The winner will get a £2000 (or local currency equivalent) travel voucher to spend on planning an unforgettable trip with GapYear.com, a bundle of Rough Guides books, and their winning work will be featured on RoughGuides.com.
Created by backpackers for backpackers, GapYear.com connect travellers with an unrivalled range of tours, volunteering projects and working holidays in over 100 countries around the globe.
Whether it’s rescuing endangered tigers in India or surfing deep blue waves in Morocco, they guarantee exhilarating experiences on every continent and provide dedicated support and advice throughout every step of the journey.
Last year’s winner, Steph Dyson, said: “I’d always wanted to visit Patagonia in the south of Argentina and Chile, but didn’t have the funds to take such a trip. So thanks to Rough Guides and GapYear.com, I booked onto a 34-day tour with Intrepid.”
Two runners up will also receive a bundle of Rough Guides books and will be published on RoughGuides.com.
If you’re not sure whether you should enter your writing, here are some wise words from last year’s winner, Steph:
“Winning the competition has opened up so many opportunities with both Rough Guides and other travel writing websites.
“The feeling that other travellers are reading my writing, and hopefully being inspired to discover new places as a result, is very addictive and has certainly given me the confidence to pursue a career in writing.
“Having the chance to write for such a globally-renowned publication and work with the Rough Guides web editors has also been invaluable: the feedback and guidance I’ve been given has really helped me to develop as a writer.”
How to enter:
To enter, all you need to do is write a 500-word feature, based on a personal experience, on one of the following themes:
- Close to home
- The most beautiful place in the world
- My best day on Earth
Entries should be emailed to [email protected], either as a .docx (Microsoft Word) file, or pasted into the email itself. Entries should be no more than 500 words and no less than 450 words. Applications close at 23:59 BST on the 1 May 2016.
5 tips for writing a great piece
• Have a clear idea. Can you summarise your story – its setting and its angle combined – in a line or two?
• Take special care over the opening. Stories don’t have to start smack-bang in the thick of the action by any means, but this can be a useful way to engage the reader from the off.
• Readers will turn away at the drop of a hat – keep them with you by clearing your story’s path of all obstructions (such as a dropped hat, unless it’s contributing something).
• Judiciously employ observations (local colour): combined the right way, sights, sounds and smells can spellbind.
• Use temporal and spatial markers to ensure the reader knows where (and when) they are at all times.
Read last year's winning entry here, and the runners-up here.