The Travel Contest

Picture Perfect by sektordua on Flickr

Summertime means beaches, barbeques, and, most importantly, vacations. For those of us stuck at home, the term “living vicariously” has never sounded so good. Which is probably why I’ve been staring at the picture on the left for the past week and a half.

So, to celebrate our stay-at-homeness, we’re giving you a shiny new contest!

Your task: In no more than 2,000 words, write about an exotic location you or your character(s) traveled to, discovered, or are on the hunt for. You can take this in any direction – memoir, horror, mystery, romance, fantasy, sci-fi, adventure – the sky’s the limit. It can also be in any format, so poems and screen plays are just as welcome as stories!

The first place winner will receive a keepsake steamer trunk (we know, it’s awesome) and a Moleskin City Notebook for a city of your choice. A second place winner will receive a scratch map to help you keep track of your travels, and a third random winner will receive a Figment tote and stickers!

How To Enter:

1) Read the Contest Rules (below).
2) Create your getaway-destination piece.
3) Email your entry in the body of an email to
4) Follow Travel Contest on Figment.

All entries must be received by Monday, August 8, 2011 at midnight EST (that’s Monday going into Tuesday).Β Moderators and editors will be selecting the top semi-finalists, followed by a round of voting (by Fig Folk) to determine a winner.

1. One entry per person, please.
2. The promotion of your contest entry is not allowed on Figment. This includes self-promotion and the promotion of other users’ contest entries in the Figment forums, the comments and reviews of stories, and the Figment Facebook page. Independent promotion on sites unrelated to Figment, like personal Facebook or Twitter accounts, is fine.
3. Works must be submitted according to the instructions above between the announcement of the contest and the closure of the contest. This means a new piece must be created for the contest; adapting an old Figment piece published before the start of the contest will make the entry ineligible to win.
4. The rules of the contest are both strict and open to interpretation by a moderator.
5. The creation of multiple accounts to heart or otherwise vote for your contest entry on Figment is prohibited, and may result in the disqualification of that entry, the deletion of your Figment account, and/or the blocking of your IP address permanently from the site, at the moderator’s discretion.

151 thoughts on “The Travel Contest

  1. Can I do something with a little of mythology mixed into it, like a legend or something? And can it take place in the past?

  2. I’m a bit confused with the prompt. Are we supposed to write it like you presented it to us as yearning to go there and thinking about it rather than actually being there or is it more like if we were there, what would our fantasy be? I guess I’m confused about what direction to take.

    • Hi Rachel

      You can take it in any direction you like – you can be dreaming of this location, be there, be on your way there, etc. I hope this helps, and please feel free to email me at if you have any other questions.

  3. I saw this contest and went “AHH YES!!” Traveling is my hobby, and I will lovey love this. I have to do my summer reading and then I shall write!

  4. How many semi-finalists will there be?
    Also, is it okay if our piece isn’t necessarily about us, but about a character we make up?

    • Hi Alina

      The number of semi-finalists depends on how many total entries we get, but there are usually four polls with 5 semi-finalists. Your entry can be about anyone or anything you like, as long as it involves some kind of travel to an exotic location. This location does not have to be on Earth, and the characters can be anyone you want – they don’t even have to be human. I hope this helps and please feel free to email me at if you have any questions.

    • Hi Suki

      It can be in 3rd person if you like, and it doesn’t need to have happened in real life – you can completely make it up πŸ™‚ Feel free to email me at if you have any other questions.

  5. Does it have to be a place that we want to go to?? Or can it just be we have a certain reason to go there, not necessarily because we want to?

  6. Can I have the Cheshire Cat be my main character? Like, how he came into Wonderland, and Wonderland would be the exotic location?

  7. Okay so I am a major anime freak, *anime is a japanese cartoon* and I was wondering If I could base my story off this one anime called Hetalia, and use their characters for my story… LIKE A FAN WRITING!! thats what I am the best at! please reply ASAP!

    • Hi Kyra

      As long as you acknowledge that you don’t own those characters (especially since they may not be immediately recognizable), it’s okie dokie. All you need is one sentence at the top of your entry stating what the characters are from. I hope this helps and please feel free to email me at if you have any other questions. Best of luck!

