Win a 2-week writing trip in the Balkans!

Applications for the scholarship are now closed and the winners have been announced.

Read the winning travel stories
In partnership with:


Do you have what it takes to be a travel writer?

Hone your storytelling skills, learn from an industry pro and go on a real-life assignment in the Balkans.

Well off the trodden European trail, the southeastern destinations of Croatia, Macedonia, Albania, Montenegro, Serbia, Bosnia & Herzegovina and Kosovo are a delight for adventure-seekers and culture enthusiasts alike. The magic of the mountains is found not only in the wondrous landscapes but also in the hospitable people and their deep connections to local tradition.

We’re looking for three aspiring storytellers to travel around this region and write about the natural attractions and cultural charms that they find along the way.

Watch the video below to see how to apply

Writers on assignment

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What you could win

The 3 scholarship recipients will receive:

Free flights

Receive round-trip airfare from your country of residence to Dubrovnik, Croatia where you will transfer to Herceg Novi, Montenegro.

Travel-writing workshop

Attend an exclusive travel-writing course under the mentorship of New York Times and Outside magazine contributor Tim Neville.

Balkans trip

Each writer will then embark on their own 10-day trip with €1000 spending money including a free tour courtesy of The Western Balkans Geotourism Network.

Adventure Apparel

Wander the Balkans in style with $500 USD worth of adventure travel clothing from ExOfficio.

Train Pass

Plan your adventure with a Eurail rail pass – your ticket to exploring the Balkans.

Travel Insurance

As always, we've got your back. You'll receive travel insurance for the duration of your trip from World Nomads.

In partnership with:

How do I apply?

Write your story

Compose a 2500 character travel story around one of the following themes:

  • 'Making a local connection'
  • 'Out of my comfort zone'
  • 'A place I’ll never forget'

Plan your itinerary

Tell us two places that you would like to visit in the Balkans. You could be exploring Macedonia’s national parks, uncovering local cuisine in Bosnia & Herzegovina, studying music and dance in Serbia or walking with the wildlife in Albania.

Complete the application form

In 1500 characters or less tell us why you should be the scholarship recipient and what winning this opportunity would mean to you. Your answer will hold considerable weight in the judging process.

Strictly one application per person

Applications close in...

Apply by March 21, 2017 at 11PM (EDT)

Remind me

Not ready to apply yet?
We'll send you a reminder to apply for this scholarship 10 days before closing.

Important dates


Applications close


Winner announced


Workshop in Montenegro


Travel around the Balkans

What are the Judges looking for?

You'll need to convince our judging panel through your writing that you have the spirit of adventure and passion for travel writing to be chosen for this scholarship.

  • Great descriptive ability (without getting flowery)
  • Well structured narrative and a strong eye for detail.
  • Ability to uncover a great travel story and tell it in a compelling way
  • Excellent spelling and grammar and a knack for avoiding clichés

The 3 scholarship recipients, along with the shortlist of best entries will be published on the World Nomads website on April 12th, 2017.

Need some tips?

Get FREE travel writing tips from a professional travel author:

Looking for Inspiration?

Check out some of our past winners and meet your mentor:

Beware of Bears

Allison’s original, well-paced and self-deprecating essay about a bear encounter becomes a meditation on life itself.

Read this story

In the Isle of Skye

The strong language and playful tone of Mackenzie’s story bring to life the Scottish countryside and its characters.

Read this story

In Full Bloom

Well-known Brighton gets a sideways look from an outsiders/insiders perspective in Nainaa’s arresting essay.

Read this story

Meet your Mentor

We interview our 2017 mentor Tim Neville on the state of the travel writing industry and his tips for making it.

Meet Tim


We've listed the top three questions here.
Still have more questions? Check our FAQ page.

Am I considered a professional travel writer?

Essentially this is a 'learning opportunity' for someone who is looking for an introduction into the writing industry.

For the purposes of this opportunity, we would consider you to be professional writer if you have been published regularly in commercial blogs, newspapers, travel magazines or travel journals. We would also consider you to be a professional writer if you derive more than 25% of your income from writing of any kind. If you have only had a few stories published, or keep a regular travel blog then we would not consider this professional.

Please consider the spirit of the program which is intended to help those with a burning desire to be a professional travel writer and need some help getting started.

Do I have to travel solo? Can I bring a travel companion along with me, even if it's just for the road trip?

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 travelling and working on your own. Therefore, we do require you to undertake the trip solo. During the workshop, the winners will be exploring Montenegro together along with their mentor. Plus, you'll embark on a 5-day tour during your 10-day road trip which will give you a great opportunity to meet other travelers along the way.

I have a problem submitting my application. Can I email my application to you? Help!

Emailed applications will not be accepted. All applicants must fill the application page and submit their story via our website.

Do you still have questions or are you ready to apply?

It'll be hard to apply on your mobile, but we can send you a reminder to apply on a desktop.