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 fourth 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 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 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, we are delighted to be able to offer the first 100 entries by junior writers (under 18 years) free of charge (normally €7). Moreover a series of 12 creative writing workshops is being offered free of charge to adults and children during the winter of 2016/2017.
Also in 2016, Strasbourg Write a Story came to the attention of the arts fund of the Amicale at the Council of Europe, and we received a small grant. Now for the 2017 competition we have formally registered as one of the Amicale’s approved charity partners. This allowed us to apply for a grant to cover the costs of a website upgrade and for help with our other costs.
We are very grateful for these new sources of funding as it gives us the ability to really expand the competition and bring its benefits to a whole new audience.