and Top 25 of travel bloggers on the Travel 1K list via Rise Market. In addition, he is in the Top 225 of food bloggers in the U.S. by the American Food Blogger Association.

Lovely couple in Venice under Bridge of SighsIn his own words, he says, “I am eating my way around the world and sharing my adventures and my recipes.” Recently, he completed a six-week tour of Europe with his wife, Lisa, to the northern part of Italy and Tuscany, Switzerland, Bordeaux, and Paris. During this trip, he chatted with lots of chefs and even amassed a collection of their recipes for the dishes they enjoyed in both restaurants and on cruises.

He said that one of the best parts of the trip was that he could eat all that he wanted and still lost weight. He attributes this to the fact that Europe doesn’t have all the additives, fats, and sugars that we have in our foods in the U.S. which makes it a healthier lifestyle. If members are interested in Chef Dennis’ travel articles or some of his recipes, you can visit his website Ask Chef Dennis 


by Allen Cox

Explanation of the Award  ~  Entry Form  ~  Former Award Recipients 

Once again it's time to submit your entries for the IFWTWA Excellence in Journalism Award. The submission deadline has been extended this year until November 15, so you have a little extra time to submit your best work.

What is the Excellence in Journalism Award? It is IFWTWA's way of recognizing and celebrating the top talent among its members. Articles submitted will be carefully evaluated against a set of standard, objective criteria. The winner will be announced in mid-December and will receive a $500 cash award, an industry-wide press release, an award certificate, and an announcement in Press Pass and on the IFWTWA website.

You can view past winners by logging on to the IFWTWA website; select the Awards tab, and in the drop-down menu select Award Recipients.

To submit your entry, simply log in to the IFWTWA website, select the Awards tab, and in the drop-down menu select Excellence in Journalism Award. Read the Eligibility Criteria, then select Submit Your Article. Complete the submission form, which will take you to the payment form to pay the $15 entry fee. There is no limit to the number of entries you can submit. Once you submit your entry, all you have to do is wait for the announcement of the winner in mid-December.

Someone is going to win. It might as well be you!


by Linda Kissam

It’s an honor to introduce you to our new members and to give recognition to members having anniversaries this month. We thank our new and anniversary members for including IFWTWA on their pathway to success. Your choice to work hard, think positive, network, and use your member benefits brings you to a whole new level of achievement.  Way to go! 


10 years
Jim Farber
Joined November 16, 2008

10 years
James Woodin
Joined November 20, 2008

5 years
Tamra Bolton
Joined November 24, 2013
* * * * *

Erin Fairchild
Her Heartland Soul

Omaha, NE  USA


by Adrianne Morrison

Voting Box Image

November 15th - 30th

Self-nominations are in and the candidates are being vetted to make certain they meet IFWTWA's requirements. Bylaws changes are under review, and your ballots are being prepared.

IFWTWA Election Schedule:

  • Self Nominations - Complete 
  • Membership Voting - November 15 - 30
  • Announce new Board members - December 9
  • Convene new Board of Directors - January 14


Connect with fellow IFWTWA experts. Join Social Circles on IFWTWA's new website. Meet members in our private Facebook Members Group. Follow and connect for retweets, "Like" member's posts and pages, attend events, and volunteer. Have we forgotten anything? Interact with your colleagues to enhance your professional goals.  


IFWTWA Members Facebook Group
Important and timely information posted daily
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Official Online Magazine of IFWTWA


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We're looking for Regional Membership Coordinators to organize
networking, team building and membership growth events


Media FAM Press Trips

Annual Conferences


Beth Graham
Press Pass Editor

IFWTWA | Murrieta, CA | 877-IFWTWA-9