Penguin Wayfarer Competition

old ways macfarlane
This summer Penguin Books are celebrating The Old Ways’ spirit of adventure with a competition aimed at finding and fostering a new generation of explorers and thinkers. We reviewed The Old Ways in Hardback last year and absolutely loved its lyrical description of the physical and spiritual pathways that we create across our landscape – and this is a great competition with some fantastic prizes to be won too, so don’t miss out!

We’re pleased to announce The Penguin Wayfarer Competition, to celebrate the paperback publication of The Old Ways by Robert Macfarlane (published in Penguin Paperback on May 30th, 2013). You can find more details about the book and the launch at

Show us around your favourite ancient tracks, holloways, and sea paths and you could spend your summer trekking across the country for Penguin Books and The Old Ways by Robert Macfarlane. We’re looking for someone who doesn’t mind getting their boots dirty, can string a sentence or two together, and who can get creative about how they share their journey with the world – you should already know your way around social networks and be able to produce short videos on your own.

The winner will become our Wayfarer and will get paid to travel around the UK throughout July and August on our shout (so please only enter if you’ll be available all summer). You’ll visit some of the Old Ways paths, but more importantly, you’ll strike out on your own and make some new discoveries, on or off the beaten path. You will then report back on your adventures through blog posts, photos, videos and tweets.

Sound like the perfect way to spend your summer? Head to our entry page at and submit a short (two-minute) video before midnight on Sunday, June 9.

From there we’ll choose a longlist of 20 and hand it over to the public to vote for their favourite Wayfarer. Robert Macfarlane will choose the winner from the top 10 vote-getters and we’ll announce the Wayfarer winner on June 28.

Are you ready to follow in Macfarlane’s footsteps?

robert macfarlane


The Wayfarer Mission

  • you will be available five days a week during July/August and flexible with evenings/weekends.

  • you will plan a travel itinerary with feedback and approval from the Penguin team.

  • you will work with the Penguin team to keep the travel itinerary to a budget – accommodation will most often involve camping! (but camping equipment generously provided by Snow + Rock)

  • you will stay in touch with the Penguin team during your travels and post online content at least five days a week.


The Wayfarer will receive a daily fee and travel expenses from Penguin during July-August, outdoor gear (plus GPS and camera) from Snow + Rock (value: £2500), a two-month train pass from CrossCountry Trains, select accommodation and activities covered by Virgin Experience Days, and the longlist and shortlist prizes below.

The 20 longlisted candidates will receive a signed copy of The Old Ways paperback. The 10 shortlisted candidates will also receive a limited edition print by Stanley Donwood based on the linocut he created for The Old Ways paperback jacket, signed by both Donwood and Macfarlane.


Any Dabbler who enters before May 30 (Old Ways paperback publication day) gets five free books from Penguin. To be in with a chance simply email with “Dabbler” in the subject line after you’ve entered and the amazing peeps at Penguin will make sure to hook you up with some literary goodies of your choice.

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The Dabbler is the culture blog for connoisseurs of everything.