Our friends over at World Nomads just announced the opening of their 2009 contest for aspiring travel writers.

If you include yourself among the legions of globe-trotting, pen-wielding writers looking for a free trip and a big break, then keep reading.

According to Chris Noble, World Nomad’s General Manager:

The scholarship recipient will go on assignment to Kerala, India in early 2009 with travel writing mentor David Stott, spending 10 days on tour with The Blue Yonder exploring the River Nila civilization and 10 days writing and reviewing for the upcoming Footprint India Handbook.

And if the destination itself doesn’t sound fantastic enough, there’s more:

The Blue Yonder Tour, specifically tailored for the scholarship recipient, will be based on the age-old tradition of story telling that reveals the uniqueness of the region and the importance of rivers for a sustainable life. It will include interactions with musicians, folk artists, bell metal workers, potters, sand miners, fire worshippers and ritualistic healers, and planting saplings at the Traveller’s Forest, a community driven eco-restoration project.

Sounds like a trip tailor-made for a Matador member!

Here’s what you need to know:

1. The trip is scheduled to take place between February 16-March 7, 2009, so you’ll need to be available these dates to be eligible to win.

2. You’ll need to write a 500 word essay on one of the following topics: a journey that changed lives; responsible travel; or adventure in an unknown culture.

3. Applications must be received by January 9, 2009.

For full contest submission details, visit World Nomad’s site.

Photo: Robbie73 (Flickr creative commons)