PRESS PASS Newsletter

Volume 37, Issue 02, February 2019, R1

A publication of the International Food, Wine & Travel Writers Assoc. 
Distributed to IFWTWA Members Only.


In this issue:




November 11-14, 2019

Santa Fe Botanical Garden, New Mexico USA


2019 Annual Conference

La Fonda Hotel on the Plaza
Santa Fe, New Mexico USA

We are so excited to announce the 2019 IFWTWA Annual Conference being held at La Fonda Hotel on the Plaza in Santa Fe, New Mexico, November 11-14, 2019.

More details and how to register to be announced shortly. 


2018 Hospitality Education Scholarship (HES) Award

by Allen Cox

IFWTWA is proud to give back to the food, wine, and travel industries by selecting promising students preparing for employment in the tourism and hospitality industries to receive our HES Award. We are pleased to award the 2018 scholarship to Darelle Rancap, a student in the Olympic College Culinary Arts Program in Bremerton, Washington, USA.

Darelle RancapDarelle Rancap consistently maintains high academic performance and has a passion for learning and succeeding in the culinary arts. She has taken on a leadership/supervisory role with the new incoming students, and she has been involved with every culinary event in which the college has engaged, both on and off campus. Chef Christopher Plemmons, Darelle’s advisor at Olympic College, has endorsed her for the HES Award.

Darelle excels at plating and artistic presentation of her food. She plans to complete her education in the culinary arts and continually progress in the workforce with the goal of becoming an executive chef.

Darelle receives an IFWTWA Hospitality Education Scholarship Award Certificate and an award check with funds to assist with her educational expenses.

IFWTWA is grateful to its members who have voluntarily donated to the IFWTWA Hospitality Education Scholarship fund. Anyone wishing to donate to our Awards Program may do so on the IFWTWA website here. It's fast, easy and we sincerely appreciate your generosity. 

Tips from the NY Times Travel Show

by Christine Cutler

The Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in Hell's Kitchen

As a first-timer to the New York Times Travel Show, I was not sure what to expect. My hope was to be able to discover a few tips that I could use in building an audience for our magazine and my own website. While traversing the exhibition show allowed me the opportunity to connect with a limited number of convention or tourism reps, the three seminars that I attended were more than worth my time. In hopes that you’ll find them helpful whether you write for FWT Magazine, for your own website, or for clients, I’d like to share five points with you.

5. Studies have shown that the interest in travel is still increasing, and food and drink are the forces behind the increase. More than 70 percent of travelers state that they travel to a place to try authentic food eaten by locals or to try new dining experiences or foods available only in a certain destination. Further, more than 40 percent are interested in food, winery, or distillery tours. This is right up our organization’s alley.

4. The average traveler spends over three hours per day on the internet, and half of that is on social media networks. Approximately 20 percent of travelers chose a destination due to the influence of social media content. Three of the top four reasons travelers go to a particular site is to look at the photos, to read stories about/from travel writers, and to get insider information (reviews, for example).

3. Wellness is a new niche in travel writing and marketing. There is a rise in wellness travel, and the number of people taking wellness trips has almost doubled (from 691 million to one billion) in four years. Articles dealing with any aspect of wellness travel do well.

2. The top social media outlet for travel writers and travel websites is Instagram followed by Facebook, Pinterest, Snapchat, and Twitter. Great photos draw attention, and that attention will bring readers to one’s site. Twitter was number four a few years ago but has fallen as it has become more political and has had less emphasis on leisure.

1. While only SIX newspapers currently employ full-time travel editors, the opportunities for travel writers and bloggers are still growing in both print and digital platforms. Caysey Welton of Folio says, “….in 2019, we will see publishers putting more emphasis on content that differentiates theirs...” Quality content and beautiful photos paired with professional writers are the keys to success.

Through Len’s Lens

by Len Garrison

Do you remember a time when you didn’t carry a phone? And do you remember when it was only used for phone calls? How times have change

So with that in mind, here are two apps that have helped us along the way.

