Previous Winners and Placers:
"A Leaf on the Wind" by Joel Hindson
"Burning My Boots in Cabo Fisterra" by Gabriella Brand
"Discovering Hến Rice in Central Việt Nam" by Chris Galvin
"Oh, Calcutta" by Paola Fornari
"The Scarlet Mile" by Gillian Brown
"Bodrum, Turkey's San Tropez" by Jack Scott
"The Children of Chitwan, Nepal" by Hannah Thompson-Yates
"God's Own Country" by Saahil Acharya
Travel Writer Paola Fornari
The 2016 Judge -- Paola Fornari
Travel writer Paola Fornari was born on Ukerewe Island in Lake Victoria, Tanzania. She has lived in a dozen countries over four continents, speaks five and a half languages, dabbles in several others, and describes herself as an expatriate sine patria. In every new posting, her curiosity leads her to explore every corner of her host country, and experience as much ‘real life’ as she can.
Her travel and lifestyle articles have appeared extensively online, and in print magazines as diverse as Cycling World, Practical Fishkeeping The Oldie andThe Buenos Aires Herald.
She has judged several writing competitions, and was co-judge in Expatclic’s prestigious Travel Reflectionscompetition in 2013.
In 2013 she won the Senior Travel Expert travel writing competition, and was third in the Go Walkabout competition.
Her relationship with I Must be Off goes back a long way. Apart from having several interviews published on the site, she was highly commended in the first I Must be Off travel essay contest in 2013, and won in 2014.
She recently moved from Dhaka, Bangladesh, to Accra, Ghana.
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.
Previously unpublished work only! Blog posts are considered published (and I research all finalists).
No entry fee. Yes, that's right. You have nothing to lose.
Open to anyone worldwide, but you need (access to) a PayPal account
Entries must be in English
One entry per person
Deadline for submissions: July 31, 2016
Send entries with a 50-word third-person bio to
Word doc, docx and rtf files only.
Finalists announced in August 2016. Winners announced and published in late summer 2016.
The Top essays will be published at I Must Be Off! (Authors retain copyright.)
Second place prize: $50
First place prize: $200
Readers' Choice Award ($50) based on unique hits and comments tallied on September 30.
Good luck and happy writing!
I must be off,