Call for Submissions: The Best Women’s Travel Writing, Volume 12


I’m so happy to announce I’ll be editing another volume of The Best Women’s Travel Writing, published by Travelers’ Tales. This will be the twelfth volume in the series, and the sixth I’ve had the honor of editing. Previous collections have included Maya Angelou, Anne Lamott, Barbara Kingsolver, Susan Orlean, Frances Mayes, Jane Smiley, Francine Prose, Ann Hood, Patricia Hampl, Kira Salak, Faith Adiele, Peggy Orenstein, Natalie Baszile, and hundreds more—far too many notable names to list. At the same time, we’ve published the work of countless outstanding emerging writers. The anthology has won many awards, and the most recent volume received a lovely review by Andrew McCarthy in The New York Times. “In story after story,” he wrote, “the refreshing absence of bluster and bravado, coupled with the optimism necessary for bold travel, create a unifying narrative that testifies to the personal value and cultural import of leaving the perceived safety of home and setting out into the wider world.”

THE SUBMISSION DEADLINE IS JANUARY 31, 2020, and the anthology will come out in the fall of 2020. Stories can be previously published, as long as you retain all rights. Please find all the guidelines below!


Please send us your best true stories about travel throughout the world for our award-winning series, The Best Women’s Travel Writing. We’re looking for the full range of experience: adventurous, mystical, funny, poignant, culinary, cross-cultural, transformational, romantic, illuminating, frightening, grim, sexy, spiritual—you name it. Stories should reflect the unique alchemy that occurs when you enter unfamiliar territory and begin to see the world differently as a result. Previously published essays are OK, provided you control all rights to the story. Multiple submissions are also OK.

Length & Type of Story

There’s no set length, but to get a sense of what we generally publish, please take a look at The Best Women’s Travel Writing Volume 11, The Best Women’s Travel Writing Volume 10, The Best Women’s Travel Writing Volume 9, The Best Women’s Travel Writing Volume 8, The Best Women’s Travel Writing 2011,The Best Women’s Travel Writing 2010, The Best Women’s Travel Writing 2009, The Best Women’s Travel Writing 2008,The Best Women’s Travel Writing 2007, The Best Women’s Travel Writing 2006, and The Best Women’s Travel Writing 2005.

We strongly (really, really strongly) encourage you to read the books, as there’s no better way to understand what we’re looking for.


$100 honorarium, one free copy of the book, and the right to purchase an unlimited number of any Travelers’ Tales titles for 50% off the cover price (plus shipping and handling).


Please submit via the Travelers’ Tales website, here: AND send in a word doc with all your contact info on the page to

PLEASE make sure to include on your essay all of your contact information, plus a 3- to 10-line bio about yourself. Essays will not be returned; notification of acceptances only, close to publication date.


We are interested in non-exclusive rights, in all languages, throughout the world. Our use of the material does not restrict the authors’ rights in any way to have their stories reprinted elsewhere.


In most cases we will do some editing of accepted stories for considerations of style, grammar, or length and may also alter the story title.

Essays not selected will be considered for future Travelers’ Tales books, unless author explicitly requests otherwise. We collect year round for this collection, so if you miss the deadline, your story will be considered for the following edition. Also, In addition to publishing books, we like to promote the best travel writing we can find and do so in our Editors’ Choice section and elsewhere on our website. By submitting your story to Travelers’ Tales, you agree that we may post it on our site as an example of good travel writing. You will not be paid for this use, but you will retain all rights to your material, and as a Travelers’ Tales contributor you will be able to purchase any TT books at 50% off. If you do not wish us to post your story, please indicate this clearly at the beginning of your submission. If we select your story for publication, we will contact you regarding permission and payment.

***Due to the volume of submissions received we will only contact you if we decide to include your submission in this collection. Final decisions are made near the end of the editorial process, and all authors whose stories have been accepted are notified at that time.***

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Photo by Laurie Koski