    • Hi Rae

      Because this is run with blind voting, we ask that contestants not publish their entries to Figment. If, however, a contestant sees that his/her entry is not in the semi-finals by the last poll, then he/she is able to publish it to Figment prior to the end of the voting period. I hope this helps and please feel free to contact me at if you have any other questions. Best of luck!

  8. Hello! I’m a little confused about the polls. If we’re not posting our stories on Figment, will there be links to the semi-finalists’ stories so that in voting we can read them…? That sounds silly, but I’m just not sure how the voting happens πŸ™‚

    • Yes, that’s exactly how it will happen. We’ll post all the semi-finalists entries (with no names) so you can vote on your favorite.

  9. Hi, so, just to make sure, if we live in the UK for example, can we still enter this? I’m just checking because allot of contests on these sort of websites limit the entrants to people within the U.S. No problems, of course, if this is the case πŸ™‚

    • Hi Lauren

      The contest is open to international contestants as long as entering contests isn’t prohibited in their country of residence. I hope this helps and please feel free to contact me at if you have any other questions.

  10. Hi! Just wanted to know, the description says a place “you” traveled to, are on the hunt for, etc. Does that mean that the piece has to be in first person? Also, can my character be forced to travel to the particular place? Just wanted to confirm. Thanks!

  11. Can this location be like a typical city? Does it have to be like super special or interesting? I want to write about California, is that too boring?

    • Hi Esther

      It can be, but try to find something that would make it somewhat unusual. Exotic can mean anything from different to unique, so focus on bringing to light something that may not be obvious. I hope this helps and please feel free to email me at if you have any other questions.

  12. Does my story have to focus on the scenery/exotic place, or can it focus on the romance in the exotic place with an exotic boy?

  13. Can I use a character/exotic location from another one of my stories on figment, but use a different plot? Like I have a character who travels to Venice (That’s one of my top to-go places and I always like writing about it). Is this OK, or must it be completely original?

  14. So we ARE allowed to do a fan writing if we give credit to the author in a line at the top??
    And does the line count in the word count?

    • Hi Curious Person,
      Yes, fan writing is fine as long as you’re crediting the author. This credit will not count towards your word count.

  15. What exactly does, ‘exotic’ mean? Does it have to be on an island? Somewhere with palm trees? Specify

    • Hi Calamity,
      Exotic just means foreign or non-native, so in this case it can just mean different from the norm. So, if your character lives in a place with palm trees, they may actually want to visit a place with cactus for their vacation. πŸ™‚ Hope this helps.

    • Hi Calamity,
      In order to preserve the blind voting process, we ask that you not post your story on Figment until the contest is over. Feel free to email me if you have any more questions!


  16. In the email we send the story in, do we need to write who we are in the subject box? Or do we simply write the story in the body of the Email?

  17. Hello, another question, sorry πŸ™‚ Does travelling to somewhere made up in a dream count? So, in other words, dream travel? Thanks πŸ™‚

    • Hi Calamity

      You can use California, but try to focus on something about it that would make it completely unique, something that wouldn’t be obvious. Feel free to email me at i you have any other questions.

  18. It says in the rules that the work must be sent in the body of the email. Should I publish the work on figment as well, or will that be done by the recipient of the email?

    • Hi Marc,
      We will be reading all of the entries via email and then selecting the semi-finalists. We will then publish those semi-finalists (without names) on Figment, where they will be voted on by Figmenters. I hope this helps!

  19. When we write about the story, can we make up something fictional as the main topic and then cover the exotix location that we have been to as the location. Also should we describe the location descriptively because it might end up in a really long information, is it okay or not?

  20. I’m sorta new here at Figment, so this is a cool way for me to get to know people, and I think the contest entries will be an excellent way for me to get a feel for different writing styles and genres. So, I’ll give it a shot. (The steamer trunk is awesome – I think I might just be able to fit inside and mail myself somewhere.)

  21. This contest sounds really exciting! Am I supposed to tag it under a specific thing (like, do I have to tag it under “TravelContest?”)

  22. How will the first and second prize (nonrandom) winners be chosen? Like, what qualities are the judges looking for?


    • Hi Kinsey

      Figment moderators and staff will go through all the entries and choose the semi-finalists based on imagination, technique, etc. Then those semi-finalists will be placed in a poll for Figmenters to vote on. Whoever wins the semis polls will move on to the finals. From there, figgies will choose the winning and second place entry.

