Writing Competition 2016/17

DAAD and the IMLR, together with the Goethe-Institut and the Swiss and German Embassies in London, were calling all learners and lovers of German to take part in a writing competition! This time, the task was to write a story in German.

Two German-speaking authors, Anja Tuckermann (Berlin) and Ulrike Ulrich (Zurich), had provided beginnings of stories of migration. Now it was your turn to take one of these beginnings and continue spinning the yarn. Participants were free to develop their text in any direction they choose: to write a story of flight or refuge, of identities and self-images, of encounters or new beginnings … . Their story could be set in the past, the present or the future –  and in any geographical setting you wish. The only rule: it must not be longer than 250 words.

Application Process: A jury of teachers, academics and writers will be awarding prizes in five categories: secondary schools, undergraduates, postgraduates, others and native speakers of German.

Please choose the text beginning with which you want to work, then identify the category in which you are entering. Upload your text and complete the entry form by Wednesday, 1 February 2017. Please note: you may only submit one version.


  • Invitations to a writing workshop with Ulrike Ulrich and/or Anja Tuckermann
  • Book prizes

A prize-giving event will take place in the afternoon and evening of Wednesday, 1 March 2017 at the IMLR in London University’s Senate House. Both Ulrike Ulrich and Anja Tuckermann will be present. This will be a chance to listen to the winners’ as well as to the authors’ own story endings.

To celebrate the participants’ achievements, everyone is welcome to join us at a workshop with Ulrike Ulrich and Anja Tuckermann and all prize-winners,  where the winning texts will be read and the authors’ own endings revealed.

Wednesday, 1 March, 17:30-ca. 20:00: University of London, Senate House, Room 349 (3rd floor) Directions

Download our brochure When Cultures Meet - Winning Competition Entries [PDF 1.19 MB]

Read a blog by Stephan Ehrig from the IMLR.

Click here [PDF 80.38 KB] to find the two ‘launchpad’ texts.

For the authors’ versions of their endings please select:

  Autorentext Anja Tuckermann -Sprechen wir mal [PDF 19.70 KB]or

Autorentext Ulrike Ulrich - Heimat [PDF 142.44 KB].

The competition was open to students at secondary schools, Sixth-Formers, undergraduates, postgraduates and anybody else who felt up to the challenge!

Find out who the jury are [PDF 107.87 KB].

Further Information and Background

Find out more about Ulrike lrich and Anja Tuckermann


 For background information on migration (in German) see:

Mediendienst Integration (Webseite) – Informations-Plattform für Medienschaffende zu Migration, Integration und Asyl in Deutschland

Lernen über Migration und Menschenrechte, Landeszentrale für Politische Bildung Berlin  – Lehrmaterial für Schulen

Migration – Integration, Bundeszentrale für Politische Bildung – Lehrmaterial für Schulen

Winners and runners-ups



 Winners Secondary schools:
(1) Victoria Adjei, North London Collegiate School;
(2) Ellen Steiner, Sevenoaks School;
(3) Kate Shilling, Simon Langton Girls’ Grammar School;
(4) Maximilian Goehmann, Earlscliffe Sixth Form College
Winners Undergraduates:
(1) Marie-Louise James, BA in Modern Languages, University of Cambridge;
(2) Patricia Laszlo, International Business Languages with Management, Edinburgh Napier University;
(3) Elizabeth Toole, German and Spanish, Bristol University;
(4) Daniel Taylor, BA in Modern Languages (German and Celtic), University of Oxford
Winners Postgraduates:
(1) Sheela Mahadevan, MSt in Modern Languages (German), University of Oxford;
(2) Sarah Stutt, PhD in Creative Writing, University of Hull;
(3) Alasdair Park, MA Applied Translation, Aberystwyth University
Winners Native Speakers:
(1) Eva Malessa;
(2) Julian Ingendaay, Dallam School, Cumbria;
(3) Florian Remele, MSt in Modern Languages (German) at Somerville College, University of Oxford;
(4) Dr Catherine Heszer, SOAS, University of London
Winners Others:
(1) Dr Emma Walkers, Teacher at Bilborough Sixth Form College;
(2) Dr Sandra Leaton Gray, UCL;
(3) Dr Camilla Leathem, Freie Universität Berlin

Congratulations to all winners and runners-up, and a big thank you to all who took on the challenge. Of the 69 entries to this year’s challenge, 39 were from secondary school students and sixth formers, 16 from undergraduates, 8 from native speakers, 3 from postgraduates and a further 3 were submitted in the category “others”. The winners were chosen by a panel of UK-based academics who declared the submissions in all five categories surprising, touching, complex, and a joy to read.

The authors of the winning works are invited to London on 1 March 2017, to take part in an exclusive seminar with the authors.

The competition is a cooperation between DAAD London, The Institute of Modern Languages Research (IMLR) and the Goethe Institut London. It is also kindly supported by the German and the Swiss Embassies London and Deutsch Perfekt.

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