Monday, July 27, 2015

Travel Essay Contest -- Semifinalists

We're excited to announce the titles of the 30 semifinalists in the 2015 I Must Be Off! travel essay contest. If the title of your entry appears on this list, you're still in the running to win. At this point, we can't announce the names of the writers since the judge, Catherine Sweeney, is still deciding on the list of finalists and the winners. Once the competition is over, we'll add the writers' names below and give you a shout out. We loved all of these pieces.  

Please do not indicate authorship in the comments as blind judging is still in progress! Authors names added on September 30, 2015.


A Fan of Kindness by Christine Holliday
A Leaf on the Wind by Joel Hindson
A View of One's Own by Carolin Crespo
A Vision Called Tutotepec by Maricarmen Ferrant
An Island in the Baltic Sea by Pamela Hensley
Auroville by Stefania Scardigli
Austral Summer 2015 by Evelyn Mitsunaga
Buffs and Mountain Men by Suzy Pope
Burning My Boots in Cabo Fisterra by Gabriella Brand
Crossing the Gibb by Gillian Brown
Delirium by Kristina Murty
Discovering Hen Rice in Viet Nam by Chris Galvin
An Embarrassment of Riches by Tom Leskiw
Feathered Nights by Sofia Lavista
Festivals, Freedom, Fish, and Fireworks by Susan Borgersen
Finding Home by Annie Dawid
So Much New York by Lauren Shapiro
Greek Islands Memory by Roberta Sandler
Laos, P(lease) D(on't) R(ush) by Lisa Donoghue
Loving Lost Memories by Kathy Borrus
Nothing is Out of Reach by Rachel Duffell
On a Terrace in Peru by Stacey Venzel
Space Blanket by Karen Little
Sweet Homes by David Joseph
The Gift of Oman by William Stewart
The Jungle Diaries by Irita Mishra
The Portuguese Decision by Glenn-Carol Graham
Vientiane: Then and Now by Barbara Amalberti
Where We Were Supposed to Be by Jennifer Palmer

Wondering what happens now? Go HERE

Much luck to all of you!

I must be off,
Christopher

_________________________________________

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 writing has appeared in Indiana Review, Night Train, Quiddity, SmokeLong Quarterly: the Best of the First Ten Years anthology, Prime Number Magazine, Contrary, [PANK] blog, Necessary Fiction, Word Riot, Bootsnall Travel, Chicken Soup for the Soul and over 100 other good places. A finalist at Glimmer Train in 2011 and the winner of the Ginosko Literary Journal's Flash Fiction Award in 2015, Allen has been nominated for Best of the Net and the Pushcart Prize twice.         

 

Thursday, July 16, 2015

I Must Be Off! Travel Essay Contest -- Submissions Now Closed!

A little digital clock in American Samoa has just flipped over to July 16, meaning that submissions for the 2015 I Must Be Off! Travel Essay Contest are now officially closed and the judging may commence. With more than 300 submissions from writers in 43 countries, this year's contest has been the biggest yet; we're climbing a mountain of travel writing. Actually, we've been reading your work for the last couple of months--and each time we open an essay, we do so with respect and appreciation for your experience. What adventures you've had! The hard part for us now is to choose the best, and there are so many great writers among you. In the end, what we're looking for is compelling writing.

What happens now?

We will be announcing the list of semifinalists in the coming week, so be sure to keep an eye on I Must Be Off!. If your name appears on this list, you are still in the running; if your name appears on this list, you are an amazing writer. We loved your piece. You've created a sense of place that rises above the ordinary. Your command of the language is stunning. You have something to say that grips your readers and doesn't let them go. I wish we could have 30 winners in this competition, but we can't. We have to narrow it down.

Finalists will be informed by August 1.

The top essays will be published at I Must Be Off! in August without indication of the winners or the ranking chosen by this year's judge, Catherine Sweeney. We do it this way because at I Must Be Off! there is also a Readers' Choice Award based on the number of unique hits and comments tallied on September 30, and we don't want the Readers' Choice Award skewed by the results of the main competition. Catherine Sweeney's choices will be made public on September 30 as well, so mark this date on your calendar.

Good luck to you all. And thank you again for allowing us the opportunity of reading your work. If you have not made it into the semifinalist round, please don't be discouraged. The competition has been overwhelmingly fierce this year. As a writer myself who submits a lot and gets rejected a lot, I know rejection is an opportunity to look at my story again with new eyes. Sometimes rejection is just the beginning of a great story.

Keep traveling. Keep writing.

I must be off,
Christopher

______________________________________________

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 writing has appeared in Indiana Review, Night Train, Quiddity, SmokeLong Quarterly: the Best of the First Ten Years anthology, Prime Number Magazine, Contrary, [PANK] blog, Necessary Fiction, Word Riot, Bootsnall Travel, Chicken Soup for the Soul and over 100 other good places. A finalist at Glimmer Train in 2011 and the winner of the Ginosko Literary Journal's Flash Fiction Award in 2015, Allen has been nominated for Best of the Net and the Pushcart Prize twice.