We have launched a new writing competition

Could you be the next Bill Bryson? We have launched a search for a new generation of inspirational travel writers with the introduction of a summer writing competition, ‘Words on the Waterway’.

Poet Ian McMillan standing at a canal lock Poet Ian McMillan at a canal lock

About the competition

Would-be wordsmiths are invited to send in an original travel story describing a favourite memory inspired by a visit to one of the 2,000 miles of waterways cared for by the Trust. Entries should be 300 words or less and entered online at the Trust’s website by the competition deadline of Monday 31 August.

Prizes will include publication on the Trust’s website and personally signed copies of books by Emmy award-winning actor and writer, Stephen Fry.

Judging the competition will be waterway words wizard Ian McMillan, presenter of BBC Radio Three’s popular word cabaret, ‘The Verb’ and author of numerous poetry and prose works, including the acclaimed poem ‘Super Slow Way’, inspired by the Leeds & Liverpool Canal.

Stephen Fry provides inspiration for budding writers with a line he penned after a recent visit to Birmingham, where he was impressed by the peace and tranquillity of the local canal. He writes: “Right in the middle of a modern bustling jangling city, then in moments you’re walking for miles along a green-fringed canal watching herons catching breakfast.”

Sharing your long lasting memories

Nicky Wakeford, our marketing director, said: “We know that our canals and rivers are great places to make long-lasting memories. They allow us all to slow down and take notice of our surroundings in ways we just don’t have time to in our day to day lives. We’d like to hear about your enduring memories of spending time by water – maybe as a volunteer, your first boating holiday or perhaps an unforgettable walk. What did you see and how did it make you feel?

“By entering our writing competition you won’t just get the chance to win some special prizes, you’ll also help to inspire others to venture onto our canals and rivers to make wonderful memories.”

Entry to the competition is free.