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Travel Writing Scholarship 2012 - The Winner

WORLDWIDE | Thursday, 17 May 2012 | Views [23072] | Comments [7]

Last week we announced The Shortlist for our 2012 Travel Writing Scholarship to Southeast Asia. And now, the moment you have been waiting for...

We have a winner!

Our judging panel has had the very difficult task of whittling 1718 entries down to just one winner. We have truly been inspired by your experiences and your writing - you have brought the world to our desks these past few months.

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.  

So, now without further delay, it is our pleasure to announce...

Our Winner....

Hanna Butler!

Congratulations Hanna, start packing your bags for Southeast Asia!

You are headed to Singapore to meet your Rough Guides mentor, Richard Lim, and learn the tricks of the trade. Then it's off to Indonesia for a bit of culture and adventure off the grid with Stuart McDonald, founder of Travelfish.org. Finally, you'll get to eat your way through Malaysia to understand the famous cuisine with Tin Cho Chaw of hsa*ba.com.

We can't wait to read all about it!

UPDATE! Read Hanna's blog about her adventures while on assignment in Southeast Asia.

Winning Story:

Why you like my Pakistan? by Hanna Butler

Judges' comments:There were lots of good entries this year but this one really stands out as a great piece of story telling. The pace is well judged and what could have been exaggerated or embellished instead manages to be respectful and restrained. It  tells you just enough to set the scene, evoking the dusty terrain with  effective imagery ('thirsty landscape') and the potentially hostile  environment with incidental references ('guns strapped to his legs', 'NATO  trucks'). It then finishes with anice twist, which is both surprising and  satisfying.

Second Place

Snake Blood by Candice Hall

Judges Comments: This entry really stands out due to the narrator’s great descriptive ability and strong eye for detail. It draws you into the sights and smells of the street market and manages to be shocking and unusual while not overly indulgent or grotesque. The judges particularly liked its depiction of a genuine travel experience seen very much through the prism of tourist’s eyes, which is both surprising and satisfying.

Third Place

Three Cups of Tea, Malian edition by Claire Balsley

Judge's Comments: A simple but effective piece. It focuses on a small, everyday event but uses it as a way to highlight larger cultural differences, bringing the experience alive for the reader. The narrator clearly enjoyed the experience (if not the tea) and she writes with pleasure and good humour.

Travel. Learn. Create.

For all of you aspiring creatives, check out our Scholarships page and sign up to hear about our latest opportunities, tips, advice and interviews with industry professionals in the fields of photography, travel writing and filmmaking.

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I see... My entry is probably too gloomy and embellished (all of it is true, though). I'll try again next year. Thank you, World Nomads, for giving people the opportunity to learn travel writing. The application process is already a learning experience in itself. Congratulations to the top three writers and good luck to everyone who will apply again! :)

  apriljsun May 18, 2012 12:01 AM


Absolutely lost for words winning this scholarship. No doubt they will return to me as I travel around South East Asia learning, growing and becoming a fully fledged travel writer. The process in itself has been an experience and I have not been short on wonderful travel stories and yarns from around the world. I have enjoyed everyone that I have read - particularly Claire's and Candice's. I really appreciate the judges appreciation and feedback of my work, they truly understood my experience. Thank you World Nomads and everyone involved, I'll do ya proud!

  Hanna May 20, 2012 7:36 PM


The Eligibility criteria should have been set for only english speaking countries than from all over the world!

Hi bedilu,

We choose the shortlist based on writing skill, not on country of residence. Obviously, as the entries are required to be written in English, a strong understanding of the language is necessary. Unfortunately, we cannot offer this scholarship in every native language around the world.


  bedilu May 24, 2012 5:50 PM



  suleman May 24, 2012 9:37 PM


Hi! I work as a copywriter in an ad agency. Can i apply?

  Shashi Mar 6, 2013 8:17 PM


Hi everyone.
I'm ida from Indonesia.
this my first time to me to know about this schoralship. Thank to World Nomads i will try my best to increase my english and i will be the next winner.
Terima Kasih.

  ummi syahidah Apr 21, 2015 10:49 AM


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