About Tim

Timothy Martin Smith was born in Morristown, New Jersey on July 21, 1971. Tim’s literary aspirations began at the age of 9 when he won the Charlotte’s Web Award presented by the Atlantic City Public Library. At the time, Tim was a student at Atlantic Friend’s School in Atlantic City, New Jersey. To win the award, he competed against students from other schools in the area.

Despite his love for writing, Tim postponed his ambitions of becoming an author to pursue his academic career. His ultimate goal was to write and teach after an early retirement. Tim’s academic career was nothing short of outstanding and was marked by several notable events and experiences.

In 1987 in the midst of the Reagan military build-up, Tim was part of Atlantic City High School’s “People to People” coalition that traveled to the then Soviet Union. The purpose of the month-long excursion was to help bridge the gaps that existed between our nations at the time.  After graduating in 1989, Tim traveled to China as part of a student group. The 23-day trip also took him to Hong Kong and Singapore.

Tim attended the University of Michigan and went on to obtain a bachelor’s degree in political science in 1992. During his tenure at Michigan, Tim continued to write recreationally and enjoyed works of fiction and non-fiction related to travel, government, espionage, and adventure. While at Michigan, he completed a summer internship at the Canadian Parliament in Ottawa. Prior to continuing on to graduate school, Tim also worked on the staff of Massachusetts Governor Bill Weld in Boston.

Tim was later accepted to the London School of Economics to pursue a master’s degree in international economics. In addition to studying the global economy, Tim took advantage of his time in London by traveling extensively throughout Europe. It was during this time that he acquired a love of traveling via railway. Along the way, Tim would document his experiences and the characters he met by photo and journal. He also served on the editorial review board of LSE’s Journal of International Studies.

Once he earned his masters in 1994 and returned to the States, Tim decided to expand his education by pursuing a law degree from the Tulane University School of Law in New Orleans. Tim thoroughly enjoyed his time at Tulane, primarily a result of the relationships he developed with his peers and professors. This experience had a profound impact on his life. While at Tulane, Tim became the Senior Articles Editor of the Tulane Journal of International and Comparative Law.

After earning his law degree in 1997, Tim moved to Washington, D.C. There he successfully practiced in the fields of anti-trust and mergers and acquisitions with some of Washington’s most prestigious firms. Each year, Tim made a point to work significantly longer days so that he could take longer vacations during slow periods. It was during this time that Tim traveled throughout Asia and the Arabic nations. During one of his trips to Southeast Asia, Tim set time aside to teach English students in a small village.

In the course of his travels, Tim obtained a wealth of knowledge with respect to the world’s numerous cultures and societies, gathered lifetimes worth of experiences and stories, met hundreds of characters, and earned invaluable friendships. Some of Tim’s most notable qualities were his eagerness to share the experiences of his world travels, his generosity with the wisdom obtained through his journeys and academic endeavors, and his enthusiasm in motivating others to explore and discover the world’s secrets.

In the spirit of Tim’s finest qualities and to compensate for all that was lost with his passing, this literary award was established. It will afford others the opportunities of travel that so deeply inspired Tim.

In memory of Timothy Martin Smith July 21, 1971 – April 18, 2003