The I Must Be Off! Travel Writing Competition -- Shortlist!

Once again, thank you to everyone who entered the 2018 I Must Be Off! Travel Writing Competition. Your stories and experiences have as always taken us around the world. We appreciate all the work you put into your submissions.

This year we've received several requests for individual feedback. Sadly, due to the large number of entrants, we simply aren't able to do this, but we have conducted interviews with past judges that include specific and detailed feedback on how to craft stunning travel writing. Please have a look at these interviews with Graham Mercer and Paola Fornari.

The entries on the shortlist are all excellent in some way. They are all well written and show great potential. Congratulations to those of you whose words have made it this far. And congratulations to those of you who made the long list. We really enjoyed your work. Since blind judging is still in progress, please refrain from identifying your entry until the announcement is made by I Must Be Off!--which will be soon.

Our judge this year, Amanda Huggins, has worked hard to get us this far. I'll be thanking her properly when the results come out, but I wanted to mention her now as well. Three highly commended entries, which will be announced soon, will win her new collection of short fiction Separated from the Sea. You can read my interview with Huggins about the collection here.

The 2018 I Must Be Off! Travel Writing Competition Short List

A Fighter in the Waste
A Peaceful Warzone
Beyond the Reef
Creative Side of Afghan Women
India looks like (first line)
Leopard Act
Long in the Devil's Tooth
Making a Whip Out of Poo in Romania
Mother, (first line)
My Name is Mai
No Fences: Archaeology in Mongolia
Not Your Mother's Travel Porn
So Much New York!
The Blessed Islands
The Day of the Monkey God
The Dream Palace
The Last Coconut
Where East Meets West

We know that for most entrants this means that the journey has come to an end this year. Thank you again for taking us along and trusting us with your work. There's next year. Go read those interviews with past judges in the meantime. We can't wait to read about your travels in 2019!

I must be off,


Christopher Allen is the author of Other Household Toxins (Matter Press) and Conversations with S. Teri O'Type (a Satire). Allen's fiction has appeared, or is forthcoming, in [PANK], Eclectica Magazine's 20th-Anniversary Speculative anthology, Indiana Review, Split Lip Magazine, SmokeLong Quarterly: the Best of the First Ten Years anthology, Longleaf Review and Lunch Ticket, among many others great places. Read his book reviews in Necessary Fiction, Word Riot, and The Lit Pub. His creative non-fiction has been featured in Bootsnall Travel, Chicken Soup for the Soul and others. A finalist at Glimmer Train in 2011, Allen is a multiple nominee for the Pushcart Prize, Best of the Net, The Best Small FictionsstorySouth's Million Writers Award and others. In 2017 Allen was both a finalist (as translator) and semifinalist for The Best Small Fictions. He is presently the co-editor of SmokeLong Quarterly and a consulting editor for The Best Small Fictions 2018   


  1. Very professionally and graciously said.


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