ProCam 6 LogoFor shooting, ProCam 6 (available for iOS devices, App Store) puts the controls of a DSLR in your hands. It allows you to set ISO, shutter speed, white balance, and even exposure compensation and slow shutter speed and more. There’s a learning curve, but the more you play with it, the more control you’ll have in making the image a creative work of art. Time Lapse, video, night mode, slow shutter, portrait, 3D photos. It even adds a watermark. The cost: $5.99.

Snapseed LogoSnapseed (available for iOS devices, App Store) for editing is quick and easy. It allows you to make changes to images without losing your original. There are quick looks, changing the image instantly. Then, with tools like cropping, curves, white balance, healing, black and white and more, it gives you artistic freedom to get the look you want. The cost: Free.

8mm Vintage Camera App LogoAnother fun app is the 8mm Vintage Camera which shoots retro film. You get the warm, grainy, film effects that seem to be a lost art. With filters like Siena, 1920s, the '70s, noir and more, the only limit is your imagination. With or without sound. Cost: $1.99

There’s lots more. If you find a great one, share it with us. We’ll keep adding to our list!

Phone photography has come a long way and will continue to improve as devices and apps get more advanced. Whether or not publications accept them with articles is something you need to check with when submitting your query. Most that we submit to do not accept iPhone images, but for social media, they are great.

Know the tool you have in your hand and enhance it when possible. Get the most out of the device you can.

Story Markets

by Debbra Dunning Brouillette

hand of business woman working at desk

Whole Life Times

Whole Life Times, a bimonthly magazine serving the worldwide holistic community, relies almost entirely on freelancers to fill its pages every month. Open to stories on holistic and integrative health, alternative healing, green living, sustainability, and organic food, yoga, spirituality and personal growth, social responsibility, conscious business, the environment—in short, anything that deals with a progressive, healthy lifestyle. WLT’s focus is local—issues, events and people in Southern California—so for subjects with broader application, it’s important to include a local angle and/or sources.

Queries may be sent via e-mail to [email protected].

WLT accepts up to three longer stories (800–1000 words) per issue. Pay ranges from $75–150 depending on the topic, research required and writer experience.

Page One Publishing - Victoria BC

Page One Publishing team is currently welcoming submissions for three Canadian-based magazines —YAM, SALT and DOUGLAS.

YAM magazine celebrates the unique personalities, trends and tastes that make Greater Victoria a desirable place in which to live. Its content focuses on home and garden, food and wine, experiential travel, arts and culture, health and fitness, and lifestyle.

SALT is a coffee-table quality magazine that showcases the best of Vancouver Island, from beaches to luxurious oceanfront homes, offering unparalleled travel experiences and the most desirable investment opportunities for people who appreciate the finer things in life and want to discover them on British Columbia’s island gem.

DOUGLAS magazine has become essential reading in the Greater Victoria region, keeping readers connected to Vancouver Island’s unique business culture with coverage of business, technology, leadership, and lifestyle.

Writer queries can be emailed to [email protected]

Submission guidelines for all:


AARP The Magazine is a leading publication for people 50 and older. Pitch stories on health, personal finance, travel and other areas of interest to the magazine’s 37.3 million readership.

Contact: [email protected], For travel stories, pitch Lorrie Lynch, [email protected]

How to pitch: The guidelines list the various departments

What they pay: $2 a word for print; $1 for online

More Press Trips

by Betsi Hill

Looking out at shoreline from jet window seat

Off the Map Travel

Off the Map Travel has created a new experience on the island of Svalbard, in the Arctic Circle, taking guests to the Nordenskiold Lodge, which is located at the foot of a glacier. You’ll have a chance to listen at night to the ice as it creaks and cracks; spotting wildlife, including polar bears. It is suggested that the best time to visit is from May to September as the snow has melted after the winter.  Contact Mark Hayward for more information - [email protected]

Wild Woman Expeditions

Wild Women Expeditions, specializing in women-only adventures (sorry guys), is offering itineraries of 10 to 15 days each. You’ll delve into the Berber culture of the women of Morocco. Despite being known as one of the most progressive states in the Middle East, Morocco still lags behind, and over 80% of women are illiterate. Berber women of Morocco will help to unravel their story and culture on women-only press trips across the country. To learn more, visit or contact Sara Widness, [email protected]

