Travel Writing Scholarship in Istanbul(2011)


Do you want to be a published travel writer?

Go on assignment to Istanbul with Rough Guides!

Kick start your travel writing career by going on assignment to Istanbul, Turkey. After touching base with your travel writing mentor, you will hit the road for 7 days reviewing and writing for The Rough Guide to Istanbul for your chance to get published. You will also have the chance to satisfy your adventure cravings on a 12 day Turkish Delight tour, biking, hiking and kayaking your way through Turkey with BikeHike Adventures.

Your assignment brief

* We’ll fly you to Istanbul from your country of residence. You need to be available between June 7th – 28th, 2011 to participate on the assignment

* After spending two days learning the ropes with mentor Terry Richardson, you will research, review and update essential travel info for ‘The Rough Guide to Istanbul’, including accommodation, bars & restaurants, entertainment, shopping, tours, activities and transport, as well as searching out those local secrets that travellers want to read about.

* Your mentor will be at hand to offer guidance, but essentially this is your assignment; you will travel on your own for this part of the journey so you must be comfortable travelling solo. Terry will assign you a specific area based on your travel experience.

* Your work will feature in the new edition of ‘The Rough Guide to Istanbul’, placing your foot firmly in the door of the elusive travel writing industry!


Mentor, Terry Richardson

Find out more about what you can expect from your Rough Guides mentorship.

Read an interview with Terry Richardson about life as a travel writer.


Important Dates – 2011

March 28 Competition closes (2.00pm, Australian Eastern Daylight Time)

April 28 Winner announced
June 7 Winner Arrive Istanbul

June 8-19 Turkish Delight Tour with BikeHike Adventures

June 20-21 Meet your mentor Terry Richardson, shadow for 2 days

June 22-25 Solo assignment

June 26-27 Meet with Terry to review work etc.

June 28 Depart

Aug 15 Rough Guides content deadline

Turkish Delight tour with BikeHike Adventures

Before you meet your mentor, enjoy immersing yourself in the Turkish culture, get your travel writing skills up to speed and satisfy your adventure cravings! BikeHike Adventureswill provide you with the ultimate buffet of multi-sports activities with a 12 day itinerary on their Turkish Delight tour highlighting most of Turkey’s trusted gems. The trip includes exploring the fairytale landscape of Cappadocia by mountain bike, foot and horseback, strolling through Istanbul visiting the Blue Mosque, the Hagia Sophia, the Grand Bazaar and Palace and sea kayaking on the Mediterranean past ancient ruins.

Photos courtesy of BikeHike Adventures

Assignment location

Photos courtesy of Rough Guides

Turkey is a vast country – France would fit within its boundaries with plenty of room to spare – incorporating characteristics of Middle Eastern and Aegean, as well as Balkan and trans-Caucasian, countries. Mosques coexist with Orthodox churches; Roman theatres and temples crumble alongside ancient Hittite cities; and dervish ceremonies or gypsy festivals are as much a part of the social landscape as classical music concerts or delirious sports fans. The one constant in all this – and one of the things that makes Turkey such a rewarding place to travel – is the Turkish people, whose reputation for friendliness and hospitality is richly deserved.

Text and photos courtesy of Rough Guides

Who can apply

* The scholarship is open to students, emerging and non-professional writers and lovers of travel looking for a career change.

* You must have a high degree of proficiency in written English.

* The opportunity is designed to give you a taste of what it’s like to be a travel writer on the road, so you must be comfortable doing some travel on your own.

* Minimum age 18 with a current passport and you must be available as per the dates set out. Please note these dates are not changeable in anyway, you must be available for the entire assignment.

* You should be an exceptional writer with a lust for adventure travel and a burning desire to be a travel writer!

What constitutes a professional travel writer?

Essentially this is a ‘learning opportunity’ for someone who is looking for an introduction into the travel writing industry and importantly to be mentored.

As a guide, for the purposes of the opportunity, we would consider you to be professional travel writer if you have been published regularly in newspapers, travel magazines or travel journals. We would also consider you to be a professional travel writer if you derive more than 25% of your income from travel writing.

If you have had a few stories published, or keep a regular travel blog etc then we would not consider this professional.

We would also like to further clarify that a professional writer of any sort (travel writer or otherwise) is not eligible to apply if they derive more than 25% of their income from writing.

Please consider the spirit of the program which is intended to help those with a burning desire to be a travel writer and need some help getting started.

Apply now

If you want it, you’ve got to show it. To apply you need to:

1. Write. Craft a 500 word (or less) travel focused essay based on a personal experience around one of the following themes;

a. ‘Responsible Travel’

b. ‘Journey in an Unknown Culture’

c. ‘My Big Adventure’

It’s up to you to convince our judging panel through your writing that you have the spirit of adventure and passion for travel writing to be chosen for this scholarship. We will be looking for:

– great descriptive ability
– strong eye for detail
– ability to uncover and tell a compelling story
– excellent spelling and grammar and a knack for avoiding clichés

Check out our video blog with Rough Guide editor Clare Currie for some writing tips.

2. Complete an entry form which includes contact details and a maximum 200 word essay on why you should be chosen and what the opportunity will mean for you. Your answer will provide considerable weight in the judging process.

3. One entry per person.

4. The entry must be submitted in English.

Applications close March 28, 2011 at 2pm.(Australian Eastern Daylight Time)

The recipient of the Scholarship, along with the best entries will be published on the WorldNomads.com website on April 28th, 2011.

Read the winning and best entries from our 2010 Travel Writing Scholarship

Got a question? Check out the FAQ video blog.

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