Our judging panel have been around the world, and back, and then some, reading through 1142 travel tales from you talented nomads! Riotous, insightful, disorientating, hilarious and always inspiring, your submitted stories were a pleasure to read. Thank you to everyone who applied and shared your travel experiences with us, particularly our shortlisted entries who were all highly commended by our judging panel.
But of course...there can only be one winner...
Zoe Smith, Thailand
Congratulations Zoe, you are off to Turkey to meet your Rough Guides mentor, Terry Richardson! You'll also enjoy a Turkish Delight tour with BikeHike Adventures. Can't wait to read about your adventures.
Winning Story: Jamu in Java by Zoe Smith
Judges' comments: Jamu in Java was favoured by all the judges - and rightly so. Zoe created a piece of writing which was remarkably well balanced - successfully evoking a personal experience and making the reader feel involved and engaged with the sights, sounds, smells and emotions. The piece demonstrates a lightness of touch which is vital for successful travel writing and combines it with insightful observation and well-judged wry humour. It made us feel included in Zoe’s experience and, most importantly, it made us want to experience it for ourselves.
Knights off-the grid by Chris Knight
Judges Comments: Knights off-the-grid stood out because it told a unique story – it animated a small detail, a brief moment from a trip which was presumably full of bigger, splashier experiences. It was a story told without clutter or embellishment, just simply related and all the more impactful for it. I felt like I’d really learned something and gained an insight that only this author could bring.
The Heart of Varanasi by Eliza Latham
Judge's Comments: Heart of Varanasi took a subject matter that appeared quite a few times in the competition entries and elevated it above the crowd. Many writers got bogged down in excessive descriptions, but this piece brought us clarity and insight with vivid and well-judged prose which made us feel this was more than just a backpacker’s tale.
(in alphabetical order)
In Transit by arabun
Keeping the Paradise Dream Clean by chantelles_travel_adventures
Cuba Libre by eileenorama
Touted! by ghobbs
"No Man" by gulliblestravels
Yemen-In-between Spaces by hopehill
Holy Mole(Pablano!)by lucieboots
A Home-cooked meal, Away from Home by mbrinlee
Mosi-oa-Tunya by nomadic_adventures
The Day I Saw a Living Goddess by ninawegner
Motorcycling in Vietnam by pete
Bloody Good Friday by ptumang
Spirits Lost and Found in New Zealand by sarahlochner
Heatstroke in Mongolia by tomczaban
View from a Camel's Back by umbriagal
Journey in an Unknown Culture by theworldisabook
Mesmerised by Mayhem by writing_the_world
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