Ken Budd’s China Voluntourism Story Wins Gold Prize for Travel Writing
A story focusing on Ken Budd’s volunteer work in China won gold on Friday in the annual North American Travel Journalists Association (NATJA) awards competition, which honors outstanding work in travel media.
The piece, called “Special Needs,” tells the story of Ken’s experiences working with an autistic child in Xi’an (who appears in Ken’s book, The Voluntourist) via the nonprofit organization Global Volunteers. The essay won in the “Cultural, Educational, Self Improvement” category. Ken was also a finalist in two categories for an essay he wrote titled “Holding Elijah” on the controversies surrounding volunteers who work in children’s home. The story was tied to his work in Kenya.
The NATJA competition, now in its 22nd year, honors the “best of the best” in travel writing, photojournalism, social media, multimedia platforms, advertising, marketing and public relations for the travel and tourism industry. This year, NATJA received more than 600 submissions from around the world. The Voluntourist won silver in the book category in the 2012 NATJA awards and also won silver in the 2013 Nautilus Book Awards.