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Glyndŵr University lecturer wins travel writing award


Photo: Glyndŵr University lecturer David Atkinson with daughters Maya (7) and Olivia (3) on board the Barbie Cruise.

A written account of life aboard a Barbie-themed cruise has scooped a national award for a Glyndŵr University lecturer.

David Atkinson, senior lecturer in journalism and media communications, won the best transport/specialist feature category at the 2013 British Guild of Travel Writers awards.

David’s winning piece, ‘Afloat on a sea of pink’, detailed his experiences aboard a Royal Caribbean Cruise Line’s Barbie Cruise with his two daughters, Maya, seven, and three-year-old Olivia.

“I'm always telling my students to find an original angle for their features,” said David, who works as a freelance travel writer alongside his lecturing role.

“I think with the Barbie cruise I took my own advice and found a really unusual angle. For me, that's why this piece was selected for a travel-writing award on Sunday night.”

The British Guild of Travel Writers is an association of media professionals whose work is centred around travel. It includes journalists, authors, editors, photographers and broadcasters.

The awards recognise some of the best work in the field over the last 12 months, including categories such as best destination feature, best European feature and Writer and Photographer of the Year awards.

David collected his prize on Sunday 3 November at a dinner at the Savoy Hotel, London, held on the eve of the World Travel Market, an event which attracts industry professionals from across the world.

David’s winning feature took readers on a journey through life on-board, taking in its multi-cultural feel, with hundreds of children across the world attracted by the opportunity to spend a few days in a world of Barbie.

The account was brought to life with anecdotes of his first ever cruise experience and warming family moments.

David added: “I'd like to think that it made readers think about the way dads are often undervalued, yet many make a huge contribution to the life of young children.”

Afloat on a sea of pink can be read online at

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