The SATW Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Competition is the first established,
broad-based independent competition recognizing excellence in the field of travel journalism.



Quick overview — have you prepared your entry correctly?

Read the following instructions carefully. When done, scroll down to submit your photos.


      • File size and format: JPEG files, preferably at least 3000 pixels (on the long side) at 300 PPI with a file size not to exceed 6MB.
      • Photos entered must have been shot between July 1, 2019 and June 30, 2021 and have not won a cash award in a previous Muster competition. Any photos shot outside of this time period will be disqualified. Please be prepared to submit metadata information that provides capture dates and times if requested.
      • For Single Subject photos: Please be ready to submit a brief 1-2 sentence description of your single subject.


Number of entries:

      • Photographer of the Year portfolios: (no less than) 20 images
      • Single Subject portfolios: (no less than) 10 images (may enter two for a total of 20 images, or one SS and up to 10 images in individual categories).
      • Individual Category competition: Enter up to 20 images total to be judged only within their category, not as a complete portfolio.


Naming files (see “file naming procedures” for details). Any photo file names that do not follow the described naming procedure will be disqualified:

      • POTY — example: 01_7898GD_POY_Cul1_19.jpg
      • SS — example: 01_7898GD_SS1_Cul1_19.jpg
      • Individual Category — example: 7898GD_Cul1_20.jpg


Category abbreviations for file names:

      • Action/Adventure – Act
      • Animal – Ani
      • Cultural – Cul
      • Natural Scenic – Nat
      • People General – PG
      • People Portraits – PP


Not allowed: altering photos by adding or removing objects, backgrounds, or skies; compositing by combining two or more photos with different elements such as a moon; adding colors or textures not in the original capture; and other major alterations that transform the image into something significantly different than the original capture.


The submission period is open from July 1, 2021 to August 7, 2021 at 11:59pm ET.


Muster Disqualification

In previous Muster competitions, a number of photos and portfolios were disqualified because some entrants did not follow competition rules.  Some photos submitted were taken prior to the allowable two-year time limit. Others failed to follow naming guidelines and lacked category, date, and/or photographer ID number.


All photos taken outside the two-year time limit or that do not follow the naming guidelines will be automatically disqualified. This may include your entire portfolio being disqualified. All entrants should be prepared to submit metadata as necessary that verifies your photos were taken within the stated two-year time frame.


Important: Repeat offenders will not be permitted to enter the competition the following year.


Helpful Resources:

Submission Options
Rules and Requirements 
Submission Procedures
File Naming Procedures

Are you ready to submit your entry? Click the “submit” button underneath the category you’d like to enter.

Photographer of the Year Portfolio (20 photos)

Single Subject Portfolio (10 photos)

Individual Category – People Portrait

Individual Category – People General

Individual Category – Natural Scenic

Individual Category – Culture

Individual Category – Action/Adventure

Individual Category – Animal