Freelance writers contribute stories to a plethora of genres with varying degrees of success. A writer’s ability to reach her intended audience is never guaranteed. Too many variables can create obstacles that block one’s path to success. Rejection letters can be a sobering reality.
But most would agree that perseverance eventually paves the way to brighter days. Few will be able to accomplish their goals without determination and hard work. Centuries ago, Aristotle wisely stated that “Excellence is never an accident. It is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, and intelligent execution; it represents the wise choice of many alternatives – choice, not chance, determines your destiny.” Deciding to periodically enter writing contests has become a vital part of this process.
Establishing My Unique Voice
As a travel and lifestyle writer, I am forced to make daily decisions. Figuring out engaging angles for future stories and then asking the appropriate questions are two paramount strategies I use to entice readers. In many instances, my message is similar to others and can get lost in the overabundance of printed and online material. Far too often editors are looking for something off the grid or brand new. The ability to project my unique voice over the chatter of others can be a daunting task as I seek to assert my individuality.
On this website and The Traveling Bornsteins website, I have more freedom to express myself. I do not have to conform to the constraints of someone else’s guidelines or editorial calendar. I can write and publish as I please.
In the freelance arena, I continually find ways to make my voice heard when so many others are trying to cover the same content. Seth Godin was right on point when he stated, “In a crowded marketplace, fitting in is a failure. In a busy marketplace, not standing out is the same as being invisible.”
By maintaining two websites and writing in multiple genres—adventure, food & beverages, luxury boomer travel, historical sites, Jewish culture and history, and intergenerational travel, I showcase my unique voice. I also strive to attract attention by entering my work into writing contests.
Travel Writing Awards
Last month, my travel writing was recognized by the 28th North American Travel Journalist Association Travel Writing Awards. I’m thrilled to share my latest awards.
Category 147: Culinary Travel – Online Publication
- Gold: Sandy Bornstein, “A Taste of Israeli Cuisine in Frankfurt,” Real Food Traveler
- Silver: Jen Ruiz, “The most diverse city in the world also has its most exciting food market,” Matador Network
- Bronze: Jen Ruiz, “The best tequila bar in America is in Disney World,” Matador Network
- Honorable Mentions:
- Amanda Gabriele, “How to take the ultimate coffee trip through Panama,” Matador Network
- Nancy Matsumoto, “Canada’s Best New Restaurants,” Air Canada enRoute
Category 148: Cultural Travel – Online Publication
- Gold: Margie Goldsmith, “Iceland: Visit the Land of Fire and Ice Now,” Forbes
- Silver: Sandy Bornstein, “Exposing the Jewish History of a Medieval German Town,” Canadian Jewish News
- Bronze: Heide Brandes, “Belize’s Thriving Afro-Caribbean Culture,” BBC
- Honorable Mentions:
- Melissa Adams, “Myanmar Through an Ethical Lens,” The Expeditioner
- Sarah Staples, “How Germany Became the Country of Cars,” BBC
Category 192: Travel Tips & Advice
- Gold: Kathleen Mangan, “The Best of Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way,” National Geographic Traveler
- Silver: Alexis Stratton, “#TravelingWhileTrans: How to stay safe while seeing the world,” Matador Network
- Bronze: Nikki Ekstein, “Travel Hacks A to Z,” Bloomberg Pursuits
- Honorable Mentions:
- Sandy Bornstein, “What You Need to Know About National Park Deaths,” Far & Wide
- Richard Grant, “How to Visit LA Without a Car,” Real Food Traveler
- Stacy Tillilie, “When Lightning Strikes,” AAA World
When Sandy isn’t trekking or writing in the Colorado Rockies, she is traveling. She has visited more than 40 countries and lived as an international teacher in Bangalore, India. Sandy shares her lifestyle and travel experiences with international and domestic online sites and print media.
Her stories have appeared in Hemispheres, Destinations Magazine, KUHL’s Born in the Mountain blog, Grand Magazine, Wandering Educators, Golden Living, One Travel, Miles Away, Canadian Jewish News, Getting On Travel, Far and Wide, Colorado Parent, Traveler Confidential, Family Circle- Momster, and others. Sandy is also the content coordinator for Golden Living, a Best Version Media publication mailed to Golden, Colorado residents. For this publication, she writes family and business feature stories and a monthly travel tip column.
Sandy’s award-winning book, May This Be the Best Year of Your Life, is a resource for people contemplating an ex-pat lifestyle and living outside their comfort zone. To learn more about Sandy’s travel adventures, visit https://thetravelingbornsteins.com/