Trek America

Trek America is adding beer tours of America’s East and West Coasts, and a music-themed Deep South itinerary in 2019. The West Coast tour is a seven-cities, Sights, and Craft Beer Delights tour that visits San Francisco, Santa Rosa, Portland, and Seattle. The East Coast tour is an eight-day tour that visits New York, Boston, Washington DC, Atlanta, and Asheville. It will include visits to brewers and local, independent operations. The Deep South and Festival Sounds tour is a 15-day tour that culminates with tickets to the Austin Limits Festival - and For more information, contact Pippa Evana at [email protected]

Highland Whisky Festival

The first Highland Whisky Festival will be held in May 2019 as a celebration of the region’s distilleries on the North Coast 500 route. There will be eight participating distilleries, who will be hosting an open day with events, tours, and tastings. You will be able to combine the tasting of world class whiskeys while enjoying the stunning landscapes and the warm welcoming Highland hospitality. The North Coast 500 route begins and ends in Inverness at Inverness Castle. The route follows the main roads along the coastal edges of the North Highlands of Scotland, taking in the regions of Wester Ross, Sutherland, Caithness, Easter Ross, the Black Isle, and Iverness-Shire - and For for more information contact Kirsty Cameron at [email protected]


Fancy a stay in the South Pacific? Look no further than Samoa. Situated in the South Pacific between New Zealand and Hawaii, Samoa is promoted as the “Treasured islands of the South Pacific - the true heart of Polynesia.” Samoa Tourism is highlighting five reasons to visit: the beaches, the natural beauty, the people, island hopping, and waterfalls - For more information, contact [email protected]

Glamping in Greenland

Glamping in Greenland with Swoop Arctic, June to September. Located deep in the Greenlandic wilderness, the camp comprises a small number of tall, canvas tepees pitched in a remote location overlooking fjords, where you will see whales, seals, and sea eagles. The camp is reachable only by boat, but you will be clamping in luxury! You’ll have private guided treks, visit Greenlandic villages, fish for cod and char, kayak among the ice, and if you are brave enough, a chance to swim in icy waters -,,, and For more information, contact Debra Taylor at [email protected]

The Rockford Area Convention and Visitors Bureau

The Rockford Area Convention and Visitors Bureau is looking for media interested in experiencing the charm of Rockford, Illinois first-hand on an individual media visit. Hosting is contingent upon appropriate coverage in suitable media outlets. If you are looking for a fun, off-the-beaten-path travel experience, then visit Rockford. If you’re interested in learning more, please contact Jillian Downing at [email protected]

Monticule Festival

Monticule, a festival in June in the countryside of South West France is seeking to host media for this event. It's a holiday type festival, it happens over 5 days, there's a massive pool in the middle of the domaine and forests all around the festival with a natural swimming hole which you're welcome to explore and some of the activities on offer include horse riding and astronomy. There's also a big focus on wellness, with yoga and meditation classes amongst other offerings and all the food is provided by local vendors, and if you've been to the South West of France before, you'll know that it's fantastic stuff. The festival is very much about the music though and if the artists aren’t familiar to you without needing to google them, it’s probably not the press trip for you.I'm interested in hearing from travel, style and music writers, particularly from German and French titles. Nylon, Guardian, Green Room, Noisey would be ace... but keen to hear from everyone (all within Europe please). The press trip includes flights, airport transfers and accommodation in a tent on the festival site (there's no VIP camping at all at the festival and hotels/air BnBs are too far from the festival site). You can reach me on [email protected]

Snowboxx Festival 

Snowboxx is looking to host a couple of media for their music and ski festival. The festival will be held at the resort of Avoriaz, in the French Alps. Coverage would need to be angled around the festival and not just the ski resort/accommodation etc. Press trips will run from either 23rd - 27th or 27th - 30th March. Looking for lifestyle titles like Elle, Cosmo, Grazia, GQ, Esquire, wide-reaching travel titles, In-flight magazines, newspapers, or relevant online platforms with nice editorial and reach of 500,000 plus. The trip will include travel, 5* accommodation, festival pass, and special excursions. Please contact me at [email protected] if this is of interest.


