Genealogy Series Wins First Place in Mark Twain Travel Journalist Awards



Midwest Travel Journalist Association

Phone: 319-529-1109

Email: [email protected]

Jody Halsted Honored by Travel Journalists Association

Jody Halsted received the First Place Digital Alternative Award from the Midwest Travel Journalists Association, Inc. (MTJA) on October 8, during the organization’s 2022 Mark Twain Travel Journalist Awards ceremony held in Mammoth Lakes, California.


The 3-part podcast series, about visiting The Genealogy Center in Fort Wayne, Indiana and furthering your genealogy research, was chosen for being ” hugely informative and offered abundant motivation to get on the road, both to visit Fort Wayne and to search beyond. Also offers vital tips for pursuing further research wherever in the world it leads.”

The annual Mark Twain Travel Journalist Awards recognizes the best work done by MTJA members in 11 separate categories covering both traditional and new media. This year’s contest celebrates the work in the broad category of travel reporting published or broadcast from July 1, 2021-June 30, 2022. Additionally, each year, one of the professionals is honored as the “best of the best” and is named the “Mark Twain Travel Journalist of the Year.” All winners receive cash awards, certificates and well-deserved recognition for their work.

“It is such a privilege to be part of an organization that has such a staggering amount of talent and craftsmanship among its membership,” says Todd Wessell, president of MTJA. “It was a joy and an honor to have the opportunity to read over some of the best and most incredible travel stories I’ve ever come across. I’d like to extend a heartfelt and enthusiastic congratulations to all of the award winners for their superb work.”

This year’s program awarded prizes for published stories, broadcasts and/or photography in 11 categories: Culinary, Photojournalism, Digital Alternative, Magazine (Domestic), Magazine (International), Short Copy, Photography, Newspaper (Domestic), Newspaper (International), Recent Site, and Midwest Destinations. Overall, there were 178 contest entries from 25 active media members.

The 2022 Mark Twain Awards were sponsored by Central Missouri’s Lake of the Ozarks, Columbia (Mo.) Convention and Visitors Bureau, Destination Door County, Wisconsin; and Visit Fulton (Mo.).

The Midwest Travel Journalists Association, Inc. encourages a high level of professionalism and ethical practice among its members and within the travel industry as a whole. MTJA Active members live and work in a 13-state area that includes Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin. As travel writers, reporters, photographers, freelance writers, book authors, bloggers and editors, they work for nearly 300

publications, blogs and broadcasts reaching a regional, national and international audience via traditional and new/social media.

Associate and Alternate Associate members represent city, state and regional tourism destinations within the group’s membership area, as well as international travel destinations, major travel-related businesses and other entities.

For more information on Midwest Travel Journalists Association, Inc., please visit

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