New Travel Writer of the Year 2023

Enter the world’s best competition for unpublished travel writers! In association with the Edward Stanford Travel Writing Awards.

For over twenty years, the Bradt Guides ‘New Travel Writer of the Year’ competition has been seeking out and championing new writing talent. Previous winners and finalists in the competition have gone on to see their work published in newspapers, travel magazines and books.

As previously, we’ve teamed up with the Edward Stanford Travel Writing Awards to offer this unrivalled opportunity for unpublished travel writers.

The theme

The theme for this year’s competition is Beneath the Surface. Entrants are invited to submit an original piece of writing of between 600 and 800 words that focuses on this topic. It is not compulsory to include the phrase within the body of the piece itself, but the piece must very clearly adhere to this theme. Please note that ‘Beneath the Surface’ should NOT be the title of the piece – each entry must have an original title.

The piece must be a true story, based on the writer’s personal experience and written as a first-hand account, in the first person and in English. 

The prizes

Three finalists will be invited to attend the Edward Stanford Travel Writing Awards in London in early 2023.

The overall winner will be crowned our New Travel Writer of the Year, have their piece published in Wexas’ Traveller magazine and win a £100 Bradt voucher.

For more details, see our terms and conditions page. 

Buy tickets

Click here to buy your entry to the competition.

Full instructions on how to enter the competition will be emailed to you on purchase.

The judges

Judges for this year’s competition include:

  • Hilary Bradt, founder of Bradt Guides
  • Adrian Phillips, MD of Bradt Guides
  • Janice Booth, author of several Bradt guides
  • Amy Sohanpaul, editor of Traveller Magazine
  • Jonathan Lorie, travel-writing trainer and author of The Travel Writer’s Way
  • Hugh Brune, head of sales and marketing at Bradt Guides

Before you enter 

To give yourself the best possible chance of success, have look at preliminary judge Janice Booth’s article about what the judges are looking for from 2016. You can also read all of last year’s longlisted entries. Still not sure whether to throw your hat into the ring? Read Jonathan Lorie’s article on travel writing competitions.

For more inspiration, take a look at Travel Write, an anthology of the best pieces of writing to pass in front of the judges’ eyes over the past 20 years. Six themed chapters include remarkable places, extraordinary people, encounters with wildlife; real terror; history; and learning and reflection. All in all, 95 stories cover everything from border guard mix-ups, wild animals and dodgy navigation to a day trip to Iceland and being seduced by a goat in a French market. All entrants to this year’s competition will receive an exclusive 25% discount code that can be redeemed against a copy of the book.

Am I eligible? 

The competition is open to unpublished writers only. We define this as someone who has not previously been paid for a travel-related piece of writing published either in print or online. There are always grey areas with this, so for further clarification please see the competition rules here, and if you’re still not sure get in touch.

The small print 

Entry fee: £15.

Deadline for entries: 30 November 2022.

Full details of how to submit your entry will be sent upon payment of the entry fee.

For full terms and conditions, see this page.

Expert feedback 

Once again we are offering entrants to the Bradt Guides ‘New Travel Writer of the Year’ competition the opportunity to receive detailed expert feedback on their entry.

Jonathan Lorie is a former editor of Traveller magazine who has written for the GuardianIndependentNational Geographic and Conde Nast Traveller, among many others. As well as running the Travellers’ Tales training courses he has been a judge of the Bradt Guides ‘New Travel Writer of the Year’ competition for many years and will take on the role again in 2022. 

Jonathan’s book The Travel Writer’s Way was published in 2019. This unique, practical 12-step programme has helped readers develop their travel writing through enjoyable creative exercises and expert tuition. It features exclusive interviews on the craft of travel writing from several notable professional writers including Paul Theroux, Robert MacFarlane, Colin Thubron and Sara Wheeler.

Jonathan is offering a half-hour telephone or Zoom call in which he will discuss the strengths and weaknesses of your entry, possible next steps for your travel writing and answer any questions you may have. Price: £35.00 + VAT

For more information and to request feedback on your entry, please contact harriet.solomon@bradtguides.com. All feedback calls will take place after the winning entries have been announced, at a time to be agreed between Jonathan Lorie and the entrant.