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Off Assignment

Off Assignment An online literary magazine with a penchant for journeys and a fascination with strangers. Off Assignment is a literary magazine with a penchant for journeys and a fascination with strangers.

We’re made up of writers who travel, poets who wander, essayists with a sense of place, reporters with swollen notebooks, and gourmands with street cart taste. We’re not here to guide vacations. We don’t cover spas or centennials. We have a taste for offbeat places. We care about voice and story. We want the writer on the page—sweating, tripping, and telling a tale.

We're hiring! OA is seeking a new Associate Editor to join our team in a part-time, fully remote capacity. 5-8 hours/wee...
05/13/2022

We're hiring! OA is seeking a new Associate Editor to join our team in a part-time, fully remote capacity. 5-8 hours/week and $400 monthly stipend—plus an amazing literary community and the chance to make a difference in the travel writing genre! Full details through the link in our bio. Spread the word!

Thank you @byshondaland for including our "Letter to a Stranger" anthology on their list of books to read this spring! S...
05/13/2022

Thank you @byshondaland for including our "Letter to a Stranger" anthology on their list of books to read this spring! Spring cleaning can lead to unexpected memories, captured in moving and surprising ways by the 65 essays in this book. Full list of springtime recommendations through the link in our bio!

"How does an ephemeral person leave such an eternal mark?" They may be taxi drivers, hikers, a woman who simply hands yo...
05/12/2022

"How does an ephemeral person leave such an eternal mark?" They may be taxi drivers, hikers, a woman who simply hands you an orange—catch @colleen.kinder discussing these strangers and the "Letter to a Stranger" anthology with @frommerpauline on @frommers' travel podcast—through the link in our bio.

05/11/2022

"We ordered shots of tequila—always a ridiculous order. But it was the last drink of the night, so why not. This is how one drinks in a sad city."

On a nightime layover in central China, @craigmod shared his innermost thoughts on his relationship with a stranger who'd admired his Chacos sandals at the airport. This essay so deftly captures the way strangers can draw out our most honest thoughts in unexpected moments—and can be found in the "Letter to a Stranger" anthology, available through the link in our bio. 📽: @owenmurraydraws

What is "pajogan," and how did it escape the scrutiny of the Ontario Ministry of Transportation, with its strict rules a...
05/10/2022

What is "pajogan," and how did it escape the scrutiny of the Ontario Ministry of Transportation, with its strict rules about the language on vanity plates? Amber Meadow Adams' essay on this unforgettable word in the Ojibway language is part of our recently rebooted "No Equivalent" column, which explores words, phrases, and stories that defy translation. Read the full piece through the link in our bio.

05/09/2022

“I want to tell her that the shame she feels isn’t hers. It belongs to you, and her work over time will be to find ways to give it back. That she is not small and powerless despite what you did, despite the fact you got away with it.” Read @raijoy's haunting essay about being stalked as a teenager online and in print in our "Letter to a Stranger" anthology through the link in our bio. 📽: @owenmurraydraws

This week, we're reading a one-sentence meditation on fatherhood, an exploration of the weirdness of Charlotte Douglas I...
05/06/2022

This week, we're reading a one-sentence meditation on fatherhood, an exploration of the weirdness of Charlotte Douglas International Airport (complete with illustrations), and an ode to the dive bar. You can find these in our newsletter—link's in the bio!

This week, "Behind the Essay" explores the rootedness of mobile home parks, the terroir of gravel, and the odyssey of fi...
05/05/2022

This week, "Behind the Essay" explores the rootedness of mobile home parks, the terroir of gravel, and the odyssey of finding home with writer John Kaufmann. Read his interview through the link in our bio!

How do you define home? How do you anchor yourself even when in motion? Author John Kaufmann finds the answer in an unex...
05/04/2022

How do you define home? How do you anchor yourself even when in motion? Author John Kaufmann finds the answer in an unexpected place: gravel. In this week's "No Equivalent"—a recently reopened OA column that explores untranslatable words—we learn that it's not only language and dialect that can tell us where we are, but the hard substance of the earth itself. Take the journey through the link in our bio.

05/03/2022

"I have thought so often of this day—of my cruelty and your pain, of how powerful I was and how powerless I felt, of the pen you lent me, right in the moment of my defeat." Read this moving behind-the-scenes narrative by @sophiehaigney as she looks back on a haunting case in her reporting career and ponders journalistic ethics. This essay is featured in the "Letter to a Stranger" anthology, which you can order though the link in bio. 📽: @owenmurraydraws

LAST CHANCE to join a fantastic crew of "Letter to a Stranger" anthology contributors for a virtual rendez-vous! Editor ...
05/02/2022

LAST CHANCE to join a fantastic crew of "Letter to a Stranger" anthology contributors for a virtual rendez-vous! Editor @colleen.kinder will be chatting with @laviniaspalding, @akemi.johnson, @meerasub, @meetingfaith, @advodicka, and @emmiduma at @bookpassage. Registration info through the link in bio—see you there!

