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 one the next year, and every year since except for last year.

This year’s competition

The ninth annual short story competition will accept entries between 1 January 2023 and midnight on 24 February 2023. After a period of time for judging, winner selection, and book production, the ninth annual Awards Ceremony will take place.

For the first time in three competitions, this year’s ceremony will be held in person on Saturday, 13 May, 2023. (The time and location will be posted shortly.) There, the winners will be announced and the book of short-listed entries will be released. More details on 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

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