Why You Should Start Your Writing Career in College


I came across the Transitions Abroad Student Travel Writing Contest this morning and it got me thinking about writing at a younger age. There is information on the contest at the end of this post, but I wanted to start with this:

It’s never too early to start your writing career, and there are several reasons why focusing on writing and getting published during college can be influential in your travel writing career:

1. Studying abroad is becoming more and more common during college, and a study abroad trip is a student’s first extended stay in a foreign country. Your are are constantly fed new experiences that change how you think and how you see the world which gives you a fresh perspective that often translates into engaging and rich stories. Take notes about your surroundings, think about what your feeling, and turn those thoughts into words.

2. If you begin to write during college and put time into submitting pieces to contests, online magazines, blogs and other media outlets, your writing resume will have a solid base before you even hold your diploma, and in an economy that doesn’t look promising, that’s a good thing.

3. You have time! Summers were meant to be well spent, and while you’re in college they should definitely be taken advantage of. Travel, volunteer, take a writing class; anything you can do in your time off that will give you new experiences and knowledge that can’t be found in the classroom. That’s what good writers are made of.

Now that you’re motivated, it’s time to learn about a travel writing contest solely for students:

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Transitions Abroad Student Travel Writing Contest

Who’s eligible: All currently enrolled undergraduate and graduate students, students who have graduated within the past year, and students currently on leave from school are eligible.

What TA is looking for: Think about what you were looking for when you were planning to study, travel, work, or live abroad as a student: What did you need to know to find a program? What did you wish you had known before you left? Since you returned, how have you fit your experiences into your academic and personal life?

Well-researched supporting material and annotated web links in sidebars greatly increases the likelihood of selection as a winner.

Other details:
Word count between 1,000 and 3,000 words
Deadline is March 1, 2009

The winning submission receives $500, second place winner receives $150 and third place winner receives $100 and will all be published on TransitionsAbroad.com.

Submit your entries to webeditor[at]transitionsabroad[dot]com along with a cover page listing your name and contact information (address, email address, telephone number), your college or university, and your year in school or year that you graduated or expect to graduate. If you traveled on your own, list the countries and dates and what you did (worked, backpacked, etc.) If you traveled with a program, list the program name and institution, and the dates. Include your current and permanent address, your current and permanent phone number, and e-mail address if applicable. Include a short biographical note (hometown, major, etc.).

For more information, go here.