Travel Writer: the Shortlist

With nearly 600 entries and a longlist of 45, our shortlist of the ten best travel writer competition entries is here


The Irish Times Amateur Travel Writer competiton has reached the final furlong with the publication today of the ten travel articles that made it on to the competition shortlist. It’s been a fantastic journey reading the almost 600 entries that we recieved and bringing last week’s longlist of 45 to this, the final ten. Congratulations to everyone who has made it this far.

One of these articles below will claim the prize, which includes a press trip abroad to cover a travel story for The Irish Times and subsequent publication in the Saturday Magazine.

The shortlist:

Maria Hoey: Two go to Inishbofin, Ireland
Sheila Malone: Hakuna matata: a sustainable trip to Kenya
Paul McElwee: By canoe from Ecuador to Peru
Shane Leavy: Unzen, Nagasaki Prefecture, Japan
Paul McGranaghan: Kutna Hora, Czech Republic
Ruth Petherick: Cambodia and Vietnam
Patrick Holloway: Florianopolis, Brazil
Marie Noonan: Tea Drinking, Jinhong in Western China
Kathyan Kelly: Russia on a Rouble, Russia
Catherine Dempsey: Berlin, inter-railing across Europe, Germany

Next Wednesday, November 4th, we will publish the ten stories on the shortlist on and allow you to vote for your favourite. This will represent 30 per cent of the total vote with the judging panel awarding the remaining 70 per cent.

The judging panel includes Orna Mulcahy, Managing Editor, Features; Rachel Collins, Irish Times journalist; Gary Quinn, Features Digital Editor; Ciara Kenny, Irish Times journalist; Emer Sugrue, Irish Times journalist and Aoife Valentine, Irish Times journalist.

The judging process: All articles were judged blind, meaning there was no identification of the author on the article read by the judging panel. Each was judged on its story merits alone, with writing style, language, pace and storytelling technique marking one story out from another.

Note: There had been conflicting messages published on about the number of entries allowed, with some people submitting multiple entries. As this was an error on our side we allowed the multiple entries but increased the number of stories on the longlist to prevent multiple entries on the longlist pushing out individual entries. This, coupled with the blind judging, ensured the fairest process under the circumstances. We apologise for the error and the mixed messages.