1. Guide To Trazzler’s Writing Contests

    Trazzler Writing Contests: An Overview
    Surfing trips on Trazzler is like rummaging through a chest of treasure, it’s only a matter of time until you stumble upon that hidden gem—the ideal trip for you. Our writers zoom in on particular travel moments and experiences special to them, in places both well-trekked and off-the-radar.

    While we hire freelancers each month to write trips about weekend getaways or themes (such as local institutions, eco-travel, or a writer’s own travel “obsession”), we also host travel writing contests, offering Trazzlers more chances to share their favorite travel experiences—and be rewarded for sharp, inspired writing. Some of our writing contests are topical: think “On the Road” or “Smart Travel.” Other writing contests are regional, like our spring 2010 Louisville Writing Contest. For these, we encourage local writers and community institutions to participate and share spots that appeal to locals and discriminating visitors.

    Ways to Win: Voting and Editorial Prizes
    With the help of our past partners, including NYCGO, Sharing Aloha, and Only in San Francisco, we’ve awarded a $10,000 New York City writer-in-residence contract, a trip for two to Hawaii, 15 trips to San Francisco, dozens and dozens of freelance contracts, weekend resort stays in getaway towns like Stowe, VT, and Bend, OR, and many other goodies.

    There are two ways to win: We award People’s Choice Grand Prizes to contest entries that earn the highest-number of votes, but also select Editors’ Choice Prize winners based solely on editorial quality. (The contestants never cease to impress us—while we can’t reward everyone, we always award runners-up freelance contracts to the writers of our favorite entries in our big contests.)

    How to Enter
    Never entered a Trazzler writing contest before? It’s free and easy. On our writing contests page, find the contest that appeals to you, click “Enter Now,” and follow the prompts to the final submission page (and sign up/sign in if needed). We usually have more than one contest going at once, so be sure to submit your entry between the start and end dates.

    For tips on writing a “Trazzler Trip,” read Writing Nuts and Bolts, which explains the elements of a Trazzler trip: location, title, links, tags, and a photo… Our Writing Guide goes over what makes one Trazzler Trip more attention-grabbing and appealing to our editors than another. We especially love trips that evoke the sensations within a particular place, or those that tackle a destination from a smart angle.

    Tips to Get Out the Vote
    While we award the very best writers with Editors’ Choice Prizes, many contest entrants who eye our People’s Choice Grand Prizes impress us with how successfully they rack up votes during voting periods, using Twitter, Facebook, their blogs, and other creative ways to spread the word about their contest entries. So, here are some starter tips on how to get out the vote for a People’s Choice Grand Prize:
    • The “Share” Button is Your Friend: Use the “Share” button on your trip page to post the entry to your Facebook wall and friends’ home pages, or email it to a friend.
    • Spread the Word: Publish a post on your blog with a link to your entry, asking your readers to “Save” your trip. (If they don’t have an account, they can sign up via Facebook Connect or regular sign-in, using the Trazzler tab).
    • Tweet It: Share your entry’s link on your Twitter handle and ask followers to vote and retweet.
    • Explain Why You Deserve to Win: Perhaps you’ll devote the trip to a meaningful or sustainable travel project, or plan to donate part of your monetary award to a nonprofit. Let your readers and followers know how you plan to spend the grand prize or contract.
    • Reciprocate: Feature fellow travel writers on your blog when they vote for and share your trip on Facebook, Twitter, or elsewhere.
    More Travel Writing Resources
    While our travel writing philosophy is unique and we particularly love Trazzlers who nail our style, we value all kinds of travel writing—as well as the resources out there for writers like you. Here are some online communities and blogs that provide travel writing and photography tips, freelance writing/editing leads, and general usefulness in the realm of travel writing: