Win a Wanderlust writing trip to Canada

Got the write stuff? Then enter our once-in-a-lifetime writing competition to win your own Canadian adventure

Travel Canada Via Rail

Fancy yourself as a writer? Then do we have the prize for you. Not only could your talents win you a rail journey across Canada – complete with flights, spending cash and camera – but give you the chance to blog your journey for us here at Wanderlust. And all you have to do to enter is write us a story about a train journey you’ve been on.

It’s also the opportunity to experience the adventure of a lifetime, thanks to VIA Rail – Canada’s public rail network. The lucky winner can head to Ontario and Québec, home to Canada’s biggest cities, for culture and nightlife on tap. But just a short trip from the city centres you’ll find natural wonders just begging to be explored. Hop off the train to visit the idyllic islands of Mingan Archipelago National Park, canoe on glassy lakes or mosey around the seaside towns that dot the coast – and don’t forget your binoculars for whalewatching. Wrap up warm and venture north for polar bears and wildlife-rich tundra shores, grab your boots and hike out into the Rockies, or take a trip west to the prairies for some of the world’s most dramatic landscapes.

Wherever you choose to explore, leave the hard work – and the map reading – to VIA Rail. Its network stretches across the country, from as far east as Nova Scotia’s Halifax to Prince Rupert on the North Pacific Coast. It’s greener than air travel, less stressful than road trip, and has all the comforts and conveniences of modern rail travel.

Train travel Canada-style is a breath of fresh air. VIA Rail takes you through the wildest of scenery, with magnificent views and spectacular stop-offs. Relax in spacious lounge cars, take refreshments from on-board dining facilities, and enjoy the view from glass-covered observation cars.

To plan your own VIA Rail adventure, head to the website visit

Calling all budding writers

In partnership with VIA Rail, we’re offering the chance to win your own Canadian adventure. With a Canrail pass, £2,000 spending money and a Flip Ultra HD camera, you’ll have all you need for a cracking trip – but this is a prize with a difference. You’ll be On Assignment: blogging from the road, writing-up tales from the journey, and uploading photos and videos taken with your shiny new camera. We’ll feature your musings on – and may even be able to squeeze some into the magazine – so you’ll need to keep your entry snappy and entertaining to catch the judge’s eye.

How to enter

Write us an account of a train journey you’ve taken – whether it’s a grey daily commute or an exotic trans-continent trip, we want to hear about it. Submissions must be no more than 250 words and non-fiction. Then email it to us at  Please include your name, address, daytime phone number and email. Please state ‘no offers’ if you’d prefer not to be contacted by Wanderlust or the sponsors.

Terms and Conditions

1. Prize-draw open to UK residents aged 18 or over, excluding employees of the Wanderlust, VIA Rail Canada Inc., and their immediate families (defined as parents, siblings, children & spouse regardless of where they live), their agents or anyone professionally associated with this promotion.

2. The closing date for receipt of entries is 15 June 2011

3. The prize consists of one trip to Canada for two, including:

a) Return flights (taxes included) from London Heathrow airport for two adults to Canada - Halifax, Montreal, Toronto, Ottawa, Calgary, Edmonton or Vancouver, economy class. Open jaw flights are permitted.

b) Two VIA Canrail passes, which allow travel across the VIA Rail network for 7 journeys in a 21 day period (each journey allows one break en-route).

4. No cash alternative.

5. The trip is valid for travel during 2011-2012 and must be commenced and completed by 31 October 2012. The prize is not transferable and once booked, dates and names cannot be changed.  All dates are subject to availability and blackout periods apply (20 Dec 2011- 04 January 2012). All airline travel must be booked no later than 31 December 2011.  The prize does not include travel costs to and from London Heathrow airport, appropriate travel insurance (mandatory), meals, ground transportation (other than by VIA Rail) or any other costs of a personal nature for the winner and their guest.

6. The winner and their guest are responsible for ensuring that they are in possession of appropriate travel insurance, valid passports, visas (not required for UK passport holders) and all health or other government requirements prior to departure.

7. The prize must be taken as stated and no compensation will be payable if a winner is unable to use the prize as stated.

8. Only one entry per person is allowed. Proof of identity may be required. 

9. All entries must be submitted directly by the entrant. Incomplete, illegible, photocopied or corrupt entries or those not in accordance with entry instructions will not be accepted.

10. The organiser accepts no responsibility for entries lost, damaged or delayed in the post or as a result of any network, computer hardware or software failure of any kind. Proof of posting or sending will not be accepted as proof of receipt.

11. The winner will be notified by email or phone within 7 days of the closing date. Winners who are uncontactable via reasonable means within 28 days or who do not respond to notification will be disqualified and an alternative winner selected as above. 

12. No correspondence will be entered into.

13. The Winner may be required to participate in publicity arising from the promotion, including consent to use suitable photos from their prize trip for publicity.

By taking part in this promotion all entrants will be deemed to have accepted and be bound by these terms and conditions.