Travel Literature Award Winners

2017 Edith and Eric Friedheim Lifetime Achievement Awards

for Distinguished Travel Literature Award Winners


William Least Heat-Moon has ancestry of both Native American and Euro-American lineages. His ancestry is reflected in his names: the Trogdon family name comes from his Euro-American lineage, and the Heat-Moon name reflects his Native American lineage. William’s father is Heat-Moon, his elder brother is Little Heat-Moon, and he is thus Least Heat-Moon.[1] Born in Kansas City, Missouri, Least Heat-Moon grew up in Missouri and attended the University of Missouri, where he earned bachelor’s, master’s, and Ph.D. degrees in English as well as a bachelor’s degree in photojournalism. He was a member of the Beta-Theta chapter of Tau Kappa Epsilon, and he also served as a professor of English at the university.



Paulette Cooper Noble, author of 23 books and winner of 8 writing awards — two for her travel writing — started her career off with a splash.  Not literally because she didn’t fall off a ship.  But at the age of 28, she successfully stowed away for a week on one, namely the famed Leonardo Da Vinci. Her experiences became her first travel article, which appeared in The Sunday Times of London and was picked up by other press all over the world. Her story was also optioned for a movie and she appeared on many radio and TV shows discussing her daring experience. Soon, her travel articles were appearing in such prestigious markets as The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Christian Science Monitor, Cosmopolitan etc. She developed a column called “Travel Tips,” carried by the National Press Syndicate, that appeared regularly in 40 newspapers throughout America. At the same time, she also wrote for the trade publications, and her articles, mostly on hotels and cruises, appeared regularly in Eric Friedheim’s Travel Agent magazine, and also occasionally in Travel Trade and incentive travel trade publications. In 2001 she wrote the first book on what was to become a major trend for the travel industry: destination weddings.  Her book, “The Most Romantic Resorts for Destination Weddings, Honeymoons & Renewals,” described 135 hotels and cruise ships in the Caribbean, Mexico, Hawaii and the US., that featured these soon-to-be- popular events. After moving to Florida in 2004, she wrote a booklet about her home town of Palm Beach, and she then began writing a series of popular books on South Florida shopping sites and where shoppers should go.  She still specializes in cruises, and has a current “Cruise Column” in Florida Women/Florida Men magazine.  She also wrote and narrated a film on a cruise through Cuba. The video was done by her 5-time Emmy-award winning husband, Paul Noble. She and her husband are also currently co-presidents of the world-wide prestigious Circumnavigator Club’s Palm Beach chapter.


David G. Molyneaux is an award-winning writer and editor who has been guiding travelers and armchair readers for more than 30 years. David specializes in cruises, cruise ships, and tales from ports around the world. He writes for newspapers, their websites, and for other sites on the Internet. He is cruise columnist for the Miami Herald and the Dallas Morning News, a regular contributor to the Cleveland Plain Dealer, editor of, blogger for AllThingsCruise and TheTravelMavenBlog, and is a frequent contributor to, which reproduces the American Forces Radio Travel Show that daily reaches more than two million people around the world in 180 countries. David is president of the Society of American Travel Writers Foundation, which oversees the distinguished annual Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Competition. For more than 20 years, David was Travel Editor of The Plain Dealer in Cleveland, Ohio. He was editor of two books: Fairways, America’s Greatest Golf Resorts and 75 Years, An Informal History of Shaker Heights.



Michael Moran has led a varied and adventurous life. Born and educated in Australia and Europe, he spent his twenties wandering the islands of Polynesia and Melanesia. Subsequently he obtained a position at a Swiss Educational Foundation in London where he lectured on a variety of subjects ranging from the music of Fryderyk Chopin and François Couperin to British art and architecture and the colonial history and culture of the South Pacific region. At the same time he pursued a career in music studying the piano and harpsichord professionally. His historical novel, Point Venus, set on Norfolk Island in the South Pacific, a former British penal settlement and home to the descendants of the Mutiny on the Bounty, was successfully published in Australia (Brandl & Schlesinger, Sydney 1998). Posted for some years to Poland shortly after the fall of communism, his life-long fascination with Melanesia drew him to the work of the enigmatic Polish anthropologist, Bronisław Malinowski. This inspired a return to the South Seas to research and write Beyond the Coral Sea : Travels in the Old Empires of the South-West Pacific (HarperCollins, London 2004). No literary travel book covering the island provinces of Papua New Guinea had been written for a hundred years. The book was short-listed in a group of six titles for the prestigious Thomas Cook Travel Book Award in the UK. He visited and worked in Poland on many occasions during the early 1990s, finally settling there permanently in 2004. His experience of the country and its people resulted in the widely reviewed A Country in the Moon : Travels in Search of the Heart of Poland (Granta, London 2008). The book remains in print and is now regarded as the classic introduction to the country for the intelligent general reader. He has recently, over a period of six years, completed the biography of a glamorous but forgotten Australian concert pianist who performed for royalty and the aristocracy in the London, Paris and French Riviera of the 1920s and 1930s. It was published in November 2016 by Australian Scholarly Publishing under the title The Pocket Paderewski: The Beguiling Life of the Australian Concert Pianist Edward Cahill. He has been a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society in London for many years, has lectured there on both Papua New Guinea and Poland and is an incessant traveller. He lives in Warsaw. Website:


Les Standiford is the author of twenty-one books, including the critically acclaimed works of non-fiction, Last Train to Paradise:  Henry Flalger and the Spectacular Rise and Fall of the Railroad that Crossed an Ocean –a History Channel Top Ten Pick & the One Read choice of more than a dozen public library systems; Meet You in Hell:  Andrew Carnegie, Henry Clay Frick and the Bitter Partnership that Transformed America, and Washington Burning: How a Frenchman’s Vision for Our Nation’s Capital Survived Congress, the Founding Fathers, and the Invading British Army–both publisher’s nominees for the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Awards; The Man Who Invented Christmas:  How Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol Rescued His Career and Revived our Holiday Spirits (a New York Times Editors Choice); Bringing Adam Home:  The Abduction that Changed America (a New York Times best-seller); and most recently, Water to the Angels:  William Mulholland, His Monumental Aqueduct & the Rise of Los Angeles, a featured alternate of the History Book Club.  He is also the author of ten novels, including the acclaimed John Deal mystery series as well as the stand-alone thrillers Black Mountain and Spill (adapted as a feature film).  He has received the Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers Award, the Frank O’Connor Award for Short Fiction, and Fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities. He is Founding Director of the Creative Writing Program at Florida International University in Miami and was appointed holder of the Peter Meinke Chair in Creative Writing at Eckerd College for the Spring of 2016.