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Uganda Travel Writing competition 2022 launched

Uganda Uncovered has officially launched the second edition of its flagship travel writing competition that seeks to shine a light on budding travel writers all over the Pearl of Africa, Uganda.

Uganda Uncovered is a youth enterprise that is giving the county’s tourism a new point of view through promotional travel apparel, Hertime chat series and the travel writing competition.

The annual Travel Writing Competition is an initiative aimed at championing domestic tourism and destination marketing, therefore, only positive recollections will be accorded to the audience.

This year’s competition, which comes immediately after an inaugural successful one last year, will run under the theme; ‘My 100 per cent recommendable destination in Uganda.’

Participants from across the country will be required to submit articles within a length of 800–1000 words, about their most memorable destination, with diction and narration rich enough to keep a reader engrossed and desire to visit that particular place. There are no submission fees charged.

The winner of this year’s competition stands a chance of winning a whopping 1 million shillings cash prize along with a fully paid trip to one of Uganda’s most coveted destinations.

According to Ms Irene Allen Namisango, the Team lead at Uganda Uncovered, writers are advised to tap into their creativity and bring their wits to paper in the bigger quest of promoting the country’s immense tourism potential.

“Marketing has transitioned from simply the products we sell, to the stories we tell,” these stories are expected to market a tourism destination through the lens of one traveler’s experience. A sweet bias if you may, leaving a reader with an insatiable desire to go to this place, to experience that destination for themselves,” she said.

Ms Namisango added that this year, a pool of judges selected from the country’s top print media houses will be looking out for fresh perspectives and engrossing reads, stories that take their reader on a journey with them, not articles heavy laden with statistics and commonplace facts.

The Director of Tourism at the Ministry of Tourism,Wildlife and Antiquities Basil Ajer, who launched the competition urged travel writers to expose Uganda’s beauty to the world.

“Please contestants make use of this [writing] opportunity because there are some people away from Kampala, trying to get this opportunity but all in vain. Please write and make the readers accept that Uganda is the Pearl of Africa,” Ajer said.

Ms Charlotte Nagawa, One of the judges of the competition, said they need original writers. She said they will not entertain plagiarism of any sort.

“All activities will be online and we do not need people to copy [other works] since we have something that will test and find out something that has been copied,” Nagawa said.

Submissions are officially open to all interested writers and will be closing at 11:59 PM on July 31, 2022 and participants are encouraged to submit their pictures along with the stories which, when shortlisted, will add color to their publication.

The stories submitted should be anecdotes from personal travel experiences from road trips to camping experiences, weekend getaways to long safaris, and any indelible memories made within the plushness of any of Uganda’s tourism destinations.

Mr Eric Ntalo, the Public Relations manager for Uganda Wildlife Conservation Centre said that it was important for Ugandans to get involved in promoting conservation and tourism, noting that it is one sure sustainable way to benefit from all the endowments the country has.

On behalf of the Uganda Tourism Board, Mr Daniel Irunga pledged total support towards the initiative, noting that it will enable Ugandans to tell beautiful stories about their home.

Note to participants

Participants are advised to read the 2021 winning story and the 5 shortlisted stories on the Uganda Uncovered website in order to guide their creative process. The competition seeks youths between 18–35 years of age who will later undergo a 3-month training with the Uncovered Youth Writers Hub to further hone their writing skills. These trainings will be facilitated by award-winning travel writers and authors. Winning articles will be featured on our websites and social media platforms among other benefits. In addition to the prizes, free trips and visibility, shortlisted travel writers stand a chance at employment and travel writing gigs with reputable travel agencies on the hunt for writers.

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