astw hktb

Calling all budding travel writers

The Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) and the Australian Society of Travel Writers (ASTW) have collaborated to launch a new initiative, aimed at enticing a new era of travel writers in Australia.

In a first for the ASTW, the association will introduce the “Rising Star” award to their existing 2018 Awards for Excellence programme, designed to provide a boost for writers looking to expand their expertise into the often daunting but aspirational travel writing industry.

The award is open to writers and digital influencers who have had their first paid travel story published in the past two years.

Entries will be reviewed by three judges: HKTB Regional Director, Andrew Clark; author of the Hong Kong Precincts guidebook and ASTW committee member, Penny Watson; and award-winning freelance journalist and media industry academic, Lee Mylne. The travel editor for Australian media organisation, Fairfax Media, will review a shortlist of three finalists to select the final winner.

The winner will receive a trip to Hong Kong, including: return economy airfares; four nights’ accommodation; return Airport Express Line voucher; MTR pass with HK$200 credit; dinner at Ho Lee Fook; foodie tour of Sham Shui Po; tour of Tai Kwun – Hong Kong’s new centre for Heritage and Arts; traditional junk boat ride to view the nightly light and sound show – A Symphony of Lights. The winner’s subsequent Hong Kong story will also be published by and will be considered for Traveller’s print edition in the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.

The winner will also receive a one-year “Rising Star” membership to the ASTW valued at AU$400 and will be invited to attend an ASTW Christmas lunch where they will be presented with their award.

ASTW president, Danielle Lancaster said this is an exciting initiative for the ASTW that will give back to the writing community and ensure a healthy future for the society.

“The ASTW was founded in 1975 and today has more than 300 members. We want to share this wealth of knowledge and talent with those eager to also craft a career in the travel writing industry,” Ms Lancaster said.

“The committee are always looking for ways to mentor rising talent and educate the industry on the benefits of being a member, we were thrilled to be approached by HKTB with an idea to make this goal come to life.”

HKTB regional director – Australia, New Zealand and South Pacific, Andrew Clark said The HKTB are thrilled to be supporting grassroots development in the travel writing industry.

“It’s great to be a part of an initiative which supports up-coming talent and also the ASTW which we have long been associated with,” Mr Clark said.

“Hong Kong is also a fantastic destination to ‘cut your teeth’ as a travel writer, with so many experiences, neighbourhoods and environments to suit any style of writer. We look forward to working with the ASTW to grow this award and also the overall platform for Australian writing talent.”

Award criteria:

  • – Award entrants are writers or digital influencers who have had their first paid travel story published in the past two years and who are not existing ASTW members
  • – The award submission must be a travel related article under 1,000 words published between 31 October, 2016 – 31 October, 2018
  • – The article must have been a paid commission and judges will need to see evidence of story payment, upon request
  • – The article will have featured in a print publication with a minimum circulation of 20,000 or in an online publication with a minimum of 10,000 unique visitors per month

How to enter:

Entries are open from 1 August, 2018 to 31 October, 2018 via
The winner will be announced on 30 November, 2018 on; and will also be notified via phone.

For more information on the award visit or for information about Hong Kong, visit

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