For those seeking the "high moments" of life—treat yourself to this essay by @lillydancyger on New York, Paris, Anaïs Ni...
04/29/2022

For those seeking the "high moments" of life—treat yourself to this essay by @lillydancyger on New York, Paris, Anaïs Nin, and the antidotes to disillusionment. Our "Under the Influence" column, which we recently reopened, is a repository of travels illuminated by artistic works that enrich or challenge the locale. Read Lilly's beautiful piece through the link in our bio.

04/27/2022

"But I know enough now to know that love shape-shifts, might be the water or the wreckage, the captive animal or the wild one. I want to scold myself for how I thought my white-girl young-love tears—cried in your bamboo bungalow—were more important than the bungalow itself, soon to be broken apart and swept away."

Read @shipstead's riveting "Letter to a Stranger" essay, featured in our anthology, to rethink your notions of backpacking literature. For this and more great essays, order the book through the link in our bio! 📽: @owenmurraydraws

This Wednesday, join @colleen.kinder, @raijoy, @shipstead, @lucaswmann, @ebcavanagh, and Lia Purpura for the next "Lette...
04/25/2022

This Wednesday, join @colleen.kinder, @raijoy, @shipstead, @lucaswmann, @ebcavanagh, and Lia Purpura for the next "Letter to a Stranger" book event hosted by @prairielightsbooks. Registration and links in our bio!

On Monday April 25, tune into @bhutanechoes: Drukyul's Literature Festival, where @colleen.kinder will be talking all ab...
04/22/2022

On Monday April 25, tune into @bhutanechoes: Drukyul's Literature Festival, where @colleen.kinder will be talking all about "Letter to a Stranger" with @acharyagopilal! Check out the full schedule of incredible events through the link in our bio. See you there, at 4:55pm Bhutan time!

In this week's "Behind the Essay" interview, @kangcuzzi discusses island paradises, what Don Quixote would have thought ...
04/21/2022

In this week's "Behind the Essay" interview, @kangcuzzi discusses island paradises, what Don Quixote would have thought of the pandemic, and multilingual writing. Read the full interview through the link in our bio, and subscribe to our newsletter for more like this!

What do a 17th-century Spanish wannabe knight errant and a 21st-century Korean university student have in common? Turns ...
04/20/2022

What do a 17th-century Spanish wannabe knight errant and a 21st-century Korean university student have in common? Turns out, quite a lot. In this week's essay—our first "Under The Influence" in over two years!—author @kangcuzzi writes about the experience of returning home from the US and deciding once again to choose adventure, this time on the island paradise of Jeju, her trusty copy of Miguel de Cervantes' Don Quixote at her side. Read the full essay through the link in our bio.

04/19/2022

When a teenage Lauren Groff found herself in Palermo with dwindling funds and nowhere to stay, an elderly Sicilian man invited her for coffee and a negroni. She chose to believe he was good. Read this stunning "Letter to a Stranger" essay in our anthology, which you can find, as always, through the link in our bio! 📽: @owenmurraydraws

Looking for writing inspiration and magical conversations about strangers? Join @colleen.kinder and Denver/Western U.S.-...
04/18/2022

Looking for writing inspiration and magical conversations about strangers? Join @colleen.kinder and Denver/Western U.S.-based writers Raksha Vasudevan, @m_agresta, @jessewdonaldson, @robinromm, @pamlhouston, @pturchi, @oldmanlumans this Wednesday for their discussion of the "Letter to a Stranger" anthology. Many thanks to @bookbardenver for hosting this virtual event—and hope to see you there! Registration info through the link in bio.

04/15/2022

"I met you in the Peruvian Andes, at almost 13,000 feet, an elevation at which the mere act of breathing becomes an adventure." @pulitzerprizes winner and @newyorkermag staff writer @elizabethkolbert brings her literary magic to the "Letter to a Stranger" anthology with this tale of a mysterious stranger on a reporting trip in Peru. Read this story, and more by some of the world's best literary talents, by ordering the anthology through the link in our bio.

04/14/2022

"Your heart had expanded to the size of an Icelandic horse’s, one named after the night sky, or a spring lamb’s, set out to pasture with her twin sister and her mom, the whole summer ahead for grazing and play." Read @pamlhouston's celebration of a stranger and the Icelandic wilds by getting a copy of the "Letter to a Stranger" anthology (order link in bio!).

Remember two years ago, when the dreaded "p" word took over our lives? The pandemic, yes—but soon we counteracted it wit...
04/13/2022

Remember two years ago, when the dreaded "p" word took over our lives? The pandemic, yes—but soon we counteracted it with "Postcard to Stranger," and the world shone brighter when these bite-sized missives to distanced strangers came pouring in from all over the world. This project was born two years ago, and marks a particular period when isolation and strangers took on different meanings and hues. Revisit this illustrated collection through the link in our bio, because although it's not quite over yet, we have come a long way, and can pay homage to all we've lost and learned.

Do you have a stranger story? @cbc took this question to the Canadian streets in this delightful episode of Tapestry, de...
04/11/2022

Do you have a stranger story? @cbc took this question to the Canadian streets in this delightful episode of Tapestry, dedicated to "Letter to a Stranger" and the magic of encounters with those unknown to us. @colleen.kinder talks to Mary Hynes about the sages and helpers who've crossed her path, but also the memorable story of a stranger she led through the Canadian highways towards an airport he was desperate to reach. Listen to the full, beautifully produced episode—which even includes two full-length recordings of essays by @shebakarim and @monetwithlove—through the link in our bio.

