Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Travel Essay Sesaon at I Must Be Off!

Travel Essay Sesaon at I Must Be Off!
The travel blog "I Must Be Off!" organized its second annual Travel Essay Contest. After collecting the entries in spring, a choice of the entries is now being presented in the blog. The first entries are online, and are reaching from Australia to Europe, and from nature trips to city stories:

Australia: The Scarlet Mile by Gillian Brown
"It is the first time I’ve visited a brothel... I’m in Kalgoorlie, the epicentre of gold mining in Western Australia. Gold was discovered here in 1893 and is now a 24/7, multi-million dollar operation. The Super Pit mine is half a kilometre deep and almost four kilometres long..."

Bangladesh: Harvest Time by Rilla Norslund
"The day starts dusty green, stretching as far as the eye can see in the grainy morning air; clouds are low and heavy and the threat of looming monsoon rains drives people out of their homestead before dawn. Morning light creeping across the fields finds the first of them, already perspiring, swinging scythes and sickles, bundling the dew damp rice, piling and shifting the bundles...."

Bodrum, Turkey’s San Tropez by Jack Scott
"Locals have confidently dubbed Bodrum the St Tropez of Turkey and while this accolade may not be entirely deserved, its smart marina, wealthy yachties, Tiffany Blue waters and tiers of sugar-cube houses make it the prettiest of the three Mu─čly Sisters.."

From Lake to Lake to Lake to Lake -- Rafting in Mecklenburg "We leave Munich for Mecklenburg Vorpommern at 3:00 a.m. and arrive at the campground where the rafting company docks its beautifully crafted rafts at 9:30 a.m. Six lovely hours in the car. According to the I Must Be Off! distance meter, that's 165 pop songs, 12 news reports (all reporting the exact same news, which can drive a person bonkers) and 3 talk radio programs on various topics---"


About I Must Be Off & Christopher Allen 
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 SmokeLong Quarterly's Best of the First Ten Years anthology, Prime Number Magazine, The Best of Every Day Ficton, Pure Slush, 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.

Monday, July 07, 2014

Caine Prize for African Writing: Shortlist Stories online

The shortlist for the 2014 Caine Prize for African Writing has been announced in April by Nobel Prize winner and Patron of the Caine Prize Professor Wole Soyinka. The winning story will be announced on Monday 14 July.

The Chair of judges, award-winning author Jackie Kay MBE described the shortlist as, “Compelling, lyrical, thought-provoking and engaging. From a daughter's unusual way of grieving for her father, to a memorable swim with a grandmother, a young boy's fascination with a gorilla's conversation, a dramatic faux family meeting, to a woman who is forced to sell her eggs, the subjects are as diverse as they are entertaining.”

She added, “The standard of entries was exceptionally high so much so that it was actually very difficult for the judges to whittle it down to a shortlist of only five stories. We were heartened by how many entrants were drawn to explorations of a gay narrative. What a golden age for the African short story, and how exciting to see real originality - with so many writers bringing something different to the form."

To commemorate fifteen years of the Caine Prize this year, £500 will be awarded to each shortlisted writer. The winner of the £10,000 prize is to be announced at a celebratory dinner at the Bodleian Library, Oxford, on Monday 14 July.

The 5 shortlisted stories can be read on the Caine Website, and are also offered as audio versions at Caine Prize podcast.

The Caine Prize 2014 Shortlist: