The SXB Write A Story Competition Committee was originally put together with representatives from the major Anglophone associations in the Strasbourg area who shared the English Speaking Community’s vision of providing an activity encouraging the creative use of the English language.
Below, in alphabetical order, is a list of the current members.
Hal is from the Detroit area and lived in Strasbourg for seven years with his wife, Brigitte, before moving to Munich. He has an undergraduate degree in French and theater and has a legal and IT background. While in Strasbourg, Hal founded a writers group, worked as an English teacher at the Pôle formation CCI and the Ecole de Management at the Université de Strasbourg, and was Membership Coordinator with Americans in Alsace from 2012 to 2017. Hal has managed the competition’s website and email accounts since the beginning and for the past two years has conducted writing workshops for adults on behalf of the competition.
Originally from the UK, Denise Donnio grew up in North-West England and spent many years studying, then working in Sheffield, a city where today she still feels very much at home, with a deep love for the surrounding Peak District, local folk music scenes and people. Her love for travel and languages has led her to enjoy life in Germany, France and the USA. Today she lives in Strasbourg with her husband and two wonderful children. A trained English-language educator and childrens’ yoga teacher, she brings a lifelong interest in story, music and self-development to her passion for helping others get in touch with their creative sides. On behalf of the competition Denise will be delivering creative writing courses to both adults and children, free of charge thanks to the generous sponsorship of the American Embassy in Paris and Strasbourg.
A native of Ireland with a Masters in Business Administration (MBA), Ann Lynch worked in strategic planning in the global wireless telecoms and technology industries in the UK and the USA for 20 years. It was her German husband who took her to France! With a primary degree in Spanish and Italian, she has a deep and abiding love of languages and literature. Ann is now passionate about Strasbourg and the surrounding regions and is active in several expatriate associations. She helps organize, fund and run the competition including managing the partnership program with the US Consulate. She has been around since the start and takes care of many aspects of marketing, including publishing the book of winning entries. Ann is the 2018 chair of the competition organizing committee.span>
Originally from West London, Sue trained as a teacher and studied English Literature, working in various countries and with multiple nationalities before moving into administration. She was personal assistant to the CEO of a major UK charity, Queen Elizabeth’s Foundation, for seven years, in addition to being an effective community organiser spearheading initiatives to revitalise local shopping. In her spare time, she created several regeneration projects in her London borough, fund-raising extensively to fit out what is now the Rose Theatre in Kingston upon Thames. Having always enjoyed writing, since arriving in Strasbourg she has finally begun writing stories herself, finding it hugely rewarding. Sue has been around since the start and as committee chair for two years, she drives many aspects of the competition, including forging new partnerships with the US Consulate and the schools’ Rectorat.
Born in Glasgow in 1958, Sue moved around central and southern England with her family, before finally settling in Hampshire. A combined honours degree in French and German from the University of London in 1981 led her to a thirty-year career in local newspapers, moving through journalism, features writing, copy writing for the advertising department then finally moving into the general management of first one local newspaper then eventually five local titles and a local radio station. Sue now lives with her second husband in Strasbourg and works in the Education Department at the Council of Europe. She is currently also researching and writing a historical fiction novel based in Alsace during the turbulent years of the Second World War. Sue brings her considerable management and press experience to the competition, in addition to playing a very important role in the entry process, ensuring that the judges only get anonymized entries!
Originally a teacher from Oregon, Jennifer spent the last ten years in Scotland working for the Special Collections Division of the University of St Andrews Library where she was involved in several digitisation projects as well as rehousing and cataloguing some of the University’s photographic collections. While in St Andrews Jennifer also completed a degree in creative writing. She now lives with her family in Strasbourg where she is working on her first novel for children. Through Jennifer’s considerable contacts in the creative writing world, she has secured new judges for both the 2017 and 2018 competitions, in addition to offering writing workshops at schools.
Kiera Tchelistcheff is from the USA originally but has travelled extensively and speaks several languages. She has spent 26 years in Strasbourg where she raised her family. She is an experienced English language educator and voracious reader. Her interest in books led her to co-found the erstwhile English-language bookshop, the Bookworm, which she ran for 13 years. She and her business partner wrote and published a coffee table book on Alsace, “Images of Alsace “. Kiera is well connected around Strasbourg and has helped improve many aspects of the competition, expanding many of its programs including book distribution, schools outreach and marketing.
And introducing our Muse… Lynette Kerridge
Lynette is proud to be the founder of and inspiration behind the Strasbourg Write a Story Competition. As an amateur writer, new to Strasbourg, she found it hard to find like-minded creative people so started a writing group which attracted many members. Soon Lynette began to dream of something bigger – a writing competition open to everyone in Strasbourg and the wider area in a spirit of international co-operation. But, like stories, dreams mean nothing if they merely remain in your head. In 2013 Lynette approached the ESC, the ESU and the AIA among others who agreed to fund the project. The rest (as they say) is history. Lynette has since moved back to the UK but continues to be involved in the competition. She is delighted that it is entering its fifth year.
Lynette has written short stories and one novel, The Towers of London, which explores themes relating to diaspora. She is currently working on a second novel, The Chronicle of V, set in 1970’s Britain. She says, ‘creative writing is a powerful and transformative process. Give it a go!’