New Travel Writer of the Year competition 2021

In association with the Edward Stanford Travel Writing Awards

Enter the world’s best competition for unpublished travel writers!

For over twenty years, 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.

Despite the pandemic, the show will go on – and once again we’ve teamed up with the Edward Stanford Travel Writing Awards to offer this unrivalled opportunity for unpublished travel writers.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 I’d love to go back. Entrants are invited to submit an original piece of writing of between 600 and 800 words on the destination they most want to return to when travel opens up again, and what it is about that place that draws them back. This could be a particular event that occurred there or person they met.

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 attend the Edward Stanford Travel Writing Awards in early 2021 (may be virtual, to be confirmed) and see their work included in a new anthology to be published by Bradt Guides later in the year. 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.

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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.

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.

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The competition is open to unpublished writers only.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: £10

Deadline for entries: 21 December 2020.

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

We are charging a small entry fee for this year’s competition in line with other similar writing competitions. This is to cover administration costs at a very difficult time for the travel industry.

For full terms and conditions, see this page.