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, which is now in its eighth year!
Members of the English Speaking Community Alsace (www.esc-alsace.org), who were meeting to discuss their creative writing, sparked the interest of organisers at the Americans in Alsace (www.americansinalsace.com) and the English Speaking Union (www.facebook.com/English-Speaking-Union-Strasbourg). The organizers are all volunteers but there are costs associated with running the competition which have to be met. These three community associations continue to fund our activities today.
During the running of the 2016 competition, the former US Consul General in Strasbourg, Amy P Westling, who has a personal interest in creative writing, kindly wrote the foreword for the book of winning entries. She attended the 2017 award ceremony and later facilitated our application for cultural and education outreach funds available from the United States Embassy in Paris.
Now, thanks to this generous grant, which we have now secured for the third year, we are delighted to be able to waive the competition entry fee for all entries by junior writers (under 18 years). Moreover, a series of creative writing workshops is once again being offered free of charge to adults at venues around Strasbourg and directly to children in schools during the winter of 2018-19.
Kara McDonald, Amy Westling’s successor as US Consul General in Strasbourg, made the opening remarks at the 2018 awards ceremony. The Consulate General of the United States of America in Strasbourg and the United States Embassy in Paris continue to be important sponsors to our competition.
In 2016, Strasbourg Write a Story also came to the attention of the arts fund of the Amicale at the Council of Europe, receiving a small grant. This support continued in 2017 and 2018 enabling us to fund projects such as a website upgrade, and the filming of the 2018 awards ceremony, judge and winner interviews.
We are very grateful for these new sources of funding as it gives us the ability to expand reach of the competition and bring its benefits to a whole new audience.