Loco2 is seeking journalists who would love the opportunity to travel by train. Loco2 is looking to highlight the benefits of train travel over flying to destinations. If you are interested in having Loco2 support your train travel costs in 2019, they are asking interested media to:

  • search for your booking here and send us a link to the journey 
  • your publication name/link 
  • reach of editorial (wherever the mention will be included, be that the printed publication/website/social media)
  • the date the mention would appear (approximate date would be fine)

Contact: [email protected]

Photo of the Month

by Judy & Len Garrison

1st Place Medal and White Photo FramePhoto of the Month winner Blog announcements! We’ll ask for a little more information to be submitted with your photos, so watch the Facebook group page for more details. We look forward to acknowledging and introducing our outstanding photographers and photojournalists and giving our members more public exposure from the blog & social media shares.

Thanks for all the entries this month. We’ll add these to the March entries. Don’t forget to keep telling your stories visually! Send your entries to us at [email protected] before February 15 for the March issue. Please include the location of the shot, what is happening within the shot, and any backstory needed that will inspire us.


by Linda Kissam

Volunteers raise hands

IFWTWA touches hundreds of member’s lives every year but we couldn’t provide all the things we do without the support of our wonderful volunteers.

Volunteers help plan media trips, coordinate membership outreach, publish FWT Magazine and this Press Pass newsletter, manage participation on Big Blend Radio, coordinate local events as regional directors, plan the yearly professional development conference, direct our member awards program, design and execute our social media efforts and much much more.

Why volunteer?

We are a small organization with a small budget, but a large vision for member benefits. Volunteering is a win-win: not only is it a great way of supporting IFWTWA and your own goals, it is also a way to meet new people, make friends, put existing skills to use, learn new ones and understand how the association works. Instead of guessing what we do and how we do it, join us as a volunteer. You will get the most out of your membership when you volunteer for a committee.

What commitment is required?

Most of our volunteer programs are 12-months a year. We ask you to give between two and ten hours each week, but we also welcome you on an ad-hoc basis. You’ll need to be reliable and committed to at least one year of helping us ensure we provide the best possible service to our members.

If you can’t make a regular commitment don’t worry, we are grateful for any time you can give. Our busy calendar of programs calls for volunteer support throughout the year. Maybe you can help us a few weeks or months a year. We can find a spot or you!

All our volunteers receive training. Don’t worry if you don’t know how to do a specific job. If you have an interest, we will find someone to train you. There is no compensation offered to be an IFWTWA volunteer.

We really value the contribution of our volunteers. We hope you will consider joining us because the reality of it is that if we don’t find a chair and workers for a committee, we cannot offer those services and benefits.

2019 Committees & Volunteer Opportunities

Following is a list of our 2019 committees. Every committee can use volunteers. Some programs already have chairs, others do not. Contact the chair for additional info. Contact Linda Kissam for those committees that do not have a chair. We have committee & volunteer descriptions for you to review on the website.

Annual Awards:
Once a year we call for volunteers to review article submissions and scholarship candidates then vote for the best of the best. 
~ Hospitality Scholarship – Marie [email protected]
~ Journalism Award – Allen [email protected] 

Big Blend Radio Benefit Program Coordinator – Open.
Solicit & book participants, coordinate with Big Blend hosts, post show announcements, maintain website pages and calendar, etc. 
Contact Adrianne [email protected]

Media Trips – Open.
Needs Chair and 2 committee members:
A domestic trips coordinator, an international trips coordinator, and a person to create trip announcements & results articles on the website.
This is our most intense committee. It requires up to ten hours a week at its busiest times. Some weeks there will be as little as one hour per week. This position is best suited to those who are well organized, can handle several things going all at once, has patience and excellent people skills. The Chair is generally is a board position. Contact Linda [email protected]

Membership – Open.
This program needs to be revised and updated.
The Chair is generally a board position. Contact Sue [email protected]

Press Pass Editor – Open.
Solicit and create content, enter newsletter & post article on the website.
Contact Adrianne [email protected] or Chris [email protected]

Professional Development – Open.
Best suited to those who can create content & coordinate training videos for publication on website & YouTube. Give input on seminars to be offered at our annual conferences.
Contact Linda  [email protected]

Public Blog (news/articles/announcements) –
Contact Deirdre Michalski [email protected]

Social Media Team
Expertise & time to regularly post and grow IFWTWA's social media engagement: Instagram, Facebook, Linkedin, Pinterest, Twitter & YouTube
Contact Tom Westerhof [email protected] 

Volunteer here!

