Announcing The Second Annual I Must Be Off! Travel Essay Contest

Last year we had a lot of great entries. Some stories were stirring accounts of trips abroad; others were informative, anecdotal or humorous--or all the above. Regardless of how you interpret the idea "travel essay," your entry should give your reader a strong sense of place. I Must Be Off! welcomes entries in English from all over the world. See full guidelines below.

Travel Writer Robin Graham
This year's judge is travel writer and photographer Robin Graham. In addition to writing his blog a lot of wind..., Graham has also published dozens of travel stories and articles, mostly about Spain.


The Guidelines:
  • Maximum 1200 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  • Previously unpublished work only!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
  • Entries must be in English
  • One entry per person
  • Deadline for submissions: June 30, 2014  [CLOSED]
  • Send entries with a 50-word bio to with the heading TRAVEL ESSAY CONTEST. All entries will be read blind by this year's judge, travel writer Robin Graham. It is not necessary to delete identifying information. If your name is on your entry, it will be removed.
  • Word doc, docx and rtf files only please. 
  •  Finalists and Winners announced July 31, 2014

The Prizes: 
  • The Top essays will be published at I Must Be Off!
  • Second place prize: $50
  • First place prize: $75
  • In addition to the above prizes, we've decided to add a Third place prize ($20) and a Readers' Choice Award ($50) based on unique hits and comments tallied on August 10. 

If you have any questions, please send an email to the address above. Happy writing to you all. I look forward to reading your work.

I must be off,


Christopher Allen is the author of Conversations with S. Teri O'Type (a Satire), an episodic adult cartoon about a man struggling with expectations. Allen's award-winning fiction and non-fiction have appeared or are forthcoming in Indiana Review, Quiddity, SmokeLong Quarterly's Best of the First Ten Years anthology, Prime Number Magazine, Camroc Press Review, PANK, Word Riot, Bootsnall Travel and Chicken Soup for the Soul. A finalist at Glimmer Train in 2011, Allen has been nominated for Best of the Net and the Pushcart Prize twice. He is the managing editor of the daily litzine Metazen.


  1. How awesome! I missed out on entering last year but I will for sure enter this year. Glad to learn of this.

  2. Replies
    1. Thank you, Mary! Looking forward to them and yours too! Please share this with anyone you know who writes killer travel articles.

  3. Replies
    1. Thanks for stopping by, Dan! Please share this with your readers!

  4. Great to know you're doing this again! I missed the deadline last year. Looking forward to sending you something, and to reading all the essays.

  5. Yeah its really amazing and very dangerous.I read you old essays and now i wait for a new one and very nice work done on this blog.I really appreciate you and happy to know that you do this again.Thanks for your sharing.

  6. i love travelling because i can experience lots of things and learn the new.It a great thing learning interesting facts of life and exploring the secrets of nature!travel is GOD gifted thing no one can live without travel...

    bus to charlotte

  7. Great idea, I will spread the word...

    1. Thank you, Muza-chan! Love your posts on Japan. I always learn something new.

  8. I'll give it a go. In for a penny, in for a pound.

  9. This comment has been removed by the author.

  10. Unique Idea! By the way, congratulation for your second annual to be off :)


Post a Comment

INSTRUCTIONS FOR LEAVING A COMMENT: To leave a comment, first choose how you would like to do so by clicking on the drop-down menu Comment As and select your provider. In many cases this will be Google if you have a gmail account. The quickest way to leave a comment is to choose Anonymous. Then write your comment and click on Publish. Then the blog will ask you to confirm that you are not a robot. Do this. You might have to click on some rivers or dogs, but it takes only a moment or two. Then click on publish again. You're all set. This should work.

Popular Posts