I must have said this a million times, and I’m going to say it again so roll your eyes if you want 🙂 — for novice writers, getting your work out there should be your first objective, whether it’s writing for free or writing to win a competition.
Some advantages of writing for competitions:
-You already have a topic!
When you travel and sit down to write, a million thoughts/story angles pop-up. Where do you begin? Who will want to read that? These questions can get overwhelming, and then our thoughts remain thoughts and nothing gets onto paper.
In competitions: the topic has already been narrowed down for you — e.g. “funniest travel experience”, “stories on volunteering at an NGO in Asia”, or “stories that involve traveling with your pet hamster.”
–Your work actually gets read and published!
Many competitions work on readers voting for the piece they write best; so if the site is half-decent it will have a readership and your story will be put up and read. If the competition is not votes-based, someone still has to read it and evaluate it — this is a good thing.
-If you win, you get recognized, a clip AND money or a trip.
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Some good reasons to give it a shot eh?
Here are two competitions you can start with immediately:
1) Go Budget Travel: $500 Getaway’s Competition
Write up a short description of an interesting “getaway” to anywhere in the world that costs under $500 (NOT including airfare). The getaway must be for a minimum of 5 days, and cannot include any inappropriate, illegal, or unethical activities.
Deadline: Depends on votes you get until 5pm, October 31.
More info: Here
2) $125 Travel-Writing Stories Magazine
Quite simple — Write a great, travel story or article. Be intersting. Be informative. Be entertaining. You could provide travel advice, or address philosophical questions pertaining to the traveling community.
Winner will be voted for by the readers.
Deadline: November 15, 2007, and the winner will be announced on November 25, 2007.
More info: Here