1. This week’s writing and photo contest winners

    Congratulations to the winners of our contests last week (and a special thanks to everyone who suggested their favorite indie coffee spots):


    Writing Grand Prize: Ryan Murphy
    Entry:Espresso 77 in Queens, NY
    Writing Grand Prize: Joshua Phelps
    Entry:Café Sacher in Vienna, Austria, Austria

    Photography Grand Prize: Jaime
    Entry: Crucial Coffee Cafe in St Augustine, FL
    Photography Grand Prize: A Lawson
    Entry: IKE Box Cafe in Salem, OR

    Photography Honorable Mentions:
    Joshua Phelps (Entry), Ryan Murphy (Entry), Tom Bentley (Entry)

    Writing Honorable Mentions:
    nicole hs kaufmann (Entry), David Graham (Entry), Allie Marini (Entry), Keely Herrick (Entry), Allie Marini (Entry), RAP (Entry), Debbie Rice (Entry), Joshua Phelps (Entry), Johnpatrick Marr (Entry), Gheanna (Entry), Ryan Murphy (Entry), Heather R. (Entry), Liz Burnham (Entry)


    Writing 1st Place: Tory Braden
    Entry: Pang La Elephant Rehabilitation Center in Ngao, Lampang, Thailand

    Photography 1st Place: Karin-Marijke Vis
    Entry: Historic Inner City of Paramaribo in Paramaribo, Par’bo, Suriname

    Photography Honorable Mentions:
    Tory Braden (Entry), Deja (Entry), A Lawson (Entry), Jaime (Entry), Tory Braden (Entry), Liz Burnham (Entry), Flora Moreno de Thompson (Entry), Sergio Paulino (Entry), Karin-Marijke Vis (Entry), Amy Wall Lerman (Entry), Camilla Mann (Entry)

    Writing Honorable Mentions:
    Ryan Murphy (Entry), Flora Moreno de Thompson (Entry), Tory Braden (Entry), Liz Burnham (Entry), Karin-Marijke Vis (Entry), P Y Huff (Entry), Deja (Entry), Mike Harper (Entry)

  2. Trazzler writers: you get it, you really, really get it

    We knew there was a huge, untapped creative force out there, but we’ve just been blown away by the quality of the submissions that we are receiving (both from prospective writers/freelancers and regular users). Are we on to something here? We think so.

    A lot of writers have wondered what our plans are. Are we really going to hire people to write trips? The answer is a resounding “yes”—in fact we already have. Most of the trips on the site were written by professional writers and we intend to always dedicate a high percentage of our budget to community leaders, content managers, and freelancers.

    But we will also always have a special place in our (metaphorical, editorial) heart for users who trazzle and swap trips with friends and contribute for the sheer joy of writing and sharing their travel wisdom. In the coming months we will develop ways to reward you, as well, through prizes and contests.

    We’re just getting started, so the more users we get, the more we can build up the kind of permanent funding that would allow us to hire a constant, steady stream of contributors (subtext: please tell your friends, family, enemies, mechanic, dental hygenist, etc. about Trazzler.com).

    So you can get a feel for what we like, I wanted to share a few of our favorites from the last batch of stellar submissions.

    We loved motospike’s SE Asia trips. The mom in me is especially glad he braved “Death Highway” and lived to write about it.

    Best international trip
    Scarfing Spicy Pad Thai on Khaosan Road, Bangkok (motospike)

    And on the local front, we have a special weakness for people sharing their favorite spots close to home…

    Best local trip
    Jumping in the Lake with Man’s Best Friends in Austin, Texas (laura)

    And we also were quite taken by the quality of many of the photos submitted…

    Best photos
    Living Like the Garifuna in Cayos Cochinos, Honduras (changeling)
    Motorcycling the Death Highway in Vietnam (motospike)

    And, finally, we love writers who take a risk and write about something that 95% of the general public would probably never consider doing. This personal, quirky stuff so often falls through the cracks in traditional travel writing. There’s just not space for it. We’ve got plenty of room here.

    Best “you’ll never find it in a guidebook” trip
    Craning at Containers Piled High on Terminal Island, California (lars)

    So come right in and write for that 5% who love to do the same stuff that you do (I’ve got a trip about driving through a steel mill in Cleveland coming soon—I have a feeling Lars would dig it).

    More soon…