MarqueeArnold Wayne Jones, the executive editor of Dallas Voice and its resident travel writer, was named a finalist in the 25th annual awards presented by the North American Travel Journalists Association. The competition “honors ‘the best of the best’ in travel media,” the association said when announcing the awards. “Given the quality of the entries, the judging was not easy,” said association CEO Helen Hernandez. (Submissions rose by 20 percent compared to last year.)

The recognized story, “Phoenix rising” — about the colorful options available to LGBT travelers headed for metropolitan Phoenix — was named one of the six best entries in the category of Best Illustrated Story (Newspaper), which recognizes excellence in both writing and photography within the same piece.

Gold and silver awards were presented to the Bend, Ore. newspaper The Bulletin; a bronze award was presented to the Pique News in the same category. Another travel writer, for the Toronto Star, was also named a finalist for two stories (roughly equivalent to “honorable mentions”).

Awards were also announced in about 20 other categories available to print newspapers, including Dallas Voice; as well as magazines, online/internet based publications, radio and television and other categories, including public relations and travel bureaus.The grand prize was presented to the National Geographic Traveler for overall publication, and to writers from the Wall Street Journal and American Way magazine. (You can see the complete list of winner here.)

Jones won three Lone Star Awards last year from the Houston Press Club, including first place for Feature Story, third place for Criticism/Commentary and second place for Print Journalist of the Year, pictured. He previously won a Katie Award from the Press Club of Dallas for his restaurant criticism.