Travel Articles




The 2017 I Must Be Off! Travel Writing Competition -- The Shortlist!

Congratulations to all of the solid writers whose travel pieces have made the 2017 I Must Be Off! Travel Writing Competition Shortlist. Such talent makes choosing winners very hard. You have taken us around the world again with smart, crisp prose. Each of these entries is a gem. A very special thanks goes out to every writer who sent us your work. We hope you'll keep sharing your adventures and keep sending them to I Must Be Off! Due to the high number of entries, we regret that we cannot respond to every person individually. If the title of your entry is not on the list below or on the longlist published at the beginning of August, sadly the road ends here. Next year you'll have another chance. Please take a few minutes and read the winning pieces from the last five years as well as the interviews with previous judges here at I Must Be Off!

The 2017 I Must Be Off! Travel Writing Competition Shortlist:

A Hit in the Himalayas by Scott Morley (USA)
Becoming Habesha by Joanna Griffin (UK)
Conquering the Mountain: Peru with a Pacemaker by Kara Knickerbocker (USA)
Conrad Maldives Rangali Island by Colleen MacMahon (UK)
Forbidden Fruit by Fiona Dixon (UK)
Greek Yogurt: The Real Deal by Leslie Sittner (USA)
Horizontally, With Opera in the Background by Christina Dalcher (USA)
I wonder for a moment if I am in Heaven by Sahana Venkatesh (USA)
I'm not one for sitting... by Catherine Brady (UK)
Japanese Surprises by Mandy Huggins (UK)
Knight of the Night by Sriparna Saha (India)
Mothers of the World Unite by Paola Fornari (Tanzania, Ghana)
Old Foreigner by Fiona Rintoul (UK)
On the Way to Queen of Hills -- India by Dr. Sakshi Sharma (India)
Roots by Jean Reeve (Gambia?, UK)
Starry Night by Lisa Lopez Smith (Canada, Mexico)
Straight in the Eye by Mandy Huggins (UK)
Tea with Keiko by Maria Howard (UK)
The Cairo I Choose to Believe in by Hilton Fielder (Spain, The Netherlands)
The Heart of Darkness by Debbie Hagan (USA)
The Himba: Between Two Worlds by Gillian Brown (UK)
Tidings of Tussac Grass by Matthew Hay (UK, Falkland Islands)
We are Fire -- The Dance of the Devils by Michael Sealey (Spain)
Winter Weirderland by Penelope Laurence (Australia, Canada)

Best of luck to all the entrants,


Christopher Allen is the managing editor at SmokeLong Quarterly. His debut flash fiction collection is forthcoming from Matter Press. Allen's fiction has appeared or is forthcoming in [PANK], Indiana Review, Juked, FRiGG, The Journal of Compressed Creative Arts and others. Read his book reviews in Necessary Fiction, The Lit Pub, Fiction Southeast and others. In 2017 Allen was both a finalist (as translator) and semifinalist for The Best Small Fictions. He lives somewhere in Europe--for now.

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