About the Competition

Do you love the English language? Do you love short stories? Have you ever had the desire to write one? Is there a story inside of you just bursting to be set free? Have you been searching for an outlet for your creative energy? Well, you’re in luck!

Everyone is invited to compete, regardless of age, nationality or native language. There are junior and adult categories (17 and under/18 years and over), for both native and non-native speakers. You can write about any subject that inspires you in a story of up to 1200 words.


A coalition of English speaking associations, representing British, Irish, American and other international communities in Strasbourg, came together in 2013 to set up an English-language short story competition. Members of the English Speaking Community Alsace, were meeting to discuss their creative writing, sparked the interest of organisers at the Americans in Alsace and the English Speaking Union. These three community associations continue to fund our activities today!

The first contest ran between November 2013 and February 2014. Then as now a panel of three judges, consisting of published writers and academics, reviewed all the stories and short-listed the best five in each of the four categories. A book each containing all 20 short-listed stories was published and the winners and runners-up in each category announced at an award ceremony held at La Librairie Kléber on 15 April 2014.

The organizing committee was so pleased with the success of this initial effort that it organized the competition several more times.

This year’s competition

The eighth annual short story competition will accept entries between 1 December 2020 and midnight on 12 February 2021. After a period of time for judging, winner selection, and book production, the eighth annual Awards Ceremony will take place.

This year’s ceremony will be on Saturday, April 17, 2021, from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. There, the winners will be announced and the book of short-listed entries will be released. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Organizing Committee has proactively decided to once again conduct the Awards Ceremony online. Details on access to the ceremony will be published as the date of the event approaches.

Criteria for judging entries

Our aim is to encourage emerging literary talent and to promote understanding, cooperation and achievement through the English language in Strasbourg, throughout Alsace and the surrounding regions.

If you are wondering how your story will be judged, this is what we will be looking for :

  • Sustained interest (am I compelled to read to the end?)
  • Well-developed story-line
  • Effectiveness of characterization
  • Language (richness, power, style)
  • Originality and depth of idea(s)
  • Fluidity of style