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


Jodie Willmer is CEO of Travellers Aid, will be speaking on Sunday, 11.30am, in our panel: ‘Travel Dreams Can Come True, but Travel Reality Bites Hard too.’ The panel will discuss what happens when travel plans go wrong.  Get your ticket through the ‘Program’ panel above!


How are surfers changing the world? Surfaid is providing medical care and building community infrastructure in the Mentawai Islands of Indonesia. Kirk Willcox tells Surfaid’s story in our exciting with renowned surfers and writers: ‘Surfing Stories’, Sunday 1pm. Save your seat by booking a ticket via our ‘Program’ link.


Patrick Holland entranced audiences at the Brisbane Writers Festival last year and now it’s Melbourne’s turn to hear more about his supermodern travels in Asia in the Transit Lounge panel: ‘Travels in a Supermodern Age’, Sunday March 24th at 1pm. Patrick will also be participating in our Saturday 4pm debate: ‘Smart Traveller or Reckless Tourist? The Ethics of Travelling Today’. Get your tickets by following the ‘Program’ link in the navigation panel!


Writer, musician and environmental educator Maya Ward makes the quotidian magical in her tales of local wonders, like the Yarra River. She joins us for a conversation about travelling near and far in the Transit Lounge panel: ‘Travels in a Supermodern Age, Sunday 24th at 1pm. Follow the ‘Program’ link to book your tickets!



Iconic surfer Rusty Miller was surfing Uluwaatu in Bali before the tourist boom, and then moved to Byron Bay where he’s helped create a new travel ethos with “Rusty’s Byron Guide”. Find out more about his incredible life and check out his first book, “Turning Point”, co-written with Tricia Shantz.

Rusty Miller will appear on Saturday in ‘How Byron Bay Became a Tourist Mecca’ at 1pm, and Sunday in ‘Surfing Stories’ at 1pm. Tickets can be booked by following the ‘Program’ link in the navigation panel.


Meet Angelo Pittro during our session on ‘The Capital in the World Project’, and learn about this cooperative between Lonely Planet Italia and Radio Capital. This session will be held on Saturday March 23rd at 4pm.  Grab your tickets by following our ‘Program’ link.


Justin Jamieson, publisher of ‘Get Lost’ magazine, will be featuring in our panel ‘Debunking the Junket Myth: Travel Journalism and International Relations’ on Saturday March 23rd at 2pm. Get in quick to grab your ticket by following the ‘Program’ link!


Catch Alex Landragin from the Daily Fiction Project at the Australian Festival of Travel Writing!  To see him, check out our panel on ‘India: The Land of Contrasts’ on Saturday at 11.30am, or at our Saturday debate on the ethics of travel at 4pm: ‘Smart Traveller, Reckless Tourist.’  Follow our ‘Program’ link in the navigation panel to get your tickets!


Tom Neal Tacker drifted in from the Windy City and was remanded to vagabondage from an early age. Funny, smart and a gastronome extraordinaire, Tom has written for the world’s best travel magazines, papers and websites, including his own e-zine “Naked Hungry Traveller”, and he’ll share his knowledge of industry secrets in a workshop with a difference.

Catch Tom Neal Tacker at our Thursday workshop: ‘Travel Writing Industry Secrets’, starting 9.30am. He can also be seen debating travel ethics in ‘Smart Traveller or Reckless Tourist?’ at 4pm, Saturday March 23rd, or in some of our panels: ‘Debunking the Junket myth – travel journalism and international relations’ (Saturday 1pm) on the global importance of travel writing, or ‘Travel Dreams Can Come True, but Travel Reality Bites Hard too’ (Sunday 11.30am) about what happens when travel plans go wrong. Grab your tickets by following our ‘Program’ link!


Burmese writer Michelle Aung Thin, author of Monsoon Bride, will be joining us at the Festival.  Catch her in our Saturday panel ‘Burma – the shape of things to come’ at 2.30pm, on the growing Burmese tourism industry.  Michelle will also appear on Sunday in ‘Where the Road Ends…’ our 10am panel about settling in foreign countries.  See our Program page to book tickets!

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.

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