Student Travel Writing Contest Offers $500 For Best Essay Of Student Life Abroad

Are you a student who is aspiring to be a travel writer? Now’s your chance to strut your stuff and perhaps win $500.

Transitions Abroad has announced their 2013 Travel Writing Contest. It’s billed as “the only student travel writing contest to cover studying, working, interning, volunteering and living abroad.”

The contest is open to all “currently enrolled undergraduate and graduate students, students who have graduated within the past year, and students currently on leave from school.” The judges want to see essays of 1,000-2,000 words that offer solid advice for adjusting to student life overseas. Check out their guidelines carefully before putting pen to paper.

First prize is $500; second prize is $150; third prize is $100; and runners-up get $50. All get published in “Transitions Abroad” print and webzine. Deadline is April 15.

It’s always a good idea to check out what won in the past. Last year’s winner was “A Foreigner in the Middle Kingdom: Living, Working, and Studying in China.” My personal favorite was the practical and insightful “A High School Summer in Egypt Studying Arabic: Practical Advice and Tips.”

Thanks to the excellent online writing newsletter Writing World for bringing this to my attention. Check out their site for tons of free advice of value to aspiring and experienced writers.

[Photo courtesy Sarah Rose]

Cast your vote in Trazzler’s big summer contest

Trazzler, a website that provides travel inspiration through destination descriptions submitted by users and freelance writers, runs a monthly contest that usually offers a prize of $250, and a contract to write 10 trips for the website. For their summer contest however, the team at Trazzler decided to up the ante.

They’ve teamed up with NYCgo, AKA Hotels, and jetBlue to offer one lucky winner an amazing prize – a 2-week writer-in-residence contract in New York City (including free flight and accommodations), and $10,000 to write 30 trips about his or her experiences in the city. Over 800 entries fitting the theme “oasis” were submitted. 200 moved on to the semi-final round, in which the public can vote on their favorite. The ten trips with the most votes when the voting ends (Monday at 7:59pm Eastern time), will move on to round three, where a panel of judges will choose the grand prize winner.

I entered the contest, and have made it to the semi-finals, where I’m fighting to stay in the top ten. You can vote* for my trip, check out the others in the top ten, or “trazzle” through the site to find your perfect travel inspiration.

*To vote, you need to register for the website, which is easy to do if you sign up with Facebook. Then just click “wishlist” under the trip to vote. You can only vote once per trip, but you can vote for multiple submissions.

GuideGecko’s travel writing contest

It was just about four months ago that Gadling reported the launch of a great new travel resource and bookstore, Now, GuideGecko, the innovative publishing platform for travel, lifestyle and entertainment guides, has just announced its first travel writing contest in conjunction with the world’s largest book fair in Frankfurt, Germany.

From now to September 24, authors from all over the world can submit their own travel, lifestyle or entertainment guides, and the winning titles will be showcased at the fair. The top prize is a personal trip to the fair in October 2009.
The contest is open to everybody, from casual writers to bloggers and established authors. Topics can span from anything and everything under the sun, as long as they are travel, lifestyle or entertainment related. With no page limit, the authors have the freedom and flexibility to write their guides the way they want. Submissions can be new titles as well as existing titles previously published on GuideGecko or elsewhere.

Upon submission, the guides will be published instantly and listed on GuideGecko’s front page, where they will receive maximum visibility. Customers and viewers can choose to vote for and even order these guides immediately. Participation in the contest is free and the authors will receive full royalties and retain the copyrights of their guides published on

The winners of the ‘GuideGecko Writing Contest’ will be decided through online voting, which starts immediately. The first prize is a personal trip to the Frankfurt Book Fair for the winning author. In addition, the top 3 titles will be showcased on the fair. Other prizes include a selection of Lonely Planet travel guides and subscriptions to travel magazines.

Closing date is 24 September 2009 and prize winners will be announced on 25 September 2009. For more information and to enter the contest, visit

Travel Writing Contest: A Mongolia Connection

If only I were a college student. Here’s a travel/writing opportunity not to miss. National Geographic Traveler has paired up with the travel company Trovcoa to cook up a very cool essay contest. In 300 words or less, write about an experience that moved you, excited you or changed you. Easy, right?

If yours is chosen out of all the other essays they receive from college students in North America, you will win a trip to Mongolia. This could be your springboard to bigger and better travel writing experiences since you will be working on assignment with the magazine’s Editor- In-Chief Keith Bellows. Your work will be published on National Geographic Traveler ‘s Web site.

This is kind of like “American Idol” or “Dancing with the Stars” but the writer’s version. Except, either you win or you don’t, and you won’t have to stand in front of the judges while they critique your work in front of a live audience. Of course, there’s not a million dollar record contract either. But hey, you’ll be published by the same magazine that publishes Pico Iyer. And you’ll have seen Mongolia. I call that even.

The deadline is December 31, 2007 so you have some time to figure out how to condense down your experience to make it zing.