2021 Michael Jacobs Travel Writing Grant Proceedings
2 de Febrero de 2021

2021 Michael Jacobs Travel Writing Grant Proceedings

The judging panel, comprised of J. S. Tennant, Daniel Samper Pizano and Jon Lee Anderson declared Santiago Wills as the winner and gave an honorable mention to Santiago Tejedor.
Jurado de la Beca Michael Jacobs 2021: J. S. Tennant, ganador de la edición 2020, y Daniel Samper Pizano y Jon Lee Anderson, maestros de la Fundación Gabo.

The 2021 Michael Jacobs Travel Writing Grant judging panel, comprised of Jon Lee Anderson (United States), Daniel Samper Pizano (Colombia), and J.S. Tennant (United Kingdom), met virtually on January 28, 2021 to choose the winning proposal from a total of 256 book or travel article projects on Latin America or Spain. 

The 7th edition of this Grant, awarded by the Gabo Foundation, the Hay Festival, and the Michael Jacobs Foundation, had the largest number of applicants since its creation in 2015.

After deliberation, the judging panel decided to announce a winner and an honorable mention in recognition of two solid, interesting proposals of great journalistic depth that stood out from the rest of the participants. 

The judging panel unanimously declared: 


Santiago Wills (Colombia)

For the project titled

'La sombra del jaguar: apresando el espíritu de América' (The Jaguar’s Shadow: Capturing the Spirit of the Americas)

Santiago Wills proposes a biography of the jaguar, the great American feline, following its trail on a series of journeys through Honduras, Colombia, Suriname, and Brazil.

The judging panel highlighted the quality of the author’s prose, as well as the originality and relevance of his proposal, which seeks to narrate the jaguar’s significance to the places where it dwells and the people around it, as well as increase awareness of this endangered species in the process. 

Honorable mention

Santiago Tejedor 

For the project titled

'Viaje por el río Napo. Crónica de dos orillas' (Journey Down the Napo River. Chronicle of Two Riverbanks)

Tejedor proposes a 700-kilometer journey down the Napo river, between Ecuador and Peru, to narrate the lives of people who, by means of the river, have fled the drought and environmental devastation of their native lands.

For the judging panel, this is a project that stands out for its careful planning and its pursuit of unknown stories and original angles about the place which continuously draws long-form journalists in—the Amazon. 



January 30, 2021 

Jon Lee Anderson   

Daniel Samper Pizano    

J. S. Tennant


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