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2020 TAWA Excellence In Craft Competition Winners

Sunday, October 25, 2020 2:23 PM | Amy Plemons (Administrator)

Texas Auto Writers Association Announces Excellence in Craft Competition Winners for 2020

DALLAS (October 25, 2020) — Automotive journalists Kathy Locke, Mercedes Lilienthal, and The Fast Lane Truck team were among the top winners in the Texas Auto Writers Association’s 2020 journalism competition.

The award winners, who were announced Thursday, October 22, 2020 via livestream, included writers, photographers, designers and online content creators from across the United States who entered TAWA’s two contests: the Excellence in Craft Competition, which is only open to TAWA members, and the Texas Truck Invitational, which is open to any journalist who covers the truck industry.  

“This year’s TAWA Excellence in Craft Competition saw a record number of entries across the board,” said Aaron Starnes, TAWA board member and chair of the award programs. “Mercedes Lilienthal earned first place in the highly competitive writing segment for both the magazine and newspaper categories. Kathy Locke was a first-time winner of the Texas Truck Invitational Writing competition with her story about the Rebelle Rally. And ‘The Fast Lane Car’ and ‘The Fast Lane Truck’ entries took first and third in the video category.” 

Starnes said the panel of judges for the TAWA Excellence in Craft Competition are at the top of their fields, including John Pearley Huffman, Harvey Briggs, Steven Cole Smith, Stan Hulen, Chris Waits, Ivan Galvan, and Jaime Florez.



1st: Teia Collier, Dallas Single Mom, “First Drive: 2019 Ford Ranger Supercrew XL 4x4

2nd: Jason Fogelson, Forbes.com, “2019 Lexus GX460 Luxury Test Drive and Review: Dream On

3rd: Derek Price, Cargazing, “Italian Practicality Cranked Up


1st: Kathy Locke, Toyota Cruisers and Trucks magazine, “My Journey to Rebelle

2nd: (tie) Sue Mead, Outdoorx4, “Baja Boot-Maker Glickenhaus Now Races to Save Lives

2nd:(tie) Jonathan Hanson, Outdoorx4, “Super Duty Ford: Dilemma or Solution?



1st: Mercedes Lilienthal, Tread Magazine

2nd: Sue Mead, Automotive Map

3rd: Michael Satterfield, The Gentleman Racer

·       Scotty, Reiss, A Girls Guide to Cars. There’s some very good automotive journalism going on at Agirlsguidetocars.com. Founder Scotty Reiss and a solid roster of contributors would, as you’d expect, have a slightly different take on automotive journalism than the traditional white male author, and that’s a welcome addition to the plethora of fare out there.

·       Kristin V. Shaw, TODAY Parents. Kristin takes us for a 90-degree turn from where you think she’s headed in a moving column titled “My Dad Taught Me How to Recover From a Crash” at Community.today.com. Nicely done.

·       Natan Tazelaar, Vintage Motorsport magazine. Natan writes a detailed, comprehensive biography of the underrated Siata 208 S sports car.

·       G.R. Whale, Pickuptrucktalk.com. Greg hits all the right notes in his review of the Lexus GX460, making a fairly mundane SUV into something worth reading about.  


1st: Mercedes Lilienthal, New York Times, “Driving Across the Globe to Fight Child Trafficking

2nd: Jordan Golson, North State Journal, “Impressive excess: The 2020 Lexus LX 570 review

3rd: Mercedes Lilienthal, New York Times, “Life on the Road in Pandemic America


1st: The Automotive Reporter, Harold Gunn and Wayne Cronin, “Interview with Ford Historian Robert Kreipke: The History of the Model A

2nd: The Car Pro USA Radio Show, Jerry Reynolds, “Car Pro on the CEO of Ford

3rd: The Car Pro USA Radio Show, Jerry Reynolds, “Interview with Good Morning America's Adrienne Bankert


1st: GarageDeluxe, Greg Riley, “Rolls Royce Cullinan Test Drive” AND (tie) “History of Jaguar”

2nd: Jesus Garcia, The Drive, “Rebuilding high-school GMC

3rd: Bill Owney, MotorcarsNow.com, “Camry Hybrid Test Drive

VIDEO - Tie for First

1st: The Fast Lane Truck, Andre Smirnov, Tommy Mica, and Roman Mica; “Small Jeep vs. Large Ford Truck On the World’s Most Beautiful Trail! No Pavement Needed Ep. 2”  

2nd: Kitty’s Glam Rides, Natalie Merola-Garcia, “2021 Kia Seltos SX Turbo AWD: It’s Under $30K?!”  

3rd: (tie) CarProUSA, Amy Plemons; “2020 Lexus NX 300 F Sport Review

3rd: (tie) The Fast Lane Car, Roman Mica and Tommy Mica; “Nail Biter: We Race Two Budget Off-Roaders Up a 12,000 Foot Mountain Top! Montezuma Challenge Ep.1


1st: Mike Satterfield, The Gentleman Racer, “First Drive: 2020 Bentley Bentayga Speed”   

2nd: Kristin Shaw, Drive Mode Show, “Glowing Yellow and Stormy Sea Sonata at Four Peaks-Off Road, Arizona

3rd: Elias Garcia, Revmatch Media, “Super Lap Battle at COTA 2020


1st: Mazda, 2020 Mazda CX-30 Vehicle Press Kit

For judge comments and profiles click here. 



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