Travel writing competition


On Bradt's 40th birthday, we've teamed up again with The Independent on Sunday for our annual Travel Writing Competition, with the support of Stanfords Travel Bookshop and with prizes donated by the Canadian Tourism CommissionPas-de-Calais Tourisme and Travellers' Tales.

This year the competition prizes are bigger and better than ever:
  • First Prize As well as publication of the winning entry in The Independent on Sunday, the main prize is a fantastic holiday for two to Canada and a commission to write a travel feature about the trip in the newspaper. 
  • Best Unpublished Writer An unpublished writer will win a holiday for two to Northern France, a place on a travel-writing weekend run by Travellers' Tales (the UK's leading travel-writing agency) and the opportunity to write about the trip on The Independent website.
  • Best Young Writer For the first time, we have a category specifically for young travel writers (aged 18-21); the winner will receive a place at a one-day Bradt travel-writing workshop and five Bradt books of their choice. 
This is the 15th year of our competition. We believe it is now the country's leading travel-writing competition, showing a unique commitment to promoting travel-writing talent. No other competition offers not only fantastic holiday prizes but the opportunity for aspiring writers to secure a commission from a major national newspaper.

It is no exaggeration to say that it can prove life-changing. Unpublished writers have frequently scooped the main prize and several winners are now acclaimed travel writers. Catriona Rainsford, winner of the prize for the  best unpublished writer in 2010, has even had a full book - The Urban Circus - published in the Bradt literary series. Click here to read about the experiences of another of our previous winners.


The theme this year is 'Meeting the Challenge' and entries must be based on personal experience relating to the theme. Minimum length is 600 words, maximum length is 800 words. The travel-writing competition opened on the 27th April 2014, and the closing date for entries to reach us is midnight on Sunday 29th June 2014. The competition is open to all those resident in the UK. 

Register for the 2014 competition 

First Prize and Best Unpublished Writer categories: click here.
Already registered? Log in here.
Best Young Writer category: click here.
Already registered? Log in here
To read the competition's terms and conditions, please click here.


The prizes are very special indeed. 

First Prize
In addition to having their winning entry published in the Travel section of The Independent on Sunday, this year's First Prize winner will fly off on an eight-day holiday for two to Nova Scotia. And that's not all. The winner will also earn a paid commission from the newspaper to write a travel feature about their prize holiday. This prize can be won by either a previously published or unpublished writer. 

The holiday is provided courtesy of the Canadian Tourism Commission ( The self-drive tour concentrates on the best bits of the glorious region of Nova Scotia, with its rugged seascapes, great seafood and friendly people. The prize includes return flights, accommodation, car hire (including a per diem towards petrol) and a whale-watching tour. 

Best Unpublished Writer Prize

The Best Unpublished Writer will receive a holiday for two (to Northern France), the opportunity to write a short piece about the trip for publication on The Independent's websiteand a place on a travel-writing weekend run by Travellers' Tales (, the UK's leading training agency for travel writing.

The four-day holiday for two is a self-guided tour of the coastal villages and hills of Pas-de-Calais, donated by Pas-de-Calais Tourisme. One hundred years since the Great War, you will visit key sites on the Western Front ( The prize includes ferry crossings with P&O (with priority boarding and access to the club lounge), car hire, three nights' accommodation and evening meals. 

Best Young Writer Prize
Finally, a winner of the Best Young Writer Prize will secure a place on a Bradt travel-writing seminar (the next one is in November this year) – with a panel including Ben Ross, travel editor of The Independent – and a selection of five Bradt books of their choice. 

Note: Every entry to the main competition will be entered for the First Prize but only unpublished writers will be eligible for the Best Unpublished Writer Prize. Only entries specifically made to the Best Young Writer category will be considered for that category, and they will not be entered for the other two prizes. 


For some advice from our judges and some examples of good writing from last year's competition, click hereAnd if you’d like more detailed advice from the experts on how to break into travel writing, then book yourself on the next Bradt travel-writing seminar, being held in November and featuring a panel including Ben Ross (travel editor at The Independent). If you book now, you will receive an 'early bird' discount! For full details of the seminar programme, click here 


In the 2013 Competition, the winners were Cal Flyn and Lauren Hatch. In Deep Snow was voted best entry overall, and Cal won a trip to Istria courtesy of the Croatian National Tourist Offce and the Istria Tourst Board; in addition Cal won a commission from The Independent on Sunday to write about her holiday. Unpublished entrant Lauren wrote The Chase, for which she won a place on an overseas travel-writing course run through Travellers' Tales. 


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