Do you have an exceptional piece of travel writing? Don’t let it stay in your hard drive or journal: try one of these contests that offer cash and prizes.

The following are just a few of the travel writing contests that are out there with upcoming deadlines. If you have a good story that you feel might fit with the editorial vision of the publication sponsoring the contest, why not give it a shot, especially if there’s no entry fee?

Editor’s note: [To the editors out there hosting these contests: is there any way you can post with more specific language than “great travel writing”? It’s a turn-off when the contest descriptions sound boring as hell. ]

52 Perfect Days

52 Perfect Days is looking for entries about eco-tourism and volunteer tourism trips in the U.S., Mexico or Canada. The 2009 Theme is Responsible Travel: “EcoTourism, AgroTourism, Sustainable Tourism and Voluntourism”

Specs: 1,000 words or less. Supporting photos in .jpg format (at 72 dpi and at least 510 pixels wide) are strongly encouraged. Sidebar of all mentioned locations with web address, phone number and address.

The Booty: Trip to Kauai, a new website, daypack…etc.

Deadline: October 31, 2009.

FTF Teen Travel Writing Scholarship

FTF Teen Travel Writing Scholarship is looking for essays describing where you traveled to and what it meant to you. What worked and what didn’t work? What you learned from the trip, how did it change you?

The Specs: Applicants must be ages 13-18 and attending grades 8-12 as of May 15, 2009. Essays must be no more than 600 words in length. All applicants must sign up for the travelBIGO.com community prior to submitting an essay.

The Booty: First Place: $1,000, Second Place: $500, Third Place: $200

Deadline: September 27, 2009

Transitions Abroad

Transitions Abroad is seeking inspiring articles which also provide in-depth practical descriptions of your experience moving and living abroad, including discussions of immigration, personal and family life abroad, housing, work, social interactions with the natives, food, culture, study, language learning, and potential prejudices encountered.

The Specs: Unpublished essay of up to 1,500 words. Supporting photos in .jpg or .gif format are welcome.

The Booty: First Place: $500, Second Place: $150,Third Place: $100

Deadline: February 15, 2010

Best Travel Writing’s Solas Award

Solas awards is looking for “Good travel writing,” everything from adventure travel to elder travel.

The Specs: $20 entry fee

The Booty: First Place: $1,000, Second Place:$750, Third Place: $500

Deadline: September 21, 2009

Community Connection

One of the most comprehensive resources online for writing contests is New Pages. Most of the listings here are for literary magazines–poetry and short stories–however some are for nonfiction as well, and in general, it’s a good idea to have these magazines on your radar screen.

Also, have you checked out the Bounty Board lately? Matador is always looking for solid writers.

Finally, know of any other good travel writing contests? Shout them out in the comments, please.

Want to learn the craft of travel writing?

Sign up for Matador’s new Travel Writing School and get the skills you need.

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