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German whispers – the endings where cultures meet

Students wanted for German language migration themed writing competition

The Institute of Modern Languages Research (IMLR) at the School of Advanced Study is looking for budding student story-tellers willing to spin a yarn about migration – in German.

After the successes of the 2014 poetry competition organised in cooperation with the British Museum’s ‘Germany – memories of a nation’ exhibition, and the translation competition based on Annett Gröschner’s novel Walpurgistag the following year, IMLR and the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) are joining forces again to launch the third writing challenge for all learners and lovers of German.

This time, the task is to write a story. Two German-speaking authors, Ulrike Ulrich and Anja Tuckermann, have provided beginnings of stories of migration. Now it’s the competitors’ turn to take one of these beginnings and continue spinning the yarn. There are only two rules: the story ending must be no more than 250 words and written in German.

Applicants are free to develop their text in any direction explained Dr Godela Weiss-Sussex, senior lecturer in modern German literature at IMLR. ‘They can write a story of flight or refuge, of identities and self-images, of encounters or new beginnings. Stories can be set in the past, the present or the future and in any geographical location. The judges – among them the writers themselves – look forward to being inspired by the texts.’

As in previous years, the competition is open to secondary school students, sixth-formers, undergraduates, postgraduates and anybody else who feels up to the challenge. 

Prizes of books and a writing workshop with one or both of the authors, will be awarded to winners and runners-ups in each group at an event at Senate House on 1 March 2017. This will be a chance to listen to the winners’ as well as to the authors’ own story endings.

The competition is in cooperation between DAAD London, the Institute of Modern Languages Research and the Goethe Institut, London. It is also kindly supported by the German and Swiss Embassies in London.