Symbolbild Creative Writing

Creative writing, light bulb and many pencils on the table

Creative Writing Contest

Read the three winning stories of the Creative Writing Contest in the winter semester 2021/22 here.

Creative Writing Contest

In the winter semester 2021/22, the participants of the seminar “Impossible Worlds, Unspeakable Sentences: Exploring Postclassical Narratologies” with Dr. Susan Brähler were introduced to recent trends in narrative theory. They dealt with such diverse topics as possible worlds theory, multimodality, hypertext fiction, unnatural narration, cognitive and contextual narratologies, videogame narratives and pandemic storytelling. After an intense semester packed with theory and the analysis of case studies, the idea transpired that it would be exciting to change perspective and to try to write pieces of fiction which would contain some of the phenomena that had been discussed in class.

So after Christmas, a number of volunteers became writers of fiction and participated in a creative writing contest. In a lottery, they were allocated creative writing prompts and, a few weeks later, they presented their short stories to their classmates, who in turn served as literary critics and voted for their favourite stories. The story prompts confronted the students with questions such as: what decisions does a writer have to make if one law of physics is suspended in the fictional world? How can the voice and inner musings of an inanimate object be represented? Is it possible to write a plotless narrative? How can the gender and sexual identity of a protagonist be withheld? Sharing their experience of writing their experimental short stories helped the students reflect on these topics from a writer’s perspective.

A big thanks goes out to all students who were willing to make their stories available to the class. Congratulations to the winners of the creative writing contest: Katharine Wilson (1st place with “Light Fixtures”), Leonie Unkel (2nd place with “The Morning Before We Meet”) and Lara Brändle (3rd place with “Never”)!

The top three stories can be accessed below.

1st place: “Light Fixtures” by Katharine Wilson

Story prompt: Write a short narrative in which two inanimate objects interact with each other.

Click here to download the text.(62.0 KB, 3 Seiten)

About the author: Katharine Wilson is a first semester Master’s student in the European Joint Master’s Programme in English and American Studies at the University of Bamberg. She received her Bachelor’s in English Literary Studies and German from the University of Denver in Colorado, USA. She has previously published poetry and academic work in Foothills (University of Denver’s Visual and Textual Magazine) and WRIT Large (University of Denver’s journal of undergraduate research and writing).

2nd place: “The Morning Before We Meet” by Leonie Unkel

Story prompt: Write a short narrative with a metalepsis in which the protagonist meets the reader(s).

Click here to download the text.(60.7 KB, 4 Seiten)

About the author: Leonie Unkel is an MA student of English and American Literature. She has studied in Bamberg and Krakow. She is particularly interested in British contemporary literature and narratology and has no previous experience in creative writing.

3rd place: “Never” by Lara Brändle

Story prompt: Write a short narrative about some sort of relationship in which time goes backwards.

Click here to download the text.(77.5 KB, 3 Seiten)

About the author: Lara Brändle is 23 years old and is doing her Master's in English and American studies and has studied in Bamberg and Oslo. She is especially interested in gender and gender trangsressions in English literature. Lara has so far written short stories for children. This is her first piece for adult readers.

Susan Brähler