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 GuideGecko Writing Contest 2010


International writing contest for travel, lifestyle and entertainment guidebooks

We invite all bloggers, budding writers and established authors with a passion for travel, lifestyle or entertainment to participate in the GuideGecko Writing Contest. The winners will get their titles published and showcased at the world’s largest book fair in Frankfurt, Germany in October, 2010.


Win a trip to the Frankfurt Book Fair and jump-start your travel writing career



The Results are out!


Thank you for voting and submitting your guidebooks! Your response has been overwhelming, and our jury had a hard time to pick their favorites. Here are the results:


1st Prize: Trip to Frankfurt Book Fair & guidebook showcased on the fair

...goes to: Elsa Doriana Briguglio for The Sicilian Experience.


Congrats, Elsa! We have already contacted you to arrange for your trip to Frankfurt. Please start packing!


2nd Prize: Guidebook showcased on the Frankfurt Book Fair

goes to... Travel'n'Stuff for The Budget Chic Travel Guide.


3rd Prize: Guidebook showcased on the Frankfurt Book Fair

goes to... Tanya Bricking Leach for Hawaii For Heroes.


Congrats, Travel'n'Stuff and Tanya! We will feature your guidebooks on the Insight Guides booth in Hall 8.0 (Booth L901). Please contact us to arrange for your other prizes. We will get back to you after the fair.


For the stats, here are the TOP 3 titles by voting (cut-off Sept. 30, 2010 at 23:59 GMT+8):

  1. The Sicilian Experience
  2. The Urals: A first stride into real Russia
  3. The Budget Chic Travel Guide

View all submissions and votes. Note: This page also includes votes after the cut-off.


Top 3 titles as rated by our jury:

  1. The Sicilian Experience
  2. 700 Places to Volunteer Before You Die: A Traveler’s Guide
  3. Hawaii For Heroes


Thanks again for your participation and congrats to the winners. An extra-special thank you to our jury!


I f your book did not win, watch this space in 2011 for a new chance. Should you come to the Frankfurt Book Fair, look for us at booth 8.0 L901 and say hello!



Who can participate?


Everyone! No matter if you are a blogger, a budding writer or an established author, we invite you to upload your guidebooks and participate in the contest. All original submissions with 32 pages and more are welcome. Guides that have previously been published on GuideGecko or elsewhere can be submitted as well.


The award is open to all travel, lifestyle & entertainment guides.


That includes:

  • Travel and Sightseeing Guides
  • Food & Dining Guides
  • Nightlife & Party Guides


...and many more. Need writing ideas?


Participation is free and authors receive full royalties for their submissions. Authors also retain all copyrights of their work - we are as happy as you if you strike a good licensing deal on the fair! See our publishing section for more details on how publishing on GuideGecko works and what we can do for you.

Sign up for our FREE

Travel Writing Course

Limited time only! Ideal for all budding travel, food and lifestyle writers: Sign up now and receive our travel writing course at no costs!


Packed with the best tips and advice on how to write , publish and market your book [more].


Tell your friends:



1st Prize: A trip to Frankfurt Book Fair & Your title showcased on the fair!



 Your book will be prominently displayed  on the largest and most important book fair in the world - the Frankfurt Book Fair in October 2010. We have teamed up with world class Insight Guides to showcase your book on the renowned Insight Guide booth - what could be more prestigueos and effective?


  • Meet and mingle with editors, agents and other industry representatives.
  • Present and sell your title to 299,000 visitors and over 10,000 journalists!



 Showcase your guides on the Fankfurt Book Fair


Don't miss this opportunity for your career as a travel writer! [more info]



Sounds to good to be true? Well, we'll also fly you to the fair with Lufthansa German Airlines (no matter where you are living), and provide you with accomodation at the Maritim Konferenzhotel Darmstadt. We also throw in an all-days entry pass, valid for both the industry-only and the consumer opening days. All included in our 1st Prize! Use the booth as a basis to explore the fair, meet directly with all renowned publishers, pitch your stories and titles, and perhaps even sign a writing or licensing contract on the spot! Then get ready for the public opening days and present your title to 299,000 visitors and 10,000 journalists!


Plus, you will get:


  • Free featured listing of your book on GuideGecko for one month.
  • Personal coaching on how to make the best of your trip to the Frankfurt Book Fair.


Proudly sponsored by:


Lufthansa German Airlines

Maritim Konferenzhotel Darmstadt

Insight Guides

Fly with Lufthansa German Airlines right to Frankfurt.


