*This competition is now closed.*
First prize this year is a holiday for two to Abruzzo, Italy, and publication of the winning entry in The Compact Traveller section of The Independent on Sunday. In addition, the winner will earn a commission from the newspaper to write a piece about their prize visit to Abruzzo. The first prize can be won by either a previously published or unpublished writer. There is also a special second-prize category for unpublished writers for which the prize is a place on a travel-writing weekend run by Travellers' Tales, the UK's leading travel writing-training agency. Published writers are not eligible to win the second prize.
To offer this opportunity, we have again teamed up with Bradt Travel Guides (www.bradtguides.com), publisher of pioneering guides to off-beat destinations and guides with unique perspectives on more popular places.
The competition is open to all writers resident in theUK, published or unpublished. The theme this year is ‘A Close Encounter...’ and entries must be based on personal experience relating to the theme. Minimum length is 600 words, maximum length is 800 words.
The main prize, open to both previously published and unpublished entrants, is two places on a holiday to Abruzzo, donated by Railbookers, departing before the end of September 2013. Abruzzo is located in central Italy and stretches from the heart of the Apennines to the Adriatic Sea, allowing visitors the chance to explore both coastal gems and mountain hideaways. Railbookers specialise in tailor-made holidays and city breaks throughout Europe and beyond. Their portfolio of holidays combines hotels with rail travel and offers complete freedom to choose where to go and when. Their list of Italian destinations includes principal cities as well as places that are more off the beaten track.
The itinerary for the prize holiday includes one night at the 4-star Hotel Internazionale Bologna followed by 5 nights atthe 4-star Castello Chiola– a stately castle on top of a hill nestled within the medieval town of Loreto Aprutino. The prize includes breakfast, Avis group B car hire for 5 days, return flights from London to Bologna with British Airways and a return train from Bologna to Pescara.
There is also a prize just for unpublished writers. This is a place on any travel-writing weekend in 2012 or 2013 run by Travellers' Tales (www.travellerstales.org). The prize does not include transport to the destination.
The competition judges will include Hilary Bradt, Donald Greig and Adrian Phillips of Bradt Travel Guides, Jonathan Lorie of Travellers’ Tales and Ben Ross, Head of Travel, The Independent on Sunday . The final winners will be announced at an event held at Stanfords, the UK’s leading travel bookshop. The closing date for competition entries to reach us is noon on Friday 15 June 2012. To enter, and for full competition rules, go to http://www.bradtguides.com/travelwriting