20 March 2012 – Auckland – Auckland’s Charles Anderson won the Cathay Pacific Travel Writer of the Year Award and Timaru’s Natasha Martin took the Cathay Pacific Travel Photographer of the Year Award, presented tonight at the Travel Media Awards Gala Dinner at the Heritage Auckland’s Grand Tearoom.
Wellington author Peter Riordan won the Travcom Travel Book of the Year Award for Gods of the Stones – Travels in the Middle East (David Bateman Publishing).
The Cathay Pacific Travel Media and Travel Book awards are organised by Travcom (New Zealand Travel Communicators) to celebrate excellence in travel writing and photography……
……Wellington author Peter Riordan won the top prize at the tenth annual Travcom Travel Book of the Year Award for Gods of the Stones – Travels in the Middle East (David Bateman Publishing). Christchurch writer Pat Deavoll received a Highly Commended certificate for Wind from a Distant Summit (Craig Potton Publishing).
The Travcom Travel Book of the Year Award was judged by: writer, editor, book promoter, and teacher Dorothy Vinicombe; Paul Hewlett, a writer and public relations consultant from Auckland and a member of the Board of New Zealand Book Month; and Finlay Macdonald, journalist, broadcaster, former editor of the New Zealand Listener and former commissioning editor with Penguin New Zealand.
“The book entries were a diverse selection, from an ebook to a masterful history of New Zealand train journeys and various intimate self-published travel memoirs,” said chief judge Dorothy Vinicombe. “The best of these were distinguished by their ambition to rise above the mere retelling of a journey, to develop a theme and offer a more reflective account of what it means to travel, and to be a traveller. All of the entrants can be proud of what they have achieved, but our choice of winner was clear and unanimous.”
“Peter Riordan’s Gods of the Stones – Travels in the Middle East stood out from the rest,” added Vinicombe. “It provides a fascinating contemporary insight to the places and societies in which many stories from the New Testament are set. Above all the book contains many instances of fine writing.”
Riordan has been a previous runner-up of this award in 2007, with his book Strangers in My Sleeper.
The awards were hosted by the delightful Te Radar (Andrew J Lumsden), an award winning satirist, documentary maker, writer, stage and screen director, failed gardener, television presenter and amateur historian.