It’s not always about winning fabulous prizes and yearned-for trips to exotic places. Some of us are looking for recognition as writers, some want to build a portfolio of work. Some just love competing. Whatever your reason, read on for tips on how to win.
To bag prizes
Winning all-inclusive trips to Africa, Antarctica and Asia, going on safari, watching whales or discovering new cultures are good enough reasons for throwing a few words on the page.
To be published
The winning entries are usually printed online. Sometimes they are printed in magazines or newspapers like the Daily Telegraph, The Guardian, Wanderlust Magazine or National Geographic. For anyone interested in building a portfolio of work, a few competition wins will look impressive and prove that you know how to write.
To test your ability
How do you know if your writing is any good? Being shortlisted in a writing competition means you are on the right track, but if you don’t get anywhere does it mean your writing is poor? Maybe you were one away from being a finalist. Perhaps you went over the word limit, or were a day late, and were automatically disqualified? The problem with writing competitions is you don’t receive feedback, unless you win, and even then it’s only a sentence or two.
What’s the recipe for success?
Don’t use cliches! Or exclamation marks.
There are only two ingredients for successful writing:
1. Write well
2. Have a story to tell
How can you improve your chances?
- Read: literary books
- Practise writing every day
- Read: travel magazines
- Take a writing course
- Read: established travel blogs
- Take notes while you travel
- Read: the top travel websites
- Join a travel writing club
It’s no coincidence that between them, IWC members have won nine Daily Telegraph prizes, been finalists in Bradt’s annual competition four times, had numerous wins in Wanderlust Magazine, and been shortlisted, reached the final or won travel writing competitions from: The Guardian, Pure, MCofS, Daily Mail, We Said Go Travel, Walkopedia, Sheldrake Press, Go Walkabout, The Good Life France, Transitions Abroad, BGTW, BBC, World First Travel.
If you are committed to improving your writing, come and join us.