This week, we're reading an insightful history of Ukrainian folk art by @lil.spoon.lady; an ode to confessions by @melis...
04/07/2022

This week, we're reading an insightful history of Ukrainian folk art by @lil.spoon.lady; an ode to confessions by @melissafebos, and a sharp-eyed take on war coverage and perceptions of refugees by @nitwajina. Read these recommended essays through the link in our bio, and subscribe to our newsletter for more.

Mary Emerick takes us into the Alaskan night in this "Witching Hour" essay, a magical journey that blends place portrait...
04/06/2022

Mary Emerick takes us into the Alaskan night in this "Witching Hour" essay, a magical journey that blends place portraiture with the best of nature writing. Watch the bears along with her through the link in our bio. ✏️: @sarah_h_muren

In this "Witching Hour" essay, @aya.chalabee takes us on a morning commute through Helsinki, her prose atmospheric and s...
04/06/2022

In this "Witching Hour" essay, @aya.chalabee takes us on a morning commute through Helsinki, her prose atmospheric and sharp, her eye novelistic and intimate. Treat yourself to this transporting piece by heading to the link in our bio. ✏️: @sarah_h_muren

Jasmine Ledesma's writing is pure poetry, and this "Witching Hour" essay is no different. Feel moved by higher forces an...
04/06/2022

Jasmine Ledesma's writing is pure poetry, and this "Witching Hour" essay is no different. Feel moved by higher forces and the grandiose beauty of Idaho; read the essay through our link in bio. ✏️: @sarah_h_muren

@oldmanlumans's "Witching Hour" essay takes us to a liminal space in the New Mexico summer and makes us hold our breaths...
04/06/2022

@oldmanlumans's "Witching Hour" essay takes us to a liminal space in the New Mexico summer and makes us hold our breaths till the stunning final line. Read the piece now through the link in our bio! ✏️: @sarah_h_muren

04/05/2022

"Your arms were bulging out of your T-shirt, stretching the fabric, while the veins in your muscles strained against your skin. You looked like the kind of man who could pummel me."

@Jenessaabrams "Letter to a Stranger" essay recounts an afternoon spent with a stranger she met on jury duty, and the thrilling ache of desire left unspoken. Discover this essay by heading to the link in our bio for a copy of the "Letter to a Stranger" anthology.

04/04/2022

"They didn’t match you, I thought. Your flopping collar, your sweet maps; you didn’t seem like a woman for earrings." In her contribution to the "Letter to a Stranger" anthology—a moving essay on families and grief—@tkiramadden recalls a family of tourists she encountered in Provincetown, MA. Read this piece by getting yourself or a loved one a copy of the anthology through the link in bio. 📽: @owenmurraydraws

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Read work from literary magazines Off Assignment, Anomalous Press, Apogee Journal, The Roadrunner Review, West Trestle Review, The Common, New England Review, Creative Nonfiction & Shenandoah Literary Magazine for #NativeAmericanHeritageMonth!
Our round-up of CLMP members' responses to the current crisis includes calls for submissions from Coffee House Press, Lucky Jefferson, Terrain.org, Off Assignment, and Indolent Books.
As the #COVID19 pandemic continues to impact presses, magazines, writers, bookstores, and many others, we are especially grateful for our community. We've put together, and will continue updating, the following list of resources being offered by our members—including Archipelago Books, The Kenyon Review, Futurepoem, Off Assignment, Lucky Jefferson, Ecotone, Words Without Borders, Analytic ROOM, Seven Stories Press, Restless Books, A Public Space, Apogee Journal, Montez Press, The Rumpus, Green Mountains Review, Four Way Books, The Paris Review, Deep Vellum Publishing, Terrain.org, Indolent Books, and The Hudson Review.
Hi Friends, I've been working for this nonprofit for about a year now, and I can say that, as a writer and journalist, it's one of the closest things to my heart. It's such a dangerous time to be a journalist, and we, as a society, need to be reminded that people who report on an issue have their own emotional and philosophical battles to face on the way to "truth." We need to protect the HUMANITY of journalists, writers, photographers, and other correspondents who put their happiness and lives on the line to bring you the stories you read every day. They are not dispensable, nor are they invincible. Please, take a moment to donate to Off Assignment, and to suggest journalists, writers, and photographers who YOU want to see in our upcoming roster. Every dollar you spend on Giving Tuesday will be matched by Facebook; more importantly, every dollar will go directly to the cause. We are a registered nonprofit in the State of New York, and all of our written and audio pieces are available, for free and in perpetuity, on offassignment.com.
Thrilled to include Off Assignment in today's roundup of impactful travel magazines that inspire our wanderlust! Keep up the beautiful work, XO 💛 http://www.thegoodtrade.com/features/conscious-travel-magazines-inspiring-cultural-appreciation
🎶You are so beautiful to meeee🎶