2019 Excellence in Journalism Award

Jacqui Gibson wins the 2019 Excellence in Journalism Award for her article “The Kings of Creole"Jacqui’s background includes a 20-year writing career that spans newspaper reporting, magazine feature writing and general communications. 

Woman alone on bridge with binoculars searching for whales

New Zealand writer Jacqui Gibson scanning New Zealand’s
Cook Strait for humpback whales from the bridge of a Bluebridge Ferry.
On assignment, November 2019.

Jacqui's winning article first appeared in Heritage New Zealand magazine and tells the story of New Orleans chefs and food historians who worked to preserve the city’s unique culinary heritage in the years following the catastrophic devastation of Hurricane Katrina. This inspiring and compelling story is one of remarkable determination and cultural resilience.

For her Kings of Creole story, Jacqui and husband Richard spent more than a week in Crescent City meeting chefs, talking to waiting staff and exploring the cuisine of New Orleans. Following her visit, she wrote six stories for six different publications, some of which are now available to read on her website, www.jacquigibsonwriter.co. Jacqui travels to the US annually to explore the country's rich food, wine and travel scene for readers in New Zealand and abroad. Next destinations on the list? Puerto Rico, Florida Keys and Chicago.


Every year, IFWTWA extends an invitation for regular members to submit their best published work for the Excellence in Journalism Award. Qualifying entries for the 2019 award must have appeared in a print or digital publication or as a blog post from November 1, 2018 to October 31, 2019. All entries were reviewed and evaluated by a professional editor and scored based on four elements: mechanics, tone, style and structure.

The many entries submitted made 2019 an extremely competitive year for the Excellence in Journalism Awards, exemplifying the professional journalistic standards that IFWTWA members consistently strive to meet.

Ms. Gibson received an award certificate, press and social media coverage, and a US$500 cash prize. Please join us in congratulating Jacqui on this achievement.

Learn more about IFWTWA’s Excellence in Journalism Award

Jacqui Gibson avatarJacqui Gibson

Kia ora, I'm a New Zealand freelancer based in Wellington, our capital city. I write about hiking and heritage travel; food, wine and gourmet travel; and road trip destinations. My latest travel stories explore New Zealand's Wairarapa wine region for US magazine AAA Traveler Worldwise and San Juan Island's National Historical Park for Heritage New Zealand magazine. 

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