Saturday, March 14, 2009

Writing Competition--The Writer's Travel Scholarship

The Writer’s Travel Scholarship -- Win a Round Trip Ticket to Anywhere

Sponsored by Jonathan Stray

This is is a short-form writing contest where the winner gets a
round-trip ticket to anywhere in the world. Really.

This is the fifth year of the contest. Previously, I've written the
contest announcement from the edge of the Sahara desert in Mali, or
the coast of Sri Lanka. This year, I am at home in San Francisco, but
my gaze is always elsewhere. I'm lucky to have seen a lot of the
world, and I'm writing about it.

Are you writing too? Not about the remote places in the world,
perhaps, but about something that matters to you? If so, please enter
the 2009 Writer’s Travel Scholarship. As usual, the prize is a
round-trip ticket anywhere in the world. As usual, the basic rationale
for the contest remains:

I think travel is good. I think writing is good. I think it is
important that writers travel.

Naturally, I do see a lot of travel writing submissions, but I’d like
to reiterate that this is not about travel writing: it’s about writers

Prose of any kind, including fiction, nonfiction, or memoir
Less than 10,000 words
No poetry

Applications are open until midnight April 30th, 2009. The winner will be announced May 15th.

Changes from last year:

I am now requiring a $5 application fee for each entry. The contest is getting big, and this will help cover the costs of promotion, my time reading through all your submissions, and (part of) the cost of the ticket prize. And, sorry, no more poetry. Poetry just seemed too
different to compare fairly to prose.

How To Enter:

* Applicants must submit a short prose piece, 10,000 words maximum.
Fiction, non-fiction, whatever, on any topic.

* Also tell me a little about yourself, where you would go with your
free ticket, for how long, and why. You can’t ever have been to that
country before — I impose this restriction to encourage people to go
somewhere new, rather than using the ticket to visit their overseas
girlfriend. Also, you don’t have to write about your destination. I
just want to know why you want to go there.

* Email entries as an attached document in text or Word format to wts
(at) by April 30th 2008. They will be judged by
myself and my writer friends, the winner to be announced on May 15th

* Send the $5 USD entry fee via PayPal to wts(at)
(replace (at) with @)

* To keep things fair, I will not consider pieces I know to be written
by friends or acquaintances.

* Entries must be previously unpublished

* Limit of one entry per author

* Ticket is limited to $2000 US. I will work with you to book the cheapest available round-trip ticket, based on departure and return dates given to me by the winner. I will try to accommodate these dates and other preferences as much as possible, but I reserve the right to shift each date plus or minus up to a week, and to make other choices such as routing and airline, in order to find the best fare. Other travel requirements, such as additional destinations or an open return date, may be accommodated if the winner wishes to make up the difference in cost.

* By submitting a piece, you grant me (Jonathan Stray) limited
web-publishing rights, specifically the right to display it on and any other sites of I may have editorial control
over. I reserve no other rights. If someone sees your work here and
wants to publish it, fantastic.

* All decisions are final, and by submitting a piece you agree that I
am under no obligation to award any prize at all. I have no funding,
no committees, no mandate. I’m doing this just because I think it’s a
good idea, so let’s keep it simple.

Good Luck!

Full details

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