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Women Inspire Women Travel Writing Contest...


The rules of the game...

C'mon, everybody, sharpen those pencils. We're looking for mini (under 500 words), women-centered travel stories that are inspiring tales of determination and courage. We want to read how you overcame either a personal barrier or an external one in order to make your journey a successful one. Your stories can be as serious or as comical as you'd like as long as they illustrate that the outcome was definitely worth the struggle.

(1) Contestants should be registered members of the Journeywoman Network. typewriter
(2) Only one entry per person.
(3) No attachments, please. All stories should be put into the body of an email.
(4) Entries may be published in any of Journeywoman's publications.
(5) Each entry should contain the name of the writer, her city, and the word count (under 500 words).
(6) Address entries to: Put 'Women Inspire Women' in the subject line.
(7) Contest closes March 15, 2008.
(8) First-place winner will receive $US100 plus top billing in our newsletter and at our website.
(9) Four runners-up will each receive prizes of $US25 plus billing in our newsletter and at our website.
(10) Below see sample story, 'She Fights for Chicken in China.'

She Fights for Chicken in China...

A sample story by Evelyn Hannon

A small town in China...

For one month in 1990 I travelled in China researching Traditional Chinese Medicine. I worked closely with the Chinese government, all my hospital and university visits were sanctioned by them. They provided me with a 20 year old engineering student who was my guide for my complete time there. Our schedule took us to major cities and some very small towns where Caucasians were a rarity. In one particular small country town my guide was invited to dinner and I was left to fend for myself.


An empty table for ten...

No problem, I thought. I'll eat in the hotel dining room. I entered the restaurant. Clearly no one spoke English and I was the only non-Asian in the place. I followed the waiter into the huge dining room, all talking stopped, heads turned and all eyes were on me. The waiter led me through this enormous dining room and into another equally large, completely vacant hall where he proceeded to try to seat me at a large empty table for ten.

Uh, uh, I shook my head to denote 'no' and pointed into the first room. His response? He nodded his head 'yes' to show me that he thought this was the perfect place for me. We did this head ballet for a few more times and he finally relented, took me back into the first dining room and sat me at an empty table for ten, again.


I raised my voice...

Now I had to order without the dictionary that I had left in my room. I pointed to rice as it went by and he got the message. Then, because I didn't have the word for chicken I thought I'd try my luck in English. 'Chicken', I said. He stared back at me. 'Chicken,' I said a little louder, 'chicken.' Still he stared and because I didn't know what else to do, I raised my voice in frustration, 'CHICK..EN!'

That last loud 'chicken' did it. All around me Chinese diners began experimenting, 'chicken, chicken, chicken.' Clearly this was their first try at English and they were definitely enjoying the language lesson. One man in a military uniform stood up, smiled and toasted me with what he was drinking. Everybody clapped. I stood up and began walking around other tables, looking for something that looked like chicken. My waiter followed. Then I spied it, stir fried chicken. I pointed again. He understood. Everybody clapped again. Clearly I was everybody's entertainment that evening. I blushed as I ate my meal with what seemed like hundreds of amused eyes on me but, honestly, I wouldn't have missed the experience for the world.





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