Inaugural Keith Bellows Award for Excellence in Travel Journalism Presented in Chapel Hill, NC
Thursday, June 22, 2017 07:53 PM

Keith Bellows Award for Excellence in Travel Journalism

Keith Bellows

The inaugural Keith Bellows Award for Excellence in Travel Journalism, sponsored by Visit Raleigh, was presented at the closing night event of the 2017 NATJA Conference to Keith's longtime friend, colleague, and NATJA member Andrew McCarthy, whose own work as a travel journalist embodies Keith's vision and passion for travel. The award was presented by Andrew Nelson, Editorial Projects Editor at National Geographic Traveler, who was first hired by Keith. The award honors the work of the late long time Editor-in-Chief of National Geographic Traveler who was a passionate lover of travel and a captivating storyteller. Special thanks to George Stone, current National Geographic Traveler Editor-in- Chief and Melina Bellows for their support in making this possible and to Visit Raleigh for their sponsorship of this award.

Keith Bellows Tribute by George Stone, Editor-in-Chief, National Geographic Traveler

Life was a quest for Keith. His mission was to search the world for new perspectives, ramble into serendipitous situations, ruffle a few feathers along the way, and, above all, seek awe. Keith’s unquenchable curiosity animated his work as an editor and inspired generations of explorers, from button-down journalists to bona fide weirdos, to open their hearts and minds to new experience. If we didn’t return home with a crackerjack tale, we’d best not return home at all. So it’s a daunting charge for me to follow in Keith’s footsteps as the editor of Traveler magazine. Keith gave me my first job out of college and it’s actually gotten harder ever day! All of us at National Geographic have been enriched by Keith. It is a tremendous honor to all of us who Keith encouraged and supported to know that his legacy will continue to sound the call for excellence in travel storytelling thanks to the NATJA award in his name. It’s fitting that Andrew McCarthy, a writer of grace and profound perception, should be the first to receive this prize. He and Keith were a mutual admiration society and everyone who loves travel writing has been a beneficiary of that mentorship and friendship. And it’s touching that Andrew Nelson, who in brilliant and charming ways carries on Keith’s maverick mission in travel, should have the pleasure of presenting this award, from one travel writer to another, in remembrance of a third, who got this whole beautiful, crazy celebration of wanderlust started in the first place.



Inaugural Keith Bellows Award for Excellence in Travel Journalism

Award designed by Silver Dollar City artisans, and provided
in collaboration with Branson Convention & Visitors Bureau

Keith Bellows Award for Excellence in Travel Journalism

Thank You to 

Visit Raleigh

for their Sponsorship