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Travel Story Guidelines

Description of Leap Local Travel Writing Competition (Stories accepted now until Midnight August 31, 2012):

Leap Local will be awarding a $500 USD first prize and two $150 USD second prizes to travellers with hilarious, surprising, culture shocking, passionate, and life changing local travel stories. When we say local, we mean a travel experience which engaged with local individuals or environment and culture unique to the travel location. Plus there is an opportunity to win a second amount of $500.

  • The three winning stories will also be published in the Leap Local's online travel magazine, What on Earth?. The top 10 stories will be published in the magazine section, Monday Escape. Should the quality of stories be as high as they were in both 2010 and 2011, then the top 25 stories will be featured in Monday Escape.
  • The competition is open to anyone over the age of 18. Multiple entries are accepted.
  • Prizes will be awarded in preferred currency of winners if possible.

Download the Travel Story Template docx (44.5 KB)

Download the Travel Story Template doc (older versions of windows) (60.0 KB)

If you don't have word you can open the template online

Guidelines for Leap Local Travel Writer Competition

(All entries must made by 12:00 midnight (in your time zone) August 31, 2012. No late entries will be accepted. Please use the template provided which contains style guidelines.)

1. Write a 500-650 word story about your local travel experience. Please only submit stories about something that happened to you personally (we've had some entered in previous years that were stories the person heard about - these entries cannot be accepted). Submit your story using the template and send to with your surname in the subject line.

2. All competitors must post a new recommendation of a local guide or service on the Leap Local website for every story they enter in the travel story competition . Provide the name of the local (and if possible link) you recommended when you submit your story.

  • Please note your website recommendation of the local on the Leap Local website does not have to be connected to the experience you are writing about for the travel writing competition. Some writers might be writing about a travel incident from years ago and thus do not have up to date information about guides or services in the location of their story. We encourage you then to post about a guide or service from your own back yard (something that a tourist visiting your home locale might find of interest) or recommend something from another trip you have done.
  • There is a time lag from when you post your recommendation, to when you are emailed the URL. Please be patient and wait. It could take a day at times. This is because people from the Leap team actually review all recommendations made to the site and approve them if they are appropriate.    
  • The local that you recommend will automatically be entered into the other two competitions, and you both will be entered into the new $1000 Splits Travel Competition which awards $500.00 to the traveller who makes the best NEW recommendation on Leap Local's website and also $500.00 to the local in tourism who was recommended. 
  • How to make an effective recommendation.

3. Entrants need to provide their real names, contact details including country of residence, and email addresses.

4. You will receive an email saying that your story was received within one week of submitting. Please do not contact Leap Local to ask about the status of your story. If you have not received an email confirming that your work was received, please contact Kirsten ( ) indicating this (or use Leap Local's online contact form), and you will be asked to re-submit your story to an alternate email address.

5. The competition is judged by a group of professional international travel writers, authors, editors, journalists, and other writing industry experts. The judging decision will be final. Please do not contact them.

6. Your story must not have been published anywhere before previously, including online on websites or blogs.

  • Leap Local has the exclusive right to first publication, and non-exclusive right to distribute and syndicate the stories whether in print, in any media, electronic, online, or any other medium, on any website and in any database, archive or library, on or offline. Authors of competition stories will be credited for their work. 
  • Once the winners have been announced and Leap Local has published the winning stories, all other competition participants are free to use their stories elsewhere. If your story has been selected for Monday Escape, Leap Local will contact you before using it.

If your story is selected as a winning story, or as part of Monday Escape, you will be asked to provide several supporting photographs (that you have clear permission to use, or own yourself) and a photo of yourself to go with your bio.

Winning Stories from 2011