Board Notes

by Linda Kissam

Laptop & White Coffee Cup Ocean Mountain View

Officer Approvals

Mary Farah is now our Secretary. Mary leaves her Social Media Committee to take on this officer position. She has been training with Adrianne Morrison for the past few weeks and Adrianne will stay on as her mentor as the need arises.

Linda Milks is now the 1st VP position. As chair of the 2019 Conference, this title will help secure her a stronger position in her negotiations with the various entities she is dealing with. I also value her input and look forward to her thoughtful counsel at the executive board level.

New Board Members

Chris Cutler and Tom Westerhof were voted in as our newest board members. Chris will be taking over FWT. Tom will be taking over Social Media. Both have stellar recommendations, have been with the association 2+ years and come with the skills we need to advance our directives.
Web Contractor

It has been evident for several months that despite the promise the new website could be run by volunteers, it cannot be that way right now. I have spent many hours with Adrianne Morrison going over the number of volunteer hours she has been spending (think full-time) which includes some help from our admin and what needs to be done to get the new website up, running and looking more professional (Yes, we heard from many members that current look, color scheme and format is not as professional as it could and should be.) Adrianne presented a Web Content Contractor proposal to the board and it was approved. 

Basically we will be spending the rest of the allotted web site budget on this part time position for one year. At the end of one year, we will review if the website can be run by volunteers with our administrator as backup. As a result of accepting the paid contractor position, Adrianne has resigned from the board to avoid any conflict of interest.

Top 2019 Priorities

Each year, the Board decides where its priorities will be for the next 12 months. The following have been approved by the board.

  1. Revise 2019 Bylaws to clean up inconsistencies, add in historical off-the book policies, and reflect 21st century technology changes – Linda will chair.

  2. Hire contractor to complete and revise look of Website – Sue will hire and supervise.

  3. Revise the membership committee with the goal to increase membership by 5% and revise benefits – Chair TBD.

2019 Committees

Conference 2019 – Linda Milks Chair with Allen Cox as mentor and Andrew Harris as Culinary Advisor. Mary Farah will also be on this committee.

Hospitality Scholarship – Marie Annick Courtier

Journalism Award – Allen Cox

Marketing – Linda Kissam. Note: Needs Big Blend Coordinator

Media Trips - Open

Membership – Board needs to revise focus and goals. Open

Press Pass – Open

Professional Development - Open

Public Blog/News – Deirdre Michalski. Will work with contractor for now, but will likely need to be under Social Media in the future. 

Social Media – Tom Westerhof

Have questions? Would you like to volunteer your time for any continuing or open committee? Contact any board member for assistance.

Member Recognitions

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 bring you to a whole new level of achievement. Way to go!


Andrew Der 

Andrew Harris

Karsten Boone
Beth Graham

* * * * * 


Pamela Baker
Pam and Gary Baker

Charles Prevatte
Food, Wine, Beer, Travel

Donnie Sexton
Donnie Sexton


Folks toasting with wine glasses

Connect with fellow IFWTWA experts. Join Social Circles and participate in Community Forums on IFWTWA's website. Meet members in our private Facebook Members Group. Follow members and connect for retweets, "Like" member's posts and pages, attend events, our conference, and volunteer.


IFWTWA Members-Only Facebook Group
Important and timely information posted daily
Job leads, media trips, help with social media, writing opportunities 

Weekly sharing threads for social media.

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We're looking for Regional Directors to plan
Regional Networking & Team Building Events



Board of Directors and Committees

Chris Cutler, Editor

IFWTWA | Murrieta, CA | 877-IFWTWA-9