Travel Writing Scholarship 2012 – Southeast Asia

Deadline: 23 April 2012
Open to: Students, emerging and non-professional writers and lovers of travel with a high degree of proficiency in written English, aged minimum 18 by the date the scholarship application close.
Prize: Scholarship covering the trip to Singapore, Indonesia, Malayasia with the mentorship of travel writer Richard Lim of Rough Guides


Do you want to be a published travel writer?

This year decided to shake things up a bit and instead of choosing just one country for their scholarship…they’ve decided to send you off to three different countries in Southeast Asia! Once on the ground, you’ll have the opportunity to see for yourself life beyond the banana pancake trail, and get to know Southeast Asia from the local perspectives, through the eyes of three amazing writers.

Here’s the triple-dip deal:

First you’ll head off to Singapore to go on assignment for five days under the mentorship of Rough Guides writer Richard Lim to review and update ‘The Rough Guide to Singapore’.

Then you’ll fly to Bali and meet up with Stuart McDonald, founder of Travelfish, the online travel guide to Southeast Asia, before heading off on six days of cultural insight and adventure in Indonesia.

For the last leg of the scholarship, you will be whisked off to Malaysia for a food odyssey through Kuala Lumpur and Penang with former local and cookbook author of award winning hsa*ba Burmese cookbook, Tin Cho Chaw, to explore how cuisine shapes the lives of Malaysians.


  • This opportunity is open to students, emerging and non-professional writers and lovers of travel looking for a career change.
  • The scholarship is open to all nationalities, however, you must have a high degree of proficiency in written English.
  • The opportunity is designed to give you a taste of what it’s like to be a travel writer on the road, so you must be comfortable doing some travel on your own. 
  • Minimum age 18 by the date the scholarship application close (April 23, 2012)
  • A current passport with at least six months before expiry
  • You must be available as per the dates set out. Please note these dates are not changeable in anyway, you must be available for the entire assignment.You should be an exceptional writer with a lust for adventure travel, a desire to experience new cultures (and eat them!)and above all, a burning desire to become a professional travel writer!

Watch the video for more eligibility information and application tips.


The successful applicant will receive the following;

  • A stipend of AUD$600 to cover meals and local travel costs whilst in Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia
  • A 6-day custom ‘Culture & Adventure’ tour in Bali and Nusa Penida, Indonesia including accommodation.
  • A 5-day custom ‘Malaysian Food Odyssey’ in Kuala Lumpur and Penang, Malaysia including accommodation.
  • Economy airfares from nearest international airport to Singapore, all Southeast Asia connecting flights and return economy airfare from Kuala Lumpur
  • Mentorship with travel writer Richard Lim of Rough Guides
  • Cost of any relevant visas and vaccinations
  • Travel insurance with

The scholarship recipient must work with the mentor Richard Lim, and under his direction, review and update local travel information in Singapore such as accommodation, transport, bars & restaurants, entertainment, shopping, tours & activities. All relevant writing must be submitted to Richard Lim for review and possible editing no later than August 20, 2012. Some or all parts of the work submitted may be published in the 2013 “The Rough Guide to Singapore” where the Scholarship recipient will be duely credited.

The scholarship recipient must also keep a daily travel diary and upload diary entries (no less than 200 words per daily entry) to the World Nomads website, via an online travel journal, no later than 2 weeks after returning from the trip.


If you want it, you’ve got to show it. To apply you need to:

1. Write. Craft a 2000 character or less (this includes spaces) travel focused essay based on a personal experience around one of the following themes:

  • Understanding a Culture through Food
  • A Local Encounter that Changed my Life
  • Seeing the World through Others Eyes
  • Giving Back on the Road

It’s up to you to convince the judging panel through your writing that you have the spirit of adventure and passion for travel writing to be chosen for this scholarship. They will be looking for:

  • great descriptive ability
  • strong eye for detail
  • ability to uncover and tell a compelling story
  • excellent spelling and grammar and a knack for avoiding clichés

2. Complete an entry form which includes contact details and a maximum 800 character essay on why you should be chosen and what the opportunity will mean for you. Your answer will provide considerable weight in the judging process.

3. One entry per person.

4. The entry must be submitted in English.

The deadline for applications is April 23, 2012 at 2PM Australian Eastern Standard Time (UTC +10).

For more information please visit the Official Website.

The Official Website

3 thoughts on “Travel Writing Scholarship 2012 – Southeast Asia

    1. Dear Aya,

      If you open the Official Website, you can see that **You need to be available between June 18th – July 6th, 2012 to participate on the assignment**. So I guess these are the dates for the trip.

      Kind regards

  1. Dick-Finally had the good sense to read your book and absolutely loved it. Being a tblriere reader, I read mainly non-fiction, and this was the first novel in a long time. Loved your character development, plot twists, similes, etc. Was curious how many characters, situations, locations, etc. were from actual experience. Jim Webb likes to mention how few Ivy Leaguers went to Viet Nam, so your service and that of a few classmates deserves special recognition.Assume you’re retired and the proud bearer of a single digit handicap. I’d love to meet you for lunch or whatever if you’re still in the DC area.Tad

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