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Tuesday, August 27, 2019

12th Annual Transitions Abroad Expatriate and Work Abroad Writing Contest

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Please read the following editorial guidelines carefully, as well as past contest-winning articles to see what interests and motivates our well-educated audience.

Professionals and freelancers are encouraged to write non-fiction inspirational and practical articles that describe their experience living, moving, and working abroad. Often your experience is extended and transformed by activities in the host country, so living, working, studying, and traveling abroad are often inextricable — and we are interested in exploring all such organic interconnections.

Making the move to live abroad is for many the ultimate transition — often the fulfillment of a lifelong dream, in other cases the result of chance and circumstance. For many, living abroad is decision about where you wish to enjoy a year or more in one or more locations overseas, spend the rest of your life, and even retire. We are seeking practical and inspiring mini-guides that also provide in-depth descriptions of your experience moving, living, and working abroad (including any form of work such as teaching English, internships, volunteering, short-term jobs, etc.). When applicable, please also include resources, a discussion, and revealing anecdotes about your social interactions with locals, food and markets, culture, housing, immigration and visas, personal and family life abroad, and other issues of note, etc.

Apart from practical considerations, what were the most important physical, psychological, and social adjustments necessary to integrate into the local communities? Feel free to include anecdotes about locals who may have aided in your adjustment to the physical conditions and social rituals of the host community, as well as the role of expats in providing information and support.

Given the ever-changing nature of the global economy, more people are moving abroad to find or explore various forms of work in addition to seeking spiritual fulfillment, so stories that also describe how you work to support yourself while living abroad are of great interest to our us and our audience. We start with our editorial supposition that most people "work to live" and do not "live to work" except when there is a perfect marriage, such as writers who make their living and travel as part of a lifelong dream, others who are doing exactly what they always wished to do where they wish to do it, or those who have chosen to retire to a location where they have decided they feel most at home.

We welcome a well-crafted essay or ideally a mini-guide. Boxouts with references to the most important websites, publications, and other practical resources that have aided you in the cultural adjustment process or enhanced your life abroad are strongly encouraged to help others who may find themselves in similar situations or even similar locations. High-definition photos also are very important to make your submission stand out in this visual medium and age.

We seek your perspective, in which the host country remains the primary focus, such that the color and taste of the people and land remain solidly in the foreground. Our preference is for essays or mini-guides about your adaptation to the culture and people in whose country you have chosen to make your home. Try to write with the discipline of an engaged journalist using your observations to provide an in-depth feature or mini-guide. Assume an educated and empathetic audience.

Browse the Living Abroad section of our site for some examples of the types of articles we are seeking, as well as reading past winners of the contest, and see our writers' guidelines for a sense of our editorial preferences.

TransitionsAbroad.com will publish the winners' entries and will provide links to the authors' website or blog, and a head-shot, if so desired, as part of your bio.

Please contact expatriatewritingcontest@transitionsabroad.com should you have any questions. We except one entry per participant.

Sharing your participation or interest in the contest via Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or your other preferred social networking sites would be very much appreciated.

Contest Prizes
Cash prizes are as follows:

$500 cash prize for the first place winner
$150 for the second place winner
$100 for the third place winner
$50 for all finalists

Who is Eligible
The Contest is open to professional and freelance writers from any location around the globe.

How to Enter

Submit an original and unpublished essay or mini-guide of between 1,200 and 4,000 words relating to your experience living, moving, or working abroad. (Quality is obviously more important than quantity when it comes to word usage, though some subjects require elaboration should you aim to create a "mini-guide.") Focus should be placed on a description of the experience abroad and not primarily on personal feelings, as the descriptions and perceptions of the author should imply the personal impact. Supporting photos as attachments, or ideally links to shared "cloud" locations, are welcome to illustrate the experience and are considered part of the essay submission. Please read the writers’ guidelines for TransitionsAbroad.com, the entries of previous winners, as well as sample articles on this site for a sense of our editorial focus and preference.

To enter the 2019 Contest, attach your essay in Word format. Another option is to point to a shared "cloud" location for the document. Please include your full name and your bio (including head-shot, should you so desire) you wish to display in the body of the email and on the document. Please type "2019 Expatriate Writing Essay Entry" in the subject description of the email and send the email to expatriatewritingcontest@transitionsabroad.com.

The 2019 Contest begins September 15, 2018, and all entries must be received by September 15, 2019. Transitions Abroad Publishing, Inc. will require first-time North American rights for all submissions which are accepted as contest winners and for publication. In addition, Transitions Abroad Publishing, Inc. will reserve the right to reprint the story in a future publication.

Editors of TransitionsAbroad.com will judge entries based upon the following criteria:

  • Sensitive to the people and culture being described
  • Engage and inspire the reader
  • Provide practical information others can use
  • Follow the thematic guidelines
  • Enhance with rich photographic and/or video illustrations


Winners will be chosen and notified by email by the close of September 30, 2019 (Pacific Standard Time).

Contest Terms
There is no entry fee required for submissions.
Decisions of the judges are final.
Transitions Abroad Publishing, Inc. is not responsible for late, lost, misdirected, incomplete, or illegible email or for any computer-related, online, or technical malfunctions that may occur in the submission process.
Submissions are considered void if illegible, incomplete, damaged, irregular, altered, counterfeit, produced in error, or obtained through fraud or theft.
Submissions will be considered made by an authorized account holder of the email address submitted at time of entry.
The 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners — along with any other runners-up accepted for publication — will be paid by Transitions Abroad Publishing, Inc. either by Paypal (best and quickest method of payment) or by check, as preferred by the author.
All federal, state, and local taxes are the sole responsibility of the Contest winners.