  23. I wrote a piece, but (again) I’m not sure if it even qualifies. If the main character’s dead, is going to heaven, and the journey, while being enlightening, also hurts him/her…? Like that’s basically what it’s about. Cold you please tell me if that is acceptable? Thanks!

  24. I sent mine in yesterday night- are we supposed to get a confirmation email? I never got one, so I’m just making sure you guys got it πŸ™‚

  25. Is it alright if I have it about a character from a different world, who comes to our world and it’s much different then his/hers, like our world is the exotic place because it’s exotic to the character. Is that ok?

    • Nope, you won’t be disqualified. If you feel it will affect how your work will be read, feel free to send an email with your entry correctly formatted and a note explaining that you’re sending an updated copy. As long as it’s before the deadline, it won’t be a problem. Feel free to email me at if you have any other questions.

  26. Hey – do I send as a link to my profile on this website, or do I just copy and paste the whole story into the email? Thanks

  27. I use hotmail and when I sent my message it broke up some of the sentences into two paragraphs. It effects the reading and doesn’t look good, so I wondered if I could send a revised copy with a note to explain? The thing is I already have my confirmation email, so that is why I am asking, otherwise I would just take the advise of the people above me πŸ™‚

  28. Hi,
    I sent my entry yesterday, but haven’t yet recieved a confirmation email. It had been around eleven hours, and I was wondering what I should do…?

    • Hi Phoebe

      Confirmation emails are being sent out now! Check spam if you don’t see it in your inbox by the end of the day. Best of luck!

    • Hi Olivia

      Please send the actual entry in the body of the email. Since we’re running this with blind voting, we’re asking contestants not to publish their entries to Figment.

    • I just checked and it looks like the confirmation email went out yesterday. If you don’t see it in your inbox, please also check your spam folder. Feel free to email me at if you still don’t see it.

  29. Hey, I have a question. So do we attach the story in an email? Or actually write it out IN the email as the content? Also, we don’t have to post it on Figment, just e-mail it? Thank you!

    • Hi Kendra

      Responding to both questions:

      1. Because it’s blind voting, we’re asking that entries be sent as an email to You can include it as an attachment (Word or plain text) or include it in the body of the email. No .wps, please. We can never open those.

      2. You can use that!

      Feel free to email me at if you have any other questions.

  30. Sorry I have so many questions! haha but can it be in San Diego, like at a beach there? does that count as a getaway-destination?

  31. Quick question: I sent my entry in LATE last night (I’m talking 11 or 12… and in the latter case, that means I sent it in today, haha) and I was just wondering when to expect my confirmation email, and if it’s bad that I haven’t gotten one yet?



  32. Shoot… I just remembered that I sent the entry from the wrong email address. I’m going to resend it now, from the correct address, and I’ll make sure to explain what happened in the email.

  33. (I’m sorry to ask ANOTHER question, but I’m sorta worried)

    I had to resend my entry because I accidentally sent it from the wrong email address, and I haven’t gotten my confirmation email yet. I’m not sure if you got my entry, or if it’s even valid, since I resent it?

    Thanks again!


      • Thank you, Maria! πŸ˜€

        I got the confirmation email and everything appears to be set. πŸ™‚ Phew. For awhile there, I thought I might have to make a trip to the store. To pick up Nutella. Because Nutella makes me happy. πŸ˜‰


  34. I sent my entry in last night and was wondering when the confirmation emails were going to be sent out? I’m totally stoked about this contest and don’t want to miss getting in!

  35. Is it okay that the location is a very important part, but we are only there towards the end. (I’m kinda typing it right now.)

  36. Hi there! I haven’t recieved my comfirmation e-mail yet, and I sent my entry to you about three hours ago. Did you get it?

  37. I sent my entry very close to the deadline, and I’m not certain that it was before. If you received it a few minutes after 9:00 (12:00 EST), will you still accept my story for consideration for semi-finalists, or will it be rejected immediately? I’m worried b/c I spent lots of time on it πŸ˜›

  38. Okay, one last question (feel free to pelt me with tomatoes now…)

    When will you announce the first round of finalists?

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