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Texas Auto Writers Association Announces the 2023 Excellence in Craft Competition and Texas Truck Invitational Awardees

Monday, November 27, 2023 5:19 PM | Teia Collier (Administrator)

The Texas Auto Writers Association (TAWA) is pleased to announce the winners of the 2023 Excellence in Craft Competition and Texas Truck Invitational.

Launched in 2007, The Texas Auto Writers Association Excellence in Craft Competition has moved forward with the goal of featuring, recognizing and encouraging excellence in automotive journalism and content creation. Together with the Texas Truck Invitational competition, TAWA invites members along with non-members from around the globe to enter their works in exclusive categories related exclusively to truck and truck-adjacent writing.

"Once again, the entries displayed a cross-section of the best in automotive journalism and were both consistently of a high quality and impressive in their competitive categories" said Teia Collier, President. "TAWA offers our thanks to all our judges for sharing their time and energy reading, watching and listening to the submissions entered in this year’s competition."

Thank you to Kristin Shaw for facilitating, Daryl Killian, Kevin McCarthy, Jaime Florez, Steven Cole Smith, Harvey Briggs, Jason Fogelson, Jared Rosenholtz, Amelia Dalgaard and Chris Teague for their assistance with judging the dynamic entries.

2023 Awardees: 


3rd: Sean Tajipour (Jeep Gladiator) 

JUDGE: An inviting scene that highlights what makes the Gladiator unique.  

2nd: Jill Ciminillo (Ioniq 6) 

JUDGE: Beautiful tones of gray and blue throughout the image — a great combination of subject and setting.

1st: One Off productions (Kia Stinger) 

JUDGE: Falling leaves, low perspective, and canopy of trees give a great sense of speed.


3. GT Garage Talk: Racing for a Cause with Bryant Blakemore

2. AutoNetwork Reports: Inside the Modern Car Industry  

1. In Wheel Time: Solar Car Challenge.

JUDGE: I chose this "In Wheel Time Car Talk" podcast for a couple of reasons. First the topic is timely and much needed for the industry and for the opportunity that the program offers for the future generations. Also, it's a testament to the effort involved in editing down a Live radio show to an interesting podcast.


2. In Wheel Time: So, what is holding Americans back from widespread EV adoption?

1. The Car Pro Radio Show: Randy Parker Interview (Hyundai)

JUDGE: Very nice interview with the right person, entertaining and informative, about a brand that has been conquering more and more happy customers every year, not only in the US, but also in the rest of the world, due to their ability to bring to the market innovative and high-quality products.


3. 1 Off Productions  

2. The Fast Lane Truck

1.  GT Premium Reviews

JUDGE: I had never seen this reviewer before, but the cinematography is excellent with great music and editing at the opening. This is a very polished product.


3. WHM Automotive Media (Sean Tajipour): Nissan Z

2. Raiti’s Rides: Ford Mustang GT

1. Crankshaft Culture: Alcan Rally

JUDGE: The quality of this real is excellent, as is the copy. It really gives the viewer a sense of the pleasure and the pain of such an adventure.


3. Ricardo Rodriguez-Long: Hopes of Argentina

2. Mercedes Lilienthal: 10 States, 2,400 Miles and More Than 100 Classic Cars

1. Holli Fourniquet: Celebrating Black History Month with The Custom Truckers Car Club

JUDGE: A wonderful feel-good story about an African-American truck club that does more than show off its ’55 -’59 Chevy Task Force pickups – it does good in the community.


3. Cory Fourniquet: 2023 Chrysler Pacifica eHybrid Pinnacle: Better than a Telluride or Tahoe?

2. Mercedes Lilienthal: First Drive: Production-Ready INEOS Grenadier 4×4

1. Jim Nelson: Genesis G80

JUDGE: Jim's review of the Genesis G80 balanced key facts with an assessment of features and drivability in a way that made the review engaging and easy to read.


2. Holli Fourniquet: Celebrating Black History Month with The Custom Truckers Car Club

1. Mercedes Lilienthal: From The Driver’s Seat: 2022 Rebelle Rally – A Journey And Adventure

JUDGE: Mercedes’ recap of the 2022 Rebelle Rally was thorough and engaging. I felt as though I were there!


3: Cory Fourniquet: 2023 Ford F-150 Raptor R: Better than the Ram TRX in Many Ways

2. David Boldt: RAMBO: FIRST BLOOD 6.2

1. Mercedes Lilienthal: His and Hers Mitsubishi Pajeros

JUDGE: This quirky vehicle deserves its time in the spotlight, and Mercedes and Andy did a fantastic job teaching us about it.




Mercedes and Andy Lilienthal: His and Hers Mitsubishi Pajeros

Congratulations to all of this year's winners, and we look forward to seeing more fantastic content from our community.




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