Vicarious Festival 2020 Travel Writing Competition

The Vicarious Festival 2020 Travel Writing Competition is our way of encouraging and supporting the creative endeavours of aspiring travel authors.

The guiding principle behind the Vicarious Festival is that thought-provoking travel literature and photography have the power to illuminate unfamiliar cultures, nurture empathy and understanding, and inspire curiosity and wanderlust.

With that in mind, our Travel Writing Competition aims to help bring aspiring travel authors to the attention of publishers and readers, and to support the creative process involved in telling an engaging, perspective-changing story.

The Travel Writing Competition is open to anyone writing a book about their experience of an unfamiliar culture (or cultures) during a single journey.

The book may be at a very early stage, with perhaps just the first few chapters in first draft, or it could be an edited and proofed final manuscript.

To be eligible for the competition, the work must be:

  • Non-fiction
  • Written primarily in English
  • Unpublished (and not self-published) as a whole, or in part, in any format

The author must be willing and able to attend the Vicarious Festival 2020 in person.

The closing date for competition entries is Friday, 31st July, 2020. The shortlist will be announced during the first week of August.

Three writers will be shortlisted. They’ll all receive a free ticket to Vicarious Festival 2020 (or a refund if they’ve already purchased a ticket.)

During a session on the Friday afternoon of the festival, they’ll each have 10 minutes to introduce their story to the audience and deliver a brief reading. The session will be repeated (for festival goers who missed the first one) on the Saturday morning.

The winner will be chosen by festival goers via secret ballot.

The winner of The Norman Lewis Memorial Award for New Travel Writing will be announced on the Saturday evening of the festival.

The award winner will receive the following prize package:

  • £500 cash
  • Invitation to speak at the next Vicarious Festival
  • Two tickets to the next Vicarious Festival
  • Additional prize elements to be announced

The two runners-up will each receive two tickets to the following year’s Vicarious Festival.

The non-refundable competition entry fee is £5.

If you would like to enter the competition, first upload the following to a shared folder in the cloud (e.g. Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive, WeTransfer, etc.):

  • Your first chapter (PDF)
  • 500-word synopsis of the whole story (PDF)
  • 100-word biography, plus links to your social media profiles (PDF)
  • Recent head-and-shoulders portrait photo of you (unedited JPG)

Then purchase your competition entry via this link, making sure to enter the download link for your shared folder in the ‘Additional Information’ box at the Billing stage.