Meet the 2011 NewNowNext Travel Awards Nominating Academy

The nominees for the 2011 NewNowNext Travel Awards were chosen by an academy of seasoned travel writers who contribute to world-class publications such as Conde Nast Traveler, The New York Times, New York Magazine, the Financial Times, as well as prominent LGBT outlets. Between them, they’ve visited every continent and practically every country, state and hotspot on the planet.

Nominees were selected on the criterion of how buzzworthy, rewarding and popular they as destinations, companies or events. We love places and people that are progressive, adventurous and creative. We value companies who treat all travelers with respect, who provide service and value, and who sometimes just knock out socks off with full-on pampering! All of these factors were taken into consideration in selecting who you’ll be voting for.

And above, all the academy members chose nominees that will hopefully get your heart racing. Travel is a passionate experience, and we hope you feel passionate about our nominees.

Meet our academy – and visit their links to discover their work!

2011 NewNowNext Travel Awards Nominating Academy

Dan Allen is a Berlin-based contributor to numerous international publications and sites, including Out, the Miami Herald, AOL Travel, Passport, Metrosource, Private Islands, The Advocate, and He is also the LGBT contributing writer for the Manhattan section of, and the European editor of and

Ondine Cohane was born in Ireland, moved to England and then to Italy, traveled with her family throughout Europe, and went to eight schools all before she turned 12--all which might explain her nomadic lifestyle. She has been a Contributing Editor for Conde Nast Traveler since 2002 and she considers both southern Tuscany and New York home. Ondine also writes for the New York Times, Bon Appetit, and GQ, among other publications.

British-born, New York-based Mark Ellwood is a host and producer for luxury network Plum TV’s “Local Currency." Mark also writes regularly for the Financial Times Weekend and “How To Spend It” Magazine, “W” magazine and “Departures”. Favorite assignments have included interviewing the world’s oldest supermodel (she’s 75 and counting), and confirming where & when men first slipped into a speedo (Sydney, 1961).

Darren Frei served as an editor of The Out Traveler and contributing editor at The Advocate newsmagazine from 2003 to 2007. As ShermansTravel Media’s editorial director, Frei orchestrated the launch of 300 comprehensive online destination guides and 13 blogs, worked as editor-in-chief at Smart Luxury Travel magazine, and has been instrumental in positioning as a leading source of content and advice.

Adam H. Graham is a freelance travel writer based in Brooklyn and Zurich. He writes for the NYT, T+L, Conde Nast Travel, Wall Street Journal, Details, Art + Auction, National Geographic Travel and others.

Merryn Johns has worked in LGBT journalism for over 15 years. She became the longest-serving editor of LOTL magazine in her native Australia, and the founding editor-in-chief of NYC-based BOUND magazine. She is presently the editor-in-chief of the leading lesbian national magazine, Curve. She feels blessed to work and live in NYC, while hoping to get back to Sydney, her other favorite city, every now and then.

Raphael Kadushin is a regular contributor to National Geographic Traveler, Conde Nast Traveler,, and Out. He is also senior acquisitions editor at the University of Wisconsin Press, his own anthologies include Wonderlands: Good Gay Travel Writing and Big Trips: More Good Gay Travel Writing.

Heidi Mitchell is a journalist and editor with a focus on travel and trends. Her work has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, T: The New York Times Style Magazine, the Financial Times, Travel + Leisure, and Architectural Digest. Mitchell lives in New York City with her husband and three children.

Kevin Raub is a Brazil-based travel and entertainment journalist who cut his teeth covering celebs and rockers, and who for the last decade has scoured the globe for a variety of publications, including Travel + Leisure, Robb Report, Town & Country, American Way, Private Clubs, and the New York Post, among others. Raub is the co-author of several Lonely Planet guides, as well as the bi-monthly organic column, "The Green Guy’s Grooming Guide," which appears in Organic Spa.

Charles Runnette is a New York-based travel writer who freelances for various newspapers, magazines and websites including the NYT, NY Post, New York magazine, The Robb Report, Virtuoso Life, American Way and Some of his favorite spots are: Mongolia for ghost chasing, Dubai for the absurd nightlife and Chile for the fantastic wine. When not traveling, he's working away as Logo's Editorial Director.

Gay travel expert Ed Salvato writes for a wide range of LGBT travel outlets, and is the call-in travel expert on two major radio programs. He was recently elected to the Board of the International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association, and is the managing director of OutThink Partners, a boutique marketing/communications agency).

Emma Sloley is a New York-based freelance travel and style writer whose background includes a 6-year stint as an editor at Harper’s Bazaar Australia. She is a contributing editor for Flare magazine,, and Gourmet Traveller, and regularly contributes to publications such as Travel + Leisure, New York and Virtuoso Life. She divides her time between New York, Mexico and Australia. You can follow her here

Duane Wells is a leading travel and lifestyle expert, contributing to a number of travel and lifestyle publications in the U.S., U.K. and Canada. He authors a blog for MoxieQ Media entitled Living Wells: My Life in Luggage covering everything from the latest travel trends to the hottest destinations. He is presently working on a collection of short essays, a reality series and various other travel-related projects.

Now that you've met the Academy, please go VOTE for your favorite nominees in the 2011 NewNowNext Travel Awards!

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