DAAD/IMLR German Writing Competition 2019

This year, the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and the Institute of Modern Languages Research (IMLR) are joining forces for the sixth time to invite all learners and lovers of German to take part in a writing competition.

2019 marks the 200th birthdays of Queen Victoria and her husband Albert. This year’s competition is launched on Valentine’s Day to commemorate a love that blossomed across borders, cultures and languages, between the Prince of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha and the British queen. They first met in May 1836, were engaged in October 1839 and married in February 1840. During the years before Albert moved to Windsor Castle, many letters crossed the Channel – from Britain to Saxony and back from Saxony to Britain – and many, if not all of them were written in English, from the day of their engagement however until the Prince's untimely death in 1861 they corresponded in German, the language Victoria had learnt from her mother as a little girl.

Your competition brief is to imagine one of these letters. You could either:
• Put yourself in the shoes of Victoria or Albert (or both) and write a (pair of) letter(s) or
• creatively adapt one (or an exchange) of their letters as a mini-play, lyrics for a rap song (à la Hamilton), a (set of) poem(s) or similar.

Does Albert share his thoughts with Victoria about moving to Britain and becoming a part of her life? Does Victoria tell Albert about Britain while contemplating their life together?
Be creative and think outside the box. The only two rules: your text must be written in German and not be longer than 350 words.

Letter exchange between Queen Victoria and Prince Albert:

Please find here a scan of an original letter exchange between Queen Victoria and Prince Albert housed in the Royal Archives at Windsor Castle, reproduced by permission of Her Majesty The Queen.

The competition is open to
- students at secondary schools/ Sixth Form Colleges
- undergraduates
- postgraduates
- German mother tongue speakers and
- anybody else who feels up to the challenge!

Submissions are welcome from single authors and from pairs of contributors and must be sent to the following email address as a PDF file: projects@daad.org.uk

The deadline for submission is Wednesday, 15 May 2019.

How to join the competition
Step 1: Prepare your submission
Step 2: Register online here
Step 3: Send your submission as a pdf file to projects@daad.org.uk


- Q&A session with Daisy Goodwin, the screenplay author behind the ITV/PBS series “Victoria”
- tickets for the exhibition Writing: Making Your Mark at the British Library
- VIP guided tours to/ tickets for events relating to German Language culture
- book prizes/ DVD prizes

The prize-giving event will take place on 28 June 2019 in London.

This competition is part of Victoria & Albert 200.

Partner organisations

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, the Austrian Cultural Forum, British Library and Royal Collection Trust.