Southeast Asia 2012 Travel Writing Scholarship


 

Entries close April 23rd, 2012 at 2pm AEST (UTC +10).

Do you want to be a published travel writer?

This year we decided to shake things up a bit and instead of choosing just one country for our scholarship…we’ve decided to send you off to three different countries in Southeast Asia! Once on the ground, you’ll have the opportunity to see for yourself life beyond the banana pancake trail, and get to know Southeast Asia from the local perspectives, through the eyes of three amazing writers.

Here’s the triple-dip deal:

First you’ll head off to Singapore to go on assignment for five days under the mentorship of Rough Guides writer Richard Lim to review and update ‘The Rough Guide to Singapore’.

Then you’ll fly to Bali and meet up with Stuart McDonald, founder of Travelfish, the online travel guide to Southeast Asia, before heading off on six days of cultural insight and adventure in Indonesia.

For the last leg of the scholarship, you will be whisked off to Malaysia for a food odyssey through Kuala Lumpur and Penang with former local and cookbook author of award winning hsa*ba Burmese cookbook, Tin Cho Chaw, to explore how cuisine shapes the lives of Malaysians.

Important Dates

 

**You need to be available between June 18th – July 6th, 2012 to participate on the assignment.**

 

 

April 23    Submission deadline  

April 24-May 11    Judging preliminary shortlist

May 11-16    Finalists shortlist

May 17    Winner confirmed and announced 

May 17-June 17    Trip preparation

June 18     Arrive in Singapore

June 19-20    Meet Richard Lim – Singapore, shadow for two days 

June 21-22    Solo assignment for two days

June 23    Meet up with Richard, feedback on assignment etc. 

June 24-30    Indonesia: Culture & Adventure

July 1-July 5    Malaysia: Food Odyssey

July 6    Depart

August 20    Copy deadline

Singapore:  On assignment with Rough Guides

 

Photo courtesy of Rough Guides

Your Rough Guides brief

* We’ll fly you to Singapore from your country of residence. 

* After spending two days learning the ropes with mentor Richard Lim, you will have a chance to explore this bustling, progressive city for two days on your own. In this time, you will research, review and update essential travel information for ‘The Rough Guide to Singapore’, including accommodation, bars & restaurants, cultural sights and activities, tours, and transport, as well as searching out those local secrets that travellers want to read about. On your final day, you will meet back up with Richard to go over your work together.

* 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. Richard will assign you a specific area based on your travel experience.

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

 

Photo courtesy of Rough Guides

 

Mentor, Richard Lim

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

Read an interview with Richard Lim about life as a travel writer.

Indonesia: Culture & Adventure

 

 

Photo courtesy of Emanuele Siracusa

Explore a whole different side of Bali. Venture off the grid to the remote village of Sidemen – live like the locals live, experience firsthand their coconut and salt industries and delve into the Balinese belief in “black magic” (need a hex on your ex? you’re in the right place).

To get your blood pumping, you’ll then hike up to the top of Gunung Agung, an active volcano, and the highest point on the island, followed up with a refreshing dip in the surf, with lessons at a surf camp in West Bali (yes…you must be comfortable in the water!).

You’ll also have some free time to explore on your own and to sit down with Stuart of Travelfish to pick his brain about online publishing in the travel space.

 

 

Photo courtesy of Travelfish

 

Malaysia: Food Odyssey

 

 

Photo courtesy of hsa*ba

Malaysian cuisine is comprised of three distinct cultures: Indian, Malay and Chinese – and the fusion recipes that make it so uniquely Malaysian. On this portion of your scholarship journey, you will be sampling it all, and learning about the process, stories and people behind the famous dishes (picky eaters, you’ve been warned!).

You will meet up with Cho of hsa*ba (with a blog that translates into “please eat”, bring an empty stomach) in Kuala Lumpur and eat your way around the night markets before checking out the KL fine dining scene. You will also join a local food blogger and her Makan Club for a typical night out in Kuala Lumpur to experience what’s happening in KL’s food scene.

Finally, head up to Penang, the renowned food mecca of Malaysia. You’ll get a hands-on cooking lesson and learn how to plate up some of your favorite dishes, wander through the endless wet market stalls, and visit a durian plantation (to sample the delicacies, of course!).

 

Photo courtesy of hsa*ba

What you’ll need to produce

Along with your work on the ‘Rough Guide to Singapore’, you will be required to keep a daily travel journal on WorldNomads.com (no less than 200 words per daily entry) to share your adventures through Southeast Asia. Your journal should be completed no later than two weeks from returning from your trip.

Who can apply

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

* The scholarship is open to all nationalities, however, 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 by the date the scholarship application close (April 23, 2012)

* A current passport with at least six months before expiry

* 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, a desire to experience new cultures (and eat them!)and above all, a burning desire to become a professional travel writer!

Watch our video for more eligibility information and application tips!

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 keen 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 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 professional 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 2000 character or less (about 500 words) travel focused essay based on a personal experience around one of the following themes;

a. ‘Understanding a Culture through Food’

b. ‘A Local Encounter that Changed my Life’

c. ‘Seeing the World through Others Eyes’

d. ‘Giving Back on the Road’

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 800 character (about 200 words) 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 April 23, 2012 at 2pm (AEST)

 

CONDITIONS OF ENTRY – Please read before applying!

Click to read the terms and conditions of this scholarship

 

The recipient of the Scholarship, along with the shortlist of best entries will be published on the WorldNomads.com website on May 17th, 2012.

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