Thank you -- and happy travels!
What is BBC Travel?
BBC Travel is an editorial section within BBC.com that provides inspiring and high quality content on destinations around the world. It is fuelled by regular, relevant and inspiring editorial content from a global community of editors and authors who provide a trusted perspective on the world of travel. We are independent, impartial and honest. Our goal is to publish strong, engaging, entertaining content that reaches the gold standard the BBC is known for.
What is the Words & Wanderlust column?
Our travel memories are woven from the places, people and experiences that elevate the commonplace to the unforgettable. Our new travel writing column, launched in July 2014, is a creative space to reflect upon these memories, while also inspiring new ones.
The series serves as a platform to showcase the kind of exceptional long-form travel writing that we believe is lacking online. We want to publish stories that illuminate the experience of travelling and conjure a sense of place vivid enough to make our readers fall back in love with the world.
The column – which is updated monthly – is edited by Don George and lives here on our site: http://www.bbc.com/travel/columns/words-and-wanderlust.
What we’re looking for
We are looking for travel stories that are poignant, fascinating, funny, moving, engaging, heartbreaking, eloquent, inspiring and/or surprising. Above all, they should demonstrate a passion for travel and an engagement with place.
We want unique and compelling pieces that take storytelling to the level of high quality, long-form narrative writing, bringing travel to life with all the flair of fiction. Essentially, we are looking for a variety of exceptional travel stories that shed light on a particular destination and evoke a human experience in a way that illuminates the larger journey we share.
What we’re not looking for
BBC Travel will likely reject stories that do not tell a unique story or are not written to our standards. Creativity is encouraged, though fiction, including poetry, is not allowed.
Be aware that we will only accept pieces with really interesting narratives behind them – climbing a mountain may be an impressive feat, but it won’t necessarily make a strong narrative that will resonate with a reader.
The author’s voice should be engaging, inspiring and entertaining. Writing should be aimed at a universal audience who are passionate about travel, curious about people and places and want to engage with the world around them.
Though we want unique stories, the piece does not necessarily have to be written from a first-person perspective (though it certainly can be!); a successful narrative might be character-driven, about another person’s travel experience, or a more conceptual essay ruminating on the experience of travel in a broader (but still focused) sense.
Above all, the tone should conjure an authentic sense of connection to the destination visited, include evocative descriptions of a destination’s people, atmosphere and environment, and a sense of delight in the experiences and destinations described.
Your story should be between 2,000 and 3,500 words, depending on the complexity of the piece.
Please send Don George (email@example.com) a short synopsis (about 200-350 words), explaining the topic/theme/angle and why you think it would work on the site. The synopsis should also give us a taste of your writing style and ability to engage the reader. Please also send a short description (maximum 75 words) of your writing experience and links to other published pieces.
Unless otherwise confirmed by Don George in advance, all commissions will be on spec only and we reserve the right to turn down a piece once the full copy is submitted if it does not meet our standards.
It is BBC policy to give every piece of content at least two edits. Please let us know if you’ll be off the grid for some time and unavailable for edits.
Fee to be confirmed directly with Don George. Once your story is commissioned (or accepted, in the case of a story submitted on speculation), you will receive an email containing BBC payment forms. Please fill those out and return them as soon as possible, as the initial payment processing for new writers can take some time.