First of all, thank you all for waiting so patiently as we completed our deliberations on the final shortlist. Each year, you seem to make the job of judging just a bit more difficult - and this year was no exception. As well as taking us on your personal journeys, you have truly elevated our standards of what comprises a great up-and-coming travel writer. For that, you should all be very proud of your talent and efforts.
Thank you to everyone who applied and for sharing your travel experiences with us, particularly our shortlisted entries who were all highly commended by our judging panel.
Congratulations Andrew, start packing your bags for Beijing!
Andrew is headed to Beijing to meet Rough Guides mentor, Martin Zatko, and help update The Rough Guide to China. Then he will explore some of the hidden, (and not so hidden) charms of the city with a Beijing local and international travel journalist. Finally, Andrew will spend three days with Hias Gourmet getting well acquainted with the history, art and technique that accompanies the Chinese love of their cuisine.
UPDATE! Read about Andrew's adventures on assignment in Beijing.
What's in a name? by Andrew Commins
Judges' comments: This piece is written with flair and perception. The slow pace and exact details manage to convey the writer's sense of awe and the impact this encounter will have on the direction of his own life. Comparisons between his own “personal monotony” and the bravery of the Maasai warrior he meets are at times light and amusing – and the contrast of the leaping warrior Jonathan vs reliable office Jonathan bring the story together nicely. Sharp observations and a real sense of admiration and longing make this a genuinely moving story too.
A Bargain by Jurriaan van Eerten
Judges Comments: An insightful, clever piece, this piece is built around simple yet effective observations that effortlessly pitch the reader into the midst of a nervy encounter in the mountains of Nepal. The short sentences help create tension while at the same time reveal elements of the scene: the whirring engine, the boy with the rifle, the crispy bills. The narrative – framed by radio silence within the Jeep – dips a little in the fourth paragraph but is otherwise tightly paced, and at the end you're almost sharing in their relief as they leave the roadblock behind.
Anatomy of a Wail by Bonnie Etherington
Judge's Comments: This was a powerful, visceral piece from a writer clearly not afraid to tackle a difficult theme. The use of imagery was strong, setting the scene – "a dying fire", " charred" food – from the outset. Underpinned by a keen sense of observation, it created an evocative and moving – if bleak – vision of a community in mourning.
(in alphabetical order)
Snake Eyes by Ann Nguyen
You buy cow? by Bernadette Olderdissen
Ad Infinitum by Cassidy Parker
Passenger to Passenger by Charne Quayle
Everything is nice now! by Christina Lynn Rock
Flesh and Blood by Daniel Tessier
Best Luck Pig by Darrah Lustig
In Search of Balut by Dave Barger
The Boy Who Sees Beyond the Shadows by Ellen Keith
You Raksha My World by Joshua Magno
River notes by Karen Mike
On Witnessing a Tibetan Sky Burial by Kelley Foyt
Next stop, Home. By Kerissa Naidoo
What have I let myself in for? by Lawrence Edmonds
The 38th Parallel by Lindsey Edson
First Hours by Michael MacKenzie
Welcome aboard by Robyn Perros
True North, South and Free by Sen Zhan
Real Life by Stephanie Wong
Lasting Impressions by Susan Kemp
The view around me by Theodore Buscemi
Cali Salsa Nights by Zachary Skerritt
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And if you're lucky enough to be mentored by one of our industry professionals, it could kick start your career!
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