The First Annual Travel Essay Contest at I Must Be Off!


If you are looking for the current contest (2017) guidelines, go HERE

I Must Be Off! wants your travel essays. They could be informative, humorous, compelling, or thought-provoking. Or all of the above. They should grab the reader and take them on a journey to a place you love or hate or at least feel passionate about.  Here are the guidelines:

  • Maximum 1000 words
  • Edited to the best of your ability for spelling, grammar and punctuation
  • Up to three photos may be submitted with your entry (photos NOT necessary to win, but pretty)
  • Previously unpublished essays only! Blog posts are considered published.
  • No entry fee. Yes, that's right. But may we suggest that you join the site and encourage your 5000 Facebook friends to do the same? Also NOT necessary to win, but very pretty!
  • Open to anyone worldwide, but you need a PayPal account 
  • One entry per person
  • Deadline for submissions: May 31, 2013 
  • Send entries with a 50-word bio to with the heading TRAVEL ESSAY CONTEST 
  • Word doc files only. NO docx or open office files can be accepted.
After May 31, 2013 I Must Be Off! will begin posting entries, two a week until all the entries have been posted--at which time I will announce the winners. Comments on the essays will of course be possible and appreciated. Constructive criticism is welcome as well but will be carefully monitored for sweetness. 

Two winners will each receive $50 and of course the honor of winning the First Annual I Must Be Off! Travel Essay Contest. Two runners up will receive Dorothee Lang and Smitha Murthy's incredible book Worlds Apart.

If you have questions about the contest, please send I Must Be Off! an email at the address above.

I must be off,


Christopher Allen is the author of Conversations with S. Teri O'Type (a Satire), available from Amazon Anything in paperback and Kindle.


  1. Sweet, can't wait to see some of these entries. Personally I am WAY behind on my own writing but if I can catch up in time then expect a submission from me ;)

  2. Yay, Chris, well done! I will be entering: will post it up on WA as our monthly challenge. Who sill be judging?

    1. Hi, Paola! Great :) I'll be judging the first one, and I promise to be as impartial as I possibly can. I'm looking forward to some great essays.

      And to answer your question about "essay" in your email:

      By essay, I mean any travel-related text: informative article, humorous anecdote, compelling reflection, etc. In fact, anything travel-related and well written that puts the reader there in that place would be great.

  3. hi there it's me Dora! I'll have to post as anonymous because for some reason Google doesn't recognize me anymore.

    Just saw this; too busy working on a nonfiction piece that I just sent out to the universe. I better get cracking or is cranking? oh dear... it was so much funnier before. hope all is well. let's see how many times i have to type this up before it finally posts.

    1. Hi, Dora! Hmmm. I don't know why Google doesn't recognize you. Odd. Looking forward to your submission!

  4. btw, I don't know what I did to goggle for it not to recognize me anymore.

    Dora again.

  5. Oh, my. How did I miss this? Darn!
    I would have loved to enter this, but I guess I will enjoy reading the entries.

  6. Really good job. I love this post. I need to travel too.

  7. Will there be a similar contest this year? I just found (and fell in love with) your blog, so I'd love to enter!

    1. Hi, Mary! Yes, there will. I'll be announcing it very soon, in fact! Thank you so much for reading I Must Be Off!


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