And the winner is? The Golden Pen Award 2012

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I won a travel-writing award this year: the Croatian Tourist Board Golden Pen award for the best travel article 2012.

The story, 1,244 Dalmatians, first appeared in Wanderlust magazine, who reported on my award in their news section.

The piece documents a trip around the islands in the Dalmatian archipelago, including Brac, where I stayed with Lidija and Josko Ivanovic (pictured above) at Pension Lidija.

Here’s an extract:

That night I checked into a simple but homely guesthouse, a short stroll from the sunset-bathed harbour in the town of Sutivan. Owners Lidija and Josko Ivanovic greeted me with smiles, passing out dried figs and a bottle of homemade brandy through the beaded kitchen curtain.

As we sat on the terrace, surrounded by potted-plant geraniums and shrouded by a canopy of vines overhead, the evening sun bounced off the white-painted pizza oven and the church of the Ascension of Mary chimed a greeting. We had just met but I already regarded Lidija and Josko as a favourite aunt and uncle and I slept soundly that night like a little boy visiting long-lost relatives.

You can also read the full story.

Was this story a worthy winner? Did I capture the essence of Croatia in this piece?

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