Amazingtravelstories.com annual travel writing competition: Starting September 2011, this competition is open to everyone worldwide, doesn’t charge a participant’s fee, and the first prize is $500.
Wanderlust and Lipstick annual travel writing competition: This is a one-of-a-kind contest; only women can participate in this competition. Prizes include a luxury holiday and publication on the website. Competition announcements are regularly posted on the website.
Transitions Abroad annual travel writing contest: This is a niche competition with a heart. Travellers who become volunteers in many deprived countries and those who interact with local communities can tell their tales. The organisers welcome photos along with the story. First prize is $500. The 2012 contest is closed, and the 2013 contest will be announced in July 2012.
Mountain Council of Scotland annual literary competition: Started in 1996, the participants are expected to write on any aspect of mountaineering, rock climbing, walking or ski mountaineering/touring. The scope is eclectic: fiction, non-fiction, weird and wonderful are welcome. Originality is the winner’s criteria.
Pure Travel annual travel writing competition: This worldwide compettition is in association with Geographical Magazine and carries £1,000 as the winner’s prize. The choosing procedure is rather convoluted though. Ten shortlisted entries are thrown open to the public vote. The top three are then judged by a renowned travel writer. The winner gets published in the Royal Geographical Society’s own magazine. Last date for submissions: October 31, 2012.
Wanderlust Magazine: The Wanderlust forum has regular writing (and photography) competitions.
World First travel insurance specialist: Strictly for ‘first world’ travel experiences, and that too in less than 400 words. The winner gets a Kindle (or Amazon vouchers) in this on-going monthly competition.
Leap Local Travel Writing Competition: The website’s mission is finding and promoting local travel guides and experts. $500 is the first prize for this annual travel writing competition, open to all. The entry should be accompanied by your recommendation for a local guide.
inTravel Magazine monthly writing competition: A monthly competition for travel stories, photographs and interviews. Prize money: $100. Winner chosen by readers’ votes only.
Walkopedia Travel Writing (and Photography) Competitions: As the name suggests, this competition is for the best travel pieces on walking or hiking.
Writers Abroad Anthology: Writers Abroad publishes an anthology every year and invites submissions from expats (and former expats). The theme for 2012 is “relationships around the world” and the deadline is July 31, 2012.
The British Guild of Travel Writers’ travel writing competition for new writers: The rule is that nothing you have written has ever been published. The theme for 2012 was “A revealing journey”. The winner earns a free place on a Travellers’ Tales overseas writing course. The BGTW website posts announcements of new competitions.
Travel Writer of the Year: For those travellers who are inspired by nature specifically, this is the biggest and most prestigious travel writing competition of all. DiscoverWildlife.com, the online arm of BBC Wildlife Magazine, is the promoter. The top four stories are published online. Keep an eye on the website for announcements for this competition and its nature writer of the year competition.