Special partners: Hotels in Orlando Florida and Trek Exchange - a marketplace for downloadable walking tours.

The Maritim Konferenzhotel Darmstadt is only 35 minutes by S-Bahn commuter train from the Book Fair grounds. It features 352 spacious rooms and a pool with sauna and solarium.

Insight Guides is a world leader in visual travel guides, with over 450 titles in four different series and over 50 million copies sold in 14 languages.



2nd + 3rd Prize: Your guide showcased on the Frankfurt Book Fair!


We will showcase your book on the largest and most important book fair in the world, where 299,000 visitors and 10,000 journalists will see it. We will promote your title, answer any questions on your behalf, and - if you want - get you in contact with interested publishers and licensors.


Plus, you will get:


  • Free featured listing of your book on GuideGecko for one month.
  • Personal coaching by our senior editor with hands on recommendations on design, writing style and content.



How to win?


The winners will be selected by a renowned jury from the travel writing and publishing industry. A guidebook can achieve a maximum of 15 points, and the guidebook with the highest number of points wins. Our jury will rate the guidebooks on a scale from 1 to 10 points. You can earn 5 additional points through readers' voting. Each reader's vote is cast by rating the guide (a click on the stars in the description page of the guide). The guide with the highest number of votes (no matter how many stars) receives 5 points, the second highest 4 points, and so on, until the fifth highest receives 1 point. No points are given for 6th place and beyond.


  • Jury: up to 10 points for your book.
  • Readers' voting: up to 5 points for your book. [How to vote]


Our Jury: (in alphabetical order)


Tom Le Bas

Nicholas Gill

Maralyn Hill

Tim Leffel

Tom Le Bas

Nicholas Gill Maralyn Hill Tim Leffel
Tom Le Bas is a  Managing Editor with Insight Guides. He has edited, commissioned and project managed over 50 guidebooks. Before joining Insight in 1998, he worked with Rough Guides in London and Odyssey Publications in Hong Kong. His favourite travel writers are Patrick Leigh-Fermor and Paul Theroux.
Nicholas Gill is a leading authority on food and cultures of Latin America. His work has been published in  Nat Geo Traveler, the New York Times, and many other magazines. He has written various guidebooks for Fodor's and Frommer's, and recently launched his  new website New World Review.
Maralyn Hill is the President of the  International Food, Wine & Travel Writers Association (IFWTWA). She is also a writer, editor, broadcaster and speaker. Maralyn has co-authored Our Love Affairs with Food & Travel, featuring 90+ chefs worldwide. Maralyn blogs at Where and What In the World. Award-winning travel writer Tim Leffel has circled the globe three times and dispatched articles from five continents. He is the author of The World's Cheapest Destinations, now in 3rd edition. He is also editor of the popular narrative webzine Perceptive Travel.



Our jury will judge along these criteria:


  • Content (depth and breadth of information, quality of recommendations, adequate writing style)
  • Design (layout, adequate images and photos)
  • Structure (well structured content, easy to find relevant information)
  • Bonus points (at juror's discretion)



How to participate?


The contest is now closed. Thanks for voting and submitting your guidebooks!


Simply publish your guide on GuideGecko and register for the contest:


  1. Publish your guides using our Publishing Wizard.
  2. Go to your My GuideGecko profile, scroll down and register your guides for the contest.


You may participate with as many titles as you like. To be eligible, your book must have at least 32 pages and be published as a PDF download and as a print on demand. You may also offer your guide as new & used book instead of print on demand, in which case you are responsible for printing and shipping to customers. All options are available in the publishing wizzard. You decide on the selling prices for all formats, earn full commissions, and can also offer free downloads.


To increase your chances of winning, we suggest that you promote your guide in your facebook profile and your blog or website. Also leave a comment on this page (no, we don't mind you praising your own books here.)


[SUBMIT YOUR GUIDE NOW] - it's free, no strings attached!





The contest is now closed. Thanks for voting and submitting your guidebooks!


  • Submission deadline: Sept. 15, 2010
  • Voting starts: Already started!
  • Voting ends: Sept. 30, 2010
  • Winner announced: Oct. 1, 2010


All deadlines are at 23:59 HRS (GMT +8:00). So hurry up!


Please see the rules and regulations for more details. Want to announce this contest on your website? Download banners and photos.




Have questions or suggestions, or want to promote your submission? Do it here!
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