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To read all entries into Stories For Survival 2021, select one of the three categories below:

Adult      Teen     Children


Our free-to-enter travel writing competition offers amateur writers the chance to have their work published in our online Library and shared widely within the Explorers Against Extinction community.

The topic for the 2021 competition is the same for all categories: A World Without…  That’s it. Let your imagination run wild and your keyboard roam free.



Three age groups;

Anyone can enter;

Free to enter;

All forms of travel writing accepted (poem, blog, essay, article etc);

Theme: A World Without…;

Submission deadline 30 June;


By submitting a story, you will be helping to make a stand against extinction. You will help us to raise awareness about threats facing wildlife and wild spaces. The Library will be used in our Campaigns & Events.

All stories will be published in our online library with the winning entry receiving further profile.

The competition is open to everyone – there are 3 categories depending on your age:

12 years and under

Teens (13-19 years)

Adults (20 years+)

Please read these submission guidelines carefully first.

To enter, email your entry to [email protected]

In the Subject Line type the category you are entering: Child/Teen/Adult

The title and entry should be pasted into the main body of the email. Do not send attachments (*unless you are a teacher entering a class – please see below*)

Beneath this put your full name, confirm your contact email address and provide a telephone number.

You will receive an automatic response when your submission is successfully received.

Schools are welcome to enter.

If you are a teacher wishing to enter students in the competition please follow these steps:

Send an email to [email protected]

In the Subject Line type SCHOOL followed by the age group e.g, School/Child.

In the body of the email please confirm the name and address of the school and your name/position, telephone number and reconfirm your email address. If any of your students are short-listed we will use your email address to get in touch.

Attach a zipped folder of your students’ typed stories.

Please ensure each story contains the student’s full name, age and school.

You will receive an automatic response when your submission is successfully received.


Your entry must be an original piece of travel writing by you and be inspired by the theme.

The theme for 2021 is “A World Without…”

Travel writing can take many forms, for example an informative newspaper article, essay, journal, blog, autobiography, or a creative piece such as a poem or longer first-person narrative about a journey or place. All forms of writing are accepted if they meet the criteria set out.

The maximum length of your piece depends on the category you are entering. Please see minimum and maximum word limits below:

12 years and under: 30 – 300 words

Teens 13 – 19 years: 250 – 500 words

Adults 20 years+: 300 – 1,000 words

If you are submitting poetry the minimum word limit will not apply.

One entry per person.

We are accepting submissions until 30 June 2021.

After the submission deadline, all pieces will be read by our panel and a short-list of 3-5 selected in each category. The short-list will be announced on 31st October 2021.

After a further selection process the winner in each category will be chosen. The winners will be announced at the Royal Geographical Society on Thursday 18th November (provisional date).

Head Judge:

Jeremy Lazell

Jeremy worked for eight years as a trekking guide before turning to writing, a decision he’s had plenty of time to regret while sleeping in a hammock 200ft up in the Borneo rainforest for the Sunday Times, all but drowning in Scotland while rafting for GQ, and hooking nothing but his own cheek while fishing in Belize for Food & Travel.

Based at the foot of the Scottish Highlands, where he lives with his wife and three boys, Jeremy writes about 90% of his material for the Sunday Times Travel Section, specialising in adventure travel, family holidays, and whatever round-ups help pay the bills. He has also worked for Conde Nast Traveller and Esquire magazines.


John Summerton

John is the Founder and Chief Editor of Sidetracked Magazine.  He has always had a love for adventure and, after years of backpacking and travel, he can now normally be found somewhere outdoors with his wife and two children. His favourite places are up in the mountains of Wales or sitting by a campfire in the middle of the countryside.

John decided to combine his fascination for adventure and exploration with his love of good design, typography and photography to create Sidetracked, “Adventure doesn’t have to be in huge mountains or the bottom of the ocean and can be a simple encounter with life outside your comfort zones – the stories in Sidetracked encompass all, and cover the globe by various means.”

Robert Ferguson

Robert is a Trustee of the Real World Conservation Trust. He is the author of The Nepal Handbook published by Footprint Guides. When younger (and much fitter) he worked as a Mountain Guide in the Himalayas and has run special interest tour operators ever since. He has had travel articles published in both regional & national publications over the years.

Sara White

Sara is also a Trustee. She’s worked as an editor, and a freelance writer and photographer with published articles ranging from travel and conservation to well-being for a variety of titles including The Times and Country Life. She’s enjoyed many epic journeys around the world and has a particular fascination with both islands and rivers.

All entries will be published online on the Explorers Against Extinction web site.

Terms and Conditions:

  1. The competition is open to writers worldwide,  except for employees of the Real World Conservation Trust, their immediate families, agents, or anyone else associated with administration of this competition.
  2. Closing date for receipt of all entries is midnight GMT on 30 June 2021.
  3. There is one prize per category.
  4. To enter, send your article to [email protected] with your name, email address and telephone number. Please paste your text into the email body. Do not send attachments. You will received an automated reply to confirm receipt of your email.
  5. The shortlists of 5 entries per category will be announced on 31st October 2021.
  6. The winners will be announced at the Explorers Awards Evening at the Royal Geographical Society, London on Thursday 18th November 2021. All shortlisted writers in the three categories will be given 2 VIP tickets to attend the evening.
  7. The Real World Conservation Trust has the right to publish all entries on its website explorersagainstextinction.co.uk . They will not be reproduced elsewhere without the consent of the author who retains all rights.
  8. Entries limited to one per person.
  9. E-mail addresses will be only be used by RWCT for updates on the competition in their newsletter which can be opted out of. They will not be disclosed to any other parties. Telephone numbers will only be used to contact the shortlisted writers.
  10. There is no alternative to the prize offered and the prizes are non-transferable.
  11. If for any reason the winner is unable to take the prize as offered, the Promoter reserves the right to award the prize to the next best entry.
  12. The judge’s decision is final, and no correspondence will be entered into.
  13. The winner agrees to participate in any reasonable publicity required by the RWCT.

Promoter:    The Real World Conservation Trust. Registered Address: Happisburgh, Norwich, Norfolk, NR12 0QQ

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