Travel The World

Kickstart a New Travel Writing Career

Travel writing notebookGood evening ladies & gents (or morning or afternoon, depending on where you are.) I’m taking an ever so brief break from regular scheduling to let you know about this rather cool travel writing competition brought to you by the British Guild of Travel Writers.

New Customers Only

It’s designed to help spot and develop new talent and is open to anyone over the age of 18 who hasn’t yet had any travel writing published.

Get Writing This Weekend – Deadline Feb 25th

You can find all the details below with even more terms and conditions on the BGTW website but I thought I’d better start by drawing your attention to the deadline. It’s soon. Verrrrry soon. So get scribbling, typing or, er, voice recognition software chatting away now. Right now!

OK, here’s the blurb:

The British Guild of Travel Writers by popular demand has extended the deadline for its prestigious annual competition for new travel writers until Monday, February 25. The competition for 800-word articles with the theme People and Places is open to all writers aged over 18 who have not been published in the travel field.

“This is the fourth year we’ve set out to discover new writing talent,” said BGTW member and competition coordinator Sarah Lee. “Given the number and quality of entries in previous years, we know there are many great travel writers out there, just waiting to be published, both aspiring professional travel writers or just enthusiastic travellers who enjoys writing.”

Each article, she said, should bring to life a destination or travel experience through the people the writer has met. There should be at least one central character although travel in a destination or the journey to get there, must be central to the story.

The competition is co-sponsored by the BGTW, founded in 1960, the premier professional association for bona-fide travel journalists, editors, photographers, and radio and TV broadcasters, and Traveller, the UK’s most literary travel magazine. Its editor Amy Sohanpaul has this advice for entrants: “People and Places must be written as an evocative first-person narrative (with a plot and an ending), not as a factual destination guide.”

One entry per person should be submitted on A4 paper, one side only, in single-line-spaced 12 point type. Email entries should be sent as attached Word documents to [email protected] with the subject line BGTW Travel Writing Competition and a two-word tagline. Postal entries should be sent to BGTW Secretariat, 335 Lordship Road, London N16 5HG. No byline should be included in either case. Instead a separate document should be attached or enclosed with an identifying tagline such as the story name, and full contact details: name, email address and telephone number.

Judges will be Amy Sohanpaul editor of Traveller and The Travellers’ Handbook, and three BGTW members: Jonathan Lorie, director of Travellers’ Tales and the Travellers’ Tales Festival, and editor of The Traveller’s Handbook; Adrian Phillips, publishing director of Bradt Travel Guides and BGTW 2012 Travel Writer of the Year, and Sarah Lee, author and editor of

The winners will be announced at the gala launch of the BGTW Yearbook in central London on March 12 and the winning entry will be published in the Summer 2013 issue of Traveller and on the BGTW website,

The first prize, offered by Travellers’ Tales (, a training agency for travel writing and photography, is the choice of an intensive travel writing course in London or abroad at destinations such as Marrakech, Istanbul or Andalucia. Second prize is a one-year membership of Wexas, the Traveller’s Club, worth £85 and offering numerous benefits, including a subscription to Traveller, plus a £50 voucher toward a Wexas holiday, as well as a selection of five travel books. The third prize winner will receive a selection of five travel guides written by BGTW members, including titles published by Frommers and Bradt Travel Guides.

For a full list of terms and conditions entrants should visit the British Guild of Travel Writers website:

Disclosure – I’m a member of the Guild and a friend of Sarah Lee, which largely means I’m expected to help out for free from the goodness of my heart ;-) It’s still a good travel writing competition, though, and I hope that either you or someone else you know gets the chance to make the most of it.

Good luck!

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