Hanna Butler – Winner of the Travel Writing Scholarship 2012

Posted on: 19th July 2013

Hanna Butler is the lucky winner of the May 2012 Travel Writing Scholarship to Southeast Asia!

The judging panel has had the very difficult task of whittling 1718 entries down to just one winner. But they got rave comments about Hannah’s Pakistan:

“There were lots of good entries this year but this one really stands out as a great piece of storytelling. The pace is well judged and what could have been exaggerated or embellished instead manages to be respectful and restrained. It tells you just enough to set the scene, evoking the dusty terrain with effective imagery (‘thirsty landscape’) and the potentially hostile environment with incidental references (‘guns strapped to his legs’, ‘NATO trucks’). It then finishes with a nice twist, which is both surprising and satisfying.”

Travel Writing Scholarship 2012 WinnerHanna Butler Winner StoryHanna packed her bags to head off to Singapore where she met with her Rough Guides mentor, Richard Lim. They continued their wanderings to Indonesia for a bit of culture and adventure off the grid with Stuart McDonald, founder of Travelfish.org. Finally, they ate their way through Malaysia to understand the famous cuisine with Tin Cho Chaw of hsa*ba.com.

The highlight of her scholarship experience was the fantastic people she met. A standout for Hannah was Pearly Kee who she spent the day with visiting her local market, then cooking using her family recipes. Her Malaysian leg of journey, made her realize that she can create so many inspiring stories just by eating and cooking local delicacies.

Hannah believed in an old Maori saying in New Zealand which really sums up why she travels:

“He aha te mea nui? He tangata. He tangata. He tangata.” What is the most important thing? It is people, it is people, it is people.

She was also grateful for her mentors for all the new skills she learned along the way. Richard Lim from Rough Guide taught her how important it is as a guidebook writer to be thorough. Stuart McDonald from Travelfish really drove home the importance of being web savvy with one’s writing. Both Stuart and Richard also advocated the importance of being independent. A travel writer should not write reviews for hotels and restaurants in exchange for a free bed or meal.

You can find out more about her wonderful Southeast Asian experience here.

Want to learn more about scholarship programs and stay up-to-date on travel writing, photography and film making opportunities? Sign up to World Nomads’ Scholarship Mailing List.

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