COMPETITIONS

Been there, done that? Now get writing! AFTW 2013 invites entries for 3 travel writing competitions:

Etihad Competition Winner!

Bridgett Cains is the lucky winner of the Etihad Prize for the best essay about her dream destination. She has won flights for two to London with her poignant story about accompanying her mother on her first trip back to the UK since leaving when she was 4 years old.

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When we gave her the good news, Bridgett’s reaction was:
“Winning this prize has affirmed my decision to write a book about the places that dance has taken me. Not only will this trip to the UK contribute to the book, but will give me a chance to thank my mother for her support by taking her to explore the city where she was born. It will mean a combination of training, research, sightseeing, and spending time with family, and is most importantly an opportunity for Mum and I to go on the adventure we’ve always dreamed of. Her squeals of excitement over the phone will stay with me forever. Thank you.”

 

We wish both Bridgett and her mother happy and safe travels! Read Bridgett’s story below:
At the age of three, the only place in the world I wanted to visit was London. My mum was born there, and as far as I was concerned it was a magical place filled with castles and snow. A real queen lived there, wearing a spikey hat that she referred to as a crayon, and if I used my cutlery properly and ate like a lady, I’d be allowed to eat dinner with her. I wasn’t entirely sure I wanted to eat dinner with the Queen, but was open to the idea of befriending anyone who had their very own horses.

Mum was only four when she came to Australia and hasn’t left the country since, but introduced her anglophile daughter to Doctor Who and Monty Python, and instilled a lifelong appreciation of tea, leaving her parents to advise over my multiple school projects on the UK. I’d visit my grandparents and listen to their stories for hours, fascinated by the country and desperately wanting to visit. By the time I’d reached my teens I was more interested in meeting my relatives than the Queen (although people had commented that I held my cutlery as though eating was a form of art), and my focus had shifted from horse riding to dancing, but London was still my goal.

The plan was to finish school, get my Bachelor of Dance Performance, and join a dance company in London. Mum made a lot of sacrifices in order to keep me in training throughout high school, and it wasn’t easy, but I finished school, started full-time training, had glandular fever by Easter, and spent the rest of that year in bed. When I’d finally recovered and started dancing again, I was offered a job teaching dance in New York. I had no interest in visiting the US, and even less in New York. It seemed loud and larger than life in comparison to the sensible and sophisticated impression I had of the UK, but I accepted the job, reasoning it’d look good on my resume, and left Australia for the first time at the age of nineteen.

My first passport expired this month, and is filled with stamps from the US and Canada. Over ten years I’ve taught at a youth circus in the Catskills, worked with magicians in Manhattan, belly danced in Albuquerque, studied world dance and burlesque in San Francisco, and assisted in the construction of a performance space in the Hawaiian jungle, but I’ve yet to set foot in the UK.

With a goal to perform, teach or study dance in as many countries as possible, the next destination on my list had been whittled down from ‘everywhere’ to a fuzzy ‘anywhere but the US’ while I save for my next trip. But now, failing an invitation from Buckingham Palace, I’d love nothing more than to accompany my mum on her first trip home, where she can watch with pride as her daughter wields cutlery at The Ritz instead.

Microstory Competition Winners

The Australian Festival of Travel Writing would like to thank all entrants to our 25 word micro story competition, and to congratulate our winners. The winning entries were announced during the Festival on March 24th, with the three highest placing entrants asked to read their stories in front of the audience. These three winners were:

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Third place: Kerrin O’Sullivan

“I decided to try to find your tombstone, aging under Australian skies.

So strange to die so far from home – Iran 1980.  And dead now longer than you lived.”

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Second place: Annefleur Schipper

I decided to try, instead of judge. To ask instead of assume and to do instead of fear. I decided to travel, instead of stay.”

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First place: Steven Thurlow

I decided to try … getting off my tram two stops early. A faceless woman swayed past swirling Arabic calligraphy, splashed upon a sign like melted honey. Sydney Road beckoned.”

Congratulations to these three talented individuals!

e would like to add that the winner of our final 500 word competition to win two flights anywhere in the world courtesy of Etihad will be announced in the next few days.  Keep watching for this coming update!

MICRO TRAVEL STORIES

 

‘I decided to try…’

AFTW’s micro travel stories (open category)

Write in 25 words or less about a travel experience starting with the words ‘I decided to try…’

Style is open – be humorous, evocative, quirky, poetic or melancholic, and draw inspiration from this year’s festival theme: “Get out of your comfort zone”.

All entries must be submitted by Friday March 1, 2013 in a Word Doc format to competition@aftw.com.au with ‘’I decided to try” in the subject line.

The three finalists will receive a free weekend pass to the festival and have the opportunity to read their work during the festival. Winning entries will also be published on our website.

The winner will be announced during the festival.

Good luck and happy traveling.

See you at the festival!

 

 

Conditions of entry

Multiple entries will be accepted.

Entry should include author’s name, address, telephone number and e-mail address

The competition closes at end of business on Friday March 1, 2013 (late entries will not be accepted).

Judges decision will be final and no communication will be entered into.

For further information, please email competition@aftw.com.au

500-WORDS SHORT STORY

AFTW 500-words short story

Open to all current tertiary education students

Share your weird and wonderful travel experiences in 500 words or less. Tell us a story about the unexpected, the crossing of boundaries, cultural challenges or any other travel done out of the comfort zone – in prose of fiction or nonfiction.

All entries must be submitted by Friday, March 1, 2013 in a Word Doc format to competition@aftw.com.au with AFTW’s Short-short travel story in the subject line.

The three finalists will receive a free weekend pass to the AFTW and have the opportunity to read their work during the festival. The winning entry will be published in the April issue of The Victorian Writer, the membership magazine of Writers Victoria.

The winner will be announced during the festival.

Good luck and happy travelling.

See you at the festival!

 

Conditions of entry

No more than one entry per person will be accepted.

Entry must be previously unpublished.

Entry should include author’s name, address, telephone number and e-mail address

The competition closes at end of business on Friday, March 1, 2013 (late entries will not be accepted).

Judges decision will be final and no communication will be entered into.

For further information, please email competition@aftw.com.au

 

 

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 Writers Victoria supports and connects writers at all stages of their development. www.writersvictoria.org.au

Winners: Best Australian Story competition

Many thanks to all of the writers who sent in their stories for the Best Australian Story competition. The selection process wasn’t easy. Obviously, there are lots of budding writers out there seeking a voice in a crowded publishing world. Good luck to all of you but only one winner is allowed in this contest and Marian McGuinness’s story topped the short list, judged by Naked Hungry Traveller editor Tom Neal Tacker.

AFTW hopes you like Marian’s story about this eccentric outback town as much as we do.