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Hand holding a pen writing in a spiral bound notebook. A turquoise graphic of the earth overlays the notebook and hand.

The School of Modern Language and Cultures and the Centre for Foreign Language Study are pleased to announce the winners of their first creative writing contest in French.

The contenders were asked to submit a literary text on the theme of “Le monde d’après” (The afterworld). The two winners are: Gwen Page-Gibby from the university of Exeter (intermediate level) and Eleanor Maudsley from Cardiff University (advanced level). The contest was launched on 25 November 2021 for the International Day of the French Teacher with the support of the UK Institut français (worldwide network promoting French language and culture), Wallonie-Bruxelles International (body in charge of international relations for the Belgian French-speaking government) and the French publisher CLE International. The theme, inspired by world events, was “Le monde d’après” (the afterworld). 
The jury, comprising teachers from Durham University and colleagues from other UK institutions, received texts from different language learning levels and genres (poems, narratives, plays, etc.). After the jury deliberated, three texts (one winner and two runners-up) were selected for each of the two following levels: intermediate and advanced. 

Head shot of Gwen Page-Gibby
Intermediate level winner, Gwen Page-Gibby

The intermediate level winner is “La prochaine étape” (The Next Step). The jury liked how originally Gwen Page-Gibby interpreted the theme of the contest in telling the events of the Vél d’Hiv’ Roundup from the perspective of children who are unaware of the horror that awaits them. 

Head shot of Eleanor Maudsley
First prize in the advanced category winner, Eleanor Maudsley

Eleanor Maudsley’s “Caeterus” won the first prize in the advanced category. It is a gripping and chilling dystopian tale that depicts our planet devastated by a nuclear war and populated by strange creatures. 

Head shot of Viktoria Moeslinger-Gehmayr 
Advanced runner-up, Viktoria Moeslinger-Gehmayr

Viktoria Moeslinger-Gehmayr, a Durham University student who has just graduated in Anthropology, is among the advanced runners-up for her poem “Les ailes oubliées” (The Forgotten Wings). 
The winning and runner-up texts will be published on the Institut français’s platform Culturethèque. Their authors will receive books generously provided by our sponsors.  

We want to thank all the participants for submitting their texts and encourage them to continue writing. We also want to thank all the colleagues who helped promote the contest and choose the winners. Our thanks also go to our sponsors, who also supported the creative writing workshops and masterclasses that we organised during the year.