Morland Travel Awards

For the last 10 years, the MMF ( ) has been giving writing scholarships to great African writers so they could take time out to write the books they had proposed, our motive being to enable African writers to get their voices heard globally. From the feedback we have had, our scholarships have been a success. In ten years we have had over 5000 submissions from published authors, given out almost £1m in scholarship grants, and seen gratifying results from their published books.

The MMF is now proposing to launch a different type of award. I have been lucky enough in my lifetime to have visited and enjoyed some of the world’s more off the wall places from Saint Helena, to North Korea, to Baghdad, to Khiva, to Meshed, to Baku, to Vladivostok, to Todos Santos, to the Omo valley, the Nullarbor and Patagonia, the Atacama Desert, the back ends of Iceland and Greenland, and a hundred other places. I have taken away something from each of those places. The memories and experiences from them are a big part of me today. Travel does more than broaden the mind, it informs, it transforms, and it allows English people like me to see how we appear to the rest of the world and to discover that the world is not England.

Because of that we are launching, through the MMF, three annual Morland Travel Awards. The winners of these will each get £6,000. This will allow them to take a trip to somewhere off the wall, off the map, different, and interesting. I would hope the trip would be for at least a month but it must be for a minimum of two weeks. The result of that trip should be a piece of writing, a series of photographs, some paintings, or something else tangible that shows the impact the trip has made on the award winner.

It is possible that the recipients will arrange to get the results of their trip published or exhibited. That is up to them. From our point of view, the pleasure will be from learning how the recipients have been changed by their award trip.

Usually, awards like this are offered to the young. Why should the young have all the fun? We have no interest in funding gap years in Thailand. Our travel awards will be open to anyone over 23 who is not a student in full-time education. There are already hundreds of student grants to allow students to travel; we don’t need to supplement those. But if an 80-year-old widow wants to go to Surinam, go, girl. She may well be top of our list..

Our Travel Awards will be open to anyone over 23 who is resident in England. Resident is defined as having spent at least six of the last twelve months in England and having submitted a UK tax return in the latest year. Entry procedure is below. You will need to tell us where you would go, when, why, and what the results might be, writing, painting, whatever. You could also attach a link to paintings, photos, or writings you have done to show your ability.

Entries where the entrant wants to save the planet, preserve animals, do good, or aid the locals are unlikely to gain favour. Our awards are about travel changing you, not you changing the places you go to. Entries where the entrant wants to meet unusual people and find out stuff we don’t know will be at the front of the queue.

< Please see below for Entry Requirements >

Morland Travel Awards

Entry Procedure 2023

Entrants for a 2023 Morland Travel Award should do the following.

  1. Send the MMF a Word doc with two elements. First, a 200 to 300 word bio including your address and telephone number and finishing with “I confirm that I am not a full-time student.” Secondly, a piece of under 2000 words saying, if you win a Travel Award, where you would go, when, how long for, why you have chosen that place, and what the result of your journey would be. The result should be something tangible such as a piece of writing or a series of paintings or photographs. Within one month of your return you may be asked to present this to the MMF. You can also, if you wish, not compulsory, attach a link to work you have already done to show your ability.
  2. A scan of the information page of your passport.
  3. Convincing evidence that you have lived in England for at least six of the past twelve months. Don’t fib about this because if you get short-listed for an award we may ask to see your passport to check entries and exits.
  4. A scan of the cover page of your latest UK tax return (which shows us nothing apart from your address).

These should be emailed to Mathilda Edwards, using . Please don’t ask questions about what constitutes “convincing evidence” of residence. It’s up to you to convince us.

The MMF does not have a big enough staff to deal with queries. Entries that lack any of the four elements above will go in the bin. Please also note we won’t be able to help winners with their travel or visa arrangements. We suggest they get insurance because we can’t get them home when they get Ebola.

Entries must reach us by June 30th 2023. Be aware that we may cut off entries earlier if we are swamped so get your entry in earlyish. We guarantee that we will not close to entries before May 15th. We may ask certain entrants supplementary questions to help us decide (that’s why we need your phone number). We will announce the winners on July 1st 2023. The travel grants will be made on Sep 1st 2023. Your travel should be completed by Dec 31st 2024 and award winners should be ready to present the product of their trip to the MMF Trustees in London within one month of their return. We will announce the names of the winners but we don’t have the resources to inform those who did not get an award.

Good luck and happy travels . . . .

Miles Morland

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