It’s time to cleanse the lockdown fug with a pen, a notebook and some imagination. In partnership with the wonderful Eland Publishing, Plan South America is running a travel writing competition. We want to hear about your journeys big and small: spine tingling adventures, paradisiacal escapes, cataclysmic disasters, family fallouts and romantic trysts.
A favourite independent bookstore in Clerkenwell, London
Eland Books holds an unrivalled collection of travel books from across the globe, reviving old classics which have fallen out of print. The shelves of their Clerkenwell bookstore are bursting with works by Leonard Woolf, W H Hudson, Paul Theroux, Norman Lewis and Moritz Thomsen, amongst many others. Their myriad titles explore stories of wild places, rare cultures and extraordinary journeys.
The history of travel writing
Originally, the role of the travel writer was to communicate curious cultures and territories to those without the means to experience them for themselves. It is thought the term “travel”, first used in the 14th century, originates from the French word travail, meaning ‘work’ – an indication of the challenges then associated with travel, practically and economically. In these strange times, unable to leave our homes, let alone cross borders, we are looking again to our favourite writers to transport us.
The Competition: Rules & Rewards
So, we ask our community of writers and adventurers to dig deep into their travelogues and imaginations to conjure 300-1000 words of prose, or poems of any length, and submit to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sophy Roberts, travel writer extraordinaire and author of the much lauded The Lost Pianos of Siberia, will be judging the entries. Sophy has been Editor-at-Large of Conde Nast Traveller, Travel Editor of 1843 Magazine and a columnist for FT Weekend and How to Spend It. Her freelance work focuses on the wild places, where travel meets conservation and cultural preservation.
The winner of this grand travel writing competition will receive three Latin America inspired titles to help spirit them to exotic climes, as well as being featured on our blog and social media. There will also be prizes for second and third place. The competition will run until 6pm on Thursday, 30th April, and the winners will be announced on social media on